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Record-Setting Balloonists Touch Down In Mexico After Pacific Crossing

NPR Top Stories - January 31, 2015 - 7:36am

Pilots Troy Bradley and Leonid Tiukhtyaev, dubbed the "Two Eagles," traveled the farthest and stayed aloft the longest for anyone in a gas-filled balloon.

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All Is Not So Well In The NFL Ahead Of Super Bowl Sunday

NPR Top Stories - January 31, 2015 - 6:46am

Deflategate tops a "tough year" for the league, says Commissioner Roger Goodell. The NFL has also grappled with domestic violence and child abuse claims.

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Merkel: No Relaxing Of Terms On Greek Debt

NPR Top Stories - January 31, 2015 - 6:03am

The German chancellor says she wants to keep Athens in the eurozone, but that EU lenders have already made substantial concessions on the terms of the bailout.

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Serena Williams Wins Australian Open For 19th Grand Slam Title

NPR Top Stories - January 31, 2015 - 5:01am

The tennis superstar beat Russia's Maria Sharapova in the final 6-3 7-6 (7-5). She is now third in a list of Grand Slam singles champs.

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An Arctic Institution, Sweden's Ice Hotel Turns 25

NPR Top Stories - January 31, 2015 - 4:35am

This year marks 25 years of the original Ice Hotel, carved from snow and ice bricks in far northern Sweden. This story originally aired on All Things Considered on Jan. 29, 2015.

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In LA, Women Build A Mosque Where They Can Call To Prayer

NPR Top Stories - January 31, 2015 - 4:35am

A women-led mosque held its first jumma'a, or Friday prayer service, in Los Angeles this week. The group is hoping to strengthen the Muslim community in America by empowering the faith's women.

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Fighting In Eastern Ukraine Drags On Into WInter

NPR Top Stories - January 31, 2015 - 4:35am

Government troops are locked in a fierce battle with Russian-backed separatists, while civilians suffer freezing cold. Correspondent Corey Flintoff shares the latest with NPR's Scott Simon.

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What Romney's Retreat Means For GOP Hopefuls

NPR Top Stories - January 31, 2015 - 4:35am

NPR's Scott Simon speaks with senior Washington editor Ron Elving about the narrowing Republican presidential field for 2016 and what we've seen so far in the first month of the new Congress.

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Rod McKuen, The Cheeseburger To Poetry's Haute Cuisine

NPR Top Stories - January 31, 2015 - 4:35am

Poet Rod McKuen was loved by millions but mocked by literary critics. He died this week at age 81.

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Pennsylvania Law Allows NRA To Sue Cities Over Gun Rules

NPR Top Stories - January 31, 2015 - 4:35am

The NRA has already filed suit against Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Lancaster, claiming the cities' gun ordinances are illegal.

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Prime Minister Loses His Noggin But Keeps Talking In 'Head Of State'

NPR Books - January 31, 2015 - 4:35am

Who says a beheaded man can't still be head of state? NPR's Scott Simon speaks with British journalist, author and TV host Andrew Marr about his novel, Head of State.

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Categories: Book Reviews

Rod McKuen, The Cheeseburger To Poetry's Haute Cuisine

NPR Books - January 31, 2015 - 4:35am

Poet Rod McKuen was loved by millions but mocked by literary critics. He died this week at age 81.

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Categories: Book Reviews

A Mismatched Crew Dreams Of Swashbuckling In 'We Are Pirates'

NPR Books - January 31, 2015 - 4:35am

Acclaimed writer Daniel Handler, a.k.a. Lemony Snickett, drew criticism last year for a racist comment at a literary event. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with Handler about his new novel, We Are Pirates.

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Amiri Baraka Didn't Worry About His Politics Overpowering His Poetry

NPR Books - January 31, 2015 - 4:35am

"The real hallmark of an effective political artist is that the politics is accepted with the art," said Baraka. A new career-spanning anthology collects his work from 1961 to 2013. He died in 2014.

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8 Picture Books You Don't Have To Be A Kid To Love

NPR Books - January 31, 2015 - 4:03am

Here at NPR Books, we may be grown-ups, but we still enjoy channeling our inner 7-year-olds. And this week, we have the perfect excuse: Monday's Caldecott Medal announcement for picture book artistry.

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Remembering 'Thorn Birds' Author Colleen McCullough

NPR Books - January 31, 2015 - 2:36am

Australian writer Colleen McCullough has died at 77; she was best known for her doomed Outback romance saga The Thorn Birds, famously adapted for TV with Richard Chamberlain as a passionate priest.

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In Qatar, Released Taliban Member Raises U.S. Concerns

NPR Top Stories - January 30, 2015 - 6:16pm

There are new suspicions that one of the men released from a U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay in exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl last year might be trying to contact Taliban fighters.

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An Archer Goes Old-School, And Wows The Internet

NPR Top Stories - January 30, 2015 - 4:33pm

Citing archery's historic methods, a Danish archer has released a video in which he fires three arrows in 0.6 seconds. Lars Andersen argues for speed and agility, in addition to accuracy.

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Argentine Official Says He Sought Cooperation With Iran, Not Cover-Up

NPR Top Stories - January 30, 2015 - 3:19pm

In an exclusive interview with NPR, Foreign Minister Hector Timerman says he met Iranian officials as part of the effort to find out who was behind the 1994 bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish center.

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Measles Is A Killer: It Took 100,000 Lives Worldwide Last Year

NPR Top Stories - January 30, 2015 - 2:55pm

The uproar over the U.S. outbreak glosses over a bigger problem: Measles takes a tragic toll in poor countries. But a vaccine can effectively stop this deadly — and highly contagious — disease.

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