The Salt
12:06 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

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

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

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 3:36 pm

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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The Two-Way
12:04 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

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

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

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 5:12 pm

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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Thistle and Shamrock
12:03 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Thistle And Shamrock: Songs Of Robert Burns

Robert Burns
Courtesy of the artist

Hear various artists in the intoxicating embrace of the songs, timeless and thriving, of Scotland's National Bard.

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

Afghanistan
11:52 am
Wed February 6, 2013

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

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

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 5:12 pm

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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The Two-Way
11:27 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Assassination Of Opposition Figure Leads To Protests In Tunisia

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

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 1:25 pm

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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The Two-Way
11:07 am
Wed February 6, 2013

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

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

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 1:29 pm

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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Book Reviews
10:58 am
Wed February 6, 2013

A Mystery That Explores 'The Rage' Of New Ireland

Westbury iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 1:40 pm

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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Economy
10:55 am
Wed February 6, 2013

With Gasoline Prices Rising, Consumers Are Having A Tough Year

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

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 12:30 pm

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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The Two-Way
10:09 am
Wed February 6, 2013

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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A Blog Supreme
10:04 am
Wed February 6, 2013

When Your Grandfather Is The Greatest Living Jazz Drummer

Marcus Gilmore (left) and Roy Haynes perform together in Washington, D.C., in 2009. Haynes' daughter is Gilmore's mother.
Theo Wargo Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 2:44 pm

The drummer Marcus Gilmore is coming off a major year in his career. In 2012, DownBeat magazine named him its top Rising Star Drummer in its long-running Critics Poll; pianist Vijay Iyer's trio, of which Gilmore is a member, also took the Jazz Album and Jazz Group of the Year categories.

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