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The Two-Way
7:53 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Single-Family Housing Starts Edged Up In January

Going up: A construction worker at a housing development in San Mateo, Calif., in June 2012.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Work was begun on 0.8 percent more single-family homes in January than had been started the month before, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development say.

And the number of single-family starts was up 20 percent from January 2012.

A 26.1 percent drop in starts, from December to January, on construction of apartment buildings and other multi-family homes dampened the news somewhat.

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The Two-Way
7:13 am
Wed February 20, 2013

'It Felt Like An Earthquake': One Still Missing After Kansas City Explosion

Fire fighters and utility workers at the scene of a massive gas explosion and fire Tuesday night in Kansas City, Mo.
Orlin Wagner AP

"It sounded like thunder, but it felt like an earthquake," Tracey Truitt, a lawyer who was working in a nearby building, tells the Kansas City Star about an explosion Tuesday evening that leveled a restaurant in the city's Country Club Plaza.

At least 16 people were injured and as of early this morning one person remained missing, the Star says.

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Europe
7:00 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Museum Goers Strip Down To View Nude Exhibit

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 8:41 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. An exhibit in a Vienna Museum titled "Nude Men From 1800 to the Present Day" drew a group of 60 present-day men who stripped down to view it. It was a special after-hours tour; they viewed the exhibition in nothing but socks and shoes. The tour guide was dressed. One of the men who viewed the art in his birthday suit first saw it while clothed. He said it's perfect to see naked men as a naked man. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Europe
6:56 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Italy Edges Out Election Pollsters

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 8:41 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.

Italy is trying to keep pollsters from influencing the outcome of an approaching election. Pollsters still do surveys for private clients, but are banned from publishing results. Some websites have found coded ways to report surveys. A gambling site reports polls disguised as fake horse racing results, with horses named after political parties. Another site offers fake cardinals supposedly contending to be pope.

It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

The Two-Way
6:41 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Pistorius's Story Challenged: Witness Heard Screams And Shots, Police Say

South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius in a Pretoria court Wednesday.
EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 12:41 pm

A neighbor has told investigators that he heard "gunshots ... a female screaming two-three times, then more gunshots" coming from the South African home of Oscar Pistorius in the early morning hours of Feb. 14, a police officer testified Wednesday at a bail hearing for the Olympic and Paralympic athlete.

The witness has also told investigators about "non-stop talking" and sounds "like fighting" coming from Pistorius's home between the hours of 2 a.m. and 3 a.m.

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Around the Nation
6:11 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Civil Penalties At Stake In Trial Against BP

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 8:41 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. BP faces trial next week in a civil lawsuit to fix blame for the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history. It's the 2010 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico.

MONTAGNE: Eleven rig workers were killed and nearly five million barrels of oil spilled. Some of the oil drifted onto beaches and wetlands from Florida to Texas.

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The Two-Way
5:58 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Book News: Hilary Mantel Gets A Sales Boost After Kate Middleton Controversy

Hilary Mantel accepts the Costa Book Of The Year award in January.
Stuart Wilson Getty Images

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Kitchen Window
5:31 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Be Prepared: Girl Scout Cookie Cooking May Surprise You

Doreen McCallister/NPR

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 1:44 pm

I'm not the first to develop recipes using Girl Scout cookies. About 20 years ago, I saw an article in a newspaper using Girl Scout cookies to make cakes. I made one of the recipes, and it came out almost as pretty as the paper's picture, and it tasted really good.

I was hooked. But before I could get started in the kitchen baking and cooking with Girl Scout cookies, I had a hurdle to get over. I had to decide whether I wanted to eat the cookies I ordered shortly after I received them — or delay gratification and experiment with them. It was a tough choice.

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Business
5:31 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Law Change Makes It Harder To Unlock Cellphones

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 8:41 am

Maybe you don't like your mobile phone carrier, but you like your phone and you want to keep it but change providers. An obscure change in federal law makes it illegal to switch without permission from your carrier.

If you have, for example, AT&T, in order to switch to T-Mobile you have to unlock the phone, and AT&T can now stop you from doing that.

The change in the copyright law has some people upset, and they're petitioning the White House for a fix.

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Politics
5:31 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Where Does Overhauling Immigration Stand?

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 8:41 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Bipartisan groups and lawmakers are working together on another issue: Immigration. Yesterday, the president spoke with several senators involved in negotiations on that issue. But, at the same time, some senators criticized the White House for drafting its own plan for changing immigration laws.

We're going to talk through this subject with NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson. She's on the line.

Mara, good morning.

MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Good morning, Steve.

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