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Around the Nation
6:00 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Association Warns Of A Possible Clown Shortage

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 11:03 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.

Sad clown face, we're headed for a clown shortage. As the head of a clown organization told the New York Daily News: Clowns just aren't cool anymore. Rubber noses and rainbow wigs just can't compete for young talent with tech startups and Wall Street. That's a pie in the face for the World Clown Association and its aging clown population. Its membership numbers have dropped like a pair of oversized polka dot trousers.

It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Asia
5:07 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Mega Mall Helps Pakistanis Escape Pressures Of Everyday Life

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 11:03 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

We occasionally get postcards from our international correspondents who report and live in various spots around the world. NPR's Philip Reeves is based in Pakistan where violence has killed tens of thousands of people in recent years. Philips says some in the capital, Islamabad, to find ways to escape the pressure.

PHILIP REEVES, BYLINE: Islamabad can sometimes seem surprisingly tranquil. My house is a short drive from Parliament and the Supreme Court. The foothills of the Himalayas aren't so far away.

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Health Care
5:04 am
Tue February 18, 2014

More U.S. Companies Switch To High Deductible Health Plans

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 11:03 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning.

The cost of health care in this country seems to be coming under control. Health care spending, while still on the rise, has increased at historically levels the last few years, which makes you wonder: Why aren't we feeling it?

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Around the Nation
5:03 am
Tue February 18, 2014

California Toasts 2013's Record Wine Grape Harvest

Chardonnay grapes are picked in the Stelling Vineyard at Far Niente winery Wednesday morning, Aug. 28, 2013 in Oakville, Calif.
Eric Risberg AP

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 3:03 pm

California may be stricken by drought, but this month it's also celebrating a record wine grape harvest for 2013.

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Business
5:03 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Black Market Tobacco Sales Hurt New York Businesses

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 11:03 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

When CVS announced it would stop selling tobacco products later this year, industry experts predicted that other drugstore chains might follow suit - which makes you wonder if this means more business for other places that sell cigarettes.

Reporter Kaomi Goetz checked in with some of the grocery stores, newsstands and other small shops in New York City.

(SOUNDBITE OF CROWD CHATTER)

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Business
5:03 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Japan's Central Bank Tries To Encourage More Lending

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 11:03 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with the Bank of Japan.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: This morning, Japan's Central Bank doubled incentives it offers to banks in an effort to encourage more lending. The move is meant to weaken the yen, which would make Japanese goods more affordable - in turn, encouraging Americans and Chinese to buy those goods.

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Sports
5:03 am
Tue February 18, 2014

U.S. Women's Bobsled Team Features 2 Summer Olympians

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 11:03 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

There is one sport in the Winter Olympics you can do with your eyes closed. To be precise, you have to do a few seconds of work, after which you can close your eyes and hope for a gold. I am referring to the brakeman in bobsled. That's the athlete who pushes the sled. Tonight, the woman's two-person bobsled starts in Sochi.

NPR's Robert Smith introduces us to the team.

ROBERT SMITH, BYLINE: Let's get this out of the way. The women call themselves brakemen. Not brake women or brake person.

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Asia
5:03 am
Tue February 18, 2014

U.N. Panel Accuses North Korea Of Crimes Against Humanity

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 11:03 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning. For years we've been hearing horror stories from North Korea about mass starvation, torture, slavery, political killings. It's a long list that is hard for many of us to imagine. Well, now a new report from the United Nations Human Rights Commission presents almost 400 pages of eyewitness testimony from victims and also at least one perpetrator.

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Food
5:03 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Old London Air Raid Shelter Becomes Vegetable Farm

Zero Carbon Food is growing leafy greens, herbs and microgreens in a World War II bomb shelter in London.
Courtesy of Zero Carbon Food

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 11:30 am

During World War II, Londoners would descend spiral staircases into tunnels to escape German bombs. Now one of those long-empty air raid shelters is filled with fresh greens.

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Arts & Life
5:03 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Classical Music Piece Enhances Roald Dahl's 'Dirty Beasts'

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 11:03 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The children's author Roald Dahl died almost 25 years ago, and yet, today you can find more musical adaptations of his work than ever.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

"Matilda" is a hit on Broadway. A musical version of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" is running in London's West End.

GREENE: Over the weekend, the London Philharmonic Orchestra debuted the newest adaptation of Dahl's work, a classical piece for children based on a collection of poems called "Dirty Beasts."

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