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It's All Politics
6:33 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Lautenberg Retirement Ends Potential May-December Senate Fight With Booker

Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker speaks last year at a ceremony at City Hall.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 7:21 pm

The potential Democratic Party contest for a U.S. Senate seat between 89-year-old Sen. Frank Lautenberg and 43-year-old Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker had been shaping up to be a generational battle royale.

Alas, it won't happen now that Lautenberg has announced that he won't run for re-election in New Jersey's 2014 Senate race. In a statement, the octogenarian senator said:

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The Two-Way
6:21 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Pope Hurt Head Last Year On Trip To Mexico

Pope Benedict XVI delivers his blessing after an audience with the Roman clergy in the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican on Thursday.
Alessandra Tarantino AP

Earlier this week, Pope Benedict XVI shocked the world by announcing he was resigning from his post as head of the Roman Catholic Church. It was the first time a sitting pope had stepped down in nearly 600 years.

As Mark wrote on Monday, Benedict cited his "advanced age (85) and diminishing strength," as reasons for his decision.

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Around the Nation
5:58 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Artist Works To Keep Immigrants In The Picture

Los Angeles-based artist Ramiro Gomez Jr. displays his immigrant worker art on the Capitol's East Lawn in Washington, D.C.
Lizzie Chen NPR

Ramiro Gomez Jr. is working fast enough to draw the least amount of attention, but slowly enough to make every detail stand out. He describes the rush he gets as "therapeutic."

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The Two-Way
5:56 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Frank Lautenberg, Oldest Member Of The Senate, Won't Seek Reelection

Sen. Frank Lautenberg speaks to members of the press in January.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 7:18 pm

New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg, the oldest member of the senate, announced today that he will not seek re-election.

The New York Times reports:

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It's All Politics
5:40 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

As Spending Cuts Loom, Alarm Bells Begin To Sound

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey (from left), Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and Undersecretary of Defense and Comptroller Robert Hale wait for a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday. Military leaders are warning Congress about the effects of the sequester.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 6:27 pm

Senate Democrats offered an alternative Thursday to the sequester, the automatic, across-the-board spending cuts set to hit March 1.

Despite dire warnings in congressional hearings this week, many on Capitol Hill seem resigned to the sequester.

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U.S.
5:14 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Taxpayers Steaming Over Florida Nuclear Plant's Shuttering

The Crystal River Nuclear Plant has stood idle since workers cracked the reactor's containment building in 2009. The facility is now slated to close permanently.
Will Vragovic AP

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 7:15 pm

The operator of Florida's Crystal River nuclear plant sent shockwaves through the state when it announced recently that it was shutting down the facility for good.

When nuclear plants have closed elsewhere, locals have cheered. But in Citrus County, it's been more like a death in the family.

At Fat Boy's Bar-B-Q restaurant in Crystal River, owner Bubba Keller says he's worried about what's going to happen to the community. "I mean, things are already tough," Keller says. "If this makes it worse, don't know if I can hang in there."

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Business
5:14 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Merger Of American Airlines and US Airways Will Create World's Largest Carrier

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 5:40 pm

The boards of US Airways Group and AMR have approved the merger of American Airlines and US Airways. The resulting company will become the world's largest airline. American is in bankruptcy, so its creditors will own a big chunk of the new company and US Airways shareholders will own the rest.

Business
5:14 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Berkshire Hathaway And Private Equity Firm To Buy Heinz For $23 Billion

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 5:40 pm

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway and the private equity firm 3G Capital are set buy ketchup giant Heinz.

Business
5:14 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Airline Mega-Mergers: 'Good, Bad And Ugly'

A United Airlines aircraft passes by a Continental Airlines plane at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in 2006. Their merger, begun in 2010, has been difficult, analysts say.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 8:24 pm

The proposed marriage of American Airlines and US Airways announced Thursday is likely the last in a series of industry mega-mergers, but history suggests combining two big carriers isn't easy.

"The history of airline mergers in the U.S. is good, bad and ugly," says Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry analyst at the consulting firm Hudson Crossing. He and many others point to the 2008 union of Delta and Northwest as the best merger in recent memory.

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Sports
5:14 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

'Blade Runner' Athlete Charged With Murder Of Girlfriend

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 5:40 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

Oscar Pistorius, the double-amputee who made history last year by competing in the London Olympic Games, is in the headlines for a very different reason today. The South African runner and Paralympic athlete, known as the Blade Runner, is facing charges of murder. This, after his girlfriend was shot to death at his home in Pretoria early this morning.

NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reports.

(SOUNDBITE OF A NEWS CLIP)

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