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The Two-Way
4:18 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

China, Vietnam Clash Over Disputed Islands

Aerial view of the city of Sansha on an island in the disputed Paracel chain, which China considers part of its territory.
STR AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 4:23 pm

China is once again at odds with a maritime neighbor over disputed islands, this time — as often — leading to a little shooting and a lot of posturing.

The latest confrontation is with Vietnam over the mostly uninhabited Paracel Islands in the South China Sea. Hanoi has accused Beijing's forces of firing on a Vietnamese vessel engaged in fishing near the islands, which both sides claim.

Vietnam did not say if anyone was hurt in the incident that occurred last Wednesday, but it described the matter as "very serious."

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Same-Sex Marriage And The Supreme Court
3:56 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

'It's Bad For Business': Employers Side With DOMA Opponents

Starbucks is among the companies that have filed a brief against the Defense of Marriage Act, being challenged at the Supreme Court on Wednesday.
Drew Angerer Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 4:58 pm

On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear a challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act — the federal law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman. And among those asking the justices to strike it down is a broad cross section of corporate America.

Nearly 300 companies have filed a brief arguing that the law — called DOMA for short — hits them where it counts: their bottom lines.

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Author Interviews
3:56 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

You're So Dumb, You Probably Think This Book Is About Getting Slapped

Oxford University Press

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 4:58 pm

William Irvine is a philosophy professor by day, but he has an unusual sideline: He's also a collector of insults. Irvine has gathered some of his favorite jibes into a new book called A Slap in the Face: Why Insults Hurt — And Why They Shouldn't.

Irvine tells NPR's Audie Cornish that one of his favorite masters of insult is Winston Churchill. "Nancy Astor [said] to Winston Churchill, 'if you were my husband, I would put poison in your coffee,' " Irvine says, to which Churchill replied, " 'If you were my wife, I would drink it.' "

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Technology
3:56 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Yahoo Buys News App From British Teenager For A Reported $30 Million

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 4:58 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

A British teenager has sold his mobile application to Yahoo for a reported $30 million. Seventeen-year-old Nick D'Aloisio created his app called Summly when he was only 15. As NPR's Jeff Brady reports, the teen will now go to work for Yahoo.

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Law
3:56 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

California's Proposition 8 Gets Its Day In The Supreme Court

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 4:58 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Inside the courtroom, the debate over California's gay marriage ban was joined with sharp questions and a splash of humor. But where will all lead is still unknown. As NPR's Carrie Johnson reports, expectations for a sweeping and decisive ruling may be overblown.

CARRIE JOHNSON, BYLINE: Chief Justice John Roberts set the tone in the opening moments. Almost immediately, he pressed the lawyer defending California's gay marriage ban on the most basic of points.

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Health
3:56 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Expanded Definition Of Disability Created Million Dollar Opportunity For Lawyers

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 4:58 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

All this week, we're reporting on a remarkable increase in the size of the country's disability programs. Fourteen million Americans now receive a monthly disability check from the government. The number has roughly doubled every 15 years. As we've reported, there are many, complicated reasons for the increase. There's also one, very simple one: Congress. In 1984, Congress changed the definition of disability. Lawmakers broadened it, and made it more vague.

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The Two-Way
3:41 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

William Shatner Says He's 'Appalled' At IRS 'Star Trek' Parody Video

This video image from an Internal Revenue Service video shows an IRS employee portraying Mr. Spock.
Uncredited AP

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 5:54 pm

William Shatner has made up his mind about the Star Trek parody video produced by the Internal Revenue Service. He tweeted:

"So I watched that IRS video. I am appalled at the utter waste of US tax dollars."

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Law
3:04 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Knox Or Not: Plenty Of Cases Are Tried Without A Defendant

Amanda Knox is led away from an appeals court in Perugia, Italy, in November 2010. Her murder conviction in the death of a flatmate was ultimately overturned, but now, Italy's highest court has ruled she must be retried.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 4:04 pm

Amanda Knox may never again set foot in Italy. But that doesn't mean she won't face another trial there.

Courts around the world — particularly in Italy — have shown themselves willing to try people in absentia.

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The Two-Way
2:48 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Obama Will Appoint Julia Pierson As Secret Service Director

Veteran Secret Service agent Julia Pierson is President Obama's choice to be the agency's new director.
U.S. Secret Service Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 5:12 am

President Obama has chosen 30-year veteran Julia Pierson to head the Secret Service. Pierson will become the first woman to hold that position and she takes the reins as the agency recovers from scandal.

The Washington Post reports:

"Pierson, 53, began her career in the Secret Service as an agent in Miami three decades ago. She serves as the service's chief of staff.

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The Salt
2:39 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Food Fraud Database Lets Us All Play Detective

Spices are common targets for food fraudsters.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 10:45 am

By now we know that not every food is what it seems.

Beef might be horse meat, and tuna might be much cheaper escolar. Extra virgin olive oil is often nothing of the kind.

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