9:37am

Thu April 17, 2014
The Two-Way

Book News: Did Amazon Unintentionally Create A Drug Dealer Starter Kit?

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 8:53 am

An employee prepares an order at Amazon's fulfillment center in San Bernardino, Calif.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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9:36am

Thu April 17, 2014
Deceptive Cadence

A Visitor's Guide To Bach's 'St. Matthew Passion'

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 9:07 am

Johann Sebastian Bach's St. Matthew Passion was first heard on Good Friday, 1727 in Leipzig, Germany.
Getty Images

Johann Sebastian Bach wrote his St. Matthew Passion for a single purpose — to present the Passion story in music at Good Friday vesper services.

Bach's Passion continues to move audiences nearly three centuries after it was first heard in St. Thomas's Church in Leipzig, Germany. Standing as one of the pillars of Western sacred music, it is at once monumental and intimate, deeply sorrowful and powerful.

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8:45am

Thu April 17, 2014
The Two-Way

Fate Of Girls Abducted In Nigeria Now Uncertain

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 5:01 pm

This post was updated at 5:50 p.m. ET.

NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reports that Nigeria's defense ministry has retracted its earlier claim that they missing schoolgirls were free.

"[A] report was filed in from the field indicating that a major breakthrough had been recorded in the search," the ministry said in a statement.

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8:38am

Thu April 17, 2014
The Two-Way

Ukraine Crisis: Russia Endorses Call For Protesters To Disarm

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 8:04 am

Armed men wearing military fatigues gathered on armored personnel carriers Wednesday in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slovyansk, where they and other pro-Russia gunmen took control of some key locations.
Genya Savilov AFP/Getty Images
This post was updated with a new top at 4:10 p.m. ET.

Diplomats from the U.S., Ukraine, Russia and the European Union emerged Thursday from a meeting that wasn't expected to accomplish much saying they had made progress toward resolving the crisis in Ukraine.

"We worked hard and we worked in good faith in order to narrow our real differences," Secretary of State John Kerry said following the meeting in Geneva. He and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced that the four parties at the negotiating table agreed:

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7:38am

Thu April 17, 2014
The Two-Way

Weekly Jobless Claims Stay Near 7-Year Low

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 12:42 pm

There were 304,000 first-time claims filed for unemployment insurance last week, up just 2,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 302,000, the Employment and Training Administration said Thursday.

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6:59am

Thu April 17, 2014
The Two-Way

Putin Tells Snowden That Russia Doesn't Do Mass Surveillance

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 10:25 am

Russian President Vladimir Putin as he answered questions on national TV Thursday in Moscow.
Alexey Nikolsky/RIO Novosti/Kremlin pool EPA/Landov

6:35am

Thu April 17, 2014
Planet Money

To Increase Productivity, UPS Monitors Drivers' Every Move

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 7:33 am

Elise Amendola AP

The American workforce might want to pay attention to all those brown trucks full of cardboard boxes. UPS is using technology in ways that may soon be common throughout the economy.

On the surface, UPS trucks look the same as they did more than 20 years ago, when Bill Earle started driving for the company in rural Pennsylvania.

But underneath the surface, Earle says, the job has changed a lot. The thing you sign your name on when the UPS guy gives you a package used to be a piece of paper. Now it's a computer that tells Earle everything he needs to know.

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6:03am

Thu April 17, 2014
The Two-Way

No Sign Yet Of Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Disaster

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 5:45 pm

Holding out hope, fearing the worst: A man looks out from the shore in Jindo, South Korea, toward where a passenger ferry sank Wednesday and nearly 300 people are still missing.
Kim Kyung-Hoon Reuters/Landov
  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports about the South Korean ferry disaster
This post will be updated as news comes in.

A second day of dangerous efforts to reach any survivors has ended with still no sign of the nearly 300 people — most of them high school students — believed to be trapped aboard a South Korean ferry that has capsized in the Yellow Sea.

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2:30am

Thu April 17, 2014
The Salt

Plant Breeders Release First 'Open Source Seeds'

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 9:29 am

Backers of the new Open Source Seed Initiative will pass out 29 new varieties of 14 different crops, including broccoli, carrots and kale, on Thursday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

A group of scientists and food activists is launching a campaign Thursday to change the rules that govern seeds. They're releasing 29 new varieties of crops under a new "open source pledge" that's intended to safeguard the ability of farmers, gardeners and plant breeders to share those seeds freely.

It's inspired by the example of open source software, which is freely available for anyone to use but cannot legally be converted into anyone's proprietary product.

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2:29am

Thu April 17, 2014
Shots - Health News

Polio Hits Equatorial Guinea, Threatens Central Africa

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 6:41 am

A child receives a polio vaccine Sunday in Kano, Nigeria. The country is the primary source of the virus in Africa but appears to be making progress against the disease; the current outbreak in Cameroon that has spread to Equatorial Guinea came by way of Chad, not Nigeria.
Sunday Alamba AP

Health officials are worried.

After being free of polio for nearly 15 years, Equatorial Guinea has reported two cases of the disease.

The children paralyzed are in two distant parts of the country. So the virus may have spread widely across the small nation.

The outbreak is dangerous, in part, because Equatorial Guinea has the worst polio vaccination rate in the world: 39 percent. Even Somalia, teetering on the brink of anarchy, vaccinates 47 percent of its children.

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