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The Two-Way
7:44 am
Sat August 24, 2013

Tons Of Molten Glass Go Into Making Mirror For Giant Telescope

An artist's concept of the completed Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT)
Giant Magellan Telescope

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 11:08 am

Technicians on Saturday are set to cast 20 tons of glass for the third of seven ultra-precise primary mirrors that will make up the 72-foot Giant Magellan Telescope, scheduled for completion in northern Chile's arid Atacama Desert in 2020.

The parabolic mirror will be cast at the University of Arizona's Steward Observatory Mirror Lab. The molten borosilicate, made by the Ohara Corporation, will be spun cast at 2140 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Music Interviews
7:03 am
Sat August 24, 2013

Franz Ferdinand's Alex Kapranos On The Importance Of Structure

Franz Ferdinand's latest album is titled Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun August 25, 2013 6:17 am

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The Two-Way
5:41 am
Sat August 24, 2013

U.S. Weighs Options On Syria After Reported Chemical Attack

Female rebel fighters gather in Syria's northern city of Aleppo on Saturday to protest what they claim was a chemical attack by pro-government forces in a suburb of Damascus.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 11:29 am

(This post last updated at 4:20 p.m. ET)

President Obama has been meeting with his national security team to discuss reports of the Syrian government's use of chemical weapons, a White House official said Saturday, amid strong hints that a U.S. military strike was on the table.

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The Two-Way
4:18 am
Sat August 24, 2013

Thousands Gather In D.C. To Mark 1963 Civil Rights March

People hold signs as they gather to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 10:13 am

(This post last updated at 2:20 p.m. ET)

Tens of thousands of people assembled on the National Mall to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1963 March on Washington, best known as the venue for the iconic "I Have a Dream" speech that helped galvanize the civil rights movement.

Organizers, including the Rev. Al Sharpton and King's son, Martin Luther King III, had hoped to attract 100,000 people to attend Saturday's events leading up the official Aug. 28 anniversary.

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The Two-Way
2:53 am
Sat August 24, 2013

Yosemite Fire Called One Of Largest In Recent California History

The Rim Fire consumes trees on Friday near Groveland, California.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 4:58 pm

A wildfire that has spread into Yosemite National Park is now threatening the power grid that supplies San Francisco, prompting Gov. Jerry Brown to declare an emergency for the city.

The 200-square-mile Rim Fire also threatens thousands of homes and has forced the evacuations of hundreds.

Bob Hensley, reporting for NPR, says that in issuing the state of emergency for the city of San Francisco and San Francisco County late Friday, Brown indicated the wildfire has damaged the electrical infrastructure that provides power to the Bay Area 150 miles to the west.

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NPR Story
2:25 am
Sat August 24, 2013

1972 Dolphins Finally Get To Meet The President

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 6:39 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

These days the team that wins the Super Bowl usually counts on meeting with the president of the United States. But that wasn't the case when the Miami Dolphins went undefeated in 1972. So, early this week 31 members of that record-setting team finally got their chance to meet this president, more than 40 years later.

Their coach, hall of famer Don Shula joins us. Coach, thanks very much for being with us.

DON SHULA: Yes, glad to be with you.

SIMON: Any idea how this trip came about?

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NPR Story
2:25 am
Sat August 24, 2013

ESPN Backs Out Of Concussion Documentary

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 6:39 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. So good to say it's time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF THEME MUSIC)

SIMON: And we're just a couple of weeks away from the start of the NFL season but inquiring minds want to know did ESPN take a dive for the NFL? Joining us now to explore this and a couple of other questions is our man, NPR's Tom Goldman. Tom, thanks for being with us.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Good to be with you again, Scott.

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NPR Story
2:25 am
Sat August 24, 2013

Trading Domain Names For A Day With The Candidates

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 6:39 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Last month, Kentucky Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes declared she'll run against minority leader, Mitch McConnell for the U.S. Senate.

ALISON LUNDERGAN GRIMES: ...Kentucky by running for the U.S. Senate.

(APPLAUSE)

SIMON: Her candidacy had been rumored for months. The obvious Web domain name, Grimesforsenate.com, had already been purchased. But not by the Grimes' campaign. By a man who's a kind of political hobbyist.

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Code Switch
1:34 am
Sat August 24, 2013

What The March On Washington Called For, And What We Got

Crowds gather in front of the Washington Monument during the "March on Washington For Jobs and Freedom" in 1963.
AP

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 7:10 am

Wednesday marks the 50th celebration of the March on Washington — perhaps you've heard something about it? — and it's a little hard to resist the urge to compare the America of 1963 to 2013, to see how they've diverged.

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Author Interviews
1:23 am
Sat August 24, 2013

Sisterly Conflict Against A Great War Backdrop In 'Daughters Of Mars'

Topical Press Agency Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 6:39 am

Naomi and Sally Durance are heroes of the Great War, that war which was supposed to end all wars. It didn't, but it did help these two Australian sisters overcome sibling suspicion and grow closer to each other.

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Books
1:22 am
Sat August 24, 2013

'Bummers, Blisters And Boondoggles': A Jokester Joins The Army

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 9:59 am

In a time when recollections can be reduced to just a few words, Jean Shepherd delivered monologues, soliloquies and musings. He was a raconteur.

Shepherd served in the Army during World War II — that same Army that stormed the beaches on D-Day, though Shepherd and his unit would never see the front lines. They were the homefront Army: stocking, re-stocking, sending, schlepping and training for a war they helped win — but only at a distance.

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Law
12:31 am
Sat August 24, 2013

Cutting Public Defenders Can Cost Federal Government More

Courts in Tucson, Ariz., are turning to private lawyers to represent clients who would have had public defenders.
Chris Morrison AP

Originally published on Mon August 26, 2013 8:32 am

These days, the Federal Public Defender's Office in Tucson, Ariz., has lots of space. Since the federal budget cuts known as sequestration began, the office has lost a quarter of its staff to layoffs or furloughs.

Under the Constitution, clients still need legal representation, so judges have to appoint private attorneys to replace the public defenders.

The sequester was supposed to save money. But in this case, the sequester is costing federal dollars.

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Education
12:28 am
Sat August 24, 2013

Obama Campaigns For College Affordability Plan

President Obama makes an unannounced stop to talk with the Tully Central High School soccer team about their plans for college in Tully, N.Y., on Friday.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 6:39 am

President Obama toured Pennsylvania and New York by bus on Thursday and Friday to promote his college affordability plan.

He's proposing a affordability-rating system that would steer federal aid, but a budget battle with Congressional Republicans is looming.

'A Major Debate'

The tour had a back-to-school theme, but at his stop on Thursday, the fall semester hasn't even begun. Obama spoke to a packed high school gym in Syracuse.

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Simon Says
12:27 am
Sat August 24, 2013

Remembering Elmore Leonard, A Writer Who Hated Literature

Many of Elmore Leonard's stories have been adapted for the screen, from the movie Get Shorty to the TV show, Justified.
Vince Bucci Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 6:39 am

Elmore Leonard was a writer who hated — and I don't mean disliked; Elmore had a contempt for putting pretty clothes on hard, direct words, so I mean hated — literature, or at least what he believed a lot of people mean when they say liter-a-ture, as if it were a Members Only club.

Elmore Leonard wrote for a living, from the time in his 20s when he turned out ads for Detroit department stores and vacuum cleaners during the day, and wrote cowboy and crime stories for pulp magazines at night.

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The Salt
12:26 am
Sat August 24, 2013

Wine Has Sommeliers. Now, Beer Has Cicerones

Ray Daniels inspects a glass of beer. A Chicago brewer, Daniels started the Cicerone training program five years ago.
Johnny Knight Courtesy of Ray Daniels

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 3:08 pm

If you've been to a fancy restaurant, you've probably seen a sommelier — those wine experts who make sure you get the best possible match for your meal. But what if you don't want a chardonnay or pinot? What if you want a nice cold beer?

A new program is working to bring this same level of knowledge to the world of malt and hops by turning out batches of certified beer experts known as Cicerones.

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Around the Nation
2:49 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

San Diego Mayor Resigns Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 4:12 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
1:53 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Doctors Fleeing Medicare? Not So Fast, Feds Say

How many doctors are taking new patients under Medicare and private insurance?
HHS

Are doctors so fed up with Medicare's stagnant pay and bureaucratic rules that they're bailing out of the program?

Short answer: Yes, some are. Long answer: Not as many as you might have thought.

The Wall Street Journal reported recently, the number of doctors who opted out of Medicare tripled between 2009 and 2012. Tripled!

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The Two-Way
1:49 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

ESPN Says It Backs Reporting As It Pulls Out Of NFL Series

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 2:12 pm

  • Sportswriter Stefan Fatsis Discusses ESPN's Decision On 'All Things Considered'

ESPN President John Skipper released a statement Friday defending the network's journalistic integrity after it pulled out of an investigation of the NFL.

ESPN had been a partner with PBS's Frontline on a forthcoming series about concussions in the National Football League. A trailer for the two-part investigation says Frontline "investigates what the NFL knew and when they knew it" regarding the lasting effects of head injuries.

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The Two-Way
1:35 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Mei Xiang, Giant Panda At National Zoo, Gives Birth To A Cub

Mei Xiang, who gave birth Friday, enjoying a piece of fruit on Dec. 19, 2011, at the National Zoo.
Fang Zhe Xinhua /Landov

The Smithsonian National Zoo has some happy news this evening: Mei Xiang, a giant panda, gave birth to a cub at 5:32 p.m. ET.

In some ways this was a surprise, as the zoo did not know the panda was pregnant until earlier this month, when she began to act like she was expecting.

The zoo says their panda team heard the cub vocalize and saw Mei Xiang cradle her cub.

The zoo reports in a press release:

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The Two-Way
1:33 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

NSA Says Some Analysts Willfully Violated Spying Authority

The National Security Agency says that on rare occasions some of its analysts deliberately violated the agency's surveillance authorities.

NPR's Tom Gjelten tells our Newscast unit that the violations generally do not involve surveillance of U.S. citizens' telephone or email data. He filed this report:

"The NSA this week briefed members of Congress on employee compliance with surveillance authorities. In a new statement the agency summarized what it reported.

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It's All Politics
1:29 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Is This The Beginning Of Obama Unbound?

President Obama speaks at a town hall-style meeting at SUNY Binghamton on Friday.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Are we seeing the beginning of a trend from the occupant of the Oval Office — a President Obama unbound?

That's the question after Obama cast aside his usual caution while speaking at a town hall-style meeting in Binghamton, N.Y., on Friday. Asked about his proposals for attacking soaring higher education costs, Obama said:

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The Two-Way
1:10 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner Announces His Resignation

Mayor Bob Filner of San Diego speaks at a news conference in July.
Bill Wechter Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 2:19 pm

Embattled Mayor Bob Filner on Friday announced that he would step down at the end of the month following allegations by more than a dozen women that he sexually harassed them.

With equal measures of remorse and defiance, Filner, speaking before the City Council, apologized to his supporters and to "all the women I have offended."

"I had no intention to be offensive, to violate any physical or personal space," he said.

"I never had any intention to be a mayor who went out this way," he said.

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Environment
12:49 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

The 'Consensus' View: Kevin Trenberth's Take On Climate Change

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 4:12 pm

Next month, a scientific committee sponsored by the United Nations will put out its latest assessment of climate change. The report is expected to underscore yet again that climate change is a serious problem and human beings are largely responsible.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) represents a consensus view of hundreds of scientists from around the world. The effort shared the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore.

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Sports
12:49 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

What To Make Of Tiger Woods' Major-less Year

Tiger Woods watches his tee shot on the third hole during the first round of The Barclays golf tournament on Thursday.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 4:12 pm

By the standard of normal golfing mortals, Tiger Woods has had an incredible summer. He's won multiple tournaments and millions of dollars in prize money. What he didn't do was win any of golf's four major championships, and that has led some to write off Woods' 2013 as a failure.

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The Record
12:49 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Haven't I Heard This Song Before?

The hook in Vanilla Ice's song "Ice Ice Baby" was based on a passage from "Under Pressure" by David Bowie and Queen, but the rapper denied the similarity at first.
Time & Life Pictures Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 4:12 pm

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Planet Money
12:01 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Cash, Cows And The Rise Of Nerd Philanthropy

A family in western Kenya received this cow as part of a Heifer International program.
NPR

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 4:12 pm

For more of our reporting on this story, please see our recent column in the New York Times Magazine, and the latest episode of This American Life.

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Around the Nation
12:01 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Summer Nights: Senior Softball In Huntington Beach, Calif.

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 7:46 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Nothing suggests summer like a game of softball. As part of our Summer Nights series, we're visiting Murdy Park in Huntington Beach, California, for a game of senior women's softball. It was a game between the Mighty's and the Misfits. Gloria Hillard reports.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: All right. Let's go, ladies.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

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Sports
12:01 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

ESPN Backs Out Of Brain Injury Documentary After NFL Pressure

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 4:12 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. As a television network, ESPN pays billions of dollars to sports leagues for the right to show their games, but its reporters also cover those leagues. Those two roles came into conflict this week when ESPN announced it is pulling out of a project investigating the concussion crisis in the National Football League. Sportswriter Stefan Fatsis joins us now, as he does most Fridays. Hey there, Stefan.

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Asia
12:01 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Corruption Trial Not Working Out As Communist Party Had Hoped

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 4:12 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

China's Communist Party had hoped a high profile corruption trial this week would send a message that the party punishes its own and operates under the rule of law. But so far, the trail of former Politburo member Bo Xilai hasn't quite worked out that way. NPR's Frank Langfitt reports on how China's biggest case in decades is toying with the expectations of the millions of people following the trial.

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The Two-Way
11:37 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Russia Bans Protests At Site Of Sochi Winter Games

Demonstrators protest against homophobia and repression of gays in Russia, in front of the Russian Embassy in Madrid on August 23, 2013.
Gerard Julien AFP/Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin issued an executive order that bans protests around the site of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

The AP reports Putin issued the 10-week ban along with other orders designed to tighten security. Of course, the ban comes amid international consternation about Russia's laws prohibiting people from publicly supporting "nontraditional relationships."

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