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Environment
7:36 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Environmentalists, Drillers Reach 'Truce' For Fracking Standards

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 7:47 pm

A group of environmentalists and drilling companies has crafted a truce of sorts over the rapid spread of natural gas production in the Appalachian Basin. Four major drilling companies and several environmental groups have agreed on 15 voluntary standards for cleaner drilling practices.

The practices of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing — when companies inject water laced with chemicals deep underground to split open rock formations and get the gas to flow faster — are transforming the rural region in the Eastern U.S. into a sprawling industrial zone.

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Guns In America: A Loaded Relationship
7:00 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

On Gun Ownership And Policy, 'A Country Of Chasms'

Gun enthusiast Paul Gwaltney at Blue Ridge Arsenal, in Chantilly, Va. Gwaltney, an NPR listener, agreed to host a discussion about guns with friends and colleagues.
Becky Lettenberger NPR

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 7:55 pm

The ideological gulf between gun owners and non-gun owners is a wide one — made all the more obvious by the ongoing debate over what, if any, gun control measures should be adopted in the U.S.

Sometimes, the debate feels like people are coming from different worlds, even for people within the same family. And while Americans are often willing to discuss their own views, it's rarer to hear conversations between people who own and love guns and those who do not.

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The Two-Way
6:59 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Man Freed after Two Decades In New York Prison; Doubt Cast On Murder Conviction

"Sir, you are free to go."

With those words from a judge in a New York court on Thursday, David Ranta was released from custody after serving 23 years in prison for a killing that authorities now doubt he carried out.

Weeping and surrounded by relatives, Ranta tried to describe his feelings to the media.

"I'm overwhelmed," the 58-year-old told reporters. "I feel like I'm under water, swimming."

The AP reports that, ahead of freeing Ranta, the judge acknowledged the failure of justice in his case:

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The Two-Way
6:52 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Indian Supreme Court Upholds Prison Sentence For Bollywood Star Linked To Blasts

The Indian Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the conviction of Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt for his role in the 1993 Mumbai blasts that killed more than 200 people.
Chamila Karunarathne AP

Twenty years after multiple blasts ripped through India's commercial capital, Mumbai, killing more than 200 people, the country's Supreme Court has upheld the conviction of a leading Bollywood actor for his role in the attacks.

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Deceptive Cadence
6:36 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Remembering Risë Stevens, A Star Of Opera And Pop Culture

The late American mezzo-soprano Risë Stevens in her signature role as Carmen.
Courtesy of the Metropolitan Opera

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 10:59 am

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It's All Politics
6:32 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

NRA-Driven Gun Provisions Pass Along With Spending Bill

Customers shop for guns at Freddie Bear Sports sporting goods store in Tinley Park, Ill., in January. One of the gun provisions in the spending bill prevents the Justice Department from requiring gun dealers to conduct an inventory to see if guns are lost or stolen.
Scott Olson Getty Images

The House voted overwhelmingly Thursday to approve a temporary measure to keep the government funded through the end of September. Government shutdown averted.

But it turns out the continuing resolution didn't just address spending. It contains six measures that limit how federal agencies deal with guns.

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The Two-Way
6:30 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Dozens Killed By Suicide Bomber In Syrian Mosque

Dozens of people, including a prominent pro-government cleric, are dead in the Syrian capital following a suicide attack inside a mosque.

Syrian TV reported 42 people were killed and 84 wounded in the attack on the Iman Mosque. The pro-government cleric was Mohammed Saeed Ramadan al-Bouti, a longtime supporter of President Bashar Assad and imam of Damascus' Ummayyad Mosque.

Here's more from al-Jazeera:

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The Salt
6:28 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Did Congress Just Give GMOs A Free Pass In The Courts?

Farmers harvest a sugar beet crop in Gilcrest, Colo.
Matthew Staver Landov

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 2:58 pm

Tucked inside a short-term funding measure that Congress approved Thursday is a provision that critics are denouncing as a "Monsanto Protection Act."

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Politics
6:00 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Mark Sanford's Affair Follows Him On Campaign Trail For South Carolina House Seat

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 10:15 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Now to the ever-entertaining world of South Carolina politics. Candidates in a special election for Congress include a former governor who gave hiking the Appalachian Trail entirely new meaning. That's Republican Mark Sanford, who wasn't hiking back in 2009, as reported by his staff, but was having an extramarital affair in Argentina that ended his marriage and his political aspirations for a time.

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Economy
6:00 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Increase In Sales And Low Inventory Indicate Housing Recovery Is In Full Swing

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Spring has arrived and with it, the usual pick-up in the pace of the housing market, but good luck finding a home to buy. Housing inventory, the number of houses actually for sale, is low in many parts of the country and very low in the West. Generally speaking, that's good news for the economy because it's pushing prices up. Here's NPR's Yuki Noguchi.

YUKI NOGUCHI, BYLINE: Errol Samuelson spends a lot of time staring at housing numbers.

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