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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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It's All Politics
3:23 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Lack Of Up-To-Date Research Complicates Gun Debate

Former Rep. Todd Tiahrt, shown in Kansas in 2011, added language to the Justice Department's annual spending bill in 2003 that has put limits on the sharing of government gun records.
John Hanna AP

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

Vice President Joe Biden is getting ready to make recommendations on how to reduce gun violence in the wake of the school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

But he says his task force is facing an unexpected obstacle: slim or outdated research on weapons.

Public health research dried up more than a decade ago after Congress restricted the use of some federal money to pay for those studies.

A Researcher Under Fire

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Around the Nation
3:22 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Better Bring Your Own: University Of Vermont Bans Bottled Water

A student walks past a sculpture made of empty water bottles on the University of Vermont campus. UVM has banned the sale of bottled water.
Toby Talbot AP

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

When students at the University of Vermont resume classes on the snow-covered Burlington campus Monday, something will be missing: bottled water. UVM is the latest university to ban on-campus sales of bottled water.

At one of UVM's recently retrofitted refill stations, students fill up their reusable bottles with tap water. For many of the 14,000 students and staff on this campus, topping off their refillable bottles is an old habit.

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The Salt
3:21 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Young Adults Swapping Soda for The Super Buzz of Coffee

Students are drinking more coffee to stay awake.
iStockphoto.com

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

If you live in a college town, you might have noticed that campus coffee shops are still buzzing late into the evening.

And that makes sense. New survey data from the NPD group, which tracks trends in what Americans eat and drink, finds that 18- to 24-year-olds are turning to coffee, rather than caffeinated sodas, as their pick-me-up of choice.

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National Security
5:45 pm
Sun January 13, 2013

Uncertainty Looms For Pentagon In Obama's Second Term

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 7:25 pm

America's military future is decidedly undecided.

Looming sequestration cuts of massive proportions, coupled with a U.S. troop drawdown in Afghanistan are adding to the boiling partisanship over nominating Chuck Hegel as defense secretary. It's hard to avoid the conclusion that some of the biggest challenges for the Department of Defense come from inside U.S. borders.

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Animals
4:15 pm
Sun January 13, 2013

The Kraken Is Real: Scientist Films First Footage Of A Giant Squid

A giant squid stars in this still image taken from the footage Edie Widder shot. It's the first-ever video of these giant squids, and it'll debut in a Discovery Channel documentary airing in late January.
Edie Widder Discovery Channel

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 7:25 pm

For thousands of years, sailors have told stories of giant squids. In myth and cinema, the kraken was the most terrible of sea monsters. Now, it's been captured — on a soon-to-be-seen video.

Even after decades of searching, giant squids had only been seen in still photographs. Finally, in last July, scientists filmed the first video of a live giant squid swimming some 2,000 feet below the surface of the Pacific Ocean.

Edie Widder is the ocean researcher who shot the footage, which is slated to be released in a Discovery Channel documentary later this month.

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The Two-Way
3:47 pm
Sun January 13, 2013

Ban On Assault Rifles Unlikely, NRA Chief Says

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 4:27 pm

The head of the National Rifle Association said Sunday that there's little appetite on Capitol Hill for a ban on assault weapons.

"When a president takes all the power of his office, if he's willing to expend political capital, you don't want to make predictions, you don't want to bet your house on the outcome. But I would say that the likelihood is that they are not going to be able to get an assault weapons ban through this Congress," NRA President David Keene said on CNN's State of the Union.

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The Two-Way
2:36 pm
Sun January 13, 2013

Losing Our Religion: The Growth Of The 'Nones'

As religious as this country may be, many Americans are not religious at all. The group of religiously unaffiliated — dubbed €œ"nones" €-- has been growing.
iStockphoto.com

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

This week, Morning Edition explores the "nones" — Americans who say they don't identify with any religion. Demographers have given them this name because when asked to identify their religion, that's their answer: "none."

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U.S.
5:54 am
Sun January 13, 2013

Army Corps' Options Dwindle Along With Mississippi River

An excavator perched on a barge removes rocks from the Mississippi River in Thebes Ill.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 6:16 pm

Every day this month, the Army Corps of Engineers is working hard to deepen the Mississippi River's shipping channel in an effort to keep navigation open between St. Louis and Cairo, Ill.

Water levels are forecast to remain high enough through January to float loaded barges, but some say the only way to keep the river open next month will be to release water from the Missouri River.

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