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2:35am

Fri February 8, 2013
Space

Close Shave: Asteroid To Buzz Earth Next Week

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 3:36 pm

This computer image from a NASA video shows the small asteroid 2012 DA14 on its path as it passes by Earth on Feb. 15.
NASA

An asteroid the size of an office building will zoom close by Earth next week, but it's not on a collision course, NASA says.

Still, some people think this near-miss should serve as a wake-up call.

"It's a warning shot across our bow that we are flying around the solar system in a shooting gallery," says Ed Lu, a former astronaut and head of the B612 Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting humanity from asteroids.

The asteroid known as 2012 DA14 was first spotted last year by astronomers in Spain. It's thought to be about 150 feet across and made of rock.

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2:33am

Fri February 8, 2013
It's All Politics

Even Without Earmarks, Tax Breaks And Special Deals Fill Bills

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 11:28 am

Tourists take photographs in front of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 2, the day after Congress passed a bill to avoid the fiscal cliff.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Congress likes to say it no longer does earmarks, the provisions that direct federal dollars to serve local interests or campaign supporters. And though that may be true, it's also a fact that targeted provisions are still useful in moving legislation — even critical legislation like the bill that pulled Washington back from the fiscal cliff last month.

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2:29am

Fri February 8, 2013
Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond

Federal Aid For Religious Institutions In Murky Waters After Sandy

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 7:57 pm

Torahs are draped on chairs and tables at Temple Israel of Long Beach, N.Y. The synagogue was flooded during Superstorm Sandy, but hasn't received federal aid.
Temple Israel

More than 200 houses of worship damaged in Superstorm Sandy have applied for aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. But given the separation of church and state, it's unclear whether federal funds are available to them.

The sanctuary of Temple Israel of Long Beach, N.Y., was flooded with more than 10 feet of saltwater in some places, says Rabbi David Bauman.

"Roughly 5 to 7 feet [of water] in most, and there were surges — particularly in our mechanical room — that went upwards of 12 to 14 feet," he says.

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2:23am

Fri February 8, 2013
Reporter's Notebook

Puerto Rican Hip-Hop Icon Tego Calderon Mixes Prose And Politics

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 1:02 pm

Puerto Rican hip-hop artist Tego Calderon outside his studio, El Sitio, in Santurce, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Coburn Dukehart NPR

2:14am

Fri February 8, 2013
Planet Money

How Happy Is America?

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 11:28 am

In recent years, Canada, France and Britain have added measures of citizen happiness to their official national statistics. The U.S. government is now considering adopting a happiness index as well.

This makes a certain amount of sense. Everything a government does — hiring soldiers, building bridges, providing pensions — is supposed to make citizens happy.

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