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The Two-Way
7:58 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Putin Flexes Moscow's Muscles; Kerry Says This Isn't 'Rocky IV'

Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Ria Novosti Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 12:25 pm

We retopped this post at 12:25 p.m. ET.

Responding to the news that Russian President Vladimir Putin has put his army on alert in what seems to be a bid to influence events in Ukraine, Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday that the U.S. is "not looking for [a] confrontation" with Moscow.

And, in a reference to the Cold War days of the past when the rivalry between two superpowers would find its way into popular culture, Kerry tried to cool things down.

"This is not Rocky IV," he said, during an MSNBC interview.

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Around the Nation
7:25 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Florida Man Tattoos Black Widow Spider On His Face

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 7:43 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. A Florida man decided to face his fear of spiders by tattooing a huge black widow on his face. The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports that 24-year-old Eric Ortiz chose to ink the arachnid because, quote, everybody fears spiders, and he wanted to see what people think. The lifelike tattoo has gotten reactions from startled jumps to you will never get a job. One person who does not think it's cool - his girlfriend. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Around the Nation
7:19 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Doctors Perform More Facial Hair Transplants

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 7:43 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene, with an update on hair transplants for your face. Beards and mustaches are becoming a popular trend, especially among hipsters. And if you can't grow one, why not buy one? One doctor says he's performing three-or-so facial hair transplants each week at his offices in Manhattan and Miami. The hair costs 7,000 bucks for a full beard. The procedure, which usually involves relocating hair from the head to face, takes about eight hours, razors not included.

The Two-Way
7:07 am
Wed February 26, 2014

What A Rush! California Couple Finds Gold Coins Worth $10M

Thar's gold in them thar cans: One of the eight cans discovered by a California couple. They were stuffed with gold coins minted in the 1800s. The cache's estimated value: $10 million.
Kagin's Inc. AP

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 11:53 am

If you've ever dreamed about finding buried treasure, this story's for you:

A California couple who say they had walked by the same spot on their Sierra Nevada property many times over many years are an estimated $10 million or so richer after digging up eight rusty old cans containing 1,427 very valuable gold coins. It's thought to be the most valuable discovery of such coins in U.S. history.

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Research News
5:09 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Researchers Debate Effectiveness Of Snow Helmets

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 7:43 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Olympic snowboarder Sarka Pancochova of the Czech Republic got a flurry of attention when she suffered a nasty crash on the slopes in Sochi that split her helmet. She's OK, the helmet absorbed some of the blow. More than two-thirds of Americans who ski or snowboard now wear helmets.

But as Fred Bever, of member station WBUR reports, there are still the question about how much protection they really provide.

(SOUNDBITE OF SKIING)

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NPR Story
5:09 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Obama Tells Pentagon To Plan A Full Afghan Departure

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 7:43 am

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has refused to sign a security agreement that would keep U.S. troops in his country. Despite the pressure, Obama is giving Afghan officials more time to finish a deal.

NPR Story
5:09 am
Wed February 26, 2014

U.S. Response To Syria's Humanitarian Crisis Criticized

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 7:43 am

Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson describes the response to the Syrian crisis as "strategic despair." He and Michael Abramowitz of the Holocaust museum, tell Renee Montagne about what they saw.

Parallels
3:37 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Gays And Lesbians Seeking Asylum In U.S. May Find A Hard Road

Activists protest Uganda's anti-gay legislation in Nairobi, Kenya, this month. LGBT status has been grounds for asylum in the U.S. since 1994, but winning refugee status can be difficult, particularly for people who are unable to obtain visas to the U.S. before applying.
Dai Kurokawa EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 7:43 am

Even through a long-distance line from Uganda, you can hear the fear and anxiety in the young man's voice. Nathan, 19, is gay. NPR is not using his surname because he fears arrest.

"Right now we are not safe," he says. "Because we are hearing some people say ... 'If we get you, we will kill you. If we get you, we'll do something bad to you.' "

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Africa
3:36 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Outmanned And Outgunned, Libya Struggles To Fix Its Broken Army

Soldiers march during a graduation ceremony for recruits of the Libyan army in Tripoli, the capital, on Jan. 16. The military, gutted by years under Moammar Gadhafi and by NATO attacks, faces multiple challenges as it tries to rebuild.
Ismail Zitouny Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 11:34 am

In Libya, disputes are settled by guns.

On a recent day, just west of Tripoli, the Libyan capital, gunfire erupts, a battle between two families. It builds for hours; people run for cover. No one intervenes — even though a Libyan army base is just a mile away.

Inside that military camp in a town called Zawiya are 230 young men from across the North African nation, part of the government effort to address the country's most glaring problem: an almost nonexistent security force.

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Religion
3:35 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Ardent Atheists Spread Their Reverence For Disbelief

The San Diego Coalition of Reason opened this booth in Balboa Park to support the atheist community and to evangelize nonbelief to religious people.
Claire Trageser NPR

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 11:20 am

Stroll through the plaza of Balboa Park in San Diego, and you'll pass religious groups spreading their beliefs and looking for converts.

But you'll also see a table draped with a large banner that reads, "Relax, Hell Does Not Exist." Approach, and you'll hear evangelical atheist Rob Hudson engaged in religious arguments.

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