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The Two-Way
6:08 am
Sun February 23, 2014

Head Of Ukrainian Parliament Assumes Presidential Power

A woman cries Sunday in front of a memorial to people killed in clashes with police in Independence Square, Kiev.
Marko Drobnjakovic AP

Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 4:04 pm

This post was updated at 4:00 p.m. ET.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych's opponents are moving quickly to take government power, although no one is certain how permanent those moves will be.

The Ukrainian legislature has voted to give the president's powers temporarily to the Parliament speaker, Oleksandr Turchinov.

On Sunday, Turchinov addressed the nation, saying that Ukraine was ready to talk to Moscow about improving relations, but made it clear that further integration with Europe would be his top priority.

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Fitness & Nutrition
4:21 am
Sun February 23, 2014

Can Exercising Seniors Help Revive A Brooklyn Neighborhood?

Linda Beckford (right) exercises as part of a walking group that tries to make their neighborhood a better place to live. If nothing else, the seniors feel more confident about going outside.
Quoctrung Bui NPR

Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 10:57 am

The Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y., is known for many things, among them huge public housing projects, extremely high poverty and crime. Last summer, a one-year-old boy was shot in the head and killed as he sat in a stroller in the neighborhood.

But that's one side of life in Brownsville. Down the street from that murder, on weekday mornings, is another side.

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Latin America
4:19 am
Sun February 23, 2014

Drought Could Drain More Than Brazil's Coffee Crop

The ground outside Sao Paulo is cracked and dry. It was the hottest January on record in parts of Brazil, and the heat plus a severe drought has fanned fears of water shortages and crop damage.
Nacho Doce Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 11:01 am

Brazil, a country usually known for its rainforests, has been facing a severe drought in its breadbasket region, leaving people in the cities without water and farmers in the countryside with dying crops. Global prices for coffee, in particular, have been affected.

Scientists in Brazil say the worst is yet to come — yet no one in the government, it seems, is listening.

On a recent day, farmer Juliano Jose Polidor walks through the desiccated remains of his cornfields.

What's happened to this crop, he says, is a total loss.

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Parallels
4:18 am
Sun February 23, 2014

As The Economy Struggles, Venezuelans Hit The Streets

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro raises his fist after the National Assembly gave him wide-ranging powers to rule by decree for one year on Nov. 19, 2013. With the economy struggling, demonstrators have taken to the streets the streets.
Juan Barreto AFP/Getty Images

Leopoldo López is a rock star to Venezuelans living in the United States. But in west Caracas he's the rich guy. And those contrasting images could affect the outcome of street protests playing out in Venezuela right now.

But first the obvious: This week's arrest of López, a top Venezuela opposition leader, is a reminder that President Nicolás Maduro's credibility is plummeting during the anti-government demonstrations that have swept his country since Feb. 12.

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Middle East
12:01 am
Sun February 23, 2014

Taliban Suspends Talks On Prisoner Exchange

Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 12:45 am

The Taliban has suspended talks over a possible exchange of Taliban and U.S. prisoners due to the "complexity" of the situation in Afghanistan, the militant group said on Sunday.

"Due to the political complexity of the current situation in the country, the leadership of the Islamic Emirate has decided to suspend the issue for some time," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in an email to media organizations, using the name the Taliban gave their 1996-2001 government.

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Around the Nation
11:40 pm
Sat February 22, 2014

One Dead, 28 Sickened By Carbon Monoxide At New York Mall

Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 2:21 am

A 55-year-old restaurant manager died and more than two dozen others were taken to hospitals Saturday after being overcome by carbon monoxide at a New York mall, police said.

Suffolk County police identified the man who died as Steven Nelson, a manager at the Legal Sea Foods restaurant at the Walt Whitman Shops in Huntington Station on Long Island.

Police said 28 others affected by carbon monoxide were taken to area hospitals.

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Music Interviews
4:41 pm
Sat February 22, 2014

Fred Armisen's Fake Bands (And Their Real Songs)

Bryan Cranston and Fred Armisen in character as The Bjelland Brothers, a sibling soft rock duo dreamed up by Armisen for a 2010 sketch on Saturday Night Live.
NBC via Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 1:57 pm

A lot of obscure bands want to reach a national audience, and they send their records to NPR. Unfortunately, there's a lot of forgettable stuff in the mix, and recently the staff of All Things Considered received the kind of CD it would usually toss.

It's got a pair of singles by two bands — The Blue Jean Committee, which came out of the 1970s Massachusetts folk scene; and The Fingerlings, a British post-disco/synth band of art-school graduates. Both sound desperately tiresome.

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The New And The Next
4:00 pm
Sat February 22, 2014

Making The Coffee Shop Your Office, Without The Guilt

iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat February 22, 2014 6:18 pm

The online magazine Ozy covers people, places and trends on the horizon. Co-founder Carlos Watson joins All Things Considered regularly to tell us about the site's latest feature stories.

This week, Watson talks with host Arun Rath about pay-as-you-go coffee shops popping up around the world that offer a place to work "without any kind of moral shame" or pressure to spend money on coffee and snacks.

They also discuss how the rise of the bioscience sector in Cleveland is revitalizing the city's economy.

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Author Interviews
4:00 pm
Sat February 22, 2014

Forecasting The 'Future' By Tapping Into Human Consciousness

iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat February 22, 2014 6:18 pm

Now more than ever before, we have the tools to study the mysteries of consciousness. Memory, dreams, the self are now being examined using high-tech brain scans developed by physicists on the cutting edge of their field.

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Around the Nation
4:00 pm
Sat February 22, 2014

Explosion On Ky. Natural Gas Pipeline Under Investigation

Burned-out vehicles sit among the ruins following a natural gas pipeline explosion in Kentucky on Thursday.
Timothy D. Easley AP

Originally published on Sat February 22, 2014 6:18 pm

A huge boom awoke the people of rural Adair County, Ky., at about 1 a.m. on Feb. 13. Calls flooded 911 dispatchers with reports of a large fire.

The flames were from an explosion on a natural gas pipeline. It left a crater 60 feet deep, destroyed two homes and sent two people to the hospital.

Federal investigators are examining the cause of the blast, but it wasn't the first time the pipeline had failed in some way.

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