Audie Cornish

Melissa Block and Audie Cornish read letters from listeners about the demands made on students and student-athletes in college.

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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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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From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

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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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