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3:21 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

With Playoff Expansion, Baseball Goes Wilder

Manager Fredi Gonzalez was the face of frustration when his Atlanta Braves collapsed last year and missed the playoffs on the last day of the season. If this season's rules had applied, he might've been smiling: The Braves and the Boston Red Sox would've made the postseason.
Patrick Smith Getty Images

Major League Baseball expanded its playoff format to 10 teams Friday, adding a second wild-card in each league.

The decision establishes a new one-game, wild-card round in each league between the teams with the best records who are not division winners, meaning a third-place team could win the World Series.

This is the only change in baseball's playoff structure since the 1995 season, when wild-card teams were first added.

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It's All Politics
3:18 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

Obama Phones His Support To Fluke, Law Student Limbaugh Derided

Law student Sandra Fluke talking to House Democrats, February 23, 2012.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 4:01 pm

In a move certain to bring even more attention to one of the latest media tempests, President Obama on Friday got on the phone to encourage the Georgetown University law student disparaged by conservative radio superstar Rush Limbaugh with misogynistic epithets.

Sandra Fluke, who is also an activist, was about to appear on MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports when she took a phone call from the White House. It was the president. As an emotional Fluke explained once she was in front of the cameras with Mitchell:

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Europe
3:03 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

After Fraud Charges, Russian Election Under Scrutiny

There were widespread allegations of fraud in Russia's parliamentary polls in December. In advance of Russia's presidential election Sunday, Russian citizens abroad have been allowed to vote early. This woman casts a ballot in Kyrgyzstan on Feb. 26.
Vyacheslav Oseledko AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 5:01 pm

Just three months ago, Russia's parliamentary elections prompted widespread allegations of fraud and drove thousands of protesters into the streets in the days afterward.

The Russian government and government critics both say they are trying to prevent a similar outcome in Sunday's presidential poll.

Valdimir Putin, who has been either the president or the prime minister for the past 12 years, is widely expected to win another six-year term as president. But the credibility of Russian elections is also at stake.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:42 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

Cancer Drugs Thwart Ebola In Lab

The Ebola virus causes a hemorrhagic fever that can be deadly.
Frederick Murphy CDC

Ebola is one virus you never want to catch. Ever.

After some aches and a fever, many infected people develop uncontrolled bleeding. The mortality rates from Ebola infection can run as high as 90 percent.

There's no cure for Ebola. But a group of scientists is exploring whether some drugs already approved to treat cancer might help tame the virus.

Sounds wild. But there's a reason — and now some evidence — to think it might work.

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Music Interviews
2:38 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

Estelle: Coming To America

Estelle's new album is titled All of Me.
Keith Major

Originally published on Sat March 3, 2012 9:48 am

Estelle Swaray is a Londoner. But for the past few years, the British singer best known for the song "American Boy" (her 2008 Grammy-winning hit with Kanye West) has called the U.S. home. It was a particular American boy, she says, who convinced her to make the move.

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Monkey See
2:34 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

Jennifer Lopez In 'Q'Viva': A Talent Search Goes Bilingual, With A Dash Of Drama

Q'VIVA! THE CHOSEN: Jennifer Lopez travels through 20 countries to find and showcase the most outstanding Latin singers, dancers and performers in Q'VIVA! THE CHOSEN premiering Saturday, March 3 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.
Fox

Their marriage may be over, but singers Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony have come together for a new TV show that seeks out talent from throughout Latin America. It's been airing on Spanish language TV in the U.S. and in 21 countries. And as NPR's Mandalit del Barco reports on today's All Things Considered, the show will also premiere on Fox this weekend, with English subtitles.

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Winter Songs
2:31 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

Heating Up The Kitchen To Vampire Weekend's 'Horchata'

NPR listener Amanda Sauermann has never had horchata, but Vampire Weekend's song of the same name kept her warm during a rough winter.
rogerimp via Flickr

All winter long, we've brought you songs that evoke the season. Yeah, we know it's March, but since winter doesn't officially end for another few weeks, we still have time to bring you a musical memory of a cold night from one of our listeners, Amanda Sauermann from Gracey, Ky. Her winter song is "Horchata" by Vampire Weekend.

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Movie Reviews
2:21 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

'Being Flynn': Taking In A Prodigal Father

After almost two decades of estrangement, fractious writer Jonathan Flynn (Robert De Niro, right) gets in contact with his adult son Nick (Paul Dano) when he's forced to leave his apartment.
Focus Features

Robert De Niro's last outing with director Paul Weitz was less than auspicious: The comedy Little Fockers received terrible reviews. Being Flynn, their second collaboration, is a more serious affair about the estranged relationship between a fractious father and his son.

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World Cafe
2:03 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

Dr. Dog On World Cafe

Dr. Dog.
Chris Crisman

Originally published on Mon June 25, 2012 11:22 am

The Philadelphia pop-rock band Dr. Dog has continued to get better since forming in the early 2000s. The group's seven albums of layered psychedelia are deeply influenced by the best of '60s pop, adding up to a sound that's both timeless and classic.

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The Two-Way
1:53 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

U.N. Panel Says Findings On Gadhafi's Death Are Incoclusive

The late Moammar Gadhafi attends the opening session of the Africa-EU summit in November 2010.
Mahmud Turkia AFP/Getty Images

A United Nations expert panel found that both sides in the conflict leading up to Moammar Gadhafi's demise in Libya last year were responsible for war crimes.

The AP reports:

"The U.N.-appointed Commission of Inquiry on Libya says in its report published Friday that "international crimes, specifically crimes against humanity and war crimes, were committed by Gadhafi forces."

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The Salt
1:43 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

American History Baked Into The Loaves Of White Bread

Aaron Bobrow-Strain is an associate professor of politics at Whitman College. He specializes in the politics of the global food system.
Greg Lehman Courtesy Beacon Press

White bread, like vanilla, is one of those foods that's become a metaphor for blandness. But it wasn't always that way.

Aaron Bobrow-Strain, professor of food politics at Whitman College, tells Weekend Edition's Rachel Martin that white bread was a deeply contentious food — ever since the early 1900s' ideas of "racial purity" up to the cultural revolution of the 1960s. He documents that cultural legacy in his new book, White Bread: A Social History of the Store-Bought Loaf.

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The Salt
1:15 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

Bloggers Replace Mom's Recipe Box As Source Of Food Knowledge

The laptop is replacing the recipe box in many American kitchens.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 1:36 pm

We're going to venture that just by nature of the fact that you're reading this blog, you count yourself as a member of the social mediarati.

If so, you, and a lot of other people, may sooner turn to Epicurious or Facebook to plan your next meal than your grandmother's recipe box or the Nestlé Toll House bag of chocolate chips in the cupboard. That's the word from the Hartman Group, a consumer research firm, and Publicis Consultants USA, a marketing agency.

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The Two-Way
1:00 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

Va. Supreme Court Denies State Attorney's Request For 'Climategate' Records

FILE - In this 2011 file photo, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli gestures during a news conference in Richmond, Va.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 1:21 pm

Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli's quest to obtain records from a noted climate scientist has been halted by state's Supreme Court.

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Monkey See
1:00 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

Kristin Chenoweth On God, Comedy, And Dolly Parton

Kristen Chenoweth stars in the new ABC series GCB.
Karen Neal ABC

Originally published on Sat March 3, 2012 2:00 pm

Kristin Chenoweth talks to Jacki Lyden on today's Weekends on All Things Considered, and if the only thing you got from the interview was Chenoweth warbling a bit of the first solo she ever did in church, it would be well worth it.

The Emmy-winning actress stars on ABC's new GCB, a sort of Desperate-Housewives-ish dishy, soapy comedy-drama premiering Sunday night at 10. She's come quite a long way since, as she explains, her father negotiated her first contract.

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Around the Nation
12:28 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

Decoding The Allure Of The Almanac

An unusually warm winter has caused many flowers and trees to begin blooming early in the northeast.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

There's been something wacky with the weather this winter, and many forecasters never saw it coming.

Among them was the Old Farmer's Almanac, the quirky, centuries-old mix of historical data, prognostications and folk wisdom. Millions of people consult the quirky, centuries-old almanac, which uses a secret formula to come up with its annual, year-long weather forecasts, even though meteorologists say it has a dubious track record.

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