All Things Considered for Monday, February 3, 2014

Jacob Lew says the limit on borrowing needs to be raised before the end of the month. Otherwise, he warns, the federal government risks defaulting on its debts — and Lew says that could cause serious damage to the economy.

Lots Of Little Credit Charges Add Up To One Big Scam

Fraudsters know that small credit transactions often go unnoticed. That's made it easy for a widespread scam involving unauthorized charges of $9.84 to fly under the radar. Complaints started coming in about the scam soon after a massive data breach in November, but analysts say it goes back months.
Some farming communities are struggling to find enough contestants for the pageants that crown monarchs like the Asparagus Queen and Beef Queen. So they are relaxing the pageant rules to spice up the competition.

The Dow Drops Again, But What's Driving The Sell-Off?

It was another bad day for the stock market. The Dow Industrial Average and the S&P 500 both suffered declines of about 2 percent. For the Dow, that translates to a nearly 300-point loss.
In the 1970s, two-year and four-year colleges started replacing full-time faculty with part-time instructors. Since then, disputes over pay, benefits and working conditions for these adjunct instructors have ballooned into big problems on many campuses.

Wolves At The Door

In much of the American West, the gray wolf is a divisive political issue. NPR's Nathan Rott and photographer David Gilkey spent weeks reporting from Montana, where wolves are no longer protected, gathering material for an immersive multimedia experience that explores why these animals stir such deep emotions.
In the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Billy Demong made Olympic history by being the first American to win a gold medal in the Nordic Combined. Now, he's headed back to Sochi try to repeat his success. Melissa Block talks with Demong about the very different skills required to compete in a sport that combines ski jumping and cross-country skiing.

A Viewing Guide For The Overwhelmed Olympic Fan

With less than a week to go until the opening ceremonies of the Sochi Winter Olympics, TV critic Eric Deggans lays out a guide to watching the games.
It's been more than three weeks since thousands of gallons of a toxic chemical contaminated the drinking water of approximately 300,000 West Virginia residents. Dave Mistich, of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, reports that even though government officials now say it's safe to drink the water, not everyone trusts that advice.
The lead federal agency investigating the West Virginia chemical leak is one that most Americans have probably never heard of. The Chemical Safety Board is an independent body, modeled after the National Transportation Safety Board, which investigates plane crashes and the like. But critics say that the Chemical Safety Board is understaffed, underfunded and takes too long to finish its investigations, and that its non-binding recommendations are often ignored anyway.

The Fringe Benefits To Bruno Mars' Free Super Bowl Gig

The NFL paid nothing to last night's Super Bowl halftime entertainer Bruno Mars; he performed before millions of viewers worldwide for free. What exactly does an artist like Bruno Mars profit from performing on one of the world's biggest stages? Audie Cornish talks to Forbes music and entertainment writer Zack Greenburg about the economics of performing at the Super Bowl.
The British government says yes and points to a lengthy report. But economists and other critics say the games rarely if ever produce long-term economic benefits.
Because the sound of someone's voice can draw you to them in a different — and sometimes stronger — way than a photograph, Wikipedia editors are adding voice clips to the biographical entries for famous figures.

'Jeopardy' Legend Picks Up A Smartphone Quiz App

Ken Jennings, who has the longest winning streak in the history of the television quiz show Jeopardy, reviews the trivia smartphone app, QuizUp.

Outdoor Show Reopens Under New Management: The NRA

The show was canceled last year in the wake of the killings in Newtown, Conn. Now, the Great American Outdoor Show is back on in Pennsylvania this week, and it's bigger than ever.
Melissa Block speaks with Allan Levene, a candidate for Congress who is based in Georgia. Levene is running in four different states to increase his odds of winning.

On Philip Seymour Hoffman, And His Many Appearances

So many of the actor's roles dealt in appearances and self-doubt. Perhaps you don't get that good at communicating insecurity without knowing a little something about those things.
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