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Planet Money
2:35 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

The Last Time Congress Built A Doomsday Machine

Sequester 1.0
Lana Harris AP

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 6:30 pm

After years of tax cuts and a big hike in defense spending, deficits were rising. Then came a bitter battle over the debt limit. Three senators came up with a plan: Unless Congress and the White House could get the deficit under control, this thing called "sequestration" would do it for them.

The year was 2013 1985.

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Around the Nation
2:30 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

After The Spill: The Environment And Economy Of The Gulf

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. This week the federal government and Gulf Coast states took BP and its contractors to court seeking billions in civil damages for the disaster that began almost three years ago now, with the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. Some call it the trial of the century.

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Music Interviews
2:26 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Lady Lamb The Beekeeper Emerges From Behind The Counter

Lady Lamb the Beekeeper's debut album is titled Ripely Pine.
Shervin Lainez Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 3:31 pm

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Around the Nation
2:17 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

On Heels Of Sequestration, The Business Of Spending Cuts

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 4:56 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. The metaphors become unbearably trite: the debt ceiling; the fiscal cliff and now the meat cleaver of the sequestration. Details are important, we'll get to those in a moment, but underlying the repeated rounds of budgetary crisis, lies a deeper political paralysis.

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The Two-Way
2:14 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

In Maui, Wild Chicken Spurs Power Outage At Airport, Surrounding Area

Why are so many feral chickens crossing the road in Maui? To get a rental car, of course.
Stephanie Federico NPR

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 4:31 pm

A roaming chicken's close inspection of a transformer caused a power outage and brief delays at Maui's Kahului Airport this week. The incident occurred Tuesday afternoon, when the bird wandered into a transformer at the airport's rental car area, leaving parts of the facility without power for more than an hour.

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It's All Politics
1:57 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Federal Gay Marriage Ban Hurts The Bottom Line, Businesses Argue

Starbucks is among the companies urging the Supreme Court to strike down the federal government's ban on recognizing same-sex marriages.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 3:13 pm

After years of legal wrangling, the Defense of Marriage Act — the law that prevents the federal government from recognizing marriage as anything but a "legal union between one man and one woman" — comes before the Supreme Court next month.

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It's All Politics
1:46 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

$85 Billion Versus $42 Billion: The New Sequester Argument

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 2:01 pm

Just how much will the sequester cut? It depends on whom you ask.

The White House has been saying spending will be reduced by $85 billion this year, unless the automatic spending cuts set to take effect Friday are averted.

The Congressional Budget Office, however, just released a new report saying the cuts will only amount to $42 billion.

Why do they differ so much?

They don't, really. It's a technical difference, more than anything.

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The Two-Way
1:19 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Openly Gay Mayoral Candidate In Mississippi Found Dead

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 1:26 pm

Marco McMillian, thought to be one of the first openly gay men to seek political office in Mississippi, was found dead near a levee, yesterday.

McMillian was running for mayor of the town of Clarksdale, a town known for its rich artistic history. (At one point or another it was home to the likes of Sam Cooke and Tennessee Williams.) The AP reports that McMillian was considered to be "a man on the rise."

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Movie Interviews
1:13 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

'The Gatekeepers' Offer Candid Assessment Of Israel's Security

Director Dror Moreh was nominated for an Academy Award for his documentary The Gatekeepers.
Mika Moreh Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 1:30 pm

Six former heads of the Shin Bet — Israel's security agency — speak to director Dror Moreh in his Oscar-nominated documentary The Gatekeepers. They are men who have signed off on brutal interrogations and targeted killings. They have given their lives to the cause of Israeli security.

What is striking is that all articulate their shared conviction that the continued Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories will not lead to peace or a political solution for the future of the state of Israel.

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Shots - Health News
1:09 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Nintendo Wii Helped Budding Surgeons Move To Head Of The Class

Kid, you might just have a future as a surgeon.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 5:34 pm

How's this for a tough assignment?

A group of Italian researchers forced 21 surgical residents to play video games on a Nintendo Wii for an hour a day, five days a week, for four weeks. Whew!

Then the researchers had the residents perform a simulated keyhole surgery. They found that the gamers performed significantly better than another group of residents who didn't undergo this grueling video game training.

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