Around the Nation
4:58 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

86-Year-Old Music Teacher A Hit Among Jailed N.C. Youths

For many inmates, Gordon's music class is their first. "But when they discover they have some talent, it's very exciting," she says.
Briana Duggan WFAE

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 8:55 pm

Prisons are notoriously difficult places to work in for obvious reasons. But one prison in North Carolina has an employee who is indispensable: a grandmother.

Millicent Gordon is not a guard or doctor — she's a music teacher. And she not only brings her warmth to the state's only youth prison, but her popular butterscotch candies, too.

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The Two-Way
4:46 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

James Holmes' Attorneys Say He's Willing To Plead Guilty To Avoid Death Penalty

James Holmes in a photo from the Arapahoe County (Colo.) Sheriff's Office.
AP

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 5:12 pm

The attorneys for James Holmes, who is alleged to have walked into a crowded Colorado movie theater and opened fire, killing 12 and wounding nearly 60, say he is willing to plead guilty to avoid the death penalty.

Colorado's 9 News reports that his defense attorneys made the offer public in a two-page filing that says the prosecution has yet to accept the offer because "it may choose to pursue the death penalty."

9 News adds:

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Movies
4:23 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Hollywood's History Of Putting Gay Rights On Trial

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 8:55 pm

With the Supreme Court hearing arguments this week on same-sex marriage, I'd like to point out a parallel evolution in what I see as a Hollywood mini-genre: films in which gay characters are either taken to court or seek redress in court for issues involving their sexuality.

Arguably the most famous question ever asked in a courtroom about a line of poetry — "What is the love that dare not speak its name?" — was originally put to playwright Oscar Wilde in 1894 by a British prosecutor. It was an attempt to trap Wilde into admitting to then-illegal homosexual conduct.

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The Two-Way
3:49 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Judge Awards $8,000 To A Man Who Got Stuck On Disney's 'Small World' Ride

A scene from the "It's A Small World" ride, seen at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 6:29 pm

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It's All Politics
3:23 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Skim Milk, States' Rights And Political Clout: The High Court And DOMA

This artist rendering shows Roberta Kaplan, attorney for plaintiff Edith Windsor, addressing the Supreme Court during arguments on the Defense of Marriage Act on Wednesday.
Dana Verkouteren AP

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 5:17 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday in a challenge to the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between "one man and one woman as husband and wife."

It was the court's second and final day of hearing appeals involving same-sex marriage laws. And it served up some memorable observations from the high court denizens.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg characterized same-sex unions under DOMA, which limits federal spousal benefits to heterosexual couples, as the equivalent of "skim milk" marriages.

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Energy
3:22 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Is The Sky The Limit For Wind Power?

Wind turbines at the San Gorgonio Pass Wind Farm in Whitewater, Calif., in 2012.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 8:55 pm

Wind power is growing faster than ever — almost half of the new sources of electricity added to the U.S. power grid last year were wind farms.

But is the sky the limit? Several scientists now say it's actually possible to have so many turbines that they start to lose power. They steal each other's wind.

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Europe
3:21 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Long After Its Fall, Berlin Wall Is Focus Of New Protests

American actor David Hasselhoff speaks to protesters next to a remnant of the Berlin Wall last week. Thousands of people turned out to oppose a plan to knock down one of the few remaining sections of the wall. A small part was removed Wednesday.
Odd Andersen AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 8:55 pm

Protected by scores of German police officers, workers removed sections of a key remnant of the Berlin Wall before dawn Wednesday despite earlier protests demanding the concrete artifact of the Cold War be preserved.

The removal came as a shock to residents, just as it did on Aug. 13, 1961, when communists first built the barrier that divided Berlin during the Cold War.

Tour guide Rolf Strobel, 52, was among the scores of people who came to gape at the holes in what had been the longest remaining stretch of the wall — about eight-tenths of a mile.

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NPR Story
3:20 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

With Cyprus On The Ropes, Which Country Will Become The Next Tax Shelter?

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 8:55 pm

Robert Siegel talks to Joseph Cotterill, writer for the Financial Times, about what may happen if the European Union's bailout plan for Cyprus succeeds and which country may be poised to take on the role as the next Cayman Islands of Eastern Europe.

Thistle and Shamrock
3:03 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Thistle And Shamrock: Canada

Natalie MacMaster
Courtesy of the artist

Travel to Cape Breton, Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and beyond to hear the authentic Celtic-rooted music of Canada with Leahy, Loreena McKennit, Mary Jane Lamond, Natalie MacMaster and more.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
2:58 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

High Court Rules U.S. Government Can Be Sued Over Actions Of Prison Guards

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 4:51 pm

When can the federal government be sued when a law enforcement officer intentionally injures or harms someone? Apparently, any time the officer is acting within the scope of his or her employment.

That was the answer Justice Clarence Thomas gave when he wrote today's opinion for a unanimous court in Millbrook v. United States.

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