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Music
12:03 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Brother Ali: A Voice For The Suffering

Brother Ali's fifth studio album, Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color, came out last week.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 8:36 am

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Sweetness And Light
8:03 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

RG3: A Game Changer For 'Thirds' Everywhere

Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III watches from the sidelines. RG3 as he is known has a fan in other thirds like Frank Deford.
Rob Carr Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 8:36 am

We're all familiar with the many sports terms that have moved into general usage: "par for the course," "slam-dunk," "curveball," "photo finish" and so on.

Curiously, though, every now and then something of the inverse occurs, and we get an expression which is commonly used that has been derived from sport, but never used in sport.

For example, that awful, overdone cliche, "level playing field." Never in my life have I ever heard anyone in sport — that is, somebody actually right there on the level playing field — say, "I'm glad we're playing on a level playing field."

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The Two-Way
4:13 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

U.S. Supreme Court Will Not Intercede In Texas Execution

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 4:47 am

The U.S. Supreme Court will not halt the execution of Texas death row inmate Cleve Foster, as it did three times in 2011. Foster, 48, has maintained he is innocent in the 2002 shooting death of Nyaneur Pal, 30.

"I didn't do it," Foster told the AP recently from death row. "And if it means I'm going to the gurney and the taking of my life, so be it."

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Theater
4:07 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

A Broadway Mystery Worthy Of 'Rebecca'

The original Vienna production of a new musical based on the novel Rebecca didn't fall prey to the woes plaguing a planned New York staging.
VBW

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 5:39 pm

There's a new mystery on Broadway — one about the musical Rebecca, based on the Daphne du Maurier novel.

You can't see it yet on the New York stage. In fact, it hasn't even started rehearsals. That's because the production is short $4.5 million after one of its investors died before he could hand over the money.

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Asia
4:06 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

Mixing Past And Present In Papua New Guinea

A boy sits next to cooking fire at a Papua New Guinea village. Many villages re-create traditional dress and customs to cater to tourists and their search for an "authentic" experience.
Jake Warga for NPR

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 5:39 pm

Few places are more exotic in the imagination than Papua New Guinea. The romantic images it conjures up are the stuff of a National Geographic cover story, complete with deadly animals and, of course, cannibals.

But once I stepped off the plane, I entered a land that was wrestling with its past and its present.

The Sepik River basin, deep in the heart of the country, is a popular tourist destination. It's the perfect place for a jungle river tour, with dense greenery, massive birds and stops at tribal villages.

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It's All Politics
3:54 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

Despite Pledge, Gloves Are Off In Massachusetts Senate Race

Bill Connell of Weymouth, Mass., who supports Republican Sen. Scott Brown, stands near signs supporting Brown's Democratic challenger, Elizabeth Warren, before the candidates' first debate Thursday in Boston.
Michael Dwyer AP

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 5:39 pm

The tight U.S. Senate race in Massachusetts is getting feistier. Republican Sen. Scott Brown is going on the offensive, running his first attack ad against his Democratic challenger, Elizabeth Warren.

Yet going negative is risky, thanks to a pledge between the two candidates to keep out third-party attack ads.

A Brown TV ad that began airing Monday attacks Warren on an old issue in this race — how Warren identified herself as Native American during her academic career.

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It's All Politics
3:53 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

Investigation Dims GOP's Hopes For Holding On To House Seat In Fla.

Rep. David Rivera, R-Fla., speaks in Coral Gables in November 2010. Rivera is under investigation by state and federal authorities for allegedly misusing campaign funds.
Alan Diaz AP

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 9:20 am

Democrats in Florida think they have a chance in November to take back some congressional seats now held by Republicans. Near the top of the list is the 26th Congressional District near Miami.

It's a largely Hispanic district currently represented by Republican David Rivera. Although just a freshman in Congress, Rivera is a well-known Miami politician. Before being elected to Congress, he served eight years in the Florida Legislature and shared a house with longtime friend Marco Rubio.

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It's All Politics
3:46 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

Obama Talks Of Slavery, Romney Of Freedom At Clinton Global Initiative

President Obama talked of the world's need to crack down on human trafficking at the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting in New York on Tuesday.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 4:35 pm

One presidential candidate talked about slavery, the other of freedom.

And the speeches President Obama and Mitt Romney gave at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York on Tuesday were as different as the men themselves.

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The Two-Way
3:19 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

Drinking (Coffee) On The Job: Restaurant Workers, Women Lead The Way

For many who work in the food service industry, coffee can make or break their day, according to a new survey. Many scientists and sales reps also said their day suffers if they don't have a cup.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Cooks and servers, scientists and sales reps — those are some of the workers who say they do better after drinking coffee, according to a new study. Nurses, journalists, teachers, and business executives also said they're more effective at work if they have coffee, in a survey commissioned by Dunkin Donuts and CareerBuilder.

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Religion
3:08 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

For Hasidic Jews, A Slow, Steady Rebirth In Russia

Dovid Karpov has been the rabbi at the Darkei Shalom synagogue since it was built 15 years ago. Like many people in his congregation, Karpov grew up in a Soviet-era family that was not religious. He says he had to learn his faith for himself.
Sergei Sotnikov NPR

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 2:24 pm

About a dozen men prayed recently at Darkei Shalom, a Hasidic Jewish synagogue in the working-class neighborhood of Otradnoye in north Moscow.

Except for the Star of David on its squat tower, the building is as plain and utilitarian as the linoleum on the floor. It sits — along with a Russian Orthodox church and a mosque — on a leafy stretch of land surrounded by towering apartment blocks.

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The Salt
2:52 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

Greek Olive Oil Woes Echo Country's Broader Economic Challenges

A Greek farmer drives home with his fresh pressed olive oil in barrels near Alyki, Greece. The country's pure olive oil is hard to find, expensive and poorly marketed, businessmen say.
Matthias Schrader AP

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 5:39 pm

Greece is in the fifth year of a painful recession, and it doesn't look like it's going to end anytime soon. One big problem the country faces is a shortage of strong companies that know how to compete on the world market. And nowhere is this more painfully apparent than in the challenges faced by the country's olive oil business.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:43 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

Mini-Counseling Sessions Can Curb Problem Drinking

Just 10 to 15 minutes of counseling from primary care doctors can reduce the risk of "risky" drinking, a federal task force says.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 8:10 pm

Brief counseling from primary care doctors reduces "risky" drinking, defined as having more than four drinks a day for men, three for women, a federal task force says.

About one in three Americans misuse alcohol, the panel says, with the vast majority falling in the "risky" category.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:37 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

Branding Health Care Exchanges To Make The Sale

Peter Lee, executive director of the California Health Benefit Exchange, discusses California's health care plans in Sacramento in July.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 5:39 pm

As states work to comply with the federal health care law, many are designing their insurance exchanges, where people will be able to shop for coverage.

But just the word "exchange" sounds to many like off-putting government-speak, and some states are eager to come up with a more appealing name for these new marketplaces.

Peter Lee directs California's Health Benefit Exchange. It's up for a new name, and Lee says they want it to sound fresh, dynamic and innovative.

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Latin America
2:23 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

Bolivia's Cerro Rico: The Mountain That Eats Men

Cerro Rico, or Rich Mountain, rises like a monument in Potosi, Bolivia. It has produced silver, and hardship, for centuries. Now it may be in danger of collapse.
Carlos Villalon for NPR

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 5:39 pm

Near the mountain city of Potosi in the southern highlands of Bolivia, the cone-shaped peak of Cerro Rico stands as a 15,800-foot monument to the tragedies of Spanish conquest. For centuries, Indian slaves mined the mountain's silver in brutal conditions to bankroll the Spanish empire.

Today, the descendants of those slaves run the mines. But hundreds of years of mining have left the mountain porous and unstable, and experts say it is in danger of collapsing.

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All Tech Considered
2:21 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

National Security Experts Go Rogue For 'Drone Smackdown'

Alice Beauheim, her father and Bill Love fly their homemade machines at the Drone Smackdown in Manassas, Va., on Sunday. Objections by the Federal Aviation Administration forced organizers to hold the tongue-in-cheek contest outside of Washington, D.C.
John Procter

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 5:39 pm

It started as trash talk between two contributors to a national security blog. They decided to host a drone smackdown to see if one guy's machine could take down another.

Unarmed drones, of course. The kind you can put together with a toy-store model and $200 in modifications. But the game turned out to have some serious undertones.

First, a word about the location. For a moment last week, the whole drone smackdown was up in the air.

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The Salt
1:16 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

Meadmaker Bottles A Taste Of Maine With Roots In South Africa

A bee gathers pollen from goldenrod, a wildflower that's popular with meadmakers, in Scarborough, Me.
Melissa Beuoy NPR

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 6:16 am

A few years ago, your best chance of tasting mead might have been at a Renaissance Fair. We're going to wager the enduring memory is of overpowering sweetness and little desire for a second glass.

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Middle East
1:13 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

As Numbers Swell, Syrian Refugees Face New Woes

A Syrian refugee walks with her children at Zaatari refugee camp in Mafraq, Jordan, near the Syrian border, Sept. 8. Around 30,000 Syrians live at the camp, with the numbers growing each day.
Mohammad Hannon AP

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 5:39 pm

Syria's refugees keep growing dramatically in number, and no country in the region has taken in more of them than Jordan — a poor, desert nation that is now hosting some 200,000 Syrians.

The conditions for the refugees are perhaps harsher in Jordan than in any other country, with many people sheltered in tents on a hot, dusty plain just inside Jordan's northern border with Syria.

At the Zaatari camp, everything is covered with a layer of sand and dirt; rows and rows of tents, once white, are now a golden color.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:12 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

Korean Eunuchs Lived Long And Prospered

A mural in an ancient tomb in China shows a troupe of eunuchs. How long did they live?
Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 12:22 pm

Tell people you're doing a story about the life spans of Korean eunuchs, the typical reaction is a giggle or a cringe.

But if you can overcome your visceral response to the topic, a study scientists in Korea did is quite interesting, both for what they found, and the way they found it.

Several scientists have shown that there is a link between longevity and reproduction: the greater the fertility, the shorter the life span. This has been fairly well established in nonhuman animal species, but proving it's the case for humans has been tricky.

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The Two-Way
12:09 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

Sorry Ma'am: BBC Apologizes To Queen Over Terrorism Disclosure

The British cleric Abu-Hamza al Masri, seen here in February 2003, is set to be extradited to the United States to face terrorism charges linked to the taking of 16 hostages in Yemen in 1998 and setting up a terrorist training camp in rural Oregon.
Odd Andersen AFP/Getty Images

In Britain, frustration over why fiery radical Muslim preacher Abu Hamza al-Masri remained a free man for so many years went all the way to the top of society to the queen, the BBC revealed — a revelation the network has subsequently apologized for.

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Television
11:59 am
Tue September 25, 2012

Mindy Kaling Loves Rom-Coms And Being The Boss

Dr. Mindy Lahiri (Mindy Kaling) must juggle a variety of responsibilities as an obstetrician-gynecologist in the new comedy The Mindy Project.
Jordin Althaus Fox

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 1:02 pm

Mindy Kaling says she loves romantic comedies, even though she wrote last year in The New Yorker that saying so "is essentially an admission of mild stupidity."

Her new Fox TV show, The Mindy Project — which she created, stars in, writes and runs as co-executive producer — is essentially a serialized romantic comedy, where each week, viewers can check in with the character to see how her life is going, Kaling says.

Except she hopes her show is "actually funny," she tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

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The Two-Way
11:57 am
Tue September 25, 2012

Who Killed Messy Mya? High-Profile New Orleans Murder Trial Halted

Messy Mya.
YouTube

New Orleans is known for being different. The trial of the man accused in the 2010 murder of "social-media celebrity Anthony Barre, better known as Messy Mya," is adding to the city's reputation.

As The Times-Picayune reports, the trial was halted Monday after the district attorney's office "got wind of a YouTube video of the 7th Ward slaying and dropped the murder charge against Jason Baptiste Hamilton in an attempt to track down the footage."

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Economy
11:48 am
Tue September 25, 2012

Two Plans For Fixing The Economy, But Few Details

Job seekers fill out applications Aug. 21 at a construction job fair in New York. Polls show voters want the presidential candidates to provide more details on how they would reduce unemployment, change tax policy and alter government spending.
Seth Wenig AP

As this presidential election year was kicking off, strategists were saying the focus would be on the economy. But now — even as absentee ballots are being filled in — the candidates are still dodging details about how to improve growth.

"President Obama doesn't have a plan," says Kevin Hassett, an economic adviser to Republican candidate Mitt Romney.

Jeffrey Liebman, an economic adviser to President Obama, says Romney has revealed no plan other than "going back to the failed policies of the past decade."

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Music Reviews
11:06 am
Tue September 25, 2012

Analog Players Society: A Party Cooked Up In A Studio

The Analog Players Society was assembled by a producer and percussionist in his mid-30s who calls himself Amon.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 11:58 am

Albums made by collections of professional studio players once had a bad reputation with the traditional rock audience. Such works were supposedly arid and chilly — more like the results of a board meeting than the recorded adventure of an organic group of fabulous friends. Some music fans may still feel that way, but they are few. Nowadays, a tight-knit gaggle of session musicians like the Analog Players Society gets points from traditionalists simply because the music is made by flesh and blood.

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Book Reviews
11:04 am
Tue September 25, 2012

A Lifetime Of Love In 'My Husband And My Wives'

Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 11:58 am

Given the glut of autobiographies, a provocative subject alone isn't enough to snag a reader's attention, although, admittedly, the title of Charles Rowan Beye's new memoir, My Husband and My Wives, is certainly arresting. It's Beye's charming raconteur's voice, however, and his refusal to bend anecdotes into the expected "lessons" that really make this memoir such a knockout.

Beye won me over in his "Introduction" when he admitted that, looking back at the long span of his life — he's now over 80 — the big question he still asks himself is, "What was that all about?"

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The Two-Way
10:53 am
Tue September 25, 2012

Obama Focuses On 'Outrage Of Human Trafficking'

Saying it "must be called by its true name, 'modern slavery,' " President Obama this afternoon used his address before the Clinton Global Initiative to focus on "the outrage of human trafficking."

When a man is "working, toiling for little or no pay and [is] beaten if he tries to escape, that is slavery," Obama said.

"When a woman is locked in a sweat shop or trapped in a home as a domestic servant ... that is slavery."

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U.S.
10:00 am
Tue September 25, 2012

Obama: No Video Justifies Attack On Embassy

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 9:45 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning.

At the United Nations today, President Obama told world leaders that there's no place for violence and intolerance. The president has been struggling to contain widespread anger in the Muslim world, sparked in part by an anti-Islam video.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

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The Salt
9:59 am
Tue September 25, 2012

Peanut Butter Recall Widens To Other Nut Butters After Salmonella Outbreak

Sunland Inc., which makes peanut butter for many national labels such as Trader Joe's and Target's Archer Farms, is recalling products suspected of containing salmonella.
Karen Sarraga iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 6:56 am

Is it 2008 all over again?

Late Friday, Trader Joe's announced a voluntary recall of its Salted Valencia Peanut Butter because it may have been contaminated with a rare strain of salmonella that's been making people sick.

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Media
9:58 am
Tue September 25, 2012

Cartoonists Weigh In On The Cartoon Controversy

Patrick Chappatte made this drawing for the International Herald Tribune back in 2006, following a controversy over Danish cartoons that mocked the Prophet Muhammad.
Patrick Chappatte/International Herald Tribune

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 12:20 pm

So what do cartoonists think about those controversial French cartoons that mocked the Prophet Muhammad?

The cartoons, which ran last week in the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, led the French government to close down diplomatic missions in 20 Muslim countries last Friday out of concern they might be attacked. There were protests, but no serious violence

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Election 2012
9:50 am
Tue September 25, 2012

Ted Strickland Not Ready To Hand Ohio To Romney

A new Washington Post poll shows President Obama inching ahead of Mitt Romney in Ohio. The state swapped political allegiances in the past — going for President Obama in 2008, then going for a GOP governor in 2010. Former Governor Ted Strickland lost that race and is now a surrogate for the president. He joins guest host Celeste Headlee.

Election 2012
9:50 am
Tue September 25, 2012

Kenneth Blackwell: Time To Call The Foot Soldiers

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

I'm Celeste Headlee and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, if you're a football fan, you've probably been, shall we say, puzzled, at least, by one or two calls made by replacement referees this season. We're going to get the latest from one of our sports contributors in just a few moments.

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