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National Security
5:19 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

With Eye On Budget, Hagel Seeks Pentagon Changes

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 8:50 pm

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, in his first major policy speech, laid out Wednesday how to deal with threats in an era of tight defense budgets.

Hagel has ordered the Pentagon to take a hard look at how many soldiers and sailors it needs and what types of weapons it buys. He says the Pentagon is at war with itself: There are competing and spiraling costs within the military — for aging weapons, and for health and pension benefits for military personnel and retirees.

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All Tech Considered
5:19 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Facebook's Online Speech Rules Keep Users On A Tight Leash

Facebook users post more than 2.5 billion messages and updates each day, worldwide. All posted content must comply with the company's standards, which ban many forms of speech that, in the United States, are protected offline.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 9:57 am

Corporations may have more control over online speech today than the courts. Executives determine which videos, pictures and comments are permitted and what art is allowed. Their rules govern billions of posts across the globe each day.

And those policies differ dramatically across Silicon Valley's big social platforms. Twitter calls itself the free speech wing of the free speech party and models its approach on the U.S. Constitution.

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It's All Politics
5:12 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Sen. Landrieu's First GOP Rival Sets In Motion Key 2014 Contest

Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La. (right), poses with his family and House Speaker John Boehner at the start of the new Congress, on Jan. 3. On Wednesday, Cassidy announced that he would challenge Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu in 2014.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 5:44 pm

Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, considered among the most vulnerable of the Senate's red-state Democrats facing 2014 re-election, now has at least one potential Republican opponent, Rep. Bill Cassidy, whose congressional district includes Baton Rouge.

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Shots - Health News
5:12 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Side Effects Prompt Patients To Stop Cholesterol Drugs

Lipitor and other statin drugs are among the most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 2:57 pm

With one-quarter of adults over age 45 taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, it figures that more than a few people would have trouble sticking with the program.

More than a few, actually.

A big new study of statin use in the real world found that 17 percent of patients taking the pills reported side effects, including muscle pain, nausea, and problems with their liver or nervous system.

That's a lot higher than the 5 to 10 percent reported in the randomized controlled trials that provided evidence for regulatory approval of the medicines.

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Planet Money
5:12 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

How We Use Energy: Then And Now

A drilling rig near Kennedy, Texas.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 11:14 pm

Manufacturing in the U.S. still uses the most energy. But its share has been decreasing. That's partly because we've moved from energy-intensive manufacturing to a more service-based economy. And also partly because of a slowing population growth and improving energy efficiency.

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NPR Story
4:47 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Private Foundations Start To Edge Out Some Countries In International Aid Donations

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 8:50 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

There's been a significant shift in international aid in recent years. Less money is coming from large donor nations and more is coming from private foundations, corporations, even countries that only a few years ago were recipients of aid themselves.

NPR's Jason Beaubien tells us more.

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The Two-Way
4:20 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Responding To North Korea, U.S. Sends Missile Defenses To Guam

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel speaks at the National Defense University at Ft. McNair in Washington, DC.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 4:24 pm

The United States said it was sending its Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System to Guam in the coming weeks.

The move to deploy the missile defense system comes in response to continued heated rhetoric from North Korea. The BBC reports:

"The Pentagon said in a statement the missile system would be moved to Guam as a 'precautionary move to strengthen our regional defence posture against the North Korean regional ballistic missile threat.'

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The Two-Way
3:53 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Dozens Killed In Taliban Attack On Afghan Courthouse

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 3:57 pm

At least 53 people were killed today in Afghanistan after "suicide bombers disguised as Afghan soldiers stormed a courthouse in Farah province in a failed bid to free more than a dozen Taliban," USA Today reports.

The New York Times explains:

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Europe
3:50 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

A Renaissance For 'Pigsticking' In Spain

Ramiro Maura hunts wild boar at his ranch near Madrid in February.
Lauren Frayer NPR

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 8:50 pm

An ancient hunting ritual is making a comeback in modern Spain: the practice of hunting wild boar on horseback with spears — and no guns. The sport dates to Roman times, and was recently approved and added to Spanish hunting regulations.

Just a 20-minute drive from Spain's capital, you're in the dehesa — oak woodlands, where wild boar, deer and mountain goats roam. Madrid's skyscrapers are on the horizon, but in the forest, ancient traditions still reign.

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World
3:50 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Official On Deck To Succeed Castros Still A Question Mark To Many Cubans

Newly elected Cuban Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel attends a tribute to the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in March. Diaz-Canel is expected to eventually succeed Raul Castro as the island nation's leader in 2018.
Desmond Boylan Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 8:50 pm

Within 10 days of Miguel Diaz-Canel's big promotion to vice president of Cuba in February, he was already being tapped as a stand-in for reticent, 81-year-old President Raul Castro. It was Diaz-Canel, not Raul or Fidel Castro, who gave Cuba's first public condolences when the communist government lost its best friend and benefactor, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

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