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Audie Cornish

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On a typical morning on Ben Hewitt's small farm in Cabot, Vt., he and his wife, Penny, and their two sons wake up early. But after doing the chores and eating breakfast, Fin, 12, and Rye, 9, don't have to run for the school bus.

Instead, they spend the morning reading Gary Paulsen tales, or they strap on pack baskets they wove themselves, carrying small knives at their belts, and head out to build shelters and forage in the woods.

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From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, I'm Audie Cornish.

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We end this hour with a note of appreciation and gratitude. Today is the last day at NPR for Margaret Low Smith. You may not know her name but you hear her work every day.

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From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Ari Shapiro.

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Sen. John Walsh of Montana was appointed to his seat in February, and he's preparing to face voters for the first time. The Democrat's bid will likely be complicated by allegations of plagiarism, reported by The New York Times. It seems that in a paper Walsh submitted for his master's degree from the U.S. Army War College, long passages were borrowed without attribution.

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President Obama closed his news conference today with a tribute to some of those who were killed when that jet was shot down in Ukraine.

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And now a car story that sounds like it was meant for a movie script. Here's the opening scene - a phone is ringing. George Talley, a 71-year-old retiree in Detroit, picks it up.

A federal appeals court in Denver struck down Utah's ban on gay marriage Wednesday, paving the way for a U.S. Supreme Court decision on the issue as soon as next year. The ruling by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals was the first by any federal appeals court on the issue to date.

While the ruling struck down the Utah ban, it applies to the other five states in the circuit: New Mexico, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas and Oklahoma.

ABC News has announced major shakeups in its anchor lineup, as Diane Sawyer steps down from her perch as anchor of the network's evening news. What does her replacement say about the state of the evening anchor job in the world of TV news?

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The Atlantic's Ta-Nehisi Coates describes how the legacy of slavery extends to geographical and governmental policies in America and calls for a "collective introspection" on reparations.

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Ryan Beitz feels a need for speed. Specifically, he wants to get...

RYAN BEITZ: All available VHS copies of the hit 1994 action-adventure film "Speed," starring Sandra Bullock, Keanu Reeves and Dennis Hopper.

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In Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin defended his position on Ukraine. In a news conference, Putin denied that Russian troops are in Crimea but reserved the right to use force in Ukraine.

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MELISSA BLOCK: This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

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And I'm Audie Cornish.

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The Senate is still struggling to find a way to pay for an extension of unemployment benefits for those out of work for 26 weeks or more. Majority leader Harry Reid agreed to bring up five Democratic and five Republican amendments in hopes to winning enough Republicans over to get to the 60 votes needed for passage.

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Embattled New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was back in the spotlight today. The annual State of the State speech came at an awkward moment for Christie. The Republican governor had not spoken publicly since apologizing last week for politically motivated lane closures at the George Washington Bridge. Christie acknowledged the unfolding scandal at the start of his speech.

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An Olympic team spot isn't the only glittering sports prize up for grabs this weekend. Eight teams gear up for the NFL divisional playoffs on the road to next month's Super Bowl. Sportswriter Stefan Fatsis joins us now for his regular Friday update on what's happening in football. Hey there, Stefan.

STEFAN FATSIS, BYLINE: Hey, Audie.

CORNISH: So let's start with those two games tomorrow. First, Indianapolis at New England. In a nutshell, what do we expect?

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The court also removed Judge Shira Scheindlin from the case, saying she violated the appearance of impartiality, among other reasons.

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Twitter is revealing more details about its planned initial public offering. Late this afternoon, the company announced its intention to raise a billion dollars by selling stock, and revealed detailed information about its finances for the first time. We're joined now by NPR's Steve Henn to discuss this peek behind the Twitter curtain. Hey there, Steve.

STEVE HENN, BYLINE: Hey.

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