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Music Interviews
2:58 pm
Sat June 8, 2013

A Rock Star, A Novelist And A Super-Producer Write A Musical

T-Bone Burnett, John Mellencamp and Stephen King are the creative team behind Ghosts of Darkland County, a stage show based on a true story of small-town tragedy.
Kevin Mazur Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 6:04 am

Comedian George Carlin liked to say that art doesn't have a finish line. The trio behind Ghost Brothers of Darkland County are the embodiment of that idea. Each is a superstar in his chosen field: rock music legend, best-selling novelist, record producer — trades they could have been content to pursue to the grave. Instead, they went and wrote a musical together, 13 years in the making.

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The Two-Way
2:00 pm
Sat June 8, 2013

For London Zoo Patrons, It's A Case Of Once Bitten, Twice Shy

A squirrel monkey at the London Zoo, photographed in December.
Carl Court AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 4:02 am

A "walk-through" enclosure at the London Zoo apparently allows visitors to get a little too close to resident squirrel monkeys and several people have the bite marks to prove it, according to details of a report published in a U.K. newspaper.

The Camden New Journal says 15 people suffered bites from the black-and-tan monkeys over a 12-month period last year.

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Politics
1:31 pm
Sat June 8, 2013

Our Surveillance Society: What Orwell And Kafka Might Say

News about data collection by the government sounds uncomfortably like prophetic novels of the past.
Alex Williamson Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 11:48 am

President Obama says he's not Big Brother. The author who created the concept might disagree.

Addressing the controversy over widespread government surveillance of telephone records and Internet traffic Friday, Obama said, "In the abstract, you can complain about Big Brother and how this is a potential program run amok, but when you actually look at the details, then I think we've struck the right balance."

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The Two-Way
12:41 pm
Sat June 8, 2013

Serena Williams Wins French Open, Clenches 16th Grand Slam

Serena Williams celebrates match point Saturday against Russian Maria Sharapova at Roland Garros in Paris.
Julian Finney Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 8, 2013 1:18 pm

Serena Williams has won her 16th Grand Slam title and her first French Open championship in more than a decade.

Williams beat Maria Sharapova at Roland Garros on Saturday, 6-4, 6-4.

The Daily Mail writes:

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The Two-Way
11:30 am
Sat June 8, 2013

Authorities: China Bus Fire That Killed 47 Was Arson-Suicide

Photo taken Friday of the burned-out bus in Xiamen, China, where 47 people were killed in an apparent arson-suicide.
AFP/Getty Images

Police in China said Saturday that a suicidal man was responsible for a fire that swept through a commuter bus in the country's eastern coastal city of Xiamen, killing 47 people including the arsonist and injuring dozens more.

Authorities say 59-year-old Chen Shuizong left a suicide note at his home before setting the fire aboard the bus during Friday's rush hour. The official Xinhua news agency says he was "unhappy and pessimistic about his life, and planned the arson to vent personal grievances."

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The Two-Way
10:28 am
Sat June 8, 2013

Pakistan's New Government Protests U.S. Drone Strike

Newly elected Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (right) during a swearing in ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Islamabad on Wednesday. Sharif has vowed to end U.S. drone strikes in the country.
AFP/Getty Images

Pakistan's new government wasted no time on Saturday in lodging a formal diplomatic complaint with Washington over a U.S. drone strike that reportedly killed seven militants near the Afghan border.

U.S. Charges D'Affaires Richard Hoagland was summoned to Pakistan's Foreign Office to receive the government's official protest. U.S. Ambassador Richard Olson was out of the country at the time of Friday's attack.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
10:00 am
Sat June 8, 2013

Bluff The Listener

Originally published on Sat June 8, 2013 10:58 am

Transcript

BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!, the NPR News quiz . I'm Bill Kurtis, filling in for Carl Kasell. We're playing his week with Roxanne Roberts, Tom Bodett, and P.J. O'Rourke. And here again is your host, at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Thank you, Bill.

(APPLAUSE)

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

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The Two-Way
9:40 am
Sat June 8, 2013

Newark Mayor To Run For New Jersey's Open U.S. Senate Seat

Newark Mayor Cory Booker at a news conference last week.
Julio Cortez Associated Press

Originally published on Sat June 8, 2013 10:49 pm

Newark Mayor Cory Booker announced Saturday he would run to finish the late Frank Lautenberg's term in the U.S. Senate.

Booker, a 44-year-old Democrat, has served as mayor since 2006 and is Newark's third black mayor. He is hoping to claim Lautenberg's seat, which has been filled by Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa until a special election in October.

He made the announcement at a Saturday event in which he was endorsed by former U.S. Sen. Bill Bradley.

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The Two-Way
9:02 am
Sat June 8, 2013

Three Americans Killed In Latest Afghanistan 'Insider Attack'

In another "insider attack," two U.S. soldiers and an American civilian were killed in Afghanistan's eastern Paktika province on Saturday by a man wearing an Afghan army uniform.

"Two U.S. International Security Assistance Force service members and one U.S. civilian were killed today when an individual wearing an ANA uniform turned his weapon against (them)," according to a statement from Afghanistan's NATO-led force.

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The Two-Way
7:21 am
Sat June 8, 2013

Tech Giants Deny Granting NSA 'Direct Access' To Servers

A man poses for photos in front of a sign at the entrance to the Facebook campus in Menlo Park, Calif., on Friday.
Jeff Chiu AP

Originally published on Sat June 8, 2013 4:26 pm

Tech companies that cooperated with government intelligence-gathering efforts by allowing access to their databases say they did so only reluctantly and that it never involved 'direct access' to servers, according to The New York Times.

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Fresh Air Weekend
7:03 am
Sat June 8, 2013

Fresh Air Weekend: Mitch Hurwitz, Jason Isbell And 'Before Midnight'

David Cross (left) reprises his role as Dr. Tobias Funke, the sexually ambiguous brother-in-law of Jason Bateman's character, Michael Bluth, in Netflix's new season of Arrested Development.
Netflix

Originally published on Sat June 8, 2013 8:52 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
6:35 am
Sat June 8, 2013

The Best Way To Scare A Politician

A sign posted at the entrance of Paradise Firearms in Colorado Springs invites customers to sign a recall petition against Colorado Democratic State Senate President John Morse.
Ed Andrieski AP

John Morse isn't bogged down in personal scandal. The Democratic president of the Colorado Senate isn't accused of ethical improprieties or anything else that might directly violate his oath of office.

But by pushing a sweeping gun-control measure he's alienated a swath of voters who are determined to toss him out of office before his term ends.

On Monday, groups opposing restrictions on guns turned in twice as many signatures as they needed to trigger a recall election against Morse. A recall of another state senator appears likely.

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The Salt
6:35 am
Sat June 8, 2013

Asparagus Helps Lower Blood Pressure (At Least In Rats)

In a recent study, rats that munched on asparagus saw their blood pressure drop.
Muffet Flicker

Here's another reason to eat asparagus, in case you were looking for one.

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The Two-Way
6:26 am
Sat June 8, 2013

Police Search For Motive In Calif. Shooting That Killed Four

Relatives of two victims near the scene of an SUV that crashed after the driver was shot. The driver was killed and a passenger seriously injured.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 8, 2013 11:20 pm

(This story last update at 4:00 p.m. ET)

Investigators in Santa Monica, Calif., were trying to piece together a motive in a shooting rampage in which four people were killed before police fatally shot the gunman.

The assailant, dressed in black and carrying a semi-automatic rifle, first shot and killed two men – believed to be his father and brother – at a home about a mile from Santa Monica College. Authorities were soon called to the burning home, but it wasn't immediately clear if the fire was arson.

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Code Switch
5:22 am
Sat June 8, 2013

Puerto Rican Flags Wave To New York's Parade-Goers

Longtime East Harlem resident Johnny Montanez, 53, says he sells Puerto Rican flags and T-shirts a few doors down from his apartment building to show that Puerto Ricans are "still here."
Hansi Lo Wang NPR

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 5:20 am

Marching bands, beauty queens and Chita Rivera are set to make their way down New York City's Fifth Avenue on Sunday for the annual Puerto Rican Day Parade.

With 80,000 marchers and 2 million onlookers, the event is one of the country's biggest ethnic celebrations.

In the run-up to the parade, rows of street vendors have lined up north of the parade route, in New York's East Harlem neighborhood — also known as Spanish Harlem for the wave of Puerto Ricans that settled here after World War II.

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Code Switch
5:03 am
Sat June 8, 2013

So Single Black Men Want Commitment. Really?

Fun Friday tip: Gather your friends for a rousing game of searching iStockPhoto for images of "African-Americans" + "dating" (swap in your own ethnicity for maximum fun).
iStockPhoto

Originally published on Sat June 8, 2013 5:56 am

We recently found that single black men were much more likely to say they were looking for a long-term relationship (43 percent) compared to single black women (25 percent).

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
4:48 am
Sat June 8, 2013

Who's Bill This Time

Originally published on Sat June 8, 2013 10:58 am

Transcript

BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!, the NPR News quiz. I'm legendary anchorman Bill Kurtis, filling in for Carl Kasell.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

KURTIS: And here's your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Thank you, Bill

(APPLAUSE)

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
4:48 am
Sat June 8, 2013

Panel Round One

Originally published on Sat June 8, 2013 10:58 am

Transcript

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Right now, panel, time for you to answer some questions about this week's news. Tom, "Man of Steel" is the new Superman movie coming out soon. It hasn't been released. Fans are already up in arms. They claim that the director of the movie, Zack Snyder, has left out something essential, what?

TOM BODETT: The last Superman movie there was a complaint about his costume.

SAGAL: This is also a complaint about his costume.

BODETT: Costume. Well, it's not the - I saw the trailer, so it's not the S.

SAGAL: It's not the S.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
4:48 am
Sat June 8, 2013

Prediction

Originally published on Sat June 8, 2013 10:58 am

Transcript

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Now, panel, what surprise picture will the government find? P.J. O'Rourke.

P.J. O'ROURKE: Oh, they're not going to find anything as a matter of fact because the system was going great. They're getting just all sorts of terrific horrible images from all of the stuff that we've done. And they're going down through all of us by alphabetical order and they got to Anthony Wiener and it crashed.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Roxanne Roberts.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
4:48 am
Sat June 8, 2013

Panel Round Two

Originally published on Sat June 8, 2013 10:58 am

Transcript

BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ-Chicago, this is WAIT, WAIT...DON'T TELL ME the NPR News quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis, filling in for Carl Kasell. We're playing this week with Tom Bodett, P.J. O'Rourke, and Roxanne Roberts. And here again is your host, at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Thank you, Bill.

(APPLAUSE)

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
4:48 am
Sat June 8, 2013

Limericks

Originally published on Sat June 8, 2013 10:58 am

Transcript

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Coming up it's Lightning Fill in the Blank, but first it's the game where you have to listen for the rhyme. If you'd like to play on air, call or leave a message at 1-888-Wait-Wait, that's 1-888-924-8924, or click the contact us link on our website waitwait.npr.org. There you can find out about attending our weekly live shows here at the Chase Bank Auditorium in Chicago and our upcoming shows this August in Asheville, North Carolina and Tanglewood in Western Massachusetts. And please - oh yeah, whoo.

(LAUGHTER)

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
4:48 am
Sat June 8, 2013

Lightning Fill In The Blank

Originally published on Sat June 8, 2013 10:58 am

Transcript

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Now it is time to go on to our final game of course. It is Lightning Fill in the Blank. Each of our players will have 60 seconds in which to answer as many fill-in-the-blank questions as they can. Each correct answer now worth two points. Bill, can you give us the scores?

BILL KURTIS: We go into the big games, Rox and Tom have three each. They are in the lead. P.J. has two.

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Business
4:32 am
Sat June 8, 2013

Restaurants Face Unique Challenges Under Obamacare

Clyde's of Georgetown, part of the 14-restaurant Clyde's Restaurant Group, is just one of many restaurants trying to navigate the changes the Affordable Care Act will bring.
Courtesy of Clyde's Restaurant Group

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 3:39 am

Almost 20 percent of American workers are working part-time, a historic high. Those part-time workers will be able to get health coverage beginning next year under Obama's Affordable Care Act, but many business owners worry about how they'll pay for it.

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Code Switch
3:55 am
Sat June 8, 2013

Fifty Years Later, 'A Better Chance' Trains Young Scholars

Sylvester Monroe and then-wife Regina at his graduation from Harvard University in 1973.
Courtesy of Sylvester Monroe

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 3:39 am

Fifty-five boys — all poor and almost all African-American — were a part of a bold educational experiment in the early 1960s. They were placed in an intensive summer school program. If they finished, the headmasters of 16 prep schools agreed to accept them. Tuition paid.

Planning for that experiment started in 1963 at the height of the civil rights movement, one year before President Lyndon B. Johnson declared his "War on Poverty." Today, what began with 55 students and 16 schools has become an institution celebrating its 50th anniversary. It's called "A Better Chance."

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It's All Politics
3:25 am
Sat June 8, 2013

WWII Vets Have All But Vanished From The Halls Of Congress

Military pallbearers carry the coffin of the late New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg into the Senate chamber on Thursday. He was the only remaining World War II veteran in the Senate.
Douglas Graham AP

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 3:39 am

Sen. Frank Lautenberg was buried with military honors at Arlington National Cemetery on Friday. There was a steady rain. Soldiers fired rifle volleys, a bugler played taps and mourners paid their final respects.

The New Jersey Democrat was 89 when he died this week — and his death marked a somber milestone.

For the first time since the end of World War II, there are no veterans of that war in the U.S. Senate. Lautenberg had been the only one remaining.

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News
3:25 am
Sat June 8, 2013

NSA Scandal Looms Over Obama's Talks With China's Xi

President Obama walks with Chinese President Xi Jinping at a retreat on Friday in Rancho Mirage, Calif., where the two leaders are meeting for talks.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 3:39 am

President Obama always intended to talk about spying this weekend. But not like this.

He's getting to know China's new leader at a sprawling estate in the Southern California desert this weekend, but domestic controversies have followed him there.

The president veered off his talking points Friday to spend more than 10 minutes defending a pair of massive surveillance operations that the media recently disclosed.

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U.S.
6:29 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Fatal Shootings In Santa Monica Leave Several Injured

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

A grim and chaotic scene today in Santa Monica, California. That's where authorities say at least six people are dead after a shooting rampage that ended violently on the campus of Santa Monica Community College. Several more people are being treated at area hospitals. Authorities say some injuries are serious, others minor. The shooting triggered lockdowns at the college and at other nearby schools. NPR's Kirk Siegler joins us now with the latest from NPR West in Culver City. And Kirk, what have you learned so far?

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The Two-Way
5:37 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Grand Jury Indicts Ariel Castro On 329 Counts

Ariel Castro, whose Cleveland, Ohio, home allegedly became a prison for three kidnapped young women, has been indicted on 329 counts by a grand jury. Other charges include 177 counts of kidnapping and 139 counts of rape, as well as aggravated murder, a charge stemming from "the unlawful termination of another's pregnancy."

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The Two-Way
4:41 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Cambodia Moves To Outlaw Denial Of Khmer Rouge Atrocities

Cambodian survivors of the Khmer Rouge-era Tuol Sleng prison, also known as S-21, at the Choeung Ek killing fields memorial in Phnom Penh in 2011.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 5:56 pm

Cambodian lawmakers on Friday approved a bill making it a crime to deny that atrocities were committed by the Khmer Rouge regime of the 1970s, echoing laws against Holocaust denial in Germany and more than a dozen other European countries.

The bill passed the assembly in Phnom Penh by a unanimous vote, but only because of the absence of opposition parliamentarians, who were expelled after forming a new party.

The Associated Press writes:

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Code Switch
3:33 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Black Americans Give Entertainment Options Failing Grades

A poll by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health found that African-Americans are unhappy with their local entertainment venues.
Corbis

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 6:29 pm

All this week on Code Switch and on air we've been digging into the findings of a survey of African-American views of their communities, finances and social lives. We conducted the poll with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health.

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