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Planet Money
2:01 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Sales Are Like Drugs. What Happens When A Store Wants Customers To Quit?

Formerly known as "clearance."
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 11:27 am

Last year, J.C. Penney saw what every big retailer had been seeing for years: the threat of Amazon and other new competitors rising to destroy their business.

So J.C. Penney brought in a bold new CEO. Ron Johnson had already created Apple Store, a chain of physical stores where people flocked to shop. Before that, he had revamped Target.

And Johnson had a plan for J.C. Penney: Tell customers they don't have to spend time anymore clipping coupons or waiting for sales to happen. Instead, the store would offer fair prices on its merchandise every day.

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Law
2:00 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Administration Asks Supreme Court To End Calif. Gay-Marriage Ban

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 7:47 am

The Obama administration has filed a friend of the court brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down California's ban on gay marriage as a denial of "equal protection under the law." But the brief does not call for the abolition of all state bans on same-sex marriage.

The case now before the high court tests the constitutionality of California's Proposition 8, a referendum narrowly passed by voters in 2008 that reinstituted a ban on gay marriage.

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Business
1:59 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Stay-At-Home Workers Defend Choice After Yahoo Ban

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 12:51 pm

Yahoo's sweeping edict against telecommuting has been felt as a personal attack by some of the two-thirds of Americans who regularly work from home.

Lawyer Shannan Higgins of Washington, D.C., finds one line of the company memo outlining the policy change particularly offensive: "Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home."

For nearly a decade, Higgins has worked one day a week from the basement office in her rowhouse, where she takes pride in her work and is obsessed with efficiency.

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Afghanistan
1:59 am
Fri March 1, 2013

New Afghan Challenge For U.S.: Shipping Stuff Out

A pair of mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles are lined up for a convoy to Kandahar Airfield. One of the trucks broke down before leaving Forward Operating Base Frontenac. The unit has to move out 50 vehicles from the compound.
Sean Carberry/NPR

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 7:12 am

In addition to training and equipping Afghan soldiers, U.S. forces in Afghanistan have another critical mission: packing up more than 11 years worth of equipment and sending it home. The number of containers to move out is in the six figures, and some question whether everything can be shipped out by the end of 2014.

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Fine Art
1:38 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Vermeer's 'Woman In Blue' Brings Her Mystery, Allure To L.A.

The Getty Museum is the last€” and only U.S. stop on the world tour of Woman in Blue Reading a Letter.
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. On loan from the City of Amsterdam (A. van der Hoop Bequest) Courtesy of the J. Paul Getty Trust

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 4:41 am

Johannes Vermeer's Girl With a Pearl Earring is easy to fall in love with — she's young, dewy, beautiful (Scarlett Johansson played her in the 2003 movie about the painting), and she looks right at you. But the 17th-century Dutch master's Woman in Blue Reading a Letter is different — her face is shadowed and she stands in profile, totally absorbed in her letter.

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StoryCorps
1:37 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Latina Sisters Aimed High, Defying Low Expectations

When she was in high school, says Linda Hernandez, her guidance counselor told her she shouldn't bother aiming high academically because she was Latina.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 4:41 am

When Linda Hernandez was growing up in Lincoln, Neb., in the 1960s, her family was one of the few Latino families in town. And that sometimes made school life difficult, she says.

"We had to sit in the back of the class and stay after school and clean the erasers when the other kids didn't have to do that," says Linda, now 60. "But both my parents laid down the law and said, 'You had to go to school.' "

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The Two-Way
4:33 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

The Pope Emeritus' New Shoes And The Mexican Man Who Makes Them

Armando Martin Dueñas shows replicas of the hand-crafted loafers given to Pope Benedict XVI.
Alfredo Valadez AP

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 7:42 am

As Pope Benedict XVI left the Vatican and his papacy, he slipped out of his trademark red shoes and put on a pair of Mexican leather loafers. The shoes, actually three pairs, two burgundy and one brown, were a gift to the Pope during his trip last year to Mexico.

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Religion
11:04 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Benedict XVI Leaves The Vatican, Headed To Retirement

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

We're hearing this morning that Pope Benedict has left the Vatican. NPR's Sylvia Poggioli is covering the first papal retirement in 600 years, and she joins us now from Rome. And Sylvia, describe the scene for us there.

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Around the Nation
6:28 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Princeton University To Give Away Free Homes

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 11:04 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne with news for folks looking to acquire a new home. Princeton University is giving some houses away for free. They are fixer-uppers, offered as is, but did I mention they're free? The old houses, which have been used as offices, need to be taken off campus to make room for a new art and transit project. Prospective owners will need to pick up their new homes. So a free house, delivery not included. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Around the Nation
6:12 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Tooth Fairy Survey: Rate Went Up 15 Percent in 2012

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 11:04 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne with an economic indicator found under children's pillows.

The latest Tooth Fairy survey shows the average rate for lost teeth went up 15 percent last year. Illinois based provider Delta Dental says the gain is similar to the jump the S&P 500 saw last year. The average Tooth Fairy gift was just over $2.40. The real moneymaker is the first lost tooth, worth a full dollar more.

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

NPR Story
5:06 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Sequester Cuts Could Affect Air Safety

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 11:04 am

Transcript

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NPR Story
5:06 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Democrats Move To Reinstate Assault Weapons Ban

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 11:04 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.

A hearing on Capitol Hill yesterday included tears, cheers and a recording of bursts of gunfire. It was all part of a new push by Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee to reinstate a ban on assault weapons, a ban that expired nearly a decade ago.

NPR's David Welna was there.

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Business
5:06 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Job Applicants Are Wary Of Firms' Resume Sorting Software

Companies rely on software to search for new employees, especially when there's a large number of job applicants. But those seeking employment say it puts them at a disadvantage when the software hones in on key terms that don't fit on their resumes.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 12:32 pm

With unemployment still high, hiring managers continue to be inundated by job applications. Some big companies are coping with the deluge by using talent management software that winnows pools of job applicants before a human lays eyes on their resumes.

Human resources teams say in today's economy, the systems, which have been around for decades, are crucial. But job hunters like Tim Woodfield often find the software overly aggressive.

Woodfield is an information technology expert, but, ironically, computers became his nemesis during his job search.

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Business
3:42 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Experts Boil Telecommuting Decisions Down To Flexibility Vs. Serendipity

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 11:04 am

Yahoo touched off a debate about the effectiveness of telecommuting when it told employees last week that they may no longer work from home. The policy change was made, according to the company's internal email, to enhance workplace collaboration.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, who happens to be a new mother, drew fierce criticism from those who say she should embrace, rather than reject, flexible work arrangements.

What exactly is lost and what's gained when people work from home?

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Shots - Health News
2:42 am
Thu February 28, 2013

What Happened To The Aid Meant To Rebuild Haiti?

Many homes that were rebuilt after the earthquake in 2010 are even more dangerous than the original ones. This three-story home was put up after the quake but is already slated for demolition to make way for an 18-unit housing project.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 3:39 pm

After a devastating earthquake hit Haiti in 2010, governments and foundations from around the world pledged more than $9 billion to help get the country back on its feet.

Only a fraction of the money ever made it. And Haiti's President Michel Martelly says the funds aren't "showing results."

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