5:01pm

Thu February 14, 2013
The Two-Way

Frank Lautenberg, Oldest Member Of The Senate, Won't Seek Reelection

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 6:18 pm

Sen. Frank Lautenberg speaks to members of the press in January.
Alex Wong Getty Images

New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg, the oldest member of the senate, announced today that he will not seek re-election.

The New York Times reports:

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4:58pm

Thu February 14, 2013
Around the Nation

Artist Works To Keep Immigrants In The Picture

Los Angeles-based artist Ramiro Gomez Jr. displays his immigrant worker art on the Capitol's East Lawn in Washington, D.C.
Lizzie Chen NPR

Ramiro Gomez Jr. is working fast enough to draw the least amount of attention, but slowly enough to make every detail stand out. He describes the rush he gets as "therapeutic."

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4:40pm

Thu February 14, 2013
U.S.

Taxpayers Steaming Over Florida Nuclear Plant's Shuttering

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 6:15 pm

The Crystal River Nuclear Plant has stood idle since workers cracked the reactor's containment building in 2009. The facility is now slated to close permanently.
Will Vragovic AP

The operator of Florida's Crystal River nuclear plant sent shockwaves through the state when it announced recently that it was shutting down the facility for good.

When nuclear plants have closed elsewhere, locals have cheered. But in Citrus County, it's been more like a death in the family.

At Fat Boy's Bar-B-Q restaurant in Crystal River, owner Bubba Keller says he's worried about what's going to happen to the community. "I mean, things are already tough," Keller says. "If this makes it worse, don't know if I can hang in there."

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4:40pm

Thu February 14, 2013
It's All Politics

As Spending Cuts Loom, Alarm Bells Begin To Sound

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 5:27 pm

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey (from left), Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and Undersecretary of Defense and Comptroller Robert Hale wait for a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday. Military leaders are warning Congress about the effects of the sequester.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Senate Democrats offered an alternative Thursday to the sequester, the automatic, across-the-board spending cuts set to hit March 1.

Despite dire warnings in congressional hearings this week, many on Capitol Hill seem resigned to the sequester.

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4:02pm

Thu February 14, 2013
Shots - Health News

Darkness Provides A Fix For Kittens With Bad Vision

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 7:57 am

Scientists found that darkness worked far better than they expected as a treatment for kittens with lazy eye.
Bill Rhodes/Flickr

When it comes to treating a lazy eye, there's evidence that turning the lights off may help — if you're a kitten.

A study in the latest issue of Current Biology reports that kittens with a type of visual impairment known as amblyopia, or lazy eye, were able to regain normal eyesight after being plunged into total darkness for 10 days.

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4:02pm

Thu February 14, 2013
The Two-Way

Senate Votes To Continue Debate On Hagel Nomination

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 4:31 pm

Former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., who has been nominated to be the next secretary of defense.
Ron Sachs DPA /LANDOV

A cloture vote on the nomination of former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel for defense secretary failed in the Senate, today.

That means Senate Republicans succeeded — with a vote of 58 to 40 — in keeping the Hagel nomination from coming before a final vote. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid scheduled the cloture vote after Republicans refused to give unanimous consent to proceed with the final vote.

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3:54pm

Thu February 14, 2013
It's All Politics

Rubio On The Move, At Least Once The House Sells

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 5:28 pm

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., works in his Capitol Hill office on Feb. 7.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Remember Sen. Marco Rubio's paean to his Florida neighborhood in giving the Republican response to the State of the Union address?

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3:38pm

Thu February 14, 2013
Movies

Hooray For Nollywood: Nigerian Distributor Casts Wide Net Online

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 4:56 pm

A typical Nigerian film market in Lagos. Though physical distribution of Nollywood films is booming, the digital market has also grown, thanks to a plugged-in African diaspora.
Pius Utomi Ekpei AFP/Getty Images

The massively popular Nigerian film industry known as Nollywood started humbly about 20 years ago. Nollywood movies were shot as cheaply and as quickly as possible, then released straight to VHS.

Nollywood caught on globally, and piracy was a major factor in the industry's growth, as copies of copies of Nollywood tapes sold on street corners from Lagos to Harlem. In the early 2000s, Nollywood distribution shifted from VHS to discs — and now, the movies are also beginning to stream online.

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3:38pm

Thu February 14, 2013
Animals

With Brawls And Calls, Love Is In The Air For Elephant Seals

A male northern elephant seal calling near Santa Cruz, Calif.
A. Friendlaender NMFS Permit No. 14636

On this Valentine's Day, we bring you a story from the California coast, where love is in the air. It sounds something like this:

That's a male northern elephant seal. It's the peak of their mating season right now. Elephant seals spend of the most of the year alone, out in the Pacific Ocean. So you can probably guess what happens when they get together every winter.

Naturalist Lisa Wolfklain is leading a public tour at Ano Nuevo State Reserve, two hours south of San Francisco, where hundreds of elephant seals are packed together on a narrow strip of beach.

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3:35pm

Thu February 14, 2013
The Legacy And Future Of Mass Incarceration

Decades On, Stiff Drug Sentence Leaves A Life 'Dismantled'

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 12:11 pm

Now 59, George Prendes works as a telemarketer in New York and struggles to make the rent on his small Bronx apartment.
Natasha Haverty

There are roughly half a million people behind bars for nonviolent drug crimes in America. But no one really knows how many people have been sentenced to long prison bids since the laws known as Rockefeller drug laws first passed 40 years ago.

What's clear is that tough sentencing laws, even for low-level drug dealers and addicts, shaped a generation of young men, especially black and Hispanic men.

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