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Asia
3:03 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Controversial Cleric Stirs Protests Upon Return To Pakistan

Pakistani Muslim cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri (center), speaks to a crowd from a bulletproof box in Islamabad in January. The cleric recently returned to Pakistan after years in Canada, and his calls for an end to corruption have brought supporters to the streets in large numbers.
Farooq Naeem AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 8:34 pm

In Pakistan, a controversial Muslim cleric has been shaking up the political scene.

Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri returned to his home country late last year, after spending eight years in Canada. Since coming back, he has ignited a disgruntled electorate and has left many people wondering what exactly his plans are.

On a recent day, a lively drum band wandered among a crowd of about 15,000 Pakistanis gathered in the eastern city of Faisalabad for a rally organized by Qadri.

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Sweetness And Light
10:03 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Reminders Flood In: Athletes Are People, Not Heroes

Oscar Pistorius, seen here winning a gold medal at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, faces charges that he murdered his girlfriend. Pistorius also competed in the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Ben Stansall AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 4:08 pm

These have certainly been dispiriting times for those who admire athletes, who proclaim that sports build character. The horrendous shooting by Oscar Pistorius is of course, in a category mercifully unapproached since the O.J. Simpson case, but the Whole Earth Catalog of recent examples of athletic character-building is certainly noteworthy.

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Shots - Health News
6:18 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

How The Sequester Could Affect Health Care

On Tuesday, President Obama urged congressional action to prevent automatic spending cuts scheduled to begin on March 1.
Jim Lo Scalzo EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 6:56 pm

It's looking increasingly likely that $85 billion of automatic federal budget cuts known as a sequester will come to pass if Congress doesn't act by March 1.

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The Two-Way
5:57 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Booker-Winning Author's Remarks About Kate Middleton Play Out In U.K. Media

The Duchess of Cambridge receives a bouquet of flowers, as she leaves after a visit to Hope House in London on Tuesday. The former Kate Middleton appeared unaffected by the controversy surrounding remarks made by author Hilary Mantel.
Matt Dunham AP

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 3:05 pm

Booker Prize-winning author Hilary Mantel is facing criticism over remarks about the former Kate Middleton in a recent speech.

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The Two-Way
5:47 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

After Snafu, Mississippi Ratifies Amendment Abolishing Slavery

The actor Daniel Day-Lewis in the film Lincoln.
DreamWorks/Twentieth Century Fox

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 7:24 pm

The movie Lincoln inspired a Mississippi citizen to push the state to correct a clerical error that kept the state from officially ratifying the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery.

NPR's Debbie Elliott sent this report to our Newscast unit:

"In 1865, Mississippi was among the states that rejected the 13th amendment. But in 1995 lawmakers voted to change that. Problem was the state never sent official word to the U.S. archivist, so the ratification was never recorded.

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It's All Politics
5:39 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Supreme Court Takes Case That Could Puncture A Key Campaign Cash Limit

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a challenge to campaign-finance laws that could open the door to further money in politics beyond what Citizens United achieved.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 6:48 pm

Barely three years after the Supreme Court's landmark Citizens United ruling, which liberated corporations to spend freely in elections, the justices say they'll take up another campaign finance case — this time aiming at one of the limits on the "hard money" that goes directly to candidates and party committees.

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Movie Interviews
5:24 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

In 'Kings Point,' The Sunny Promise Of Retirement Gathers Clouds

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 6:01 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This week on our program, we're going to hear from the directors of the five films nominated for Best Short Documentary at the Oscars, from life in the throes of breast cancer to life as a can collector on the streets of New York.

My co-host Audie Cornish begins with a conversation with the filmmaker of "Kings Point," a documentary about the not-so-golden times in a retirement community in Florida.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "KINGS POINT")

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Education
5:24 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Some 'Cyber Schools' Falling Short Of Their Sales Pitch

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 6:42 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And now some news from the world of online education. So-called cyber schools appear to be falling short of their sales pitch. The largest are run by a for-profit company called K12, which has made a big business of virtual education. Now, poor standardized test scores have captured the attention of state lawmakers around the country. Blake Farmer of member station WPLN in Nashville has this story about K12's failing grades.

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Law
5:24 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Gun Control An Emotional Issue For Citizens, Lawmakers In Colorado

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 6:42 pm

Colorado's Legislature is poised to pass sweeping gun reform. The House passed bills that limit high-capacity magazines and require background checks on private gun sales. The bills will now be debated in the Senate, which promises bills of its own. Colorado has experienced two of the worst mass shootings in the nation, the latest in July 2012.

Around the Nation
5:24 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Ex-LAPD Officer May Have Stalked Targets Before Killing Spree

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 1:13 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

We're learning more about the actions of Christopher Dorner, the former police officer turned fugitive in Southern California. Today, police in Los Angeles said they believe he stalked LAPD officers and their families before he began his alleged killing rampage. Authorities say Dorner killed himself last week during a violent standoff in the mountains east of L.A. NPR's Kirk Siegler has this update.

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