It's All Politics
3:34 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Senate Mostly Blamed For Agency And Court Vacancies, But Obama Isn't Helping

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has not had a permanent administrator since Congress required that the director be confirmed by the Senate in 2006.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 11:50 am

Hear Brian Nayor, Julie Rovner, Yuki Noguchi and Carrie Johnson talk with Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep about the many federal entities operating without permanent leadership by clicking the audio link.

Some workers may dream about how productive they'd be without a boss. But for thousands of federal employees, being without a boss is a reality. And productivity isn't necessarily the result.

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Environment
2:23 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Past Century's Global Temperature Change Is Fastest On Record

Scientists say they have put together a record of global temperatures dating back to the end of the last ice age, about 11,000 years ago. This historical artwork of the last ice age was made by Swiss geologist and naturalist Oswald Heer.
Oswald Heer Science Source

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 10:40 pm

There's plenty of evidence that the climate has warmed up over the past century, and climate scientists know this has happened throughout the history of the planet. But they want to know more about how this warming is different.

Now a research team says it has some new answers. It has put together a record of global temperatures going back to the end of the last ice age — about 11,000 years ago — when mammoths and saber-tooth cats roamed the planet. The study confirms that what we're seeing now is unprecedented.

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StoryCorps
2:21 am
Fri March 8, 2013

A Real-Life Nick And Nora Charles, Hot On Love's Trail

Shaun Kaufman and Colleen Collins experienced a rough patch when they became private investigators, but the work ultimately helped strengthen their relationship.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 11:50 am

When Colleen Collins and Shaun Kaufman started dating, they were both middle-aged and divorced. Neither was having any luck with work, so in 2004, they took matters into their own hands.

"You had lost your job. You drank to excess, and you were stoned all the time," Colleen recalls at a visit to StoryCorps in Denver with Shaun. "And it was like, what are we gonna do?"

So Colleen, now 61, threw out the idea of starting a private investigation agency. Shaun, who has a law degree, had trained several PIs in the past. Within a week, she was out on a surveillance job.

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Planet Money
2:17 am
Fri March 8, 2013

If A Driverless Car Crashes, Who's Liable?

Who's on the hook?
Eric Risberg AP

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 12:25 pm

Some number of years from now, the technology may exist for cars to drive themselves. This could save thousands of lives a year (90 percent of fatal car accidents involve human error).

But getting the technology right won't be enough. Governments and courts will have to figure out lots of new legal and regulatory issues. One key question: If a driverless car crashes, who's liable?

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Technology
2:04 am
Fri March 8, 2013

News Corp. Education Tablet: For The Love Of Learning?

Joel Klein, former New York City schools chief, left to run News Corp.'s education division. On Thursday, Amplify announced a specially designed education tablet.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 1:32 pm

The educational division of the media conglomerate News Corp., called Amplify, unveiled a new digital tablet this week at the SXSW tech conference in Austin, Texas, intended to serve millions of schoolchildren and their teachers across the country.

Amplify promises the tablet will simplify administrative chores for teachers, enable shy children to participate more readily in discussions, and allow students to complete coursework at their own pace while drawing upon carefully selected online research resources.

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Theater
12:01 am
Fri March 8, 2013

For Berry Gordy, Broadway Is Memory Lane

Valisia LeKae, Sydney Morton and Ariana Debose play the Supremes in the show.
Andrew Eccles

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 11:50 am

There's hardly an adult anywhere in the world who wouldn't recognize at least some of the music of Motown.

The R&B label changed the course of music in the United States and made household names of Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder and The Jackson 5. Now, the man who created Motown — Berry Gordy — is headed to Broadway to tell his version of how it all began.

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Charlotte Talks
12:00 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Salt Sugar Fat: How The Food Giants Hooked Us

Salt, sugar and fat. These are a few of Americans' favorite things and the "holy grail" for the processed-food industry according to our guest, investigative reporter of the New York Times, Michael Moss. These ingredients are added to packaged foods in such large quantities that we have become addicted to them and our tastes have changed to prefer foods with salt, sugar and fat in higher amounts. Americans no doubt struggle with this as evidenced by the growing obesity epidemic, but so does the processed foods industry. In his new book, Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us, Moss goes inside the industry to see how it's dealing with the issues of obesity and diabetes and says industry officials themselves are alarmed by the effects of their own products. What started as a market boon for food giants like Kraft and Nabisco, General Mills and Coca-Cola has created a monster - us. Dealing in salt, sugar and fat, when Charlotte Talks.

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Local News
11:33 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Want To Hear Property Tax Appeals For Little Pay? Time To Apply Is Now

Mecklenburg County residents protest the property tax revaluation at an August 2012.

Mecklenburg County is trying to fill 15 seats on the Board of Equalization and Review. That's the group responsible for hearing property tax appeals. It's a job that comes with a lot of criticism – particularly this last year as the board was inundated with appeals to the flawed 2011 revaluation. So why would anyone want the job? 

First off, the hours can be a bear.

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The Two-Way
6:51 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

At Columbia University, Nutella Thefts Make Headlines

The bartender spreads Nutella on a crepe in a creperie in Rome.
Alberto Pellaschiar AP

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 7:04 pm

It has some people saying: This is why we can't have nice things.

According to the student newspaper, the Columbia Spectator, ever since the dining halls at Columbia University were stocked with Nutella, students have been consuming "up to 100 pounds per day."

And by consuming, they mean eating but also "filling cups of Nutella to-go in Ferris Booth Commons and taking the full jars out of John Jay."

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The Two-Way
6:45 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

County Will Pay $15.5 Million To Man Who Spent 22 Months In Solitary Confinement

When he was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol and other charges in 2005, Stephen Slevin had no way of knowing that an opinion about his mental state would put him on a path to spend more than 22 months of solitary confinement in a New Mexico county jail, despite never having his day in court. This week, he reached a $15.5 million settlement with Dona Ana County.

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