Parallels
12:05 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

Race Toward Afghan Election Starts, With Skepticism In The Lead

A campaign banner is posted in Kabul, Afghanistan, for presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah on Sunday.
Omar Sobhani Reuters/Landov

With the campaign for Afghanistan's April 5 presidential election officially underway, three questions are commonly asked around Kabul: Do you think the presidential election will be held on April 5? Will the election be held at all this year? Who do you think will win?

Right now, 11 men are vying to succeed President Hamid Karzai, who is term-limited. If the election goes well, it would mark the first peaceful, democratic transfer of power in Afghanistan's history.

The Issue Of Timing

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The Two-Way
11:45 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Ukraine Protests Set To Widen As President Ends Sick Leave

Opposition supporters take part in a rally in Kiev's Independence Square, the epicenter of the country's current unrest, in Ukraine, on Sunday.
Sergei Chuzavkov AP

Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych says he will return to work on Monday after a brief sick leave, likely setting the stage for a new round of anti-government unrest.

As many as 30,000 protesters gathered in the capital, Kiev, on Sunday, renewing calls for Yanukovych to step down.

The president had announced his sick leave on Thursday, prompting concern that, as The Associated Press writes, "he may have been taking himself out of action in preparation for declaring a state of emergency."

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It's All Politics
11:43 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Super Bowl XLVIII: A Political Guide

New York and national politicians join the NFL Super Bowl host committee in New York's Times Square Saturday. When it comes to political contributions, the owners of Sunday's Super Bowl contenders are plenty active.
Christopher Gregory Getty Images

Pro football prognosticators are divided over who's the favorite to win Sunday's Super Bowl. Some give the edge to Peyton Manning and the high-flying Denver Broncos. Others believe the stifling Seattle Seahawks defense will carry them to victory.

Here at the It's All Politics blog, we can't help with any game-day analysis or offer any insights into how the two teams match up against each other.

But we can tell you a little about the politics surrounding each team.

The Denver Broncos

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The Salt
10:27 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Sap Discovery Could Turn Syrup-Making Upside Down

Buckets collect sap on maple trees in Vermont. A new discovery means that sap doesn't have to be collected from mature trees out in the wild.
Toby Talbot AP

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 11:51 am

Last year researchers at the University of Vermont announced something that could change the way we think about Vermont — or at least how it produces its famous maple syrup.

The time-honored method calls for inserting a tap near the bottom of a tall, mature maple tree. At the end of February, the tree thaws, and voila: Sap starts flowing out the spigot at the bottom.

But in 2010, these researchers were testing ways to gather sap from mature trees when they noticed something unusual.

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The Two-Way
9:08 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Christie's Office Blasts Latest Bridgegate Accusations

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie waves to guests as he attends the Super Bowl Hand-Off Ceremony in New York on Saturday.
Eduardo Munoz Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun February 2, 2014 11:17 am

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's political team is going on the offensive against charges that he knew more than he admits about a plan to use lane closures on the George Washington Bridge as part of a political vendetta.

In an email to donors and journalists headlined "5 Things You Should Know about the Bombshell That's Not a Bombshell," on Saturday, political aides to the governor pushed back on accusations by David Wildstein, a former Port Authority official who oversaw the lane closures.

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All Tech Considered
8:57 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Should Uber Be Responsible For Driver Recklessness?

The transportation app Uber matches ride-seekers with drivers. Drivers must keep checking their phones to catch customers, and critics say that may have dangerous consequences on the road. Is Uber responsible for the risk?
Lucy Nicholson Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 10:04 am

A man named Syed Muzaffar drove for Uber, the San Francisco-based company that makes money selling car rides. He lives in a suburb of San Francisco and on New Year's Eve, he says, he was in the city for the sole purpose of picking up partygoers who needed a ride.

His night ended early and tragically, around 8 p.m., when he turned a corner and hit a family in a crosswalk.

"The mother sustained facial fractures," says Police Sgt. Eric Mahoney, who is investigating the case. "The 4-year-old boy suffered abrasions on his face, and the 6-year-old girl was fatally injured."

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Politics
8:01 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Why A Do-Nothing Immigration Strategy Might Work For GOP

Originally published on Sun February 2, 2014 1:17 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Energy
8:01 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Oil Train Derailments Spur Calls For Safety Measures

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 1:24 pm

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Asia
8:01 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Violence Gives Way To Calmer Thai Elections

Originally published on Sun February 2, 2014 1:17 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. Voters went to the polls in Thailand today in a snap election called by the ruling party. The elections seem to have gone off fairly peacefully, but they were proceeded by violent clashes between government supporters, known as Red Shirts, and protesters backing the opposition. Last night, at least seven people were injured in Bangkok by gunfire and grenades. Reporter Michael Sullivan is with us now from Bangkok to tell us more. Hi, Michael.

MICHAEL SULLIVAN: Hi, Rachel.

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Strange News
8:01 am
Sun February 2, 2014

After Crushing Bad Luck, A Free Bungee Jump

Originally published on Sun February 2, 2014 1:17 pm

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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