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2:41 am
Tue February 4, 2014

The Deficit: The Talk Is Big, But The Number Is Shrinking

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 7:12 am

The deficit is the nation's annual budget shortfall, the difference between what the government spends in one year and what it takes in. In 2009, '10, '11 and '12, it was huge.

"You look at the president's budget," said House Speaker John Boehner in 2012, "and we've got trillion-dollar deficits for as far as the eye can see."

"We're going to have trillion-dollar deficits for years to come," said former congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul.

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The Salt
2:40 am
Tue February 4, 2014

How American Food Companies Go GMO-Free In A GMO World

Allen Williams grows corn and soybeans for Clarkson Grain, which has been selling GMO-free grain to Japan for years.
Dan Charles/NPR

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 7:12 am

Quite possibly, you've noticed some new food labels out there, like "Not made with genetically modified ingredients" or "GMO-free." You might have seen them on boxes of Cheerios, or on chicken meat. If you've shopped at Whole Foods, that retailer says it now sells more than 3,000 products that have been certified as "non-GMO."

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Parallels
2:03 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Istanbul's Mega-Projects: Bigger Is Better, Or A 'Crazy Canal'?

The pillars for the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge, commonly known as the "Third Bridge" rise from the Anatolian and European sides of the Bosphorus, above the fishing harbor of Poyrazkoy. When completed, the bridge will be over two kilometers in length, making it the longest combination railway/highway bridge in the world.
Jodi Hilton for NPR

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 7:12 am

Istanbul has long been a city of historical layers and sharp contrasts: ancient monuments share the skyline none too comfortably with modern skyscrapers, and charming cobbled streets run alongside massive highway traffic snarls.

Those contrasts have multiplied under Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and his love of giant building projects hasn't abated after more than a decade in power.

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The Two-Way
5:42 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Christie On Bridge Closure: 'The Answer Is Still The Same'

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie leaves the Fort Lee, N.J., City Hall on Jan. 9.
Louis Lanzano AP

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 8:09 pm

First there were revelations — and an apology from the New Jersey governor — that his aides had punished the mayor of Fort Lee by closing lanes that lead to the George Washington Bridge.

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The Two-Way
5:34 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Tech Companies Release Details On Surveillance Data

An employee stands at the Microsoft booth during the 2013 Computex in Taipei on June 4, 2013.
Mandy Cheng AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 5:02 am

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NPR Story
5:03 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Dining Out At The Dawn Of The 1900s

Hotel Astor, December 7, 1904, Byron Company. (From the book "Repast: Dining Out at the Dawn of the New American Century, 1900-1910" by Michael Lesy and Lisa Stoffer)

When did Americans, raised on the food of the Puritans — some meat or fish, some potatoes, some corn — start eating the food of immigrants who came after them?

Author and Hampshire College literary journalism professor Michael Lesy takes up that question in one chapter of his latest book, written with his wife Lisa Stoffer, “Repast: Dining Out at the Dawn of the New American Century, 1900-1910.”

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NPR Story
5:03 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

With Hoffman's Death, A Look At Heroin Use

New York City Police Department investigators leave the apartment building of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman after he was reported dead on February 2, 2014 in the Greenwich Village area of New York. (Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images)

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 10:35 am

The New York City medical examiner’s office is doing an autopsy today on the body of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman. The actor and father of three was found on Sunday in his Manhattan apartment, dead of an apparent heroin overdose.

Philadelphia social worker and former heroin addict Jeff Deeney writes about Hoffman’s death in a piece in The Atlantic:

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NPR Story
5:03 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

U.S. Banks In Buyer's War For Loan Officers

Refinancing has plummeted, so with peak home purchasing season on the horizon, banks are trying to beef up their new home loan business.

Some banks that have laid off workers in their re-fi call centers are now engaged in bidding wars for experienced home loan officers.

Cardiff Garcia of the Financial Times joins Here & Now’s Robin Young with details.

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Around the Nation
4:48 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Outdoor Show Reopens Under New Management: The NRA

Gun rights and gun control advocates demonstrate in Harrisburg, Pa., last year after the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show decided to ban certain guns. The show was canceled that year, but is back with a new name.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 6:33 pm

Last year, organizers of one of the nation's largest outdoor shows tried to ban certain guns in the wake of the killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. But the industry struck back with a boycott, and the Eastern Sports and Outdoor show was eventually canceled.

This year, it's back and bigger than ever.

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The Salt
4:43 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

All Hail The Asparagus Queen! How Ag Pageants Lure New Contestants

The 2011 Asparagus Queen, Megan Roskan, and runner-up Christine Merten wave to spectators during an Independence Day parade in Whitehall, Mich. With interests waning in agricultural pageants, organizers are relaxing the requirements to encourage more people to apply.
Courtesy of Phil Squattrito

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 6:33 pm

Forget Miss USA and Miss Universe.

Think you've got what it takes to be the Asparagus Queen?

Mainstream beauty pageants still get tons of applicants every year (even after the dip in participation during the 2008 recession). The same can't be said for the rural festival pageant circuits, The Wall Street Journal's Lindsay Gellman tells Audie Cornish on All Things Considered.

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