Morning Edition for Monday, February 17, 2014

After 12 plus years of war in Afghanistan and Iraq, the commandant of the Marine Corps is taking stock of where the Marine Corps is headed as an institution. Gen. James Amos is examining issues from discipline and sexual assault, to how to keep Marines who signed up to fight engaged. During a recent visit to Los Angeles, Gen. Amos sat down with Renee Montagne to talk about his efforts.
Pharmaceutical companies in Europe are blocking the sale of drugs used for lethal injection in the U.S. That has states that use the drugs turning to compounding pharmacies to create them. David Miller, the CEO of the International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists, talks to Steve Inskeep about why that's problematic.
This futuristic love story is based on Mark Helprin's novel. The strength of Winter's Tale is the real chemistry Jessica Brown Findlay and Colin Farrell create in their shamelessly romantic scenes together.

Watch Out: Rolling Ball Gathers More Snow

Two math majors at Reed College in Portland. Ore., created a wintery masterpiece: A snowball weighing about 800 lbs. The students built it on the quad, but decide to roll it down a walk. Then the snowball took off down a hill and smashed into a dorm wall so hard it crushed it.

Abbas Tells Students 'Peace Has To Happen'

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas gave a speech and took questions from 200 Israeli students bussed to Ramallah for the occasion. Arranged by a pro-peace Knesset member, it's a rare chance for public give-and-take β€” both on the potential for peace and the success or failures of the Palestinian Authority's leadership through Israeli eyes.
It's getting easier to cancel a health insurance policy if you get a new job or have other life changes. And new parents can buy coverage for the baby after he or she is born. But there are exceptions to many rules in the Affordable Care Act, so it's worth checking out how they affect you.

So Far, 2014 Is A Good Year For Precious Metals

Gold has reached a price of more than $1,300 an ounce β€” the highest since early November. Gold is up 10 percent this year after a 28 percent drop in 2013. Silver has posted even greater gains – it's up 12 percent.

Candy Flavors Put E-Cigarettes On Kids' Menu

Electronic cigarettes are often billed as safe and helpful for adult smokers trying to kick their habit. But the CDC says 1 in 5 young teens who try an e-cigarette have never smoked tobacco. And between 2011 and 2012, the devices doubled in popularity among middle-school and high-school students.

Founder Of Hair And Skin-Care Line Aveda Dies

Horst Rechelbacher died over the weekend at age 72 at his farm in Wisconsin. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer three years ago. Aveda was among the first to use organic ingredients for hair and skin.

Troops Escort Muslims Out Of Central African Republic

Tens of thousands of Muslims have fled revenge attacks in the Central African Republic. Christian militias have been hunting down and killing Muslims they blame for months of attacks on Christians following a coup last year. Many of the fleeing Muslims are trying to cross into neighboring countries.

South African Miners Blocked From Leaving Illegal Mine

Rescue efforts have been underway at an illegal gold mine near Johannesburg, where a group of miners were trapped by boulders they say were placed there by a gang of rivals. Some of the men refused rescue because those let out were being arrested by local police for their unauthorized excavations. Renee Montagne talks to David Smith, a reporter for Britain's Guardian newspaper in Johannesburg.
It's estimated that only about 10 percent of K-12 schools teach computer science. Some companies are trying to fill a void in American public education by teaching kids computer programming basics. The push comes amid projections that there will be far more tech sector jobs than computer science graduates to fill them.

Survey: Students' Personal Data Are At Risk

According to the first survey of how schools gather and use student data, there are no restrictions limiting private vendors use of that information, and most parents have no clue that schools let private companies store personal information about their children.

NBC's Olympic Coverage Powered By Starbucks

Under Olympic rules, only official sponsors are allowed to sell coffee at the Winter Games in Sochi. Starbucks isn't one of them. But NBC, the exclusive U.S. broadcaster of the Games, found a loophole and constructed a secret Starbucks in its media center.
The U.S. has the best bobsledder in the world, Steve Holcomb. He races in the two-man on Monday.

Hong Kong To Destroy Ivory Stockpile

Over the next two years, Hong Kong will burn 28 tons of elephant ivory, the biggest destruction of its kind. Many conservationist hope destroying government stockpiles will dampen demand, especially in China, but others worry it may have the opposite effect.
Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White are favored to win gold in ice dancing. The pair took silver in the last Olympic Games in Vancouver, and expectations are high that they'll do even better in Sochi.

That Old-Time Sound, Captured Live In The Moment

Their equipment may be quaint, but the new-school folklorists behind The 78 Project have pulled off a kind of musical time travel.
Find an archived Episode: