U.S. and other NATO troops are spending less time fighting the Taliban and more time making local Afghan governments self-sufficient. It’s a slow process.

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The Department of Veterans Affairs doesn’t track how many free gun locks it gives out or whether they’re even effective. Rather, the devices are viewed as a stalling technique in the event a veteran picks up a gun in a moment of crisis.

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Early March is when Yosemite National Park officials would normally be gearing up for the busy tourist season. Instead, they’re figuring out how to cut $1.5 million from their budget because of the recent sequestration that forced across-the-board cuts. The National Park Service must now cut $134 million from sites around the country.

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Marijuana proponents in Washington state have talked of a “gold rush” as the state transitions to a legal, licensed marijuana industry. But uncertainty about state rules and potential federal intervention have made pursuing opportunities in the industry a high-risk business proposition.

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Federal health officials warned that a dangerous group of superbugs has become increasingly common in hospitals throughout the past decade. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the bacteria are resistant to virtually all antibiotics, including the ones doctors use as a last-ditch option.

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More than 2 feet of snow hit the high plains this week, snarling travel and all but shutting down some cities. Despite those hassles, for farmers and ranchers, the snow brings some urgently needed moisture to their drought-stricken fields and pastures.

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Gambling kept Rose out of baseball’s Hall of Fame, and years later, the fallout continues. Topps baseball cards has quietly removed his name from back of cards that note major achievements. But is it time to re-evaluate Rose’s singular status as a Major League Baseball pariah?

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A new poll explores how crucial everyday decisions are made in American households about food and exercise. Many parents say that their families don’t always have time to eat the healthiest meal or exercise.

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This Music Is Bananas (Really)

On February 21, 2013 By

Actually, it’s all kinds of fruits and vegetables. A circuit board called the MaKey MaKey is allowing musicians to play music on produce, to awesome effect. Watch the video.

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Tom Waits, Patti Smith, Nick Cave, Beth Orton, Shane MacGowan, Courtney Love, Dr. John, Iggy Pop, Johnny Depp and more form a bleak-music Murderer’s Row on this 140-minute collection of pirate-themed music.

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U.S. Army Spc. Tyler Jeffries lost both legs in a roadside bombing last October in Afghanistan, and he has been learning to walk on prosthetic legs. But Jeffries was determined to meet his buddies when they returned from duty in January.

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A surprising number of TV weather presenters are vocal deniers of climate change, while others fear audience backlash if they talk about such a polarizing topic. But one meteorologist in South Carolina is waging a climate education campaign, and says it’s going over well.

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Friday’s major meteor strike is the third such incident to hit Russia in just over a century. Coincidence?

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North Korea’s latest nuclear weapons test is much more powerful than the previous two, according to estimates made by instruments that measure seismic waves from the blast. But it’s hard to verify North Korea’s claim that the test was of a miniaturized nuclear weapon.

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Airing tonight on KRCC. Look for more of what President Obama exhibited three weeks ago at his inaugural address: a challenge to Congressional Republicans, and a focus on the economy, immigration, gun control and climate change.

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Citing his age (85) and diminished strength, the pontiff plans to step down effective Feb. 28. It’s likely that a conclave to elect a new pope will be held by mid-March. A pope hasn’t stepped down this way since 1415.

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The Australian singer and writer assembles a string of slow-burning ballads that seethe and surprise, punctuated by Warren Ellis’ gorgeous strings and bits of Cave’s own grabby, pervy innuendo.

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In a world of increased virtual connections, are we missing something? Weekend Edition Sunday is exploring a few of the places where technology can actually drive us apart and make real intimacy tough: in our romantic relationships, with our kids, even in the workplace.

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From Pennsylvania and New Jersey north through New York State and into New England, blizzard and storm warnings are up. By the time the storm is over on Saturday, some places may have 3 feet of new snow.

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Jerri Marr supervises the Pike-San Isabel National Forests and Comanche National Grassland, and became a fixture at press conferences during the Waldo Canyon Fire. The United States Forest Service profiles her on its home page.

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The decision has been long anticipated. The Postal Service continues to lose billions of dollars a year and is looking for ways to cut costs. Eliminating Saturday delivery of first-class mail (but not packages) might save it about $2 billion annually.

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Making a candy dispenser head that looks just like you is pretty cool in its own right. But some people are taking 3-D printers much further, using the new technology to spit out actual food, like chocolate — and maybe one day, raw meat.

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Our latest weekly mix includes songs from some of the year’s most anticipated new albums, including the long-awaited My Bloody Valentine record, and an epic electronic jam from The Knife. We’ve also got new music from Four Tet, Cloud Cult, Malian kora player Ballake Sissoko and more!

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News

Getty Images
March 27, 2015 | NPR · You might not see health inspection information until you’re opening a restaurant’s door. But if you’re in New York and several other cities, you’ll see it when you check out an eatery’s Yelp page.
 

AP
March 27, 2015 | NPR · Closed-door leadership elections are held on a given day, but really take place over years of interaction and commerce among caucus members. Ideology and issues are not the paramount concern.
 

AP
March 27, 2015 | NPR · Democrats argue the top Senate leader’s retirement might be a good thing. But it’s going to set off a scramble to replace him in one of the most hotly contested races in 2016.
 

Arts & Life

Courtesy of TED
March 27, 2015 | NPR · Dr. Stuart Brown says humor, games, roughhousing and fantasy are more than just fun. He came to this conclusion after conducting some somber research into the stark childhoods of murderers.
 

Courtesy of Charlie Todd
March 27, 2015 | NPR · Charlie Todd choreographs bizarre, hilarious and unexpected public scenes. He explains how his group, Improv Everywhere, creates these moments of urban whimsy to bring people together.
 

Getty Images
March 26, 2015 | NPR · On today’s Small Batch Edition of Pop Culture Happy Hour, we talk to comedian, actor and podcaster Kumail Nanjiani about the return of The X-Files — a TV show about which he has a podcast.
 

Music

Courtesy of the Artist
March 27, 2015 | NPR · The new video from this Nashville by-way-of California songwriter is full of 1970s folk-rock mythology.
 

 NPR
March 27, 2015 | NPR · Scads of music recommendations, talk of Austin and Portland, and what’s making us happy this week.
 

March 26, 2015 | NPR · Barnett just released her first full album called Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit. Critic Ken Tucker says she somehow manages to infuse with a freshness rare in any songwriter.
 

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