All Things Considered for Monday, March 17, 2014

Now that Crimea has voted to separate from Ukraine and join Russia, Ukrainian troops still stationed on the peninsula have become even less secure.
European leaders have condemned the secession referendum in Crimea. They have reacted by imposing a visa ban and asset freeze on 21 people said to be behind Russia's actions in the region.
The former U.S. ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, joins the program to comment on the recent sanctions imposed on Russian officials in the wake of the referendum in Crimea.

On The Syllabus: Lessons In Grit

Can kids be taught to be more resilient? To see how educators are teaching "grit," Tovia Smith visits a public school in Brooklyn that's trying to change attitudes about failure and frustration.
Physicists using data from an Antarctica telescope say they've observed evidence of primordial gravity waves — in other words, echoes of the Big Bang. If real, this may be a big advance for physics.
The price and difficulty of building robots has fallen, and Google has scooped a half-dozen robotics firms. It's a safe bet that bots will be an increasing part of our workplaces and daily lives.

Computers That Know What You Need, Before You Ask

Programs — some already on your smartphone — are preparing useful information based on your past behavior, ushering in the era of predictive, or anticipatory, computing.
By age 3, kids in low-income households have heard 30 million fewer words than their more affluent peers, research shows. In Providence, R.I., a home visit program is focused on boosting vocabulary.
The Cubs have a new home in spring training that evokes their stadium back in Chicago. Fans and former players love Cubs Park in Mesa, Ariz. — their own "mini-Wrigley."
The Ukrainian parliament has voted to mobilize 40,000 reservists as Kiev tries to beef up its military following the referendum in Crimea.

With Sanctions, Obama Aims For Those Close To Putin

The Obama administration is ordering new sanctions against 11 Russian and Ukrainian officials. The move is designed to penalize Russia for efforts to split Crimea away from Ukraine.

The Ukrainian Reaction To Secession And Sanctions

Following Sunday's referendum in Crimea, Robert Siegel speaks with the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, to find out his reaction to the vote in favor of secession.
Paris is suffering from the worst smog it's seen in decades. Associated Press Paris Bureau Chief Angela Charltan explains the ways the city's dealing with the smog, including restrictions on drivers.
Beer makers Guinness and Sam Adams withdrew sponsorship from New York and Boston's St. Patrick Day parades, respectively, over the exclusion of openly gay, lesbian and transgender participants.
At issue in Iran nuclear talks is a heavy water reactor the country is building. Iran says it wants the reactor for medical research, but the West is worried that such reactors can produce plutonium.
Three years into Syria's civil war, a resigned stability and a sense of permanence are taking hold at the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan.

General Takes Plea Deal In Sexual Assault Case

An Army general accused of sexually assaulting a subordinate has pleaded guilty to lesser charges. The case against him collapsed under doubts about the accuser's credibility.

Jason Bateman, Taking A Turn As The Big Bad

In his directorial debut, Bad Words, the Arrested Development star plays an adult who competes in a kids' spelling bee. He talked to NPR's Audie Cornish about what it's like to play the heavy.
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