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NPR Story
4:41 am
Sun November 18, 2012

Public Radio Host Created Space For Music And Art

Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 5:04 am

Isaiah Sheffer, host of public radio show Selected Shorts and the driving force behind Symphony Space in New York, has died. In the late 1970s, Sheffer turned an abandoned theater in New York City into a thriving arts complex. He died after a stroke at the age of 76.

Asia
4:41 am
Sun November 18, 2012

Online, Chinese Spin English Words For New Meaning

Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 5:04 am

An unusual list of words popped up recently on China's Twitter equivalent, Weibo. The words are in English, but they've gone viral on the Chinese Twittersphere. Chinese "netizens" have come up with satirical misspellings of "democrazy" and "freedamn."

Asia
4:41 am
Sun November 18, 2012

With Obama's Asia Trip, An Attempted Focus Shift

Originally published on Sun November 25, 2012 7:45 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News, I'm Rachel Martin.

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The Two-Way
4:24 am
Sun November 18, 2012

It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's A ... Guy In A Giraffe Suit?

Armstrong Baillie, in costume.
YouTube

"Scotland Is Growing To Love The Good Giraffe's High Ideals:

"A Dundee man who carries out random acts of kindness while dressed as a giraffe admits the bizarre wheeze came to him during a trip to the toilet."

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Music Interviews
3:52 am
Sun November 18, 2012

Willie Nelson: Road Rules And Deep Thoughts

Willie Nelson has recorded more than 100 albums and was given a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000.
David McClister Courtesy of William Morrow

Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 5:04 am

At nearly 80, Willie Nelson remains impressively prolific: lots of songs, lots of kids and, fittingly, lots of autobiographies. The country singer's latest memoir is called Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die, after a song on his Heroes album, released earlier this year. Nelson says those seeking earth-shattering revelations about his life should look elsewhere; that wasn't his intention in writing the book.

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Food
3:52 am
Sun November 18, 2012

The Veggieducken: A Meatless Dish With Gravitas

The Sporkful

Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 9:45 am

Vegetarians don't need your sympathy on Thanksgiving, says Dan Pashman, host of a food podcast and blog called The Sporkful. Pashman is an omnivore, but he spoke to vegetarians and found "it actually makes them feel uncomfortable when a host goes to extreme lengths to make something special just for them."

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Author Interviews
3:52 am
Sun November 18, 2012

A Book To Break The Gun Control Stalemate

Joshua Lott Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 19, 2012 8:25 am

Americans own an estimated 300 million guns. It's a level of gun ownership that no other country in the world comes close to matching. It's also a source of controversy in the U.S., where groups on both sides of the issue seem to have dug deep into the debate.

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Politics
3:10 am
Sun November 18, 2012

'It Takes Generations': Sen. Boxer On The Gender Gap

California Sen. Barbara Boxer says women are still making progress on closing the gender gap in Congress.
Ben Margot AP

Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 1:29 pm

Sen. Barbara Boxer says we can finally stop using the term "Year of the Woman" once the Senate reaches a 50-50 split of men and women. "That's the goal," she says.

We're not quite there yet. But in 2013, more women will be serving in Congress than ever before. There will be 20 women in the Senate. When Boxer took her seat in 1993, there were six — and that was after tripling from two the term before.

So what does the California Democrat have to say about the fact that there's still a gender gap? Let's put this in perspective.

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Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
3:09 am
Sun November 18, 2012

Staten Island Relief Efforts Are A Community Affair

Volunteers bring food to residents of homes damaged by Superstorm Sandy earlier this month in the Staten Island borough of New York City.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 4:09 pm

On a street corner in Midland Beach on Staten Island, volunteers have set up a makeshift stand. There's no tent here, no corporate logos — just a couple of folding tables and cardboard boxes full of food, clothing and cleaning supplies.

Ross Decker is the guy in charge.

"Anytime we run out of something, I tell the people just come back in 20 minutes, it'll be here," he says.

Decker says the site, badly flooded during Superstorm Sandy, was picked by a handful of local churches. This volunteer operation seems to be stocked mainly through the kindness of strangers.

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Sunday Puzzle
10:03 pm
Sat November 17, 2012

Being Initially Famous

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 5:04 am

Special Note: Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, the deadline for this week's puzzle is Wednesday by 3 p.m. Eastern.

On-air challenge: Each clue is a two- or three-word description of a famous person in which the initial letters of the description are also the initials of the person. For example, given the clue "Motown great," the answer would be Marvin Gaye.

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Analysis
5:04 pm
Sat November 17, 2012

Week In News: Gaza And Israel Conflict Intensifies

Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 7:31 am

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

Let's bring in our analyst James Fallows, who's with us most Saturdays. Jim is a national correspondent for The Atlantic. Good to have you, Jim.

JAMES FALLOWS: Thank you, Guy.

RAZ: As we just heard from Anthony, a sense that this crisis really could get worse.

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Around the Nation
3:54 pm
Sat November 17, 2012

How Do Public Officials Bounce Back After Scandal?

Should David Petraeus' extramarital affair be considered a disqualifying factor for his public position?
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Sat November 17, 2012 5:09 pm

The resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus — and the extramarital affair and FBI investigation that led up to it — has been at the top of the news for the past week.

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Around the Nation
2:49 pm
Sat November 17, 2012

The Rise And Fall Of David Petraeus

Should David Petraeus' extramarital affair be considered a disqualifying factor for his public position?
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Sat November 17, 2012 5:17 pm

Former CIA Director David Petraeus went through a spectacular public downfall, just over a week ago, when news of his affair spurred his resignation.

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Middle East
2:49 pm
Sat November 17, 2012

Israel Widens Air Assault On Gaza Rocket Operations

Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 7:30 am

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.

Intensive diplomatic efforts are under way in the Middle East to broker a truce between Israel and Hamas. Those efforts haven't stopped the two sides from escalating their attacks. And if the diplomacy fails, Israel could decide to invade Gaza. NPR's Anthony Kuhn joins us now from Gaza with the latest. Anthony, what's been happening today so far?

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The Two-Way
1:56 pm
Sat November 17, 2012

Gaza And Israel Trade Rockets For Airstrikes

Rockets lunched by Palestinian militants toward Israel make their way from the northern Gaza Strip on Saturday.
Hatem Moussa AP

Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 7:29 am

  • Hamas Remains Defiant As Fighting Escalates

The conflict between Israel and the Gaza Strip continues to escalate after Israeli airstrikes flattened key targets in Gaza, and Palestinian rockets threatened deeper into Israel than ever before.

The death toll in Gaza doubled overnight to at least 39 people, NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports from Gaza City. Around 300 airstrikes overnight hit the Hamas prime minister's headquarters, a police compound and a vast network of smuggling tunnels, among other targets.

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Movie Interviews
1:52 pm
Sat November 17, 2012

Ang Lee On 'Life Of Pi' And Being A Slave To Film

Lost at sea, Pi (Suraj Sharma) Patel begins to make an extraordinary connection with a fearsome Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.
20th Century Fox

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 10:45 am

Director Ang Lee's new film, Life of Pi, tells the story of a 16-year-old Indian boy who is the lone survivor of a terrible shipwreck. Pi Patel finds himself lost at sea, alone on a boat with a Bengal tiger.

The film is based on Yann Martel's fantasy novel of the same name. The book won the 2002 Man Booker prize for fiction and was optioned to be turned into a film even though it was considered by many in Hollywood to be unfilmable: How do you make a movie that takes place almost entirely on a boat? And with a real tiger?

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Music Interviews
1:02 pm
Sat November 17, 2012

DJ Shadow On Sampling As A 'Collage Of Mistakes'

DJ Shadow's latest release is the career-spanning, limited-edition box set Reconstructed.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat November 17, 2012 5:04 pm

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Middle East
9:44 am
Sat November 17, 2012

Iron Dome Embraces Tel Aviv As Residents Take Cover

Israeli civilians in Tel Aviv run for cover during a rocket attack launched from Gaza on Saturday.
Uriel Sinai Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 7:30 am

Sarah and Yael Levintin raised their wine glasses to the sky and toasted the Iron Dome system that had just been deployed outside Israel's commercial center.

The two sisters decided to leave their apartment Friday evening after two rockets fired into the Tel Aviv area were successfully intercepted by the system.

"We had stayed home all day because we didn't want to take the chance that, you know, we'd be away from the bomb shelter," said Yael Levintin. "We aren't used to war. I guess we are kind of babies about it."

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The Two-Way
7:28 am
Sat November 17, 2012

Former Bears Coach Mike Ditka 'Feels Good' After Minor Stroke

Former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka suffered a minor stroke on Friday. He's telling fans he's fine, but he will be taking the weekend off from his job as analyst at ESPN.
Kiichiro Sato AP

Former Bears Coach Mike Ditka was hospitalized after suffering a minor stroke on Friday. The Hall of Famer says doctors have assured him the stroke was slight, and he told The Chicago Tribune, "I feel good right now and it's not a big deal." As the Tribune explains:

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Fresh Air Weekend
7:03 am
Sat November 17, 2012

Fresh Air Weekend: Andrew Solomon, Tony Dokoupil

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat November 17, 2012 9:45 am

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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It's All Politics
6:03 am
Sat November 17, 2012

Do We Really Need A Second Inauguration?

President Obama dances with first lady Michelle Obama on the night of his inauguration, Jan. 20, 2009, in Washington.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Sat November 17, 2012 1:53 pm

For the sake of argument, let's agree that when we use the word "inauguration" in this particular post, we are talking about the multiday, ball-bestrewn, soiree-soaked, tuxedo-dappled extravaganza that costs tens of millions of dollars and often leaves many Americans out in the cold — figuratively and literally.

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Planet Money
5:48 am
Sat November 17, 2012

A Sequester Is A 'Jelly-Like Mass,' And Other Notes On Fiscal-Cliff Jargon

Charles Dharapak AP

Here's a quick rundown on three of the most impenetrable terms related to the fiscal cliff. For more, see our post, The Fiscal Cliff In Three And A Half Graphics.

1. Sequester

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It's All Politics
3:28 am
Sat November 17, 2012

Obama And Lawmakers' Confidence About Avoiding Cliff Isn't Universal

Congressional leaders after their meeting with President Obama Friday. From left: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D), House Speaker John Boehner (R) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R).
Jacquelyn Martin AP

As President Obama and congressional leaders started negotiations Friday to find a way to avoid the nation's going over the fiscal cliff, it was fairly plain that even some of those who are wisest in the ways of Washington couldn't agree on whether policymakers would actually be able to prevent the federal government from becoming a cliff diver.

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Krulwich Wonders...
3:28 am
Sat November 17, 2012

The Big Apple's Mayor Makes A Very Scary Video

YouTube

Originally published on Sat November 17, 2012 8:15 am

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Africa
3:26 am
Sat November 17, 2012

Sierra Leone Holds A Vote, Not A War, On Diamonds

A diamond prospector filters earth from a river in Koidu, the capital of diamond-rich Kono district in eastern Sierra Leone. Koidu suffered some of the worst ravages of Sierra Leone's war in the 1990s as rebels forced citizens to mine at gunpoint. Ten years after the conflict, diamonds remain a contentious issue.
Issouf Sanogo AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 23, 2012 11:53 am

Sierra Leone's "blood diamonds" helped fuel atrocities in the impoverished West African nation in the 1990s. The war has now been over for a decade, and the country's most valuable resource is no longer known as the product of a conflict. But it remains a contentious issue.

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Politics
3:25 am
Sat November 17, 2012

Secretary Of State Speculation Turns Up Heat On Rice

Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, speaks to the media at U.N. headquarters in April.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Sat November 17, 2012 11:41 am

President Obama hasn't even named his choice to replace Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who plans to step down at the end of this term. But there's been a lot of heated rhetoric this week over one of the front-runners, Susan Rice.

Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, spoke on behalf of the administration on five Sunday talk shows days after the attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans. At the time, she suggested the attack began as a spontaneous protest over an anti-Muslim video. U.S. officials now say it was a terrorist attack.

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Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
3:24 am
Sat November 17, 2012

Sandy Reveals Troubled Past For Long Island Utility

A worker repairs electrical lines as Long Islanders continue their cleanup efforts in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy in Plainview, N.Y.
Bruce Bennett Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 19, 2012 12:59 pm

Nearly three weeks after Hurricane Sandy slammed into New York and New Jersey, the lights and heat have finally come back on across most of the region.

But nowhere was the wait for power longer than on Long Island, where about 1,000 customers are still in the cold and dark, and utility mismanagement has deep roots.

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U.S.
3:24 am
Sat November 17, 2012

After Benghazi Hearings, Flurry Of Concern Unsettled

After the House Intelligence Committee hearing on Benghazi Friday, Rep. Peter King said he felt U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice's comments after the attack may have been sanitized.
Mladen Antonov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 17, 2012 12:16 pm

David Petraeus' resignation from the CIA further complicated the debate over the September attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.

Petraeus, a key figure in the events, stepped down as director after admitting to an extramarital affair. But members of Congress were so anxious to hear from him that they brought Petraeus back to Capitol Hill on Friday to get his version of the Benghazi story.

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Economy
3:23 am
Sat November 17, 2012

Solving Fiscal Cliff Math Might Come Down To Two

President Obama reaches to shake hands with House Speaker John Boehner, during a meeting Friday at the White House to discuss the deficit and economy.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Sat November 17, 2012 11:54 am

Fresh off his re-election, a politically fortified President Obama summoned the top four congressional leaders to the White House on Friday for the first of what could be many rounds of talks for a deal to avert fiscal calamity.

The meeting was part of the opening moves to keep the nation from sailing over the so-called "fiscal cliff" — those across-the-board tax hikes and deep spending cuts set to kick in at year's end.

In welcoming the quartet of lawmakers, Obama struck a conciliatory note.

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Politics
4:50 pm
Fri November 16, 2012

Utah Legislature Releases Redistricting Documents

Legislative leaders made 16 thousand pages of documents related to redistricting available online Friday. Earlier this year, leaders in the Utah Democratic Party requested all documents related to 2012 redistricting process. It’s the largest legislative records request in state history and earned them a more than 15 thousand dollar bill the legislature refused to waive. Democrats then refused to pay the bill in full and filed a lawsuit in the third district court over the matter.

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