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Podcast title The latest stories from www.wnyc.org
Website URL http://www.wnyc.org/
Description The latest stories from www.wnyc.org
Updated Fri, 22 Mar 2019 10:04:48 -0400

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Link to this podcast The latest stories from www.wnyc.org


1. The Documentary: The Miracle of St. Anthony's
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In the late 1960s, parole officer Bob Hurley became basketball coach at St Anthony’s High School in Jersey City, New Jersey. In the years that followed, as the city got poorer and its streets more dangerous, Hurley’s infamously exacting coaching style turned class after class of young men into championship material and put St Anthony’s—a school that didn’t even have its own gym—on the basketball map, winning multiple state championships and hundreds of games.

But the success was not just on the court, facing the harrowing effects of the crack and Aids epidemics, Hurley and his wife Christine, plus a host of dedicated nuns, priests, teachers and parents, kept St Anthony’s kids off the streets and made them not only into star athletes, but successful students who, years later, are still giving back to the community that raised them.

St. Anthony’s alumnus, former NBA basketball player and one-time Democratic Party politician Terry Dehere tells the story of this very special high school with help from several generations of St. Anthony’s players and supporters.

Airs Saturday, March 23 at 10pm on AM 820.

Airs Sunday, March 24 at 4pm on AM 820.

2. Ask the Mayor; Supreme Court Update; Recycling Challenged; Red State Public Health Crisis
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On today's show:

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio takes calls from listeners and discusses this week in NYC;

Jami Floyd, host of WNYC's All Things Considered and legal analyst, shares her analysis of some important recent legal news, including the news that SCOTUS will hear a case to determine whether the D.C. sniper deserves a new sentence, a SCOTUS argument about racial discrimination in jury selection and more;

Since China has stopped accepting as much recycled materials from the U.S., the cost for cities to recycle has gone up dramatically, leading to many cities to give up. New York Times business reporter Michael Corkery explains more of what's behind the story and Cole Rosengren, senior editor of Waste Dive, an industry publication, talks about NYC's progress toward "zero waste;"

Jonathan Metzl, professor of sociology and psychiatry at Vanderbilt University and director of its Center for Medicine, Health, and Society and the author of Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment Is Killing America's Heartland (Basic Books, 2019), argues that right-wing policies are adversely affecting the health of their supporters.

3. Deal or No Deal, Time’s Running Out for Brexit
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It’s been nearly three years since a majority of people in the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. One of the arguments made by many Brexit supporters was to “take back control.” Lately, however, the opposite has been true as the process spirals out of control.

Britain was on track to leave the E.U. one week from today, but a last minute reprieve has given British Prime Minister Theresa May a new deadline of April 12, to come up with deal.

No matter when or exactly how Brexit occurs, analysts expect there will be financial and economic consequences for the country. Already, the uncertainty has hurt businesses and overall economic growth. 

This week on Money Talking, WNYC's Charlie Herman speaks with Eshe Nelson, economics and markets reporter at Quartzabout the effects of Brexit on that nation's economy and its people. 

4. Intelligence Squared "Unresolved: The Techonomic Cold War With China"
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President Xi Jinping has made it clear: When it comes to big data, advanced weaponry, and other innovations in tech and AI, China has plans to surpass the United States as the world’s next techonomic superpower. But between the trade war with the U.S., the ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, and an array of domestic challenges, are China’s goals outpacing its capacity? Or is China building and investing in strategic partnerships that will push the country toward global dominance?

Staged in the Intelligence Squared U.S. “Unresolved” format, this debate brings together five foreign policy luminaries to tackle pressing questions, including: Do Chinese military innovations threaten U.S. dominance? Will the next Silicon Valley be in China? And will the U.S. and China both lose the trade war? Is the Belt and Road Initiative a trillion-dollar blunder?

Intelligence Squared US- Unresolved: The Techonomic Cold War With China. Debaters include Ian Bremmer, Founder and President of Eurasia Group; Michèle Flournoy, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, WestExec & Fmr. U.S. Undersecretary of Defense for Policy; Yasheng Huang,  Professor at MIT & Author; Parag Khanna, Founder & Managing Partner at FutureMap; Susan Thornton, Senior Fellow at Yale University Paul Tsai China Center & Fmr. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs.

Airs Saturday, March 23 at 4pm on AM 820 and New Jersey Public Radio.

Airs Saturday, April 13 at 10pm on AM 820 and New Jersey Public Radio.


5. 'My Heart Was Broken': Mourners In New Zealand Bury Victims Of Mosque Shootings
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On Thursday morning, Sayyad Milne was washed and wrapped in white cloth. His loved ones buried him on a bluff overlooking Christchurch, New Zealand.

He was killed last Friday while he prayed with his family and friends, one of 50 people shot dead at two mosques that day.

He was 14.

Sayyad's classmates from Cashmere High School say he was good-natured, played goalie for the school soccer team and had dreams of playing internationally.

Ahmed Shalaldeh, with his 2-year-old daughter in a stroller, came to the burial to pay his respects.

"He was a very, very, very good kid," he says. "Always active. Always smiling."

Shalaldeh owns a breakfast shop, and Sayyad was his regular customer.

"He liked to have the strawberry Nutella waffle, and he always came, just laughing," he says. "I can see his smile from the gate. When I heard about him, I was, like, it was so sad, so hard, my heart was broken."

Sayyad's burial came just hours before New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a national ban on the kind of gun that killed him. Under new laws, all military-style semiautomatic weapons and assault rifles will be banned. "Related parts used to convert these guns into [military-style semiautomatic weapons] are also being banned, along with all high-capacity magazines," Ardern said.

Then on Friday, Ardern joined a large crowd of New Zealanders to listen to the Muslim call to prayer in a park across from Al Noor Mosque. The call to prayer was nationally broadcast and was followed by a moment of silence. "New Zealand mourns with you, we are one," Ardern told the gathering.

"I'm alive, I'm alive"

Shalaldeh is lucky to be alive. Like Sayyad, he and his pregnant wife Lana were praying at Al Noor Mosque a week ago when the gunman entered and began shooting.

Shalaldeh escaped out a door, but Lana was still inside, in the women's prayer room. He hid outside, waiting, listening to gunshots and screams, wondering if his wife and unborn baby were going to make it.

When the shots stopped, he ran inside.

"And then I just went straight away to the ladies' prayer room and I was shouting 'Lana, Lana!'" he says. "And she saw me, she said, 'I'm alive, I'm alive' and she was crying and I was crying at the same time."

The couple ran out of the mosque and sped to the local Muslim school, where their daughter was at daycare. They were scared that the attacker would go there next.

After they retrieved their child and returned home, Shalaldeh felt guilt seeping in.

"Blaming myself"

"And after two or three hours, I was blaming myself, why I didn't save any of the people that was there?" he says. "Because if I took just 10 seconds to think about it, there were lots of people still alive. And I think if I helped them, put them in a car and [took] them to a hospital, I could save lots of lives."

Shalaldeh says he can't stop thinking about what he could have done differently.

He's not alone.

Handing in guns

"I guess if I was to say New Zealand was a blueprint for anything," Prime Minister Ardern said, "in some ways, it's a blueprint what not to do."

In the past week, Ardern worked tirelessly to coordinate a government effort to overhaul New Zealand's gun laws. In the span of five days, her coalition government formulated the ban on all the semiautomatic weapons that were used in the Christchurch attacks.

According to the proposed law, which lawmakers will take up when the parliament reconvenes early next month, New Zealanders are required to register online to set up a time to hand in their guns to police. In return, the government will pay them what the guns are worth.

At the Christchurch Botanic Gardens, where a football field-long row of flowers, candles and letters has been left by community members to remember the victims, Ingrid and Harry Sweeney say they agree with the gun ban.

"From what I've seen here, right away, ban them," says Ingrid Sweeney. "No place for them. I don't really know what they're used for."

"For wars, really," says her husband. "That's what they're made for. That's where they should be."

Where they should not be, he says, is in anyone's hands in New Zealand.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

6. North Korea Pulls Out From Inter-Korea Liaison Office
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North Korea withdrew staff from a liaison office with South Korea in a surprise move on Friday that appears to be the latest fallout from a disappointing summit earlier this month between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

In a Friday morning meeting, North Korean officials informed their South Korean counterparts of the decision to pull out of the office at Kaesong that had served as the main point of contact between the neighbors, citing "instruction from a superior authority," a likely reference to Kim.

North Korean staff left the liaison office in the border town of Kaesong, North Korea, shortly thereafter.

They added that Pyongyang "will not mind the South remaining in the office," according to South Korea's Unification Ministry.

The government in Seoul called the move "regrettable," and urged the North to return soon.

The inter-Korea liaison office was opened in September 2018 as a way to establish full-time, person-to-person interaction between the two Koreas.

At the time, South Korean Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon announced that with the office in place, "South and North Korea can hold face-to-face discussions 24 hours a day and every day of the year on matters concerning improving inter-Korean ties and promoting peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula."

The office was created following a thawing of tensions that resulted from one-on-one meetings last year between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, followed by a summit in June between the North Korean leader and President Trump. However, a similar Trump-Kim summit in Hanoi earlier this month came to an early close amid disagreements concerning U.S. sanctions and Pyongyang's failure to denuclearize.

On Thursday, the Trump administration moved to tighten sanctions on Pyongyang for its continued efforts to build nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

The departure of North Korean officials from the Kaesong office follows the breakdown in nuclear negotiations between the U.S. and North Korea.

Last week, North Korea's Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui announced that the country was considering ending talks with Washington altogether, blaming U.S. officials for the stalemate.

Just yesterday, the U.S. Treasury Department slapped sanctions on two Chinese companies for illicitly shipping goods to and from North Korea, violating the current sanctions regime.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

7. Controversial 'Abortion Reversal' Regimen Is Put To The Test
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Dr. Mitchell Creinin never expected to be in the position of investigating a treatment he doesn't think works.

And yet, Creinin will be spending the next year or so using a research grant from the Society of Family Planning to put to the test a treatment he sees as dubious — one that recently has gained traction, mostly via the Internet, among groups that oppose abortion. They call it "abortion pill reversal."

The technique — a series of oral or injected doses of the hormone progesterone given over the course of several days — arose outside the usual avenues of scientific testing, says Creinin, a medical researcher and professor at the University of California, Davis.

Creinin, an OB-GYN, has spent the bulk of his career in family planning research. He has studied topics ranging from different treatments for miscarriage to how women choose birth control methods.

Performing abortions, he says, has always been a part of his practice and philosophy. "I need to provide these services to help women," Creinin says.

Proponents of "abortion pill reversal" say it can stop a medication-based abortion in the first trimester, if the progesterone is administered in time.

But Creinin says the progesterone treatments are ineffective at best in halting an abortion that has already begun. And, Creinin says, promotion of the treatment can be potentially harmful by giving pregnant women misleading information that an abortion can be undone.

Though critics of abortion pill reversal say the term is an unproven misnomer, it has been such a compelling phrase that it's already been written into the laws of number of states.

Legislators in Arkansas, Idaho, South Dakota and Utah have made it a legal requirement in recent years that doctors who provide medical abortions must tell their patients that "reversal" is an option, although they are not prevented from also telling patients if they think the treatment doesn't work.

Medical researchers like Creinin and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology are concerned by that trend.

"You create a law based on no science — absolutely zero science," Creinin says.

Proponents of the technique say they do have evidence. But it's anecdotal, Creinin says, or comes from studies that lack rigorous controls. It's time, Creinin says, for a formal study that can be definitive.

"I want to own that," he says.

Abortion choices

In the first 10 weeks of a pregnancy, women who are seeking abortions generally have two options: a surgical procedure or a medication-based abortion (after that, only surgical abortions are performed).

The medication-based regimen uses a combination of two medicines — mifepristone and misoprostol— which women usually take 24 hours apart.

Mifepristone pills work by blocking progesterone, a hormone that helps maintain a pregnancy. The second medicine, misoprostol, makes the uterus contract, to complete the abortion. Studies suggest that 95 percent to 98 percent of women who take both drugs in the prescribed regimen will end the pregnancy without harm to the woman. Surgical evacuation can complete the abortion, if necessary.

So what happens if a woman takes mifepristone, then changes her mind and wants to continue with the pregnancy?

If the change of heart comes in the first hour after she's swallowed that initial medicine, her doctor might help her induce vomiting. If she hasn't yet absorbed the first drug, the process may be stopped before it starts.

The bigger question, and one for which the data are murkier, is this: What happens if a woman takes the first medicine, but never goes on to take misoprostol, the second drug in the regimen?

According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, "as many as half of women who take only mifepristone continue their pregnancies." (If the pregnancy does continue, mifepristone isn't known to cause birth defects, ACOG notes.)

In 2012, a San Diego physician named George Delgado said he'd hit upon a chemical way of stopping the abortion process with more certainty — a way to give more control to a woman who changed her mind. He called his protocol "abortion pill reversal."

A family medicine physician, Delgado calls himself "pro-life," not anti-abortion. He says about a decade ago he got interested in the 24-hour window after a woman takes mifepristone but before she takes misoprostol.

He'd received a call from a local activist who said a woman needed Delgado's help. She had swallowed the first pill in the abortion regimen, but had reconsidered and no longer wanted to end her pregnancy.

"People do change their minds all the time," Delgado says.

Hoping to help the woman, Delgado gave her progesterone — a medication that has many uses, including as a treatment for irregular vaginal bleeding and as part of hormone replacement therapy during menopause. If progesterone is useful in these other ways, Delgado figured, it might stop the action of the progesterone-blocker mifepristone, and halt an abortion.

Delgado says the pregnancy of that first patient continued uneventfully, which he credits to the progesterone.

He then started giving the progesterone treatment to more patients who came to him. He went on to develop a network of clinicians around the country willing to give progesterone to patients who no longer want to go through with their abortions, although he wouldn't say how many of those clinicians took part in his research.

These days, Delgado says, most women who come to him for the progesterone treatment are self-referrals. While searching online, many find the website for the Abortion Pill Rescue Network, a nationwide group of clinicians who provide the treatment.

The network is backed by Heartbeat International, an anti-abortion rights group, and according to spokesperson Andrea Trudden, includes over 500 clinicians willing to prescribe progesterone to patients who have initiated the medication abortion process.

In support of their claims about abortion pill reversal, Delgado and colleagues have published their research in medical journals.

In 2012, Delgado co-authored a report in the Annals of Pharmacotherapy on the experiences of six pregnant women who received mifepristone and then injections of progesterone. Four of the women, the paper said, were able to carry their pregnancies to term.

In a statement released in August 2017, ACOG said the results of the study, a type known as a case series that didn't include a comparison group, "is not scientific evidence that progesterone resulted in the continuation of those pregnancies." ACOG's statement also said: "Case series with no control group are among the weakest forms of medical evidence."

In 2018, Delgado and colleagues in his network of health providers published a larger case series, this one involving 754 patients, in the journal Issues in Law and Medicine. The paper concluded that the reversal of mifepristone's effects with progesterone "is safe and effective."

The researchers acknowledged that the study didn't randomly assign women to receive a placebo or mifepristone. A study like that, called a randomized placebo-controlled trial, would provide strong evidence. But Delgado and his colleagues wrote that doing this kind of trial "in women who regret their abortion and want to save the pregnancy would be unethical."

"There's no alternative treatment," he says. "You can't always wait for the [randomized, controlled trials]. If it's lifesaving, there's no alternative."

State legislatures consider "abortion reversal" bills

One of Delgado's most outspoken critics, Dr. Daniel Grossman, an OB-GYN at the University of California, San Francisco, says all of the published studies supporting this use of progesterone have been marred by methodological flaws that inflate the "success rate" of the reversal treatment.

Last October, Grossman and Kari White, a sociologist at the University of Alabama, Birmingham who studies family planning issues, wrote an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine criticizing Delgado's research methodology, saying he used flawed statistics and didn't set rigorous criteria for the characteristics patients had to fulfill to be included in the study.

"A systematic review we coauthored in 2015 found no evidence that pregnancy continuation was more likely after treatment with progesterone as compared with expectant management among women who had taken mifepristone," the editorialists wrote.

"I think there's a big bias against abortion pill reversal," Delgado says in response. "ACOG typifies that bias by coming out with strong statements. ... This is a new science, but we have a substantial amount of data, and it's been proven to be safe."

The critics haven't slowed Delgado's supporters.

Already in 2019, legislators in several states — Kansas, Kentucky, North Dakota, and Nebraska — have been considering bills that would require abortion providers to tell their patients about abortion reversal. Back in 2017, Delgado testified in support of similar legislation in Colorado, although the proposal never made it into law.

Grossman says he's furious that states are forcing abortion providers to give their patients inaccurate information related to abortion care.

What's more, Grossman says, "these laws take an extra step ... and essentially are encouraging patients to be a part of clinical research that isn't really being appropriately monitored. ... This is really an experimental treatment."

Progesterone hasn't been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration for reversing a medication abortion. Doctors are permitted to prescribe drugs for uses not approved by the FDA as part of the practice of medicine. It's known as off-label use.

Until Delgado published his 2018 paper, Delgado told his patients they were receiving a "novel treatment." He says he believes there is now enough research to support the routine off-label prescription of progesterone for women who don't want to complete a medication-based abortion.

"Now we have a substantial amount of data. There is no alternative. And it's been proven to be safe," Delgado says. "Why not give it a chance?"

Although Creinin disagrees that the evidence supports this use of progesterone, he is sympathetic to the idea that women who seek an abortion may not be certain about the decision at their first appointment. Creinin says he supports policies that allow women as much control as possible over the decision about whether or not to terminate a pregnancy.

"There are people who change their minds," Creinin says. "That's a normal part of human nature."

UCSF's Grossman agrees.

He encourages abortion providers, when possible, to send the mifepristone and misoprostol home with the patient, if she requests it. That way, she can start the protocol only if and when she's ready, rather than make the decision in a clinic where she might feel rushed. (FDA rules about mifepristone say the pill can only be dispensed in certain types of clinics — usually clinics that provide abortions. And some states have additional restrictions on how and where the drugs can be prescribed and taken.)

Putting abortion reversal to the test

Creinin's study, approved by the UC Davis institutional review board in December, has been registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, which tracks medical research.

The study is slated to involve 40 women who are between 44 and 63 days of pregnancy and are seeking to have a surgical abortion. As a condition of the research, the women would have to be willing to take mifepristone, the initial pill that would normally trigger a medical abortion, and then a placebo or progesterone

Two weeks later, researchers will see if there's any difference in the rates of continued pregnancy. If progesterone can prevent the effects of mifepristone, Creinin says, he'll find that more women in the group that got progesterone are still pregnant, with a pregnancy that's progressing.

The key ethical point, the researchers say, is that all the women in this study want to have an abortion and will get one by the study's end. The study isn't enrolling women who are seeking a "reversal." They will be told upfront that if the mifepristone doesn't prompt an abortion, they will be offered a surgical abortion.

Creinin says the study participants will be compensated for their time in the study, but won't be paid for having an abortion. And patients will still be responsible for the cost of the surgical procedure — either through their insurance or out-of-pocket.

Creinin is skeptical that progesterone will have any effect, since it is thought that mifepristone irreversibly blocks progesterone in the body.

But if it does have a clinically significant effect, he says, "I want to know that."

Creinin hopes that his work will help medical researchers better understand if this kind of treatment can actually help women who change their minds after taking mifepristone for a medication abortion.

If the results show the progesterone doesn't work, Creinin hopes that it will discourage state legislators from mandating that doctors tell their patients about an ineffective treatment.

Creinin started enrolling patients in the study in February. He isn't sure how long the study will take, but says he probably won't have preliminary results for at least a year.

Dr. Mara Gordon is the NPR Health and Media Fellow from the Department of Family Medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

8. Latest Newscast From the WNYC Newsroom
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Description: None

9. 2019/03/22 13:00 GMT
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Description: The latest five minute news bulletin from BBC World Service.

10. 2019/03/22 12:00 GMT
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Description: The latest five minute news bulletin from BBC World Service.

11. European Leaders Grant Britain More Time To Leave The EU
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Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

12. 2 American Service Members Killed In Afghanistan
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Two U.S. service members were killed during an operation in Afghanistan Friday, the U.S.-led NATO Resolute Support mission in the country said in a brief statement.

Their names were being withheld in order to first notify family members.

It brings the total number of U.S. service members killed this year in the country to four, according to a tally by The Associated Press. Thirteen American service members were killed last year in Afghanistan.

About 14,000 U.S. troops remain in Afghanistan, a number President Trump plans to cut down by about half.

U.S. representatives have been trying to negotiate a settlement with the Taliban to bring an end to America's longest war. U.S. special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad met with Taliban representatives in Qatar earlier this month, reaching two "draft agreements," the AP reports.

Khalilzad has said that following months of earlier talks, he reached framework agreements with the Taliban to not allow terrorist groups to use Afghanistan as a location to stage attacks on the U.S. or U.S. allies. In exchange, the U.S. would agree to withdrawing forces.

The Taliban insists on a complete U.S. withdrawal, but representatives of the Afghan government want some continued U.S. presence. Ahmad Nader Nadery, who has advised Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, told NPR earlier this week that the government would like a "residual number" of U.S. forces present for counterterrorism operations, training and advice.

The Afghan government has been excluded from peace talks because the Taliban calls it a puppet of the U.S. government.

The Taliban has proved resurgent in recent years. A Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction report in January said the Afghan government's control over territory decreased slightly while "insurgent" control increased slightly in mid-2018. The Afghan government controls or influences territory where 63.5 percent of the population lives and 53.8 percent of total districts as of October, the SIGAR report said. But a New York Timesreport found that the U.S. government understates the strength of the Taliban.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan's security forces and civilians continue to bear the brunt of deaths in the war. President Ghani said in January that 45,000 members of Afghanistan's security forces have died since September 2014, a monthly average of 849. And the United Nations said 3,804 civilians died in Afghanistan last year, more "than at any time since records have been kept."

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

13. Investigators Probe Software's Role In Deadly Boeing 737 Max Crashes
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Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

14. Trump Reverses Decades Of U.S. Policy Regarding Golan Heights
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Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

15. U.K. Gets Brief Extension To Withdraw From EU As 'Cliff-Edge' Date Delayed
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In the corridors of the Europa building in Brussels, European Union officials gathered around a small table, determining the fate of the country that had voted to reject them.

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May was relegated to another room while the rest deliberated: Would May get the months-long extension she had requested to give her time to negotiate a Brexit withdrawal arrangement with Parliament?

Ultimately, May got an extension — but not the one she was hoping for. After several hoursof negotiations, leaders of the 27 remaining European Union countries unanimously agreed Thursday to postpone the March 29 deadline for the United Kingdom to depart the political bloc. The EU offered two alternative deadlines — one if U.K. lawmakers can agree on a path forward, and one if they cannot.

If May can persuade members of Parliament to accept her Brexit terms, then the country will have until May 22 to get everything in place — one day before European Parliament elections begin. If, however, May cannot persuade lawmakers to agree to the deal they've already rejected twice, then the country will get just an additional two weeks — until April 12 — to figure out next steps.

According to Donald Tusk, European Council president, "What this means in practice is that, until that date, all options will remain open, and the cliff-edge date will be delayed." The U.K. government now effectively has four choices, he said: "deal, no-deal, a long extension or revoking Article 50." Article 50 is the provision of the Lisbon treaty that allowed the U.K. to voluntarily leave the union.

If the U.K. can't figure out what it's doing by April 12, "the option of a long extension will automatically become impossible," Tusk said.

In practice, a nondecision by April 12 could mean an abrupt end to the country's membership in the EU, with continued political and economic uncertainty for both parties.

After the meeting with EU leaders, May said that Britain would definitely be leaving the bloc one way or another. If Parliament rejects her proposal once again, "at this point we would either leave with no deal, or put forward an alternative plan," she said, according to The New York Times.

But EU leaders overwhelmingly felt that May's enthusiasm showed she was out of touch with political realities, The Washington Post reported. One diplomat told the Post that May's assessments were "a bit like coming from another planet."

A petition on Parliament's website calling for Article 50 to be revoked — in essence, canceling Brexit altogether — has received more than 2 million signatures. But May said Thursday she "will not countenance" revoking Article 50. A spokeswoman told the Guardian that "failing to deliver on the referendum result would be a failure of our democracy" and would be unacceptable to May.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

16. 2019/03/22 11:00 GMT
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Description: The latest five minute news bulletin from BBC World Service.

17. The Underground Hair Market
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Description: Venezuela has been known for its oil wealth and also, for its obsession with beauty pageants. In the history of the Miss Universe pageant, Venezuela has won seven crowns, the second-highest number of crowns. However, as the growing economic and political crisis in Venezuela deepens, beauty has taken a backseat for many Venezuelan women. Some women are now crossing the border to Colombia to sell their hair to salons to make ends meet. In this episode, Latino USA travels to the Colombian border city of Cúcuta, and dives into the thriving underground market that now exists for Venezuelan hair.

18. Viral Internet Search Challenge Involves 'Florida Man'
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19. 2019/03/22 10:00 GMT
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Description: The latest five minute news bulletin from BBC World Service.

20. Petco Welcomes All Leashed Pets, Including Texas Man's Steer
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Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

21. 2019/03/22 09:00 GMT
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Description: The latest five minute news bulletin from BBC World Service.

22. Her Dad Was A Slain Civil Rights Leader. She Remembers His Assassination
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Miriam Pratt was five years old when Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968. She remembers that after her father, Seattle Urban League leader Edwin Pratt, found out, he paced back and forth in his bedroom.

"He was emotional," Pratt's daughter tells Jean Soliz, her godmother, at StoryCorps. "I had never seen him like that."

Nine months later, her father would suffer the same fate. On a snowy night in 1969, Edwin was shot in his home, while Miriam and her mother, Bettye, were inside.

"I remember, I heard my mother cry 'Edwin!' and I sat up in the bed, and I was immediately engulfed in fear," Miriam, now 55, tells Jean.

Jean and her mother were Pratts' neighbors. They rushed over after receiving a phone call from Bettye.

"When I saw that front door was open, I knew. I knew," says Jean, who was 21 at the time. "I'll never forget walking into that family room and I could see your dad laying there and, of course, he was totally still. He died instantly."

Jean ran and got Miriam from her room. For Miriam, that's when "I knew everything was going to be alright," she says.

Edwin had spent his last day playing with his daughter. "He played snowballs with you and took you on your little sled and spent that whole day with you," Jean tells Miriam. "Which I think is a marvelous thing."

After his death, Miriam's mom didn't talk much about Edwin, because it made her sad. Miriam was able to learn about him through a photo album that Bettye had put together. It was filled with newspaper clippings, obituaries and personal pictures of Edwin.

"I wish she had been able to talk to you about him though — about his sense of humor, his astonishing singing voice," Jean says. "And he was somebody who was quiet, but had all the power in the room."

Bettye died in 1977. Miriam was 14, and Jean comforted her.

"I get sad, but I don't stay in that frame of mind," Miriam says. "Because my parents didn't stay here long. But while they were here, they did everything humanly possible to make this a better world before they left it."

Edwin Pratt was killed 50 years ago in January. Law enforcement determined three white men carried out the hit, but were unable to figure out who orchestrated it. The case has never been officially closed.

Audio produced for Morning Edition by Kelly Moffitt.

StoryCorps is a national nonprofit that gives people the chance to interview friends and loved ones about their lives. These conversations are archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, allowing participants to leave a legacy for future generations. Learn more, including how to interview someone in your life, at StoryCorps.org.

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23. News Brief: Golan Heights, House Panel Probe, Brexit
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24. Stolen Gasoline Is Smuggled All Over The World, U.N. Says
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25. Reviewing Political Conversations In Our Series 'Opening Arguments'
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26. ACLU Wants Court To Block Trump's 'Remain In Mexico' Plan
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27. House Panel Investigates Kushner For Alleged Violations Of Record Laws
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28. EU Leaders Agree To Delay Britain's Exit From The Group
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29. 'The Atlantic': If Liberals Won't Enforce Borders, Fascists Will
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30. Nebraska Towns Struggle To Pay Their Share Of Flooding Relief
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31. NCAA Upset: Murray State Knocks Off Marquette In First Round
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32. Amid Admissions Scandal, USC Announces New President
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33. Elevated Levels Of Benzene Detected After Texas Chemical Fire
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34. In Iraq, Packed Ferry Sinks In Tigris River
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35. Mourners Gather In New Zealand For Burial Of 26 Terror Victims
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36. In 'The Chief,' An Enigmatic, Conservative John Roberts Walks A Political Tightrope
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There have been 45 presidents in the nation's history, but just 17 chief justices. Some of the men who presided over the U.S. Supreme Court were enormously influential. Others, not. The chief justice today, John G. Roberts Jr., has already served for 14 years and, at age 64, he could well serve for another 20.

Roberts remains an enigmatic figure. He is a committed conservative who has been publicly reviled by conservative politicians. He is a conservative who is the last best hope of liberals and moderates who dream, probably in vain, that he will significantly temper the court's turn to the right.

His public persona is charming, funny, and unrevealing.

Seeking to pierce that practiced facade, reporter Joan Biskupic has written a biography called The Chief: The Life and Turbulent Times of Chief Justice John Roberts. It is the fourth biography she has written about a sitting justice, and in some ways, the most enlightening. But she says Roberts was her "toughest subject, start to finish."

Her eight off-the-record interviews with her subject seemed more like fencing matches where she stood on one side, trying to find out or confirm new information, and he stood on the other, trying to find out what she already knew. As she puts it, "If anybody put little thought bubbles over our heads he would have been saying, 'I wish she wasn't asking me these questions,' and I would have said, 'I wish you were Antonin Scalia because he gave me 12 on-the-record interviews and he was happy to talk about why he did what he did.'"

Some Colleagues Wary Of Roberts

Roberts, in contrast, is much more reserved, guarded, even "secretive" — traits that Biskupic reports have made his colleagues on both left and right sometimes "wary of him."

The son of a Bethlehem Steel executive, Roberts was raised in the upper-middle-class, nearly all-white suburbs of Gary, Indiana. He was a golden boy from the get-go — an outstanding student at an outstanding Catholic prep school, who excelled as a Harvard undergraduate and at Harvard Law School. As a lawyer, he argued 39 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Even his appointment to the Supreme Court had a lucky twist. Named to succeed Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, his nomination was quickly upgraded two months later when then Chief Justice William Rehnquist died.

In the years since, his record has been solidly conservative. He has voted consistently to undermine voting-rights laws, emasculating even measures enacted by huge congressional majorities; he's voted against attempts to voluntarily make public schools more racially mixed, against affirmative action in higher education, against laws enacted by Congress to limit the role of big money in congressional campaigns, against abortion rights, against same sex marriage, and for more deference to religious rights.

And yet, he has been roundly denounced by many conservative politicians, including President Trump, who in 2016 called his vote to uphold Obamacare a "disgrace."

For Trump and other conservatives, Roberts' original sin was his decisive fifth vote upholding the health care law.

Biskupic tells a complicated tale of how Roberts arrived at the health care decision. She tells how, to the consternation of fellow conservatives on the court, he changed his initial vote — something that is unusual, but hardly unheard of — and she has put together a fascinating look at negotiations inside the court on the final outcome.

Biskupic, who has covered the Supreme Court for decades, has an interesting take on why Roberts voted as he did. Like his fellow conservatives, he thought Congress exceeded its power in requiring health care for everyone. But he viewed the penalty imposed on those who didn't get health coverage as a tax, and thus a legitimate exercise of congressional power. And that vote saved the economic core of the law.

"Perhaps his vote stemmed from his concern for the Court's legitimacy," or his desire not to have the Supreme Court at the center of the 2012 election campaign, Biskupic says.

But in the end, as she said in an interview with NPR, it very likely was also "born of a concern for this important law and the business of health care, which he knew well from his days" as a lawyer representing the industry.

So in the Affordable Care Act case, Roberts' view was influenced by his experience, his practical understanding of the economics of health insurance. In contrast, his views on race and religion are far more ideological, doctrinaire, and immovable. On these questions, Roberts has "never wavered," according to Biskupic.

"I believe that there's this straight line from what he wrote as a young lieutenant in the Reagan years to what he writes now from the center chair of the Supreme Court," she says.

Maintaining His Position

Indeed, she reports that in the Reagan years, Roberts led the charge to oppose renewal of the Voting Rights Act and strategized on how to limit school desegregation decrees.

Although he maintained at his 2005 confirmation hearing that the memos he wrote advocating these positions merely reflected the views of his bosses, some of his superiors strongly disagreed with him. And ultimately, President Reagan signed the renewal of the Voting Rights Act into law.

That was a disappointment to Roberts, whose memos show a young man infuriated by what he saw then, and still sees now, as racial preferences in a variety of spheres. Take, for instance, the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act that provided federal oversight of any changes in voting rules made by state and local governments with a history of racial discrimination in voting.

That provision was widely seen as the most effective piece of civil rights legislation since the period right after the Civil War. But in 2013, in a case from Shelby County, Ala., Roberts, as chief justice, wrote the court's 5-to-4 decision striking it down because Congress had not changed the original formula for determining which jurisdictions were covered.

As Roberts put it, "Our country has changed in the past 50 years." Black and white voters are now voting in roughly equal numbers, he asserted, and advance clearance of voting rule changes is no longer needed.

That proposition was quickly rebutted when many southern state and local governments, once free from the pre-clearance requirement, quickly enacted new laws and regulations that made it harder for African Americans and other minorities to vote — things like closing or moving polling places in minority areas, and limiting early voting.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg all but forecast those results in her dissenting opinion in the case. "Throwing out pre-clearance when it has worked and is continuing to work to stop discriminatory changes," wrote Ginsburg, "is like throwing away your umbrella in a rain storm because you are not getting wet."

Author Biskupic says outright that the discriminatory consequences of Roberts' voting rights decision have been profound on the ground. "I think the consequences of Shelby County have been rather stark," she says.

If Roberts had any understanding of the practical impact of his decision, Biskupic suggests, it is trumped by his view that the pre-clearance requirement amounted to an unconstitutional racial preference.

Biskupic takes Roberts to task, as well, for disregarding more than a century of legal doctrine on race in order to put his long-held, contrary views, into place. His opinion in the voting rights case, she observes, is based on a "novel constitutional ground." It invokes the principal of "equal sovereignty," meaning that the states must be treated equally. But that principle, she says, is "at odds with the usual understanding of the Fourteenth Amendment." Indeed, she points out that the Reconstruction Act passed by Congress after the Civil War included a provision that barred southern states from re-admission to the Union unless they ratified the Fourteenth Amendment.

Far To The Right On Abortion And Same Sex Marriage

Roberts' views on other flash point social issues are similarly far to the right. According to Biskupic, at the Justice Department in the 1980s, Roberts was at the forefront of the effort to get the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, the court's 1973 abortion decision. And on the court, he has never voted to invalidate an abortion restriction. That said, Roberts knows that the new conservative court majority doesn't have to overturn Roe to render it a hollow shell. If the court were to uphold all manner of abortion restrictions enacted in states where abortion is unpopular, the court would ensure that abortion is difficult, or even impossible to obtain in those states.

Similarly in the area of gay rights, while it seems unlikely that the court would reverse itself on gay marriage, the new conservative majority may well side with those who refuse, on religious grounds, to provide services to gay couples. After all, as Biskupic points out, John Roberts not only dissented in the same-sex marriage cases, it was the only time in his tenure as chief justice that he chose to read his dissent from the bench.

"From the dawn of human history until a few years ago for every people known to have populated this planet, marriage was defined as the union of a man and a woman," he began. "But today five lawyers [justices] have ordered every state to change its definition of marriage to one that matches a new one that they favor. Just who do we think we are."

Roberts, raised a conservative Catholic, has not changed, Biskupic writes. "At a time when American social attitudes were changing rapidly, John Roberts was not changing. Central to his personality was a certain constancy on many social issues."

The retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy last June, and the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to replace him, means that, as Biskupic puts it, Roberts "has the court he always wanted." Without Kennedy, Roberts has gained "greater control."

He is "no longer yoked to a centrist conservative pulling him to the left," she observes. He no longer "has to woo Kennedy, appease Kennedy, deal with Kennedy." Rather, "He's leading the court much more in his own image, and the law will likely be what he says it is."

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

37. It Will Take More Than Transparency To Reduce Drug Prices, Economists Say
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A new drug to treat postpartum depression is likely to reach the U.S. market in June, with a $34,000 price tag. The approval of the drug by the Food and Drug Administration comes on the heels of another approval, just two weeks ago, of a different antidepressant, whose retail price will be as much as $6,700 a month.

Those giant list prices send shivers through the insurance industry and across the federal government and state governments, which pay for about 40 percent of prescription drugs sold in the United States.

The Trump administration is working to bring those prices down. The Department of Health and Human Services in recent months has proposed a series of regulations aimed at reshaping the prescription drug market. The goal, administration officials say, is to create more competition and lower costs.

But economists and analysts, who applaud the efforts to bring clarity to what is now a murky pricing system, doubt the effort will actually cut total spending on prescription drugs.

"They're trying to ... improve the function of the market," says Sara Fisher Ellison, a health economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "But, to be honest, they probably missed the mark."

The biggest change proposed by HHS Secretary Alex Azar would upend the entire system that sets the prices for medications that people buy at their local pharmacies.

Today those prices are negotiated in secret, as rebates between drug companies and middlemen known as pharmacy benefit managers. The PBMs often keep a share of the rebates for themselves, and when consumers have to pay for their medications, to meet a deductible for example, they have to pay that full pre-rebate price.

Azar says his plan would "replace today's opaque system of rebates, which drives prices higher and higher, with a system of transparent and upfront discounts delivered directly to patients that will finally drive prices down."

Those discounts would no longer be secret, and consumers who have to pay for some drugs would pay that discounted price.

The plan would not only help consumers at the pharmacy counter, Azar says, but also motivate drugmakers to lower their inflated list prices. HHS is accepting public comments on this proposed rule until April 8.

The change is revolutionary, says Dr. Walid Gellad, director of the Center for Pharmaceutical Policy and Prescribing at the University of Pittsburgh.

"The competition between companies has been on how big a rebate they can give," Gellad says, "and the way that you give a big rebate is by increasing the list price. So the idea is to get rid of that so that companies can compete based on getting the list price lower."

But Len Nichols, an economist and the director of the Center for Health Policy Research and Ethics at George Mason University, doubts that the changes will end with overall prices being lower than the deals that pharmacy benefit managers get today.

"The truth is [the PBMs] still, on balance, lower prices from what they would be if they didn't exist," Nichols says. "Which is exactly why we need them."

The drug market is not like a normal retail market, Nichols says, because it's dominated by a few powerful companies — the PBMs — that are practically required to buy almost all the products offered by the drug companies.

In that type of system, price transparency can lead to higher prices, Nichols and other economists say.

"One way to think about it is ... imagine if what you wanted was for a cartel to work perfectly," he says. "One way a cartel works perfectly is if all members of the cartel know everybody else's price."

In October, Azar also proposed requiring drug companies to include the list prices of their medications in television and magazine ads — that proposal is still pending. Drugmakers oppose that requirement because, they say, those list prices are irrelevant precisely because of the rebate system. Nobody pays the actual list price, they argue.

But there is some evidence that drug companies don't want the huge price tags they put on their products to be widely publicized. That "naming and shaming" of companies can have an impact on their behavior, says MIT's Fisher Ellison.

Still, she says, while the focus on publicizing prices for consumers seems like it should work, it may not have much effect on overall spending.

That's because consumers not only don't pay list prices but also don't really choose which medication they're buying. That decision is in the hands of their doctor. And, unlike with toothpaste or soda, it's not easy for a consumer to switch brands of medicine.

"You can imagine a patient walking into a pharmacy, and he has a prescription for Lipitor and then finds out that Zocor, which is a similar drug, is a lot cheaper. Well, there's nothing he can do at that point," Ellison says.

When it comes to driving down prices, analysts say HHS's third proposal is likely to work. That plan would tie the price that Medicare pays for drugs that are administered in a hospital or clinic — such as IV drugs for cancer or arthritis — to the prices paid in other countries.

That proposed rule — which has received more than 2,700 public comments — is facing steep opposition from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has been running an aggressive campaign against the proposal. It's unclear when the proposal might be finalized.

And doctors who administer the drugs are also opposed, saying it may hurt patients' access to medications.

"I've basically traveled the world ... looking at cancer care," says Ted Okun, the executive director of the Community Oncology Alliance, "and other countries do not have the access to the drugs that we have here."

But Azar dismisses that argument. He says the U.S. price for a drug will still be higher than prices paid elsewhere and says he doubts any companies will stop selling their products in the huge U.S. market just because prices are lower than they are today.

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38. New Music Friday: Our Top 8 Albums Out March 22
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It's a packed release week with a whole bunch of notable albums to highlight, including the rock guitar heroics on Ex Hex's It's Real, the wistful wisdom of Jenny Lewis, Andrew Bird's "finest work yet," mind-blowing sonics from the genre-bending composers Emily Wells and Lafawndah, the German electronic artist Apparat and much more. Hosts Robin Hilton and Stephen Thompson share their top picks for the best albums out on March 22 on this episode of New Music Friday.

Featured Albums:Ex Hex: It's Real
Featured Song: "Diamond Drive"Jenny Lewis: On The Line
Featured Song: "Wasted Youth"American Football: American Football
Featured Song: "Uncomfortably Numb"Lafawndah: Ancestor Boy
Featured Songs: "Daddy" and "Ancestor Boy"Andrew Bird: My Finest Work Yet
Featured Song: "Olympians"Emily Wells: This World Is Too ______ For You
Featured Songs: "Stay Up" and "Remind Me To Remember"Apparat: LP5
Featured Songs: "Brandenburg" and "Caronte"Lambchop: This (Is What I Wanted To Tell You)
Featured Song: "Everything For You"

Other Notable Albums Out On March 22: Bill McKay: Fountain Fire; Dean Lewis: A Place We Knew; Ibibio Sound Machine: Doko Mien; Lucy Rose: No Words Left; Nilufer Yanya: Miss Universe; Rich The Kid: The World Is Yours 2; Strand Of Oaks: Eraserland; Wallows: Nothings Happens

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39. Moderate Democrats Under Pressure As Party's Left Grabs Attention
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For Democrats, one of the keys to winning control of the House of Representatives last year was convincing voters in formerly Republican districts that there's more than one way to be a Democrat.

Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., was one of dozens of new members who ousted Republicans, in part on a pledge to buck party leaders and work across the aisle. Spanberger spent her first three months in office following through on that promise — she voted against Nancy Pelosi for speaker of the House and split from Democrats on a number of procedural votes.

But constituents in her ideologically diverse district are still asking if her independence will stand firm as other more nationally recognized Democrats, like her House colleague New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and several Senate Democrats running for president in 2020 try to pull the party to the left ahead of the election in 2020.

Spanberger's bipartisan credentials were a central issue for voters at a town hall in the Nottoway High School auditorium in rural Crewe, Va, a more conservative corner of her district.

"I've heard you talk a lot tonight about bipartisanship," said a woman who identified herself as Sue Christian, a resident of Crewe.

Christian had questions on Spanberger's stance on abortion rights and scandals surrounding Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam who faced pressure to resign after a racist yearbook photo surfaced decades after he was in medical school.But she also wanted to know about Spanberger's voting record.

"Have you ever voted against Nancy Pelosi?," she asked. "And if so, on what?"

That's a question Spanberger was ready for. The former CIA officer and first-time politician knew that once she defeated Republican Dave Brat to represent Virginia's 7th Congressional District she'd have to defend her promise to work across the aisle pretty often.

"Yes," she responded with a smile. "So I voted against Nancy Pelosi a couple of times. I did not vote for her to be speaker of the House."

She went on to say she also voted with Republicans on a number of smaller bills — including an amendment to a gun bill that drew the ire and frustration of many of her progressive colleagues.

Spanberger also highlighted her work on the bipartisan "Problem Solvers" caucus and told voters that she was one of just a handful of Democrats invited to the White House in January to discuss border security with President Trump.

But that record has not been enough to completely inoculate her from questions about her role in a party that some voters see as moving steadily to the left. Over the course of the hour-long meeting, Spanberger fielded questions on Obamacare, President Trump's push for a Southern border wall and some social issues.

Peter Hasso spoke up to challenge Spanberger on her position on Trump's proposed border wall with Mexico. After the meeting he said Spanberger's answers were pretty much what he expected, and he wasn't convinced that she's any different from other Democrats.

"I think unfortunately when people get it to Washington — they don't call it the swamp for nothing," Hasso said. "They get mired in it. It doesn't matter whether you're Democrat or Republican, they get mired in the system."

He says Democrats like Spanberger are getting drawn into a party that wants to go left — and specifically mentioned progressive members like Reps. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Ocasio-Cortez, who he identified as socialists.

Hasso says Spanberger can't support Omar and Ocasio-Cortez and still say she's a different kind of Democrat.

"She's riding both sides of the fence," Hasso said. "And she's trying not to be identified. I don't blame her. I wouldn't want to be identified with AOC and all of these other people."

Spanberger says her record should speak for itself but her liberal colleagues are often the ones in the national spotlight passionately defending controversial policies like Medicare-for-all and the sweeping climate proposal known as the Green New Deal.

Their priorities, and not hers, have been setting the tone for what a lot of voters picture when they hear the label Democrat.

"I know what it's like in my district," Spanberger said after the town hall. "I would find it more helpful if other Democrats, when they talk about their districts would talk about their districts and the priorities of their districts so I don't have to go back to my constituents and say 'yes, I know that's not you all.'"

Centrists like Spanberger have at times faced intense criticism from some liberal members, like Ocasio-Cortez, particularly after they voted with Republicans to pass a procedural motion that Democrats hoped to block.

That led to threats from progressives that they would get activists to target moderates to try to sway their votes.

"I can have colleagues threaten me as much as they like," Spanberger said. "I'm going to continue serving my district in a way I think is important. And I'm going to continue serving in Congress in a way I think is important. And that doesn't mean falling in line on every single vote."

Hasso and some other voters here aren't moved by that argument at all.

But others, like Billy Coleburn, the mayor of the nearby town of Blackstone, say they've really been impressed by Spanberger's willingness to stand up to Pelosi and to come out and talk to voters at town halls like this. And Coleburn wants to be clear he's not exactly a Democrat.

"I am one who voted for Donald Trump," Coleburn said. "I was an obnoxious Trump supporter in 2015 from the minute he got off the elevator, not because he was so good looking or eloquent, but because I wanted to put the middle finger to the establishment."

But now, he could see himself voting a split ticket, Trump/Spanberger in 2020, provided Spanberger keeps voting independently.

"As someone who still believes in Trump's policies, I have a lot of respect for Abigail Spanberger," Coleburn said. "We've talked, we've joked about that."

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

40. Can Constitutional Free Speech Principles Save Social Media Companies From Themselves?
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Description: MOTION: Constitutional Free Speech Principles Can Save Social Media Companies from Themselves

How should the world's largest social media companies respond to a pernicious online climate, including hate speech and false content posted by users? For some, the answer is clear: Take the fake and offensive content down. But for others, censorship - even by a private company - is dangerous in a time when digital platforms have become the new public square and many Americans cite Facebook and Twitter as their primary news sources. Rather than embracing European hate speech laws or developing platform-specific community standards that are sometimes seen as partisan, they argue, social media companies should voluntarily adopt the First Amendment and block content only if it violates American law. Should First Amendment doctrine govern free speech online? Or are new, more internationally focused speech policies better equipped to handle the modern challenges of regulating content and speech in the digital era? 

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41. Sex and Health
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At its best, sex isn’t just fun — it’s good for our health. It can relieve stress, enhance our mood — even offer a bit of a workout! But sex can also be painful, both physically and emotionally; it can open the door to injury and disease; and it can reflect, or even magnify, changes that we’re not willing to face.

In this episode, we explore sex and our health. We hear stories about PrEP, asexuality, the online world of NoFap, and enjoying sex as you age.

Also heard on this week’s episode:

We venture inside the world of NoFap — an online movement of men dedicated to improving themselves by abstaining from masturbation. We talk to a self pro-claimed “fapstronaught,” as well as a urologist and a therapist to find out whether there’s any real benefit to abstinence.Sex can (and should) be a healthy part of our lives. But what if the sex you want to have is painful — or even impossible? Noa Fleischacker opens up about her years spent dealing with this very question. Audio producer Paulus van Horne chats with a friend about asexuality — what it is, and the perfect metaphor for explaining it to family and friends.Retired sex therapist and columnist Ginger Manley discusses the challenges — both physical and mental — that come with intimacy as we age. Her book is called “Assisted Loving: The Journey through Sexuality and Aging.” Writer and black feminist adrienne maree brown explains why it’s important for women of color to discuss sexual pleasure, along with learning how to embrace your body.Sexologist Susana Mayer says her sex life is the best it’s even been — post menopause. She is the author of “Does Sex Have an Expiration Date? Rethinking Low Libido: A Guide to Developing an Ageless Sex Life.”

42. 2019/03/22 08:00 GMT
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Description: The latest five minute news bulletin from BBC World Service.

43. Atop Vessel, You'll See Old New York Disappearing
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A vase, a basket, a 3-D Escher drawing sprung to life, endlessly looping. There's something about the immensity of Vessel, the 15-story-high public sculpture at Hudson Yards, that makes you want to describe it with an analogy on a more humanly relatable scale.

"A giant hockey mask," offered Rasmia Kirmani, a housing development specialist who until recently worked for the city. "An exoskeletal beetle."

A beetle that, according to The New York Times, is "sheathed in a gaudy copper-cladded steel." The critical reception for Vessel, and for Hudson Yards as a whole, has been poor. The gripes have ranged from how the development and its high-end mall turns it back on the rest of Manhattan to the shadows thrown by Vessel onto the outdoor public space.

And yet, those concerns seem to fade after you present your free timed ticket and begin to climb the sculpture's two thousand five hundred steps. There are people above and below you, silhouetted, on ramps like ants in a colony where there's no real work to do. (Taking selfies doesn't count as work, although visitors who post images of the site on social media are technically engaged in making content for Vessel.)

But turn your back on the mall and face west and you'll find a somewhat surprising sight: a lingering remnant of a waterfront that once used muscle and machines to move people and goods, and that made things. There, where the deck that holds the towers has yet to reach, you'll see row upon row of Long Island Railroad trains, round-backed and gleaming in the silver-white sun. Behind them flows the unruffled Hudson River.

"It's like the end game of post-industrialization," said architectural historian Gabrielle Esperdy as she looked on the scene and across the river to New Jersey. "The waterfront here and in Hoboken and Jersey City — it has all transformed into something else and now we're just seeing the end of it." 

Part of the confusion about and pre-contempt for Vessel, I'd suggest, is that it looks like it's supposed to be doing something — holding parked cars, maybe? In fact, it's an architectural folly, a decorative structure that misleadingly appears to serve a purpose. The simplest purpose of Vessel is to present visitors with a mounting series of views of what once was Manhattan's gritty West Side and is now home to the wealthy and the brands to which they obsessively pledge allegiance: Fendi, Neiman Marcus, Dior, and more.

The city as we know it is always disappearing. If you decide to visit Vessel, you might honor that notion by approaching on foot along the High Line, an exquisitely designed urban parkscape that for most of its life was a freight line.

44. Exposing Rape Culture
http://www.wnyc.org/story/expo... download (audio/mpeg, 1.82Mb)


The documentary “Roll Red Roll” investigates a rape case in Steubenville, Ohio, where high-school football players documented their crime on social media. Filmmaker Nancy Schwartzman chronicles how the case changed public opinion after many local football supporters initially cast doubt on the victim.

— Raphaela Neihausen and Thom Powers

For more information, click here to visit the official film web site.

45. 2019/03/22 07:00 GMT
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Description: The latest five minute news bulletin from BBC World Service.

46. The Weatherman
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Description: In this episode of Invisibilia, we explore our relationship with uncertainty through the eyes of a chief meteorologist. We wonder: what do you do when you don't know what to do? And how do we handle it when that question has no answer?

47. The Weatherman
https://www.npr.org/2019/03/22... download (audio/mpeg, 0.00Mb)

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

48. 2019/03/22 06:00 GMT
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Description: The latest five minute news bulletin from BBC World Service.

49. 2019/03/22 05:00 GMT
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programme... download (audio/mpeg, 0.00Mb)

Description: The latest five minute news bulletin from BBC World Service.

50. 2019/03/22 04:00 GMT
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programme... download (audio/mpeg, 0.00Mb)

Description: The latest five minute news bulletin from BBC World Service.