Morning Edition for Friday, March 14, 2014

Crimeans Ready For Vote On Joining Russia

Residents of the Crimea region vote Sunday on whether to join Russia. The region is controlled by pro-Russian forces, and the Ukrainian government in Kiev has declared the referendum illegal.
The minority Tatar population is watching as pro-Russian sentiment builds in Crimea. Turkey has ties to Crimea's Tatars but it can't do much to help for fear of jeopardizing ties with Moscow.
Renee Montagne talks to Shane Bauer, Josh Fattal, and Sarah Shourd about their book, Sliver of Light, detailing their capture and detention by Iran, while hiking in the Kurdish region Iraq.

What Makes Someone A Hipster?

Earlier this week, we made a joke about hipsters that caused an overwhelming reaction from listeners — especially on Twitter.

Google's Flu Tracker Suffers From Sniffles

It sounds like a good idea: anticipating flu's spread by monitoring a region's online searches. But sometimes a sneeze is just a cold.
The standoff between Russia and Ukraine is being watched closely to see how a tool of modern warfare, cyber operations, might be employed. So far, what's been seen isn't too sophisticated.
Ten supertankers are under construction and there are orders for another 15, but just three years ago the tanker market was barely moving.

BP Allowed To Seek Oil Leases In The Gulf Of Mexico

The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday lifted a ban that kept BP from bidding on new federal contracts. The suspension had been in effect since 2012.
Negotiators in the Senate reached a bi-partisan deal to extend unemployment benefits for 5 months, retroactive to the end of last year. A full Senate vote isn't expected until later this month.
Municipalities in Connecticut are mandated by law to publish public notices in a daily newspaper. Some say switching to posting online would save money. Newspapers fear the loss of revenue.

Happy National Pi Day

Math lovers rejoice. Friday is March 14 — that's 3-14. Pi, 3.14, is the ratio used to compute the circumference of a circle. It's also pronounced pie — making it the appropriate day to eat pie.

Ignition Switch Recall Straddles Old And New GM

General Motors is at the center of several investigations involving last month's recall of 1.6 million vehicles with faulty ignition switches. The recall comes at a pivotal time for the company.

Merkel, EU Struggle To Influence Events In Ukraine

Renee Montagne talks to Josef Joffe, editor of the German newspaper Die Zeit, about Germany's toughening stance against Russia's aggression in Ukraine.
The show aired its last episode in 2007, but this week, after a record-setting Kickstarter campaign, its sharp-elbowed detective protagonist makes her big-screen debut.

A Man's Death Unites The Women Who Loved Him

Lisa Garzone and Megan Smith both loved the same man, at very different times in his life. They sat down recently to talk about him — and the friendship they found after his death.

Colin Powell Competes For Most Retweeted Photo

Ellen DeGeneres' Oscar selfie became the most retweeted photo. The former secretary of state and decorated general told DeGeneres to eat her heart out with a self portrait he took 60 years ago.

States' Rebellion Against Food Stamp Cuts Grows

Congress planned to shave $8.6 billion from the food stamps program by closing a loophole that would cut benefits to 850,000 people. But it left states an out to avoid the cuts. Many are taking it.

In Egypt, A New Courtroom Drama Every Day

Two ousted presidents, journalists and many activists are all on trial in the overburdened court system. Many cases stem from the country's political turmoil and there's no guarantee of a fair trial.

'Waiting For Godot' Strikes A Chord In Tehran

Samuel Beckett's drama is playing before full houses in the Iranian capital Tehran. Some view it as an allegory of their desire to see change that never seems to come.
David Greene talks to Ezra Edelman about his documentary, Requiem for the Big East, airing Sunday on ESPN. It's about the rise and fall of the once most dominate conference of NCAA men's basketball.
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