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Music Interviews
2:54 pm
Sat May 11, 2013

LL Cool J On 'Accidental Racist' And Authenticity

LL Cool J's latest album is called Authentic.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat May 11, 2013 8:57 pm

LL Cool J has been making music for more than 25 years. Through it all, he says, he's tried his best to remain authentic.

"The last thing that I want to do is be a hack," says the rapper and actor, born James Todd Smith. "Someone who is adapting to whatever the current trend is, and manipulating the public into being on board with me even though, from an artistic standpoint, I'm not doing anything."

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NPR Story
2:54 pm
Sat May 11, 2013

Pakistanis Brave Violence To Cast Historic Votes

Originally published on Sat May 11, 2013 4:26 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

In Pakistan today, millions went to the polls to elect new government. NPR's Julie McCarthy has been following the candidates, their campaigns and issues leading up to this. She joins us now from Lahore. Welcome, Julie.

JULIE MCCARTHY, BYLINE: Thank you.

RATH: So in the last 24 hours, we've heard a lot about the threats and violence aimed at stopping voters, and even shutting down polling places. What's the significance of this election? Can you put it into context for people?

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Latin America
5:23 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Former Guatemalan Dictator Found Guilty Of Genocide

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity, that's the verdict today against Efrain Rios Montt, a former dictator of Guatemala. The general ruled the Central American nation in the early 1980s, one of the bloodiest periods of its 36-year-long civil war. Rios Montt, now 86 years old, was found responsible for atrocities committed against the Maya Ixil indigenous group. NPR's Carrie Kahn reports.

CARRIE KAHN, BYLINE: Presiding Judge Yasmin Barrios read the verdict to a packed audience in the expansive Supreme Court auditorium.

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Music Interviews
3:45 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

'It Led Us On A Journey': The Musical World Of 'The Great Gatsby'

Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan star in Baz Lurhmann's adaptation of The Great Gatsby — but the new film's music is so bold it may as well be a character, too.
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Picture

Originally published on Sat May 11, 2013 7:47 am

When movie director Baz Lurhmann got his hands on F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, a 21st century-Jazz Age mashup was inevitable. Vivid, anachronistic style is standard in Luhrmann's films: His take on Romeo + Juliet was a Technicolor fever dream for the MTV generation, and Moulin Rouge put Verdi's La Traviata through a genre blender.

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NPR Story
2:59 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Benghazi Investigator Reacts To Criticism Of His Report

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 5:25 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. At congressional hearings this week, three witnesses introduced as State Department whistleblowers criticized the administration's handling of last September's assault on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya. That attack claimed the life of United States Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

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NPR Story
2:59 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Book Review: 'A Nearly Perfect Copy'

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 5:23 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Allison Amend is out with her third book. It's a novel called "A Nearly Perfect Copy." It features richly detailed characters, including an art dealer gone bad, and it's set in both Paris and New York. Our review Alan Cheuse found it all quite delectable.

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Movie Reviews
2:47 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Polley's 'Stories': A Family Saga Strikingly Spun

A young Sarah Polley and her actor father, Michael Polley, on a long-ago day; the photo is one of many family memories that surface in Stories We Tell, a superb meditation on dramatizing memory from the director of Away from Her.
Roadside Attractions

Originally published on Sat May 11, 2013 3:58 am

Sarah Polley grew up the fifth of five children in a Canadian theatrical family. Her father, Michael, is a transplanted British actor; her mother, Diane, was an actress and casting director. No wonder Sarah feels her family's narrative has the stuff of drama.

"I'm interested in the way we tell stories about our lives," she says in the film, "about the fact that the truth about the past is often ephemeral and difficult to pin down."

Prophetic words, those.

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Radio Diaries
11:30 am
Fri May 10, 2013

Teenage Diaries Revisited: Mother And Son Listen To The Past

In the late 1990s, Melissa Rodriguez struggled to create a stable life at home for her son, who is now a teenager. Together, they've faced many challenges.
Radio Diaries (left), David Gilkey/NPR

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 8:18 am

Name: Melissa Rodriguez

Hometown: New Haven, Conn.

Current city: Orange, N.J.

Occupation: Customer service representative

Then:

"I just started my life. I just started to go to school, I just started working, and I just didn't have anything settled yet."

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Business
3:50 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Bangladesh's Powerful Garment Sector Fends Off Regulation

Garment workers sew T-shirts at a factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in 2009. Bangladesh, the world's second-largest clothing exporter, has lured clothing makers through a combination of low wages and light regulation.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 3:41 pm

Eight people died Wednesday in a fire at a Bangladeshi sweater factory. This follows the much deadlier collapse of the Rana Plaza building, where more than 900 people died.

The deaths are taking place in a garment sector that has seen explosive growth over the past three decades. The country has managed to lure clothing-makers through a combination of low wages and light regulation.

As a manufacturing center, Bangladesh has little to recommend it. The roads are poor. There's no port to speak of. The electricity is notoriously unreliable. It's politically unstable.

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Science
3:16 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Could You Talk To A Caveman? Scientists Say It's Possible

Would Mel Brooks' famous 2,000-Year-Old Man have understood modern language? Researchers say there's a possibility.
ABC/Photofest

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 3:41 pm

In 1961, Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner came up with some basic theories of caveman linguistics in their 2,000-Year-Old Man skit. Most of them had to do with rocks, as in, "What are you doing with that rock there?"

Now, a professor in England has questioned the validity of the famous caveman's rock-centric theories. And Mark Pagel of the University of Reading is reaching even further back, to the time of the 15,000-year-old man.

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Asia
3:12 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Pakistani Women Still Struggle For A Voice In Politics

One of the few women competing in Pakistan's parliamentary election on Saturday is Naz Baloch, 33, a first-time candidate. She's the daughter of a politician, but is running for a different party than her father.
Julie McCarthy NPR

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 3:41 pm

Flags of the competing political parties whip in the wind of seaside Karachi. But little else is stirring in this city of 18 million this day.

The MQM, a leading political party in the megacity, has shut Karachi down with a general strike in response to a deadly bombing at its election office. But as soon as the strike ends, the streets spring to life as if nothing were amiss.

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NPR Story
3:03 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

In Newsrooms, Some Immigration Terms Are Going Out Of Style

Protesters demonstrate in downtown Orlando, Fla., on May 1, 2006. Most news outlets have long abandoned the use of the term "illegals."
Roberto Schmidt AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 3:41 pm

Journalists make choices all the time that influence our understanding of the news — the choice of what stories to cover, which people to interview, which words to use. And major news organizations have been reconsidering how best to describe a group of people whose very presence in this country breaks immigration law.

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The Salt
2:22 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Samoans Await The Return Of The Tasty Turkey Tail

A chef in the kitchen of NPR headquarters prepares turkey tails.
Art Silverman/NPR

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 10:04 am

This is the tale of turkey tail — it's convoluted arrival, disappearance and highly anticipated return to the Pacific island the Republic of Samoa (not to be confused with American Samoa).

It's hard to pinpoint precisely when turkey tails started being imported into Samoa from the U.S. and when they became a favorite, affordable dish. Meat byproducts (Spam and fatty lamb cuts from New Zealand) started showing up sometime after World War II, and turkey tails came shortly thereafter.

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Shots - Health News
2:19 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

How Can Identical Twins Turn Out So Different?

But what about their personalities?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 3:41 pm

A study of genetically identical mice is providing some hints about humans. How can one identical twin be a wallflower while the other is the life of the party?

The study of 40 young mice found that their behavior grew increasingly different over three months, even though the mice shared the same genes and lived in the same five-level cage, researchers report Thursday in the journal Science.

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National Security
2:15 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

House Questions Terrorism Detection Tools After Boston Attack

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 6:48 pm

The House Homeland Security Committee held its first hearing on the Boston Marathon bombing and aftermath on Thursday. Witnesses included the Boston police commissioner and former Sen. Joe Lieberman. Panel Chairman Mike McCaul has been highlighting intelligence failures.

13.7: Cosmos And Culture
2:01 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Noticing: How To Take A Walk In The Woods

Oli Scarff Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 3:41 pm

When was the last time you met someone who didn't tell you they were "crazy busy"? It seems like everyone these days is overwhelmed. From the endless tasks of maintaining home and family life to the ever-accelerating pressures of the endlessly troubled, endlessly competitive economy, it seems that all of us are running ragged.

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Radio Diaries
11:10 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Teenage Diaries Revisited: Growing Up With Tourette's

In 1996, Josh Cutler took his tape recorder to high school, documenting his effort to live a normal life. Today, he also documents his efforts to live a normal life with a brain that often betrays him.
Radio Diaries (left), David Gilkey/NPR

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 8:19 am

Name: Josh Cutler

Hometown: New York, N.Y.

Current City: New York, N.Y.

Occupation: ESL teacher

Then:

"I look just like a normal person, except after a while you'd realize I don't act much like a normal person."

Read more
It's All Politics
3:56 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

With Texas Trip, Obama Tries To Steer Focus Back To Economy

President Obama answers questions during a news conference on April 30.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 4:27 pm

President Obama turns his attention back to his economic agenda Thursday when he travels to Austin, Texas, where he will visit a technology high school and a company that makes the machines that make silicon chips.

The White House says the trip is part of Obama's Middle Class Jobs and Opportunity Tour. It also appears to be an effort by the president to get back to the issues Americans care most about.

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Politics
3:28 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Push To End Teens' Distracted Driving Targets Parents, Peers

A screengrab from Brittany Anne Devasure's winning Project Yellow Light video, aimed at discouraging distracted driving.
YouTube

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 3:55 pm

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Books
2:50 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Fitzgerald Might Disagree With His 'No Second Acts' Line

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 3:55 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

You've likely seen or heard a news story in recent years that began something like this: F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote, there are no second acts in American lives. But Fitzgerald clearly never met - fill in the blank.

It seems a whole generation of American politicians has fallen from grace only to rise again and disprove the line: Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich, Eliot Spitzer. And just last night, South Carolina's newest congressman, Mark Sanford.

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Shots - Health News
1:58 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Why Bill Gates Thinks Ending Polio Is Worth It

There's no better deal than getting polio cases down to zero, philanthropist Bill Gates says.
Marie McGrory NPR

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 2:28 pm

Some critics say that ending polio has become Bill Gates' "white whale."

Why not just settle for the huge drop in polio cases that we've seen over the past decade and then spend money on other things that kill so many more kids, like diarrhea and malnutrition?

"Polio is special," Gates tells NPR's Robert Siegel on All Things Considered. "Once you get it done, you save $2 billion a year that will be applied to those other activities. There's no better deal economically to getting to zero."

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Music Reviews
1:57 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

On Two New R&B Albums, An Old Soul Sound That Glows

Charles Bradley was signed by Daptone Records partly because of a James Brown act he used to perform. His new album is Victim of Love.
Darren Bastecky Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 3:55 pm

It's tempting to describe the voices of Charles Bradley and

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Radio Diaries
11:28 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Teenage Diaries Revisited: From Kicking A Football To Kicking Meth

Frankie Lewchuk had been a high school football star whose picture was in his hometown newspaper every week. Now, after struggling with a crystal meth addiction, he is trying to repair his life.
Radio Diaries (left), David Gilkey/NPR

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 8:19 am

Name: Frankie Lewchuk

Hometown: Mentone, Ala.

Current city: Chattanooga, Tenn.

Occupation: Car stereo installer

Then:

"I used to be a wimp in school. ... Since I started playing football in 9th and 10th grade, all I did was get a haircut, start wearing decent clothes and play sports. Now I'm a popular person... and I want to keep it going that way."

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Europe
9:37 am
Wed May 8, 2013

In France, A Renewed Push To Return Art Looted By Nazis

A photo taken by the Nazis during World War II shows a room filled with stolen art at the Jeu de Paume museum in Paris. Using improved technology and the Internet, the French government is making a renewed push to track down the rightful owners of art looted by the Nazis.
Courtesy of Archives des Musees Nationaux A Paris

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 7:55 pm

During World War II, the Nazis plundered tens of thousands of works of art from the private collections of European Jews, many living in France. About 75 percent of the artwork that came back to France from Germany at the end of the war has been returned to their rightful owners.

But there are still approximately 2,000 art objects that remain unclaimed. The French government has now begun one of its most extensive efforts ever to find the heirs and return the art.

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The Two-Way
6:47 am
Wed May 8, 2013

31 Suspects In 3 Nations Nabbed In $50 Million Diamond Heist

Yves Herman Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 3:55 pm

Remember that brazen, right-out-of-the-movies diamond heist at Brussels' international airport on Feb. 18?

Now there's word from The Associated Press that "police on Wednesday claimed a major breakthrough in their investigation ... detaining 31 people in a three-nation sweep."

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NPR Story
8:56 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Mark Sanford Wins House Race

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

In South Carolina tonight, a political comeback. Republican Mark Sanford, who was once mired in scandal as the state's governor, has won a congressional seat in a special election. He has defeated Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch in a race that attracted national attention. Sanford just delivered his victory speech.

MARK SANFORD: I have a question for you all. How many of you want to change Washington, D.C.?

(APPLAUSE)

SANFORD: I had a suspicion that that may be the case and...

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The Salt
4:54 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Bee Deaths May Have Reached A Crisis Point For Crops

A bee inspector checks on a frame of bees to assess the colony strength near Turlock, Calif., in February. More than 30 percent of America's bee colonies died off over the winter.
Gosia Wozniacka AP

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 8:56 pm

According to a new survey of America's beekeepers, almost a third of the country's honeybee colonies did not make it through the winter.

That's been the case, in fact, almost every year since the U.S. Department of Agriculture began this annual survey, six years ago.

Over the past six years, on average, 30 percent of all the honeybee colonies in the U.S. died off over the winter. The worst year was five years ago. Last year was the best: Just 22 percent of the colonies died.

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It's All Politics
4:44 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Congressional Hearings Put Renewed Focus On Benghazi Attack

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 8:56 pm

It has been nearly eight months since attacks on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, killed four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

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Asia
3:13 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Are Those North Korean Long-Range Missiles For Real?

What appears to be a missile is carried during a mass military parade in Pyongyang, North Korea, on April 15, 2012. Some analysts say the half-dozen missiles showcased at the military parade were fakes.
Ng Han Guan AP

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 8:56 pm

When President Obama met with South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Tuesday, one item was high on the agenda: how to handle North Korea, which has in recent months threatened to strike both countries.

Obama called such threats "a dead end."

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Theater
3:01 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

'Show Boat' Steams On, Eternally American

When she's discovered to be a multiracial woman "passing" as white, the Cotton Blossom's star performer, Julie (Alyson Cambridge), is forced to leave the company.
Scott Suchman Washington National Opera

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 12:50 pm

It's been more than eight decades since Show Boat -- the seminal masterpiece of the American musical theater — premiered on a stage in Washington, D.C. Now the sprawling classic is back, in a lush production put on by the Washington National Opera.

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