11:06am

Wed February 6, 2013
The Salt

Stone Age Stew? Soup Making May Be Older Than We'd Thought

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 2:36 pm

The tradition of making soup is probably at least 25,000 years old, says one archaeologist.
iStockphoto.com

Soup comes in many variations — chicken noodle, creamy tomato, potato and leek, to name a few. But through much of human history, soup was much simpler, requiring nothing more than boiling a haunch of meat or other chunk of food in water to create a warm, nourishing broth.

So who concocted that first bowl of soup?

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11:04am

Wed February 6, 2013
The Two-Way

Oh, Mama! World's 'Oldest' Bird Has Another Chick

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 4:12 pm

Wisdom (left) and her mate on their nest last November at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge.
Pete Leary USFWS

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist Pete Leary is proud to announce that Wisdom the Laysan albatross, who at age 62 (or so) is the "oldest known wild bird" in the world, has hatched another chick.

Wisdom's latest offspring "was observed pecking its way into the world" on Sunday at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in the North Pacific Ocean, the agency says.

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10:52am

Wed February 6, 2013
Afghanistan

U.S., Afghanistan At Odds Over Weapons Wish List

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 4:12 pm

Afghan soldiers conduct an artillery training exercise in the northwest province of Badghis in July 2012.
Sean Carberry NPR

The U.S. and the international community have pledged $16 billion to support Afghan security forces after NATO troops complete their drawdown at the end of 2014. That money covers the cost of troops and equipment.

But just what equipment will be provided? Afghan military officials want big-ticket planes, tanks and other conventional weapons.

The U.S., however, says the Afghans need to get their strategic priorities in order, and focus less on prestige hardware and more on weaponry and equipment suitable for counterinsurgency warfare.

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10:36am

Wed February 6, 2013
The Two-Way

Assassination Of Opposition Figure Leads To Protests In Tunisia

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 12:25 pm

A Tunisian protester jumps amid smoke after police fired tear gas during a rally outside the Interior ministry to protest after Tunisian opposition leader and outspoken government critic Chokri Belaid was shot dead.
Fethi Belaid AFP/Getty Images

The birthplace of the Arab Spring is seized with mass protests today: Tunisians took to the streets to denounce the assassination of Chokri Belaid, the country's leading opposition figure.

As the BBC reports, Belaid was the secular opponent of the moderate Islamist government and he "was shot in the neck and head on his way to work" Wednesday morning.

CNN reports:

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10:11am

Wed February 6, 2013
Book Reviews

A Mystery That Explores 'The Rage' Of New Ireland

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 12:40 pm

Westbury iStockphoto.com

The Irish novelist John McGahern once remarked that his country stayed a 19th-century society for so long that it nearly missed the 20th century. But in the mid-1990s, Ireland's economy took off, turning the country from a poor backwater into a so-called Celtic Tiger with fancy restaurants, chrome-clad shops and soaring real estate values. The country was transformed — until things came tumbling down during the 2008 financial crisis.

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10:07am

Wed February 6, 2013
The Two-Way

REI Executive Tapped For Interior; Geithner Joins Council On Foreign Relations

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 12:29 pm

Sally Jewell, president and CEO of REI, who is in line to be the next secretary of interior.
Ron Sachs EPA /Landov

Update at 2:25 p.m. ET. It's Official:

Praising Sally Jewell as an executive who turned outdoors equipment retailer REI into one of the nation's most successful and environmentally conscious companies, President Obama just said he is nominating her to be his next interior secretary.

Noting that Jewell, who in a previous job worked as an engineer for Mobil, has also climbed mountains in Antarctica, the president joked about that being "just not something I think of doing."

Our original post:

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9:55am

Wed February 6, 2013
Economy

With Gasoline Prices Rising, Consumers Are Having A Tough Year

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 11:30 am

Raul Rivero fills up in Miami. Having less take-home pay at the same time gas prices are rising could dampen consumer spending, economists say.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Business leaders involved in homebuilding, oil drilling or automaking are happy about the way 2013 has kicked off. Lower- and middle-income consumers, on the other hand, are feeling like the year has kicked them in the head.

"Consumers have not rebounded with the arrival of the new year," says Ed Farrell, director of consumer insight at the Consumer Reports National Research Center. "Middle-income Americans were particularly hard hit this month and appear to be losing ground."

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9:09am

Wed February 6, 2013
The Two-Way

Once-Secret 'Watch List' Of Alleged Polluters Under Review At EPA

"Poisoned Places," an NPR/Center for Public Integrity investigation.
NPR

The Environmental Protection Agency's once-secret "Watch List" of allegedly chronic polluters is under review by the EPA's inspector general.

The existence of the list was first disclosed by the Center for Public Integrity (CPI) and NPR in 2011 during a joint investigation of EPA's air pollution regulation. CPI's Jim Morris discovered the list and a CPI/NPR Freedom of Information Act request prompted its public release.

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8:55am

Wed February 6, 2013
Monkey See

Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Get Severance: Interview With An Iron

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 4:07 pm

The Monopoly iron token that was replaced by the new cat token.
Steven Senne AP

Wednesday, Hasbro announced that it was welcoming a new member of the Monopoly-token family. And because it asked the Internet, it wound up with a cat. (For whatever reason, the Internet was not offered Gotye or a bacon cupcake.)

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8:51am

Wed February 6, 2013
Business

In Cost-Saving Move, Post Office Cuts Saturday Delivery

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with an ending.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: The U.S. Postal Service has just announced the end of first class mail deliveries on Saturday. It is part of an effort to slow enormous financial losses. And NPR's Yuki Noguchi has come into the studio to tell us what all this means for customers and the Postal Service. And Yuki, so when will my Saturday deliveries stop?

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