Europe
3:39 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Privatization Of Greek Assets Runs Behind Schedule

Employees of Hellenic Postbank protest during a strike against the bank's privatization in Athens, in December.
John Kolesidis Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 3:07 pm

In exchange for multibillion-euro bailouts, Greece was required to sell state-owned assets. But the sweeping privatization process is behind schedule. In addition, European governments are nervous that Chinese, Russian and Arab companies are lining up to take advantage of the Greek fire sale.

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Planet Money
3:34 am
Thu February 7, 2013

'Give Me The Money Or I'll Shoot The Trees'

Pay up, or the bird gets it. (A hoatzin perches on a branch in Yasuni National Park.)
Pablo Cozzaglio AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 3:07 pm

Ecuador's Yasuni National Park is one of the most diverse ecosystems on Earth. But there's a complication: The park sits on top of the equivalent of millions of barrels of oil.

This creates a dilemma.

Ecuador prides itself on being pro-environment. Its constitution gives nature special rights. But Ecuador is a relatively poor country that could desperately use the money from the oil.

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Shots - Health News
3:31 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Silica Rule Changes Delayed While Workers Face Health Risks

A worker makes a cut in the side of a sandstone block at the Cleveland Quarries facility in Vermilion, Ohio, earlier this month. The legal limit on the amount of silica that workers can inhale was set decades ago.
Ty Wright Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 3:07 pm

One of the oldest known workplace dangers is breathing in tiny bits of silica, which is basically sand. Even the ancient Greeks knew that stone cutters got sick from breathing in dust. And today, nearly 2 million American workers are exposed to silica dust in jobs ranging from construction to manufacturing.

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The Record
3:29 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Why Al Walser Got A Grammy Nomination And Justin Bieber Didn't

Justin Bieber on stage in December. Bieber's 2012 album Believe, despite selling over 1,000,000 copies, wasn't nominated for a single Grammy Award.
Michael Kovac Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 4:49 pm

Among the hundreds of musicians vying for Grammy Awards this year is Al Walser, a Los Angeles-based disc jockey and singer whose song "I Can't Live Without You" is nominated in the best dance single category. Walser is not a widely known name — many Grammy nominees aren't — but he's competing in a category against some of pop music's heaviest hitters.

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Puerto Rico: A Disenchanted Island
3:27 am
Thu February 7, 2013

'Don't Give Up On Us': Puerto Ricans Wrestle With High Crime

Luis Romero looks out over the ocean to a view that includes the Coast Guard station where his son, Julian, was in the auxiliary. Romero started the anti-violence organization Basta Ya after Julian was murdered.
Coburn Dukehart NPR

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 8:31 pm

Puerto Rico's population is declining. Faced with a deteriorating economy, increased poverty and a swelling crime rate, many Puerto Ricans are fleeing the island for the U.S. mainland. In a four-part series, Morning Edition explores this phenomenon, and how Puerto Rico's troubles are affecting its people and other Americans in unexpected ways.

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National Security
10:40 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Obama's Pick For CIA Chief To Face Senate Scrutiny

John Brennan, the deputy national security adviser for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, speaks at the White House in January. Brennan is President Obama's choice for CIA director.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 3:07 pm

John Brennan, President Obama's choice to lead the CIA, can look forward to a grilling Thursday on Capitol Hill. As Obama's chief counterterrorism adviser, he has been associated with some controversial policies, including the use of armed drones. Brennan's nomination comes before the Senate Intelligence Committee, and members from both parties have their questions ready.

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Around the Nation
6:12 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Questions Sprout Up Over Razed California Wildlife Reserve

The Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve after the land was stripped by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Several advocates, including elected leaders, are protesting the move.
Courtesy of Mathew Tekulsky

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 7:23 pm

Just a stone's throw from two of Los Angeles' busiest freeways lies the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve, a unique spot in an urban jungle.

The northern portion of the reserve is adorned with 30-foot-tall cottonwood trees, spots of coyote bush and other plants. Native plants cover 50 percent of the nature spot, says Kris Ohlenkamp with the San Fernando Valley Audubon Society.

"On the other side it was significantly more than that," he says.

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The Two-Way
5:52 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Sen. Marco Rubio Will Deliver Republican Response To State Of The Union

Sen. Marco Rubio speaks during the final day of the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio will deliver the Republican response to the president's State of the Union address this upcoming Tuesday.

NPR's Tamara Keith filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"Rubio is a rising star of the Republican party, who was elected as part of the Tea Party wave in 2010.

"He's the son of Cuban immigrants and is part of a bipartisan group of senators working on immigration reform legislation. He'll deliver the response in both English and Spanish.

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The Two-Way
5:39 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Air Base In Saudi Arabia Is Latest Drone Secret To Be Revealed

John Brennan, President Obama's nominee to be the next CIA director, worked closely with Saudi Arabia to set up a secret U.S. drone base there, The New York Times reported. Brennan's confirmation hearing is Thursday.
Kevin Dietsch UPI /Landov

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 6:50 am

The Obama administration says lethal airstrikes, delivered stealthily by drones, have been a major success in its counterterrorism efforts. But the administration has been much less successful in keeping secret the details of the often controversial drone program.

Last May, Foreign Policy published this story providing details on 12 U.S. drone bases spread across three continents, from the Seychelles to the Philippines.

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It's All Politics
5:14 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Even In Blue Minnesota, Gun Control Seems A Tough Sell

Gun rights advocate Andy Cers of Minneapolis listens to testimony during a Minnesota House hearing on gun violence bills Tuesday in St. Paul.
Jim Mone AP

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 8:36 pm

Minnesota has a Democratic governor, two Democratic senators, and Democrats control both houses of its Legislature. So it may have come as no surprise when President Obama went there earlier this week to rally support for his proposals to reduce gun violence.

But even in the politically blue state, there's considerable resistance to placing further restrictions on gun ownership.

During his visit to a Minneapolis police facility Monday, Obama urged Minnesotans to find common ground in curbing gun violence.

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