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All Tech Considered
4:31 am
Sat January 18, 2014

Still Texting? OMG, That's Already So Old-School

A new report says old-fashioned texting is on the decline in Britain.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 12:31 pm

If you have teenagers in your house, you may find this hard to believe, but texting is on the decline.

For the first time ever, traditional texting — the kind you do through your cell phone provider — has dropped in Britain. That's according to the annual technology predictions report from Deloitte, which reported that the number of text messages passed around by Brits decreased by 7 billion last year.

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Parallels
4:27 am
Sat January 18, 2014

Three Years After Uprisings, Arab States Take Different Paths

Supporters of Tunisia's secular Popular Front on Tuesday celebrate the third anniversary of the ouster of dictator Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali. The country is on the verge of approving a new constitution that was negotiated by Islamist and secular political parties.
Anis Mili Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sat January 18, 2014 8:57 am

Here's a snapshot of the Arab world on the third anniversary of its uprisings: Tunisians celebrated in the streets this month. Egyptians voted on a constitution that highlighted their bitter divisions. Beleaguered Syrians prayed that peace talks will bring an end to their nightmarish civil war.

The revolutionary fervor that gripped Arab nations in early 2011 has long since dissipated. All those that experienced uprisings have struggled to remake themselves and the prevailing mood across much of the region has been disappointment or worse.

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Sports
4:26 am
Sat January 18, 2014

Sibling Snowboarders Hope To Reach Olympics At The Same Time

Taylor Gold competes at the 2013 U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix at Copper Mountain, Colo., one of the qualifying events for the U.S. team. His sister Arielle is also competing in the women's contest.
Sarah Brunson U.S. Snowboarding

Originally published on Sat January 18, 2014 10:35 am

Patty Gold may be the loudest spectator at the bottom of the half-pipe, with her cheers, gasps and the yelling of her children's names. She mostly stands perfectly still with her hands clasped to her face, waiting for scores, safe landings, and possibly medals.

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Afghanistan
3:52 am
Sat January 18, 2014

Restaurant Owner Loved The Patrons He Died Trying To Protect

Kamal Hamade, the owner of the Taverna du Liban, had taken many steps to make his restaurant secure, and it was one of the few that Western agencies allowed their personnel to frequent.
Rahmat Gul AP

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 7:04 am

Taverna du Liban was a welcome respite from the pressures of living in a third-world war zone.

The cozy, Kabul restaurant with its Middle Eastern décor served up a tasty variety of Lebanese dishes and the best chocolate cake I've ever eaten, courtesy of the Lebanese owner, Kamal Hamade, who baked the cakes himself.

But the appeal of Taverna — where I ate nearly every week when I lived in Afghanistan — was about much more than the food. It was about friendship.

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The Two-Way
3:24 am
Sat January 18, 2014

IMF, U.N. Staff Among 21 Killed In Kabul Restaurant Attack

Afghanistan security forces help an injured man from the scene of the attack, where at least 21 — mostly foreigners — were killed.
Massoud Hossaini AP

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 12:19 pm

A suicide attack at a Kabul restaurant popular with foreign nationals killed at least 21 people on Friday, including the country director for the International Monetary Fund and four United Nations employees.

The attacker exploded a bomb at the restaurant gates, clearing the way for two gunmen to enter and start shooting indiscriminately, reports NPR's Sean Carberry. Afghan security forces killed the gunmen in a shootout.

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The Two-Way
5:04 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Supreme Court To Decide If Warrant Needed To Search Cellphone

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide if police can seize and look through a suspect's cellphone without getting a warrant. This photo shows women in Los Angeles using smartphones on Jan. 7.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 5:26 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court is delving into the technology-versus-privacy debate, agreeing to hear two cases that test whether police making an arrest may search cellphones without a warrant.

The court's announcement Friday that it would take the cases came just hours after President Obama outlined his proposals to address government retention of citizen phone data as part of his speech outlining reforms at the National Security Agency.

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It's All Politics
5:01 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Congress Vows To Step Up To Surveillance Policy Challenge

National Security Agency Director Gen. Keith Alexander and Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., after President Obama's speech.
Charles Dharapak AP

If there was a consensus emanating from Congress Friday after President Obama's NSA reform speech, it was — not surprisingly — that Congress itself has a major role to play in the ultimate fix.

Whether from strong NSA supporters or agency critics, the reactions sounded similar: Congress intends to do much of the steering in the drive to overhaul the NSA's gathering of certain non-public information, especially consumer phone records, in the nation's counterterrorism efforts.

Even so, if you listened closely, you could hear the sound of politics in some of the reaction.

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Politics
4:46 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

5 Takeaways From The President's NSA Speech

President Barack Obama talks about National Security Agency surveillance Jan. 17 at the Justice Department in Washington. Seeking to calm a furor over U.S. surveillance, the president called for ending the government's control of phone data from hundreds of millions of Americans and immediately ordered intelligence agencies to get a secretive court's permission before accessing the records.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 6:21 pm

What does it mean when lawmakers as different as Colorado Democratic Senator Mark Udall and New York Republican Rep. Peter King offer praise for the president's long-awaited speech on surveillance reforms?

Mostly that resolution to the biggest controversies after leaks by NSA contractor Edward Snowden has been put off — or pushed to working groups in the executive branch and the lawmakers themselves.

Still, the president's NSA reforms speech Friday offered a revealing look into the nation's phone data collection program and the direction of the surveillance policy debate.

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Latin America
4:46 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

A Newsprint Shortage Hobbles Venezuelan Media

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 5:20 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Last year, Venezuelans suffered from a shortage of toilet paper. Well, now thanks to government bureaucracy, another kind of paper is in low supply, newsprint. As John Otis reports, that's forced some Venezuelan newspapers to trim their size or, worse, stop printing all together.

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Economy
4:46 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

In The Long Wait For Aid From Washington, Job Hunters Despair

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 5:20 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Lawmakers are promising new efforts to restore jobless benefits for long-term unemployed, but it may take a while - 1.4 million people who've been out of work long term saw their benefits disappear three weeks ago. Congress failed to agree on funding to renew them. NPR's Tovia Smith visited with a few people who are without work in Boston.

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