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11:19 am
Mon January 14, 2013

"The Whole Nine Yards" Of What?

There are those who say the phrase "the whole nine yards" comes from a joke about a prodigiously well-endowed Scotsman who gets his kilt caught in a door.
iStockPhoto

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 2:25 pm

Where does the phrase "the whole nine yards" come from? In 1982, William Safire called that "one of the great etymological mysteries of our time."

He thought the phrase originally referred to the capacity of a cement truck in cubic yards. But there are plenty of other theories.

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Book Reviews
11:03 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Of The People: Sonia Sotomayor's Amazing Rise

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor spoke with NPR in December at the Supreme Court.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 4:36 pm

Since her appointment to the Supreme Court in 2009, Sonia Sotomayor has stood out. The nation's first Latina justice is also its most extroverted; not only does she ask far more questions during oral arguments than her predecessor, David Souter, but she also has refused to indulge the court's pose of Olympian detachment. William Rehnquist never threw out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium, and I don't remember Antonin Scalia making an appearance on Sesame Street.

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The Two-Way
9:41 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Lawmaker Plans Bill To Lift Immunity For Gun Manufacturers And Dealers

Handgun barrels on the assembly line of Hi-Point Firearms in Mansfield, Ohio.
Gus Chan The Plain Dealer /Landov

Add this to the list of proposals to overhaul the gun industry: Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., says he will introduce legislation this week to roll back legal immunity for gun manufacturers and dealers.

Schiff tells NPR there's no need for the 2005 law called the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act to remain on the books. That law gave gun makers, gun dealers and trade groups immunity from most negligence and product liability lawsuits. "Good gun companies don't need special protection from the law," Schiff says, "Bad companies don't deserve it."

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The Two-Way
9:30 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Obama: I Will Not Let Deficit Talks Be Tied To Another Debt Ceiling Debate

President Obama speaks during his news conference in the East Room of the White House on Monday.
Jason Reed Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 3:03 pm

At a news conference dominated by discussion of what's expected to be Washington's next big political battle, President Obama insisted Monday that he will not let Republicans tie an increase in the federal government's borrowing limit to negotiations over cuts in future federal spending.

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The Two-Way
8:54 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Top Stories: Fighting In Mali; Biden's Gun Report Coming

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. His team beat the Houston Texans on Sunday and will go up against the Baltimore Ravens in next week's AFC championship game.
Elsa Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 9:25 am

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The Two-Way
8:20 am
Mon January 14, 2013

'Biggest Gathering On Earth' Begins In India; Kumbh Mela May Draw 100 Million

Hindu devotees prayed and washed as they attended the first "Shahi Snan" (grand bath) at the opening of the Kumbh Mela festival today in Allahabad, India.
Jitendra Prakash Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 12:46 pm

Imagine one-third of the entire U.S. population — 100 million or so people — visiting Dallas in the next 55 days.

That gives you a sense of what began today in Allahabad, India, a northern city of about 1.1 million people. Over about the next eight weeks it is expected to host nearly 100 times its population in pilgrims (not all at once, obviously). They're coming for the Hindu festival of Kumbh Mela, which happens every 12 years.

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The Two-Way
7:36 am
Mon January 14, 2013

As French Claim Gains In Mali, Islamists Vow To Strike Back

This photo, released on Saturday by the French Army Communications Audiovisual office (ECPAD), shows French Mirage 2000 D jets flying over Mali.
ECPAD Xinhua /Landov

On this fourth day of French military operations aimed at routing Islamist militants in Mali, the al-Qaida-linked rebels are "vowing to drag France into a long and brutal ground war," Reuters reports.

"France has opened the gates of hell for all the French. She has fallen into a trap which is much more dangerous than Iraq, Afghanistan or Somalia," a spokesman for the MUJWA Islamist group told Europe 1 radio, the wire service writes.

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My Guilty Pleasure
7:03 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Spy Vs. Spy: A Former MI5 Director On Loving James Bond

Scottish actor Sean Connery is seen in 1982 during the making of the film Never Say Never Again.
AFP/Getty Images

Stella Rimington writes spy fiction and is the former director general of MI5. Her most recent book is The Geneva Trap.

I first discovered Ian Fleming's From Russia With Love in the early '60s, before I knew that I would join MI5 and become part of that mysterious world myself, and before James Bond had become a worldwide phenomenon through the films.

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Around the Nation
6:43 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Couple With Same Name Files For Divorce

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 3:27 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep, with regrets to Kelly Hildebrandt. She became famous in 2009 for marrying a man with the identical name, Kelly Hildebrandt. Perfect. No anxiety about changing names, and if they chose to hyphenate the kids, it would Hildebrandt-Hildebrandt. But now the Hildebrandts have separated and filed for divorce. Miami's WTVJ quotes Mr. Hildebrandt saying, She's a Florida girl, I'm a Texas guy. They're from different worlds. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Around the Nation
6:30 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Denver Mayor Must Dance Like Ray Lewis

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 3:27 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.

Winning isn't everything but at least you don't have to dance. The mayors of Denver and Baltimore made a friendly wager when their teams met in the NFL playoffs. When Baltimore won in overtime, it was disaster for Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, who must now dance like Ray Lewis. The soon-to-retire Baltimore star does an awkward but enthusiastic sideline dance before games. And we're going to find out soon how well Mayor Hancock moves.

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