11:24am

Wed March 20, 2013
Iraq

Iraq War: Retired Marine Faces The Past

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR news. I'm Michel Martin. Today, we are going to spend some time across North Africa and the Middle East. It's the first day of spring, and that means it's the Persian New Year. We are going to celebrate Nowruz later in the program, with a comedian who's putting a new spin on the holiday. That's in just a few minutes.

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11:11am

Wed March 20, 2013
The Two-Way

Colorado Governor Signs 'Landmark' Restriction On Guns Into Law

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper speaks at a news conference at the Capitol in Denver on Wednesday.
Ed Andrieski AP

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed into law a bill that bans high-capacity magazines and calls for background checks on private and online sales of guns.

Hickenlooper signed the bill exactly eight months after a gunman opened fire in a suburban Denver movie theater, killing 12 and injuring another 70.

The Denver Post reports:

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11:03am

Wed March 20, 2013
The Picture Show

Now And Then: Rephotographing Iraq

Maya Alleruzzo AP

A lot of photographers are revisiting 2003 this week — the year the U.S. invaded Iraq — and sharing photos from the years of war that followed. Even more literally, Associated Press photographer Maya Alleruzzo revisited various sites photographed during the war to see what has changed and what hasn't.

One scene speaks volumes: Today, shoppers pass through a busy shopping district in Baghdad. But in the 2008 photo, taken by Hadi Mizban for AP, the sidewalk is covered in fresh stains from a bombing that killed 22 people.

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11:01am

Wed March 20, 2013
Music Reviews

Barry Altschul: The Jazz Drummer Makes A Comeback

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 12:36 pm

Drummer Barry Altschul writes tunes that play complex games with rhythm.
Dmitry Mandel Courtesy of TUM Records

The release last year of a 2007 reunion by the late Sam Rivers' trio confirmed what a creative drummer Altschul is. He has been one for decades. Altschul was a key player on the 1970s jazz scene, when the avant-garde got its groove on. Now, as then, he's great at mixing opposites: funky drive with a spray of dainty coloristic percussion, abstract melodic concepts with parade beats, open improvising and percolating swing. He's a busy player, but never too loud — he's also busy listening.

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10:21am

Wed March 20, 2013
The Two-Way

President Obama Predicts Indiana Will Win NCAA Tournament

Christian Watford of the Indiana Hoosiers moves against Frank Kaminsky of the Wisconsin Badgers during a semifinal game of the Big Ten Basketball Tournament at the United Center on March 16, 2013.
Jonathan Daniel Getty Images

"I'm going Big Ten, this year," President Obama told ESPN this morning, while he filled out his NCAA tournament bracket.

The bottom line: Obama picked Indiana, Florida, Louisville and Ohio State to advance to the final four.

Obama predicted the championship game will be played between Louisville and Indiana, which he called the "two best teams."

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9:57am

Wed March 20, 2013
The Two-Way

The Stream Of Syrian Refugees Strains Lebanon

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 2:43 pm

Um Ahmed, her husband, Abu Ahmed, and their two children sit inside a United Nations refugee registration center in Tripoli, Lebanon. They fled the northern Syrian city of Aleppo a month ago. "There was a lot of shelling," said Um Ahmed. "I wasn't thinking. I was just thinking of my children."
Nicole Beemsterboer NPR

Um Ahmed holds her infant daughter outside a United Nations registration center for Syrian refugees in Al Mina, a northern Lebanese city near the Syrian border. She is among a group of dozens of Syrians waiting for their names to be called.

Um Ahmed tries to coax her screaming infant daughter to take a bottle. The baby is hot — the slight brown curls of her hair are matted to her head with sweat, and the bottle offers no comfort. She keeps crying. She's been here before.

"The first time I came they didn't accept us," Um Ahmed says. "They told us I need documents."

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9:49am

Wed March 20, 2013
The Two-Way

On Australia's Great Barrier Reef, There's A Turf Battle Raging

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 10:02 am

Guillermo Diaz-Pulido from Griffith University in Brisbane grows bits of seaweed attached to pieces of coral in tanks at the research facility on Australia's Heron Island.
Richard Harris NPR

NPR Science Correspondent Richard Harris traveled to Australia's Great Barrier Reef to find out how the coral reefs are coping with increased water temperature and increasing ocean acidity, brought about by our burning of fossil fuels. Day 2: The good news is life could get better for seaweed.

Picture a coral reef and the first things likely to come to mind are brilliantly colored fish swimming among stout branches of coral. Let your mind wander a bit more and you might imagine some sea turtles, stingrays and sharks.

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9:44am

Wed March 20, 2013
The Two-Way

Chinese Solar Panel Maker Suntech Goes Bankrupt

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 1:25 pm

Workers at a Suntech plant in Wuxi last month.
Peter Parks AFP/Getty Images

The future doesn't look so bright for China-based Suntech, one of the world's largest makers of solar panels: On Wednesday, it was forced into bankruptcy after missing a $541 million payment to bondholders.

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8:58am

Wed March 20, 2013
The Two-Way

Though It Doesn't Feel Like It In Parts Of The Country, It's Really Spring!

A snow-covered cherry blossoms at the Yuyuantan Park in Beijing, China.
Li Xin Xinhua /Landov

Don't tell Chicago, Buffalo or Minneapolis — which will see high temperatures just in the 20s, today — but at 7:02 a.m. ET., the Earth's axis was neither tilted from nor toward the sun, marking the beginning of spring in the northern hemisphere.

So: Happy spring equinox!

The National Weather Service provides this explanation for what's happening with the Earth's orbit:

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8:48am

Wed March 20, 2013
Shots - Health News

How Ideas To Cut ER Expenses Could Backfire

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 12:58 pm

Wilfred Mobley pushes a patient to the radiology department at the University of Miami Hospital in Miami.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Cash-strapped states are coming up with an appealingly simple fix for soaring Medicaid costs: Don't pay for emergency room visits for people who aren't sick enough to be there.

There's a problem, though. It's almost impossible to figure out who's sick enough and who isn't at the moment they walk in the door, researchers say.

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