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2:05 pm
Sun June 30, 2013

How One Woman Nearly Deciphered A Mysterious Script

An ancient tablet contains records written in Linear B — a script that was discovered in the 19th century and remained undeciphered for decades.
Sharon Mollerus Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 10:17 am

Critics have called Margalit Fox's new book, The Riddle of the Labyrinth, a paleographic detective procedural. It follows the story of the laborious quest to crack a mysterious script, unearthed in Crete in 1900, known by the sterile-sounding name Linear B.

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The Two-Way
2:02 pm
Sun June 30, 2013

LOOKING BACK: RFK's 'Ripple Of Hope' Speech In South Africa

A Meeting Of Great Minds: During his 1966 visit to South Africa, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy met with anti-apartheid activist Chief Luthuli and later spoke publicly about their meeting. Because of a government ban on media coverage of Luthuli, it was the first news many had of their leader in more than five years.
Shoreline Productions

At South Africa's University of Cape Town on Sunday, President Obama noted that he was speaking at the same place where, in 1966, then-Sen. Robert Kennedy, D-N.Y., delivered what some historians believe was the best speech of his life.

Obama was discussing about how, as a young man, he had come to believe that "I could be part of something bigger than myself; that my own salvation was bound up with those of others."

Then the president brought up the late senator:

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Parallels
12:43 pm
Sun June 30, 2013

Russians Look Online To Celebrate Gay Pride

Riot police guard gay rights activists who were beaten by anti-gay protesters during an authorized gay rights rally in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Saturday. While a march there was allowed to go ahead, gay rights activists in Moscow turned to the Web on Sunday to celebrate gay pride.
Dmitry Lovetsky AP

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 8:37 am

San Francisco, New York and other cities across the country and the globe are hosting gay pride festivals this weekend, capping off a week of legal decisions cheered by advocates for gay rights.

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The Two-Way
12:36 pm
Sun June 30, 2013

Justice Kennedy Denies Request To Halt Same-Sex Marriages

Lining up to be married: Adam Chandler, 33, left, and Ivan Chandler, 38, both of Citrus Heights, were among those waiting in line Saturday to get married at San Francisco City Hall.
Doug Duran/Bay Area News Group MCT/Landov

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 4:36 pm

(Most recent update: 4:30 p.m. ET.)

Supporters of California's Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriages lost another argument Sunday when Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy turned down their request to at least temporarily bar such marriages in the state.

The Associated Press and Reuters report that Kennedy denied the petition "with no additional comment."

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The Two-Way
12:35 pm
Sun June 30, 2013

Snowden Is 'A Hero,' WikiLeaks' Assange Says

From one secrets leaker to another:

Edward Snowden "is a hero," WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said Sunday on ABC-TV's This Week with George Stephanopoulos. "He has told the people of the world and the United States that there is mass unlawful interception of their communications, far beyond anything that happened under Nixon."

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The Two-Way
10:52 am
Sun June 30, 2013

Jennifer Lopez Sorry She Sang For Turkmenistan's Dictator

Jennifer Lopez on stage Saturday in Avaza, Turkmenistan.
Igor Sasin AFP/Getty Images

Here's how the State Department's latest human rights report about the Central Asian nation of Turkmenistan begins:

"Although the constitution declares Turkmenistan to be a secular democracy and a presidential republic, the country has an authoritarian government controlled by the president, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov."

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The Two-Way
9:58 am
Sun June 30, 2013

Kerry Sees 'Real Progress' After Latest Mideast Trip

Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
Issam Rimawi APA/Landov

(NPR's Emily Harris files this report from Jerusalem.)

Peace between Palestinians and Israelis? No? Progress? After four days of shuttle diplomacy, Secretary of State John Kerry says the two sides are getting closer to peace negotiations.

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Europe
9:48 am
Sun June 30, 2013

Prime Minister's 'Loose Cannon' Style Divides Greece

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras speaks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel during an EU summit in Brussels last week. Samaras began his term by refusing to negotiate with with EU leaders, but now calls Merkel an ally.
Yves Logghe AP

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 10:58 am

Antonis Samaras became prime minister of Greece a year ago, when the world assumed his country, battered by debt and austerity, would exit the eurozone.

European leaders were openly relieved that Samaras' conservative, pro-bailout New Democracy Party eked out a victory in elections last June over the leftist, anti-bailout Syriza Party.

"Today, the Greek people express their will to stay anchored with the euro, remain an integral part of the eurozone, honor the country's commitments and foster growth," Samaras said that night. "This is a victory for all Europe."

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The Two-Way
9:23 am
Sun June 30, 2013

'Furious' EU Demands Answers After New Report Of NSA Spying

European Union flags fly in front of the organization's headquarters in Brussels.
Wu Wei Xinhua/Landov

"Senior European Union officials are outraged by revelations that the U.S. spied on EU representations in Washington and New York," Germany's Der Spiegel writes. "Some have called for a suspension of talks on the trans-Atlantic free trade agreement."

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The Two-Way
8:36 am
Sun June 30, 2013

'Deeply Humbled' Obama Visits Mandela's Former Jail Cell

President Obama looks out the window of the Robben Island prison cell that once held Nelson Mandela. The president and his family visited the prison on Sunday.
Gary Cameron Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 12:37 pm

(We most recently updated this post at 1:50 p.m. ET.)

After visiting the jail cell on South Africa's Robben Island where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years in prison during the long struggle against apartheid, President Obama wrote on Sunday about the bravery of Mandela and others who demanded their rights.

In a message he added to the island's visitors book, the president said:

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The Two-Way
7:50 am
Sun June 30, 2013

13 Years In Jail For Writing On A Sidewalk With Chalk?

Sidewalk chalk: The tools of a criminal?
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 12:37 pm

There's no evidence that he wrote anything obscene.

His messages could be easily erased.

And they don't seem to have upset many, if any, people.

But in San Diego, 40-year-old Jeffrey Olson is on trial for expressing his opinions on sidewalks outside three Bank of America branches. He's charged with 13 counts of vandalism. Jury deliberations began Friday, our colleagues at KPBS say. If convicted on all counts, they add, he faces up to 13 years in prison.

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The Two-Way
6:43 am
Sun June 30, 2013

Egypt: Morsi Rejects Calls To Step Aside As Protests Build

Thousands of protesters who oppose Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi were in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Sunday.
Mohamed Abd El Ghany Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 5:14 pm

  • From 'Morning Edition': Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports from Cairo
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The Two-Way
5:55 am
Sun June 30, 2013

Western States' Heat Wave Turns Deadly; No Relief In Sight

It was hot Saturday in Sun City, Ariz., and across the Southwest.
Richard A. Brooks AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 2:51 pm

(Most recent update: 4:45 p.m. ET.)

The brutal heat wave that has Southwest states in its grip is being blamed for at least one death.

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Arts & Life
5:45 am
Sun June 30, 2013

A Hindu Goddess Arrives To Bless Embassy Row

The goddess Saraswati now looks down upon Embassy Row in Washington, D.C.
Sarah Ventre NPR

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 1:28 pm

Embassy Row — otherwise known as Massachusetts Avenue — in Washington, D.C., is decorated with flags of every nation, flying in front of impressive embassy buildings.

In front of the embassies, there are often statues of national heroes. Winston Churchill graces the grounds of the British Embassy. Outside the Indian Embassy, Mahatma Gandhi looks as though he's in full stride, clad in loincloth and sandals.

And now, there's a Hindu goddess. Saraswati just arrived. She stands in a garden in front of Indonesia's embassy, glowing white and gold, with her four arms upraised.

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All Tech Considered
5:18 am
Sun June 30, 2013

Q&A: On The Death Of Google Reader And The Future Of Reading

Google is shutting down the Google Reader on Monday.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 8:01 pm

You can't say they didn't warn you. On Monday, Google Reader will no longer be available. The search behemoth is putting its RSS reader to rest, leaving millions of dedicated users scrambling to find other platforms for organization of their news feeds and content exploration.

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NPR Story
5:06 am
Sun June 30, 2013

BOOK: DIFFICULT MEN

Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) and Walter White (Bryan Cranston) are plenty difficult themselves on AMC's Breaking Bad, one of many cable shows Brett Martin discusses in his book.
Frank Ockenfels AMC

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 2:28 pm

Difficult Men: Behind the Scenes of a Creative Revolution from The Sopranos and The Wire to Mad Men and Breaking Bad, explores what the author Brett Martin describes as the "Third Golden Age of TV," based on a new kind of television character.

Subscription cable channels don't have sensitive sponsors, commercials or concerns about language or violence. In the book, Martin argues that this relative freedom, combined with the old-fashioned appeal of serial storytelling, creates a new kind of high-quality television programming.

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NPR Story
5:06 am
Sun June 30, 2013

NBA Drafts Record Number Of Foreigners

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 10:43 am

Players from other countries bring a tempting amount of uncertainty and risk for U.S. teams. Weekend Edition Sunday host Linda Wertheimer talks with NPR's Mike Pesca for his take on the past week's sports news.

NPR Story
5:06 am
Sun June 30, 2013

Mayonnaise Turns 100

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 10:43 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

As you prepare the potato salad for your Fourth of July barbecue or your picnic, stop for a moment and wish your mayonnaise happy birthday. Love it or hate it, there's one brand that synonymous with mayo: Hellmann's.

(SOUNDBITE OF AD)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: (Singing) When you want to bring out the flavor and bring out the zest, just bring out the Hellman's and bring out the best.

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Texas 2020
3:37 am
Sun June 30, 2013

In Houston, Diversity You Can Sink Your Teeth Into

Chef Anita Jaisinghani owns Pondicheri, a casual spot serving up her take on the street foods of her native India.
Liz Halloran NPR

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 12:25 pm

Stephen Klineberg polishes off a spicy lamb mint burger, mops his brow and recalls the Houston he moved to as a young professor in the 1970s.

"It was a deeply racist, deeply segregated Southern city," he says; an oil boomtown of black and white Americans.

There were no restaurants like Pondicheri, where Houston chef Anita Jaisinghani's hip take on Indian street food — and the air conditioning's battle with 100-degree heat — conspire to make the Rice University professor sweat.

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The Salt
3:30 am
Sun June 30, 2013

Your Choice In Utensils Can Change How Food Tastes

Cheese might take on a whole new flavor when you use a plastic utensil.
Elizabeth Willing Courtesy Flavour

Originally published on Fri July 5, 2013 10:45 am

Being "born with a silver spoon in your mouth" has long been known to have advantages. Apparently, eating off a silver spoon also has its perks — it seems to make your food taste better.

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Middle East
3:23 am
Sun June 30, 2013

Lack In Leadership Hurts Palestinian Peace Prospects

Palestinians wait for Mohammed Assaf, the first Palestinian winner of the Arab Idol contest, in front of his family home in the southern Gaza Strip last Tuesday. The cheering for Assaf crossed political and ideological divides.
Adel Hana AP

Originally published on Sun July 7, 2013 6:14 am

Shortly before midnight last Thursday, in front of a cheering crowd, 31-year-old Hussein al-Deik was picked as the president of Palestine.

It wasn't a real election; just the grand finale of a TV reality series, shot in front of a live audience. Suheir Rasul, co-director of the Jerusalem office of Search for Common Ground, the organization that put on the show, said the goal is to get young people excited about the democratic process.

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Deceptive Cadence
3:00 am
Sun June 30, 2013

Revved-up Vivaldi, Persian Bamboo And Soaring Spirituals: New Classical Albums

album cover for Corps Exquis

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 5:41 am

It's a brave new musical world. Between downloads, iPods, music sharing websites and the good old CD, we have more easy access to the songs and symphonies we love than ever before.

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Parallels
2:57 am
Sun June 30, 2013

Kabul Postcard: Newly Paved Sidewalks, A Lion On The Roof

Afghan official inspects wreckage at the site of a suicide attack near Kabul military airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, on June 10. After a month outside the country, NPR's Sean Carberry returned to find some things that had changed, but many, like insurgent violence, that remain the same.
Ahmad Jamshid AP

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 10:42 am

I've just returned to Kabul after a month out of the country. In a place where it sometimes feels like nothing changes, a lot has changed.

First, a few oddities. An Afghan businessman on my street apparently bought a lion cub and has been keeping it on his roof. I'm not sure if that has anything to do with the fact that I have yet to see any of the ubiquitous, dust-caked street dogs in the neighborhood since I returned, but I don't miss them.

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Sunday Puzzle
2:25 am
Sun June 30, 2013

Turn That Shrub Into Something Presidential

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 11:36 am

On-air challenge: For the Sunday before the Fourth of July weekend, every answer is the last name of a U.S. president, which comes from their anagrams. For example, "shrub" without R is "Bush."

Last week's challenge: Write down these five words: "aide," "heart," "tough," "gelatin" and "emanate." There is something very unusual they have in common. What is it? And what's another word with this property?

Answer: mite, item

Winner: Gig Moineau of Newton, Mass.

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Code Switch
5:07 pm
Sat June 29, 2013

Legalese Aside, How Do We Talk About Race Nowadays?

Field director Charles White of the NAACP speaks at a podium outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday. The court ruled that a key part of the Voting Rights Act is unconstitutional.
Win McNamee Getty Images

This was a week in which the country was reminded of our continuing struggle with race — and how we're still not quite sure how to talk about it.

The conversation started with the actions of the Supreme Court: A key provision of the Voting Rights Act was dismantled, and the University of Texas was told to re-evaluate its affirmative action policy.

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Author Interviews
4:20 pm
Sat June 29, 2013

Lillian Leitzel, The Tiny, High-Flying 'Queen' Of The Circus

Leitzel is remembered as the first true circus diva.
Dean Jensen's collection Courtesy Crown Publishing Group

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 5:52 pm

In the first half of the 20th century, aerial performers — not elephants or tigers — were the big draw at circuses. And nobody was a bigger star than Lillian Leitzel, a tiny woman from Eastern Europe who ruled the Ringling Brothers circus.

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Sports
4:00 pm
Sat June 29, 2013

Back On The Ground, Nik Wallenda Dreams Up His Next Walk

Nik Wallenda practices walking across a wire in Sarasota, Fla., last week.
Chris O'Meara AP

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 5:07 pm

Daredevil Nik Wallenda of the famous "Flying Wallendas" family successfully walked on a 2-inch-thick cable across a 1,500-foot gorge near the Grand Canyon last week — without a net.

Back on solid ground, Wallenda says of course he has butterflies, but he doesn't get dizzy and there's no fear. He speaks with weekends on All Things Considered host Jacki Lyden about his latest death-defying walk on the high wire.


Interview Highlights

On training for the Grand Canyon

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Sports
3:46 pm
Sat June 29, 2013

'I Am A Gay High School Basketball Coach'

Anthony Nicodemo is head basketball coach at Saunders High School in Yonkers, N.Y.
Courtesy of MSG Varsity

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 3:03 pm

When pro basketball player Jason Collins announced earlier this year that he was gay, Anthony Nicodemo was listening.

Nicodemo is the head basketball coach at Saunders High School in Yonkers, N.Y. At great risk to his cherished career, he recently decided to come out to his team.

"I said, 'You know, I always try to preach to you guys about being yourself and really being honest and open,' " Nicodemo recounts his story to NPR's Jacki Lyden.

"'I haven't been honest with you guys. I haven't been honest with a lot of people. I am a gay high school basketball coach.' "

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The Two-Way
3:09 pm
Sat June 29, 2013

Biden Asks Ecuador To Deny Snowden Asylum

Vice President Joe Biden.
Ethan Miller Getty Images

"Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa said on Saturday the United States had asked him not to grant asylum for former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden in a 'cordial' telephone conversation he held with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden," Reuters writes.

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