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The Two-Way
10:16 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Applications For Unemployment Benefits Tick Up; Monthly Average At 5-Year Low

There were 336,000 first-time claims for unemployment benefits last week, up 2,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

The big news here is that the 4-week moving average was 339,750, a drop from of 7,5000 from last week and the lowest level in 5 years.

Bloomberg reports:

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Shots - Health News
10:08 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Pediatricians Voice Support For Same-Sex Marriage And Adoption

April DeBoer (second from left) sits with her adopted daughter Ryanne (left) and partner, Jayne Rowse (fourth from left), and her adopted sons Jacob (middle) and Nolan (right) at their home in Hazel Park, Mich. The lesbian couple's desire to adopt each other's children has grown into a potentially ground-breaking challenge to Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 3:29 pm

Now children's doctors say it's time for same-sex marriage to be the law of the land.

For the first time, the American Academy of Pediatrics said in a policy statement Thursday that it favors "civil marriage for same-gender couples — as well as full adoption and foster care rights for parents regardless of their sexual orientation ...."

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The Two-Way
10:06 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Let's Do A March Madness 'Anti-Bracket': Pick The Upsets

St. Mary's' Matthew Dellavedova goes up for a basket against Yale Bulldogs' Justin Sears and Michael Grace.
Jose Carlos Fajardo MCT /Landov

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 7:22 pm

Everybody's trying to pick the winners in this year's NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament. Even President Obama is in on the fun (though he hasn't been that good in recent years at figuring out who will be the champion at the end).

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The Two-Way
9:57 am
Thu March 21, 2013

United Nations Will Investigate Possible Use Of Chemical Weapons In Syria

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
Fabrice Coffrini AFP/Getty Images

The United Nations is launching an investigation into the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon made the announcement during a media briefing on Thursday.

"I have decided to conduct a United Nations investigation into the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria," Ban said according to Reuters. He said the investigation will focus on "the specific incident brought to my attention by the Syrian government."

The use of chemical weapons is a big deal because the United States has declared that its "red line" in the conflict.

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The Salt
9:49 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Spring May Have Sprung, But Most Gardens Are Still Slumbering

Want it? You can't have it. At least not yet.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 10:25 am

For vegetable lovers, the start of spring can be a cruel tease, hinting of a feast of just-picked peas and spinach and beets, but delivering instead tired iceberg and romaine shipped from distant climes.

"It's zero here right now," Terry Nennich reported Wednesday morning, the first official day of spring, from Grand Rapids, Minn. So much for spring. Not only was it well below freezing, but the ground remained blanketed by 2 feet of snow.

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The Two-Way
9:31 am
Thu March 21, 2013

CIA Drone Operations Could Be Handed To Pentagon

A Predator drone taxis in after a sortie over Iraq in 2004.
U.S. Air Force Getty Images

The responsibility for counterterrorism operations involving unmanned drones could soon begin shifting from the CIA to the Pentagon as part of Obama administration efforts to mollify critics who say the program lacks transparency, says NPR's Tom Gjelten.

A senior U.S. official tells NPR that while no decision has been made, the change is a "distinct possibility." The Daily Beast broke the story on Wednesday.

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The Two-Way
9:30 am
Thu March 21, 2013

South Korea Says Cyberattack That Paralyzed Computers Was Traced To Chinese IP

A man walks past the Cyber Terror Response Center at National Police Agency in Seoul, South Korea.
Chung Sung-Jun Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 12:27 pm

South Korea has traced a cyberattack that paralyzed more than 30,000 computers on Wednesday to a Chinese Internet protocol address, the Korean Communications Commission said Thursday.

Of course, as soon as the attacks happened, suspicion centered on Pyongyang. North Korea, of late, has been increasingly belligerent, threatening a nuclear attack on the United States and South Korea.

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Around the Nation
9:23 am
Thu March 21, 2013

TSA Finds Sword Hidden In Cane At Dulles Airport

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. Guards at Dulles Airport outside Washington have a sense of humor. I once asked a guy at a checkpoint in the basement how he was doing, and he answered: Living that dream. Too bad we don't now what Dulles guards said when a woman put her cane in the scanner. There was a sword inside. It was a sword cane. The woman had no idea.

Animals
9:23 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Broadway Understudy Is Less Than 'Purrfect'

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.

Last night was opening night for the Broadway show "Breakfast at Tiffany's," but The New York Times reports it was also curtains for one of the actors. Montie Corelli was fired. He had been the main understudy for Vito Vincent in the role of a cat. The black-and-white feline apparently refused to follow stage directions. But hey, he's a cat. And likely the casting process to replace Monti was a lot like herding cats.

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

The Two-Way
8:29 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Gaza Militants Fire Rockets, As Obama Heads To West Bank

President Barack Obama arives for a joint press conference with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas at the Muqataa, the Palestinian Authority headquarters, in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 9:22 am

Militants in Gaza fired rockets into Israel on Thursday, just as President Obama travelled from Israel to the West Bank, where he met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

NPR's Larry Abramson filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"Two of the rockets reached the southern town of Sderot, but one fell in an open area. The other caused some damage to a building, according to Israeli police."

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