11:27am

Sun February 17, 2013
It's All Politics

White House Warns Of Sequestration's Effects

Originally published on Sun February 17, 2013 2:08 pm

White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough at the White House on Jan. 25.
Carolyn Kaster AP

The White House and congressional Democrats are sounding the alarm bells over the consequences of the sequester, the across-the-board cuts to the budget that are scheduled to go into effect in March.

White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said the cuts would offset "pretty good" economic activity over the past few months. He said President Obama had a plan to cut an addition $1.5 trillion from the deficit.

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9:07am

Sun February 17, 2013
The Two-Way

At Least 15 Dead As Car Bombs Explode In Baghdad

Originally published on Sun February 17, 2013 11:33 am

Iraqis inspect the scene of a car bomb attack in the Ameen neighborhood in eastern Baghdad on Sunday.
Khalid Mohammed AP

At least two dozen people are dead and dozens injured Sunday in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, after multiple car bombs exploded within minutes of each other in mainly Shiite areas.

NPR's Kelly McEvers is reporting on the blasts for our Newscast unit.

"The explosions targeted shops and outdoor markets in Shiite districts around the city. After the blast helicopters were circling over many parts of the city.

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8:48am

Sun February 17, 2013
The Two-Way

Pope Blesses Faithful At Vatican For First Time Since Resignation Announcement

Pope Benedict XVI acknowledges a cheering crowd of faithful and pilgrims during the Angelus prayer from the window of his apartments at the Vatican on Sunday.
Domenico Stinellis AP

Pope Benedict XVI blessed tens of thousands of cheering faithful Sunday for the first time since he announced his resignation last week.

NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reported on the event for our Newscast unit. Here's what she said:

"Under hazy skies, St. Peter's Square was packed with pilgrims, tourists and curiosity seekers.

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7:03am

Sun February 17, 2013
Three Books...

3 Books About House Hunting In The Gilded Age

iStockphoto.com

Interiors intrigue me. Like many New Yorkers, I am often tempted to see what is inside those great doorman-barricaded buildings that line Fifth Avenue or Park Avenue. Step into the marble lobby, ride the elevator to the penthouse and let your imagination be carried aloft. What would it be like to live in a vast suite overlooking Central Park, with its parquet floors, coffered ceilings, and handsome antiques? Surely, dwelling here means being beautiful, rich and glamorous.

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7:03am

Sun February 17, 2013
From The NPR Bookshelves

5 Presidential Stories That Might Surprise You

You've probably heard the story of Washington crossing the Delaware or FDR hiding his wheelchair from the public eye; but do you know about Teddy Roosevelt's life-threatening expedition down the Amazon, or Grover Cleveland's secret surgery on a yacht? In honor of Presidents Day, NPR Books dove into the archives to find new ways of thinking about our nation's former leaders.

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6:13am

Sun February 17, 2013
Author Interviews

'Above All Things' Tells The Story Of A Mountain, A Marriage

George Mallory's final moments remain a haunting, hotly-disputed mystery. Did the dashing young mountaineer manage to reach the summit of Mount Everest, making him the first man to ever do so? Or did he and his climbing partner, Sandy Irvine, perish heart-breakingly close to their unfulfilled goal?

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6:13am

Sun February 17, 2013
Politics

Looking At The Realities Of Passing New Gun Control Legislation

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The fate of new gun control legislation for now lies in the U.S. Senate. And we turn to Senator Patrick Leahy. He's a Democrat from Vermont and the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

SENATOR PATRICK LEAHY: This is the first Judiciary Committee hearing of the 113th Congress.

MARTIN: His committee has been holding hearings to try to come up with possible ways to address gun violence.

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6:13am

Sun February 17, 2013
Sports

In Losing Olympics' Oldest Sport, IOC Earns Criticism

Last week, the International Olympic Committee voted to lose the sport of wrestling from its games by 2020. Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin talks with NPR's Mike Pesca to delve into whether there was any logic to the IOC's decision.

5:38am

Sun February 17, 2013
Sports

Loss Of Olympic Prospects A Blow To High School Wrestlers

Originally published on Sun February 17, 2013 8:56 pm

The IOC executive board decided last week to drop wrestling from the 2020 Games. The surprise decision removes one of the oldest sports on the Olympic program.
Paul Sancya AP

The International Olympic Committee's decision to cut wrestling from the 2020 summer games came as a surprise to the quarter of a million high school wrestlers around the country.

At Montgomery Blair High School in Maryland, the Blair Blazers, ranked 7th in the county, are hoping for a good showing in one of the last big matchups of the season. But as they worked out this week, many of them were thinking beyond the tournament and to their wrestling future.

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5:21am

Sun February 17, 2013
Around the Nation

'Time And Casualties': Gen. Dempsey On Cost Of Sequester

Originally published on Sun February 17, 2013 12:28 pm

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testifies before a Senate panel in Washington last Tuesday on the looming cuts to the defense budget.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

It's been about a year and a half since Gen. Martin Dempsey left his job as chief of staff of the Army and became President Obama's top military adviser as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Dempsey is now responsible for reshaping the U.S. military after 10 years of war, which means scaling the forces down. At the same time, he's fighting to stave off across-the-board cuts to the defense budget — the so called sequester — that could happen in a couple weeks if Congress fails to reach some kind of budget deal.

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