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9:03 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Barbez Mines Resistance And Tradition Of Italian Jews

New York musician Dan Kaufman (third from right) traveled to Rome to learn more about the city's Jewish community and the Italian resistance during WWII. The result is a new album by his band Barbez, based in part on the lost melodies of Roman Jewish music.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat September 14, 2013 6:28 am

The unique musical traditions of Rome's ancient Jewish community were almost lost for good. Now, those melodies are being revived — not by musicologists, but by a rock band based in New York.

"I fell in love with the melodies, and I started to re-imagine them for my band in our own style," says Dan Kaufman, guitarist and leader of the Brooklyn band Barbez.

The Tradition

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The Two-Way
1:52 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Social Security Wrongfully Paid $1.3 Billion In Disability

People line up outside of the Social Security Administration office in San Francisco, in February of 2005.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

The Government Accountability Office says that the Social Security Administration made about $1.3 billion in payments over two years to about 36,000 people who were believed to be working, while claiming they were disabled.

The GAO arrived at this number by comparing names on the National Directory of New Hires and people on disability insurance.

While $1.3 billion sounds like a whole lot of money, keep in mind that this only represents less than 1 percent of all the disability benefits paid by the agency.

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Environment
1:38 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Spy Drones Turning Up New Data About Hurricanes And Weather

A Global Hawk unmanned aircraft comes in for a landing at the Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Va., on Sept. 7, 2012, after studying Hurricane Leslie. The remotely controlled planes can stay in the air for as long as 28 hours and fly over hurricanes at altitudes of more than 60,000 feet.
NASA

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 1:57 pm

For several weeks now, two unmanned spy planes have been flying over the Atlantic on an unusual mission: gathering intelligence about tropical storms and hurricanes.

The two Global Hawk drones are a central part of NASA's five-year HS3 (Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel) Mission investigating why certain weather patterns become hurricanes, and why some hurricanes grow into monster storms.

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Shots - Health News
1:23 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Synthetic Marijuana Prompts Colorado Health Investigation

A sign outside a medical marijuana dispensary in Manitou Springs, Colo. Voters amended the state's constitution to legalize marijuana for recreational use in November 2012.
Eric Whitney

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 12:58 pm

More than 150 people are now believed to have been sickened by synthetic marijuana in Colorado, which legalized recreational use of real pot last November. Three people may have died.

State and federal investigators are scrambling to identify the exact source of the illnesses. The state health department has named about a dozen illicit products, often sold as "incense," that it believes are responsible for at least some of the illnesses. The stuff goes by names like "Spice," "Crazy Clown" and "Dead Man Walking."

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Shots - Health News
1:04 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

After Disasters, DNA Science Is Helpful, But Often Too Pricey

A Thai medic checks bodies for forensic identity in Phang Nga province in southern of Thailand on Jan. 11, 2005. Thousands of people were killed in Thailand after a massive tsunami struck on Dec. 26, 2004.
Pornchai Kittiwongsakul AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 2:32 pm

Human DNA is the ultimate fingerprint. A single hair can contain enough information to determine someone's identity — a feature that's been invaluable for identifying the unnamed casualties of natural disasters and war. But forensic scientists who use DNA say the technology isn't always available where it's most needed, like in poor countries, or in war zones like Syria.

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Code Switch
1:04 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

East LA Homegirl Goes Hollywood

Evangeline Ordaz (center) stands with teens from Legacy LA who were her script consultants and extras for East Los High. From left: Rebecca Hernandez, Brenda Flores, Ordaz, Wesley Michua, Marlene Arazo.
Mandalit del Barco NPR

Evangeline Ordaz is no ordinary Hollywood show runner. When she's not teaching constitutional law or rehabbing historic buildings, she's writing for a racy soap opera about Latino teens in East Los Angeles. East Los High was a big summer success for the TV-on-demand website Hulu, and much of the credit for keeping the show real goes to its multitalented main writer.

Ordaz was born and bred in East Los Angeles — East Los, as it's known. She still lives there, and you can hear the neighborhood cadence in her voice.

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It's All Politics
12:35 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Vote For The Creature From The Black Lagoon

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 4:36 pm

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The Two-Way
12:33 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Police Start Clearing Zocalo Of Striking Mexican Teachers

General view of the Zocalo of Mexico City, on September 2, 2013, while thousands of teachers camp in protest against the new education law passed by the Congress.
Ronaldo Schemidt AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 2:06 pm

This post was last updated at 6:58 p.m. ET.

Riot police moved into Mexico City's Zocalo Plaza on Friday to remove thousands of striking teachers from the historic square.

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Europe
12:05 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Off The Tuscan Coast, Raising The Ill-Fated Costa Concordia

An aerial view taken on Aug. 23 shows the Costa Concordia as it lies on its side next to Giglio Island. The wrecked cruise ship will be rolled off the seabed and onto underwater platforms.
Alessandro Bianchi Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 3:29 pm

Weather permitting, one of the largest maritime salvage operations ever attempted will get underway Monday in the waters off of an Italian island.

Twenty months ago, in January 2012, the Costa Concordia luxury liner smashed into a jagged reef, killing 32 people. Since then, the vessel has being lying on its side — an unsightly wreck visible for miles around.

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NPR Story
12:05 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Another Week Of College Football, And Yet Another Scandal

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 1:04 pm

It's another week of college football and yet another scandal, this time at Oklahoma State, the subject of a five part investigative story by Sports Illustrated involving athletes taking cash from coaches, sex, and drugs. Sportswriter Stefan Fatsis joins Audie Cornish to talk about that and the ultra-hyped big game between Alabama, the defending national champion and Texas A&M, home of the most polarizing player in college football, quarterback Johnny Manziel.

NPR Story
12:05 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Kerry And Lavrov Turn Focus To Setting Up Peace Conference

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 1:04 pm

The US and Russia continue talks on the proposed transfer of Syria's chemical weapons arsenal to UN control.

The Two-Way
11:59 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Hong Kong Bans Shark Fin At Official Functions

This file picture taken on January 2, 2013 shows shark fins drying on the roof of a factory building in Hong Kong.
Antony Dickson AFP/Getty Images

Shark fin will no longer be included on the menus of official government functions in Hong Kong, the country said in a press release on Friday.

"No shark fin, bluefin tuna or black moss will be on the menu at official entertainment functions," the government said. "The items have aroused international and local concern because they are either captured or harvested in ecologically unfriendly or unsustainable ways, or cause other conservation concerns."

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All Tech Considered
9:59 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Tech Week That Was: Brogrammers, New iPhones, Twitter IPO

Twitter announced by tweet Thursday that it plans to go public.
Lionel Bonaventure AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 5:11 pm

Not a slow news week in the world of technology and culture. But as we do each Friday, we've collected the stories you might have missed from NPR and our friends in the tech reporting universe.

We usually separate the week's big conversations from what you might have missed on NPR, but since we covered the major topics of conversation, here's one big roundup:

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Africa
9:45 am
Fri September 13, 2013

What A Chatty Monkey May Tell Us About Learning To Talk

The gelada monkey, found only in the highlands of Ethiopia, is known as the bleeding heart baboon for the splash of red on its chest. Males of the species have a remarkable vocal agility greater than that of any nonhuman primate.
Gregory Warner NPR

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 9:04 pm

The gelada monkey, also known as the bleeding heart baboon, makes a gurgling noise or wobble sound that scientists say is close to human speech — at least in how much facial coordination it requires.

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The Two-Way
8:16 am
Fri September 13, 2013

NPR To Offer Voluntary Buyouts In Bid To Balance Budget

NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 8:46 am

Saying that the goal is to balance its budget in fiscal year 2015, NPR announced late Friday morning that it will soon offer "a voluntary buyout plan across the organization that reduces staffing levels by approximately 10 percent."

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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Fri September 13, 2013

37 Killed In Fire At Russian Psychiatric Hospital

In a photo released by Russian officials in Novgorod, firefighters work at the site of a fire at a psychiatric hospital in the village of Luka on Friday.
AP

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 12:23 pm

A fire at a dilapidated Russian psychiatric facility that broke out early Friday morning has killed at least 37 people, including a nurse who tried to guide patients to safety, officials say.

The fire in the town of Luka, about 120 miles southeast of St. Petersburg, was the second such blaze in recent months. In April, a similar blaze at a psychiatric hospital near Moscow killed 38 people.

In the latest incident, authorities had long warned that the mostly wooden building dating to the 19th century was unsafe, according to The Associated Press.

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The Two-Way
7:21 am
Fri September 13, 2013

An 'Ig Nobel' For Proving 'Beer Goggles' Work Both Ways

"Beer goggles" supposedly make the wearer look better too. Hmmm.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Researchers who came to the conclusion that "beer goggles" make you think you're better looking are among this year's winners of the "Ig Nobel" awards.

The Igs "celebrate the unusual, honor the imaginative and spur people's interest in science, medicine, and technology."

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Parallels
7:20 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Like Anthony Weiner, German Politician Gives One-Finger Salute

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 12:15 pm

If two politicians on different continents both give an upthrust middle finger to the camera in the same week, is that enough to call it a global trend?

Perhaps we need one more, but here's what we have so far.

First there was failed New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner, who, in a rare display of impulsive behavior, expressed his feelings toward a reporter as he left his election night party Tuesday.

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Faith Matters
7:04 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Tweeting For Atonement: Sharing Sins On Social Media

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 9:30 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Race
7:04 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Are White Women Harder Hit By Poverty?

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 9:30 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Economy
7:04 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Recipe For A Great Burger? Fifteen Bucks An Hour

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 9:30 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. It is Friday and back in the day this was payday for most people, so we thought this was as good a day as any to talk about wealth, wages and poverty. In a few minutes we will hear about how poverty seems to be affecting the health of white women in a dramatic way.

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Barbershop
7:04 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Oklahoma State Slammed By Sports Illustrated

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 9:30 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now it's time for our weekly visit to the barbershop where the guys talk about what's in the news and what's on their minds. Sitting in the chairs for a shape-up this week are writer Jimi Izrael, with us from Cleveland. Here in our Washington, D.C. studios, sports writer and journalism professor Kevin Blackistone, Corey Dade, contributing editor for The Root, and NPR editor Ammad Omar decided to stick around. What do you know?

AMMAD OMAR, BYLINE: Hey, why not?

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BackTalk
7:04 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Is The NFL Weakening Defense Of Redskins' Name?

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 9:30 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And now it's time for Backtalk, that's where we hear from you. Editor Ammad Omar is back with us once again. What's going on today, Ammad?

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The Salt
6:37 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Directive From The White House: Drink More Water

First lady Michelle Obama participates in an event at Watertown High School to encourage people to drink more water.
Morry Gash AP

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 7:19 am

Over the years, we've done lots of stories about the importance of drinking water to stay hydrated.

It's such a simple directive. Does it really need repeating?

Well, first lady Michelle Obama and the Partnership for a Healthier America believe it does. And so does the beverage industry, which has seen a flattening out of demand in the U.S. for its traditional, caloric drinks.

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The Two-Way
6:31 am
Fri September 13, 2013

New Jersey Governor Vows To Rebuild Fire-Ravaged Boardwalk

Firefighters battle a blaze on the Seaside Park boardwalk Thursday in New Jersey. The fire began in the vicinity of an ice cream stand and quickly spread north into neighboring Seaside Heights.
Julio Cortez AP

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 8:54 am

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said a wind-swept fire that started Thursday and burned through the state's iconic boardwalk destroyed "generations of memories," but vowed that the state would rebuild.

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Code Switch
5:55 am
Fri September 13, 2013

'Money' And 'Canelo' Punch It Out For Black And Latino Fans

Floyd Mayweather and Saul "Canelo" Alvarez are at the center of one of the biggest sports events of the year, but you wouldn't know it by looking at mainstream sports media.
Anna John Stiff Jab

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 12:51 pm

Ex-jock talking heads aside, the nation's sports pages remain overwhelmingly white. That's probably why you're only vaguely aware that for many of us, tomorrow night is the one of the biggest sporting events of the year.

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Shots - Health News
5:51 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Majority Of Millennial Kids In U.S. Generous To Charities

Jackson Merrick, a sixth-grader from McLean, Va., says he donates half of his allowance to charity.
Morgan Walker NPR

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 6:26 am

Millennials might be known to their elders for texts and tattoos, but they're also a pretty giving bunch.

Nearly 9 in 10 millennial kids in the U.S. gave to a charity at least once during two years the researchers asked about, the United Nations Foundation said Thursday. More than half of the kids gave in both years.

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Asia
5:38 am
Fri September 13, 2013

No Deal On Bangladesh Garment Factory Compensation Fund

A Bangladeshi woman holds a photograph of a relative missing in the Rana Plaza building collapse, as she participates in a protest in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Friday. Protesters demanded a minimum monthly salary of $103 and compensation for the victims and injured in the building collapse in April that killed more than 1,000 people.
A.M. Ahad AP

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 6:20 am

Families and survivors of the Rana Plaza garment factory disaster in Bangladesh in April who are waiting for compensation from Western companies will have to wait a little longer.

A meeting Thursday of retailers and brands in Geneva, Switzerland, facilitated by the U.N.'s International Labor Organization, ended with only one company announcing measures for the victims: Primark said it would give the families of victims three months' salary.

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The Two-Way
5:06 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Mount McKinley's Gotten Shorter Again

Mount McKinley. There's a bit less of it than we thought.
Tim Rains/National Park Service Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 5:36 am

Could Alaska's Mount McKinley be in danger of developing a Napoleon complex?

Well, it's still said to be the tallest peak in North America, so perhaps it won't need to worry about its height just yet. But for the second time in recent decades, the mountain's been shortened.

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TED Radio Hour
4:40 am
Fri September 13, 2013

What Predictions From 1984 Came True?

Nicholas Negroponte at an early TED conference in 1984.
Courtesy of TED

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 4:42 am

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Predicting The Future.

About Nicholas Negroponte's TEDTalk

Back in 1984, technology leader Nicholas Negroponte was able to predict, with surprising accuracy, e-readers, face to face teleconferencing and the touchscreen interface of the iPhone.

About Nicholas Negroponte

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