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It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

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And I'm Steve Inskeep.

An asteroid the size of an office building will zoom close by Earth next week, but it's not on a collision course, NASA says.

Still, some people think this near-miss should serve as a wake-up call.

"It's a warning shot across our bow that we are flying around the solar system in a shooting gallery," says Ed Lu, a former astronaut and head of the B612 Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting humanity from asteroids.

The asteroid known as 2012 DA14 was first spotted last year by astronomers in Spain. It's thought to be about 150 feet across and made of rock.

Congress likes to say it no longer does earmarks, the provisions that direct federal dollars to serve local interests or campaign supporters. And though that may be true, it's also a fact that targeted provisions are still useful in moving legislation — even critical legislation like the bill that pulled Washington back from the fiscal cliff last month.

More than 200 houses of worship damaged in Superstorm Sandy have applied for aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. But given the separation of church and state, it's unclear whether federal funds are available to them.

The sanctuary of Temple Israel of Long Beach, N.Y., was flooded with more than 10 feet of saltwater in some places, says Rabbi David Bauman.

"Roughly 5 to 7 feet [of water] in most, and there were surges — particularly in our mechanical room — that went upwards of 12 to 14 feet," he says.

When Bonnie Brown was pregnant with her daughter, Myra, she says she felt a mix of joy and anxiety.

"I hadn't ever been pregnant before," she says. "I never had really an idea of how to take care of a baby."

Brown, who is intellectually disabled, works at Wendy's while raising Myra as a single mom. Despite her disability, she says she never felt like her daughter was too much to handle.

"I think because I'm different it might seem hard for me, but I was going to give it all I got no matter what," she tells Myra, now 15, during a visit to StoryCorps.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene.

We've heard that necessity breeds invention. Well, so does discomfort. This weekend, 200 million Chinese are traveling home for the Chinese New Year. And for some this means entire days on standing room only trains.

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Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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NPR's business news starts with Boeing's battery problem.

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And we have news of another fire sale. Our last word in business today is the buy of a lifetime.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

In exchange for multibillion-euro bailouts, Greece was required to sell state-owned assets. But the sweeping privatization process is behind schedule. In addition, European governments are nervous that Chinese, Russian and Arab companies are lining up to take advantage of the Greek fire sale.

Ecuador's Yasuni National Park is one of the most diverse ecosystems on Earth. But there's a complication: The park sits on top of the equivalent of millions of barrels of oil.

This creates a dilemma.

Ecuador prides itself on being pro-environment. Its constitution gives nature special rights. But Ecuador is a relatively poor country that could desperately use the money from the oil.

One of the oldest known workplace dangers is breathing in tiny bits of silica, which is basically sand. Even the ancient Greeks knew that stone cutters got sick from breathing in dust. And today, nearly 2 million American workers are exposed to silica dust in jobs ranging from construction to manufacturing.

Among the hundreds of musicians vying for Grammy Awards this year is Al Walser, a Los Angeles-based disc jockey and singer whose song "I Can't Live Without You" is nominated in the best dance single category. Walser is not a widely known name — many Grammy nominees aren't — but he's competing in a category against some of pop music's heaviest hitters.

John Brennan, President Obama's choice to lead the CIA, can look forward to a grilling Thursday on Capitol Hill. As Obama's chief counterterrorism adviser, he has been associated with some controversial policies, including the use of armed drones. Brennan's nomination comes before the Senate Intelligence Committee, and members from both parties have their questions ready.

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