8:57am

Tue March 19, 2013
The Two-Way

Cyprus Lawmakers Reject Unpopular Bailout Plan

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 3:55 pm

A Cypriot woman holds a sign during a protest against an EU bailout deal outside the Parliament in Nicosia on Monday.
Patrick Baz AFP/Getty Images

Update at 2:25 p.m. ET: Deal Turned Down:

Cyprus lawmakers have rejected the bank tax bill, with zero votes in favor, 36 against and 19 abstentions, after a two-hour debate, The Associated Press and Reuters news agencies report. The bill's rejection throws into doubt the $13 billion international bailout package needed to forestall a default.

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8:47am

Tue March 19, 2013
The Two-Way

Housing Rebound Continues: Starts Rose 0.8 Percent In February

A home under construction in Atlanta late last year. The housing sector is now one of the economy's bright spots.
Erik S. Lesser EPA /LANDOV

Construction was begun on 0.8 percent more homes in February than in January, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development say. Their report is another in a series of signs in recent months that the housing sector's rebound continues.

The number of "housing starts" was up 27.7 percent from February 2012.

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8:37am

Tue March 19, 2013
The Two-Way

Book News: Honolulu, Chicago Campaign To Host Obama's Presidential Library

President Obama arrives on Capitol Hill earlier this month.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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8:19am

Tue March 19, 2013
The Two-Way

Dueling Claims In Syria After Unconfirmed Reports About Chemical Weapons

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 12:23 pm

While state-controlled media in Syria are claiming that opposition forces are responsible for what may have been a chemical weapon attack Tuesday in the city of Aleppo, rebel spokesman Qassim Saadeddine is telling Reuters that the opposition was "not behind this attack."

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7:57am

Tue March 19, 2013
The Two-Way

World Baseball Classic's All-Caribbean Showdown Is A Winner Either Way

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 11:35 am

The Dominican Republic celebrates after beating the Netherlands 4-1 in Monday's semifinal game of the World Baseball Classic in San Francisco.
Jeff Chiu AP

NPR's Tom Goldman is covering the World Baseball Classic tournament and sends along this report:

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7:44am

Tue March 19, 2013
The Two-Way

For Pope Francis, A Simple Mass And A Call To Protect The Poor

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 12:14 pm

Greeting the faithful: Pope Francis as he arrived in Vatican City's St. Peter's Square on Tuesday for his inaugural mass.
Valdrin Xhemaj EPA /LANDOV

With less silk, lace and gold than many of his predecessors displayed, Pope Francis on Tuesday was inaugurated at a Holy Mass in St. Peter's Square during which he appealed to world leaders to be protectors of the poor and the environment, NPR's Sylvia Poggioli tells our Newscast Desk.

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7:03am

Tue March 19, 2013
Book Reviews

In Memoir Of Child's Death, A Mother Seeks Meaning

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 9:05 am

iStockphoto.com

When Emily Rapp first discovers that her 9-month-old son, Ronan, has Tay-Sachs, an incurable and fatal disease that gradually robs a child of his nervous system, she wets herself; the floor and walls of the doctor's office seem to melt and liquefy; and she thinks, "weirdly," about her son's namesake, a boy she once knew whose name she would write in longhand "like a lovesick teenager." She recalls Emily Dickinson's poem in which a mind has been cleaved beyond repair, and calls out for her mother.

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7:03am

Tue March 19, 2013
First Reads

Exclusive First Read: 'All That Is' By James Salter

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 9:09 am

James Salter's previous books include The Hunters and A Sport and a Pastime.
Corina Arranz
  • Listen to the Excerpt

James Salter is often called a writer's writer. His novels – including his first, The Hunters (1957), and the erotic A Sport and a Pastime (1967) — are much admired but have won only modest audiences. Salter has written screenplays (Downhill Racer) memoirs and stories; All That Is, which comes out April 2nd, will be his first novel in 30 years (or 13 years if you count Cassada, which was a rewrite of an earlier book).

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5:15am

Tue March 19, 2013
Business

2 Former CalPERS Officials Indicted For Fraud

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 10:42 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with charges of pension fraud.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: A federal grand jury has indicted the former CEO of the California Public Employees' Retirement System.

NPR's Sonari Glinton has more on the bribery and influence-peddling case.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: Let's start with the characters. There's Calpers - or the California Public Employees Retirement Systems. As pensions systems, go you can't get bigger.

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4:43am

Tue March 19, 2013
Business

E.U. Tax Proposal On Cypriot Bank Deposits Riles Russia

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 10:42 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is expressing outrage over a possible new tax in Cyprus. That Mediterranean island is far Moscow but holds billions in Russian money. It's the topic of today's Bottom-line in Business. At the heart of the uproar is a bailout of the banking system in Cyprus. In a first, the European Union is proposing to partly pay for the bailout with a tax on depositors' money.

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