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The Two-Way
1:48 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

11 Former Atlanta Public School Employees Found Guilty In Cheating Scandal

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 2:22 pm

Eleven of 12 former public school employees in Atlanta were found guilty of racketeering in what is thought to be the biggest cheating scandal in American education, NPR member station WABE reports.

One defendant, teacher Dessa Curb, was acquitted of all charges, according to WSB-TV's Richard Elliot.

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The Two-Way
12:18 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

U.S. Creates First Sanctions Program Against Cybercriminals

Dollar bills are reflected in a computer hard drive.
Thomas Trutschel Photothek via Getty Images

The U.S. wants to slap sanctions on cybercriminals. President Obama issued an executive order Wednesday creating the nation's first sanctions program to combat "malicious" cyberattacks and cyberspying.

President Obama said cyberthreats pose one of "the most serious economic and national security challenge" to the U.S., and that the executive order offers a "targeted tool" for countering that threat.

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The Two-Way
11:50 am
Wed April 1, 2015

'Girl Drifter' Race Driver Freaks Out Instructors In Prank

Malaysian pro driver Leona Chin took several driving instructors for a spin for their first day on the job.
YouTube

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 12:28 pm

"It's my brother's car." That's what Leona Chin told four instructors about her high-powered sports car. She then stalled the stick-shift car in first gear and randomly turned the wipers on — before unleashing the skills she has honed as a professional driver. Havoc, and some panic, ensued.

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All Tech Considered
10:58 am
Wed April 1, 2015

Pew: 'Smartphone-Dependents' Often Have No Backup Plan For Web Access

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 2:38 pm

Looking back on the clunky desktops of home offices, smartphones have expanded the definition of what it means to "go online." With all of the apps and mobile capabilities available to us now, it's no surprise that smartphone ownership has grown.

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The Two-Way
10:31 am
Wed April 1, 2015

Thailand Lifts Martial Law, But Critics Say Its Replacement Is Worse

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 3:56 pm

Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej has approved a request from the country's junta to lift martial law.

The announcement, which was made on television Wednesday, goes into effect immediately. But, as reporter Michael Sullivan is telling our Newscast unit, while the lifting of martial law is good news, critics say what it's being replaced with is worse.

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The Two-Way
9:40 am
Wed April 1, 2015

Patton Oswalt Tweets In Defense Of Comedy — And Trevor Noah

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 10:11 am

We've been following the story of the criticism directed at South African comedian Trevor Noah, who was named this week to succeed Jon Stewart as host of Comedy Central's The Daily Show.

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The Salt
9:28 am
Wed April 1, 2015

Scary Times For California Farmers As Snowpack Hits Record Lows

Dry, cracked earth is visible on a cantaloupe farm near Firebaugh, Calif., last August. Record-low snowpack levels in the Sierra Nevada mean most Central California farmers will face another year without water from the federal Central Valley Project.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 5:23 pm

The water outlook in drought-racked California just got a lot worse: Snowpack levels across the entire Sierra Nevada are now the lowest in recorded history — just 6 percent of the long-term average. That shatters the previous low record on this date of 25 percent, set in 1977 and again last year.

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Arts & Life
9:15 am
Wed April 1, 2015

Saying Goodbye: Reflections Of A Music Teacher

Jackie Zielke and eighth-grader Chartreanna Watson practice a guitar duet at Brady Middle School in Pepper Pike, Ohio.
Savion Gissentaner

Originally published on Sat March 28, 2015 12:58 pm

This weekend, NPR Ed is featuring dispatches from teachers about the ups and downs of their work.

Early each December, the HR department of Orange City Schools in Pepper Pike, Ohio, places a checklist in our mailboxes. It asks about our employment plans for the next school year. Choices include sabbatical leave, acquiring advanced degrees, and the one everyone dreams of checking: I will be retiring at the end of the current school year.

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Arts & Life
9:14 am
Wed April 1, 2015

Anonymous 4 With Bruce Molsky: Tiny Desk Concert

Tiny Desk Concert with Anonymous 4 on March 4.
Emily Jan NPR

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 4:18 pm

It was December 1990 — more than a year before the first Anonymous 4 album was released — when NPR invited four slightly shy women into our studio to sing 13th-century Christmas music. Back then, we already knew the manifold beauty of their sound, its purity and accuracy, was something unique.

Now, some 25 years and 21 albums later, the a cappella vocal quartet is calling it quits at the end of 2015. But not before one final visit to NPR.

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Arts & Life
9:10 am
Wed April 1, 2015

A Sale Is Booming: Rare Stradivarius Drums Up For Auction

Timpani are also called kettledrums. These instruments crafted by Antonio Stradivari were, for a time, more kettles than drums.
DEA Picture Library De Agostini/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 9:40 am

Museum curators, instrument dealers and some of the world's most esteemed musicians will be clutching paddles today at Cloiduff's auction house in New York. They're gathering for what is expected to be an eight-figure sale of perhaps the rarest instruments ever to appear at auction: a pair of lovingly restored Stradivarius timpani.

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Arts & Life
9:09 am
Wed April 1, 2015

Can You Name That Musical Prank?

Test your wits against these musical pranksters.
Douglas Grundy Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 10:43 am

Each April 1st, practical jokers get their kicks pulling the wool over people's eyes. There are little white lies, cunning schemes and elaborate hoaxes. Pranksters are alive and well in music, too. Test your wits with these musical smart alecks who run the gamut from clever clowns to serious scam artists. Score high and feel a surge of superiority. Score low and fancy yourself a true April fool.

Shots - Health News
9:09 am
Wed April 1, 2015

To Avoid Surprise Insurance Bills, Tell Exchange Plan When You Move

If you thought more experience with the heath insurance marketplaces would cut down on confusion about them, you'd be wrong. The questions about how they work keep pouring in. Here are answers to some of the latest queries.

I purchased health insurance in Ohio through the marketplace in April. I then moved to Missouri and applied for marketplace coverage there that began in October. I had assumed that the Ohio marketplace would cancel my coverage there, but that didn't happen. What should I do?

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The Two-Way
8:45 am
Wed April 1, 2015

Arkansas Governor Asks Lawmakers For Changes To 'Religious Freedom' Bill

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaks in the Governor's Conference Room at the Arkansas state Capitol in Little Rock.
Danny Johnston AP

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 11:38 am

Updated at 11:59 a.m. ET

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson says he has asked the state's lawmakers for changes to the "religious freedom" bill passed Tuesday.

Critics of the measure say it allows businesses to refuse service to gays and lesbians. Supporters say it advances religious freedom.

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It's All Politics
8:42 am
Wed April 1, 2015

Indiana Law: Sorting Fact From Fiction From Politics

Opponents of Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act rallied against the legislation at the Indiana State House on Saturday.
Doug McSchooler AP

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 3:05 pm

The culture wars are always percolating beneath the surface in presidential politics — until something or someone pushes them to the surface.

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