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Author Interviews
11:59 am
Sun September 22, 2013

'Hollywood Said No,' But 'Mr. Show' Fans Said Yes!

From left, Bob Odenkirk and David Cross co-created the sketch comedy series Mr. Show. They have since played long-running roles on Breaking Bad and Arrested Development, respectively.
Sharon Alagna Courtesy of Grand Central Publishing

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 1:19 pm

When the comedy program Mr. Show with Bob and David came on the air in 1995, there was nothing like it. Created by comedians Bob Odenkirk and David Cross, it was full of dark, subversive and riotously funny sketches tied together with bizarre and brilliant segues reminiscent of Monty Python's Flying Circus.

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Parallels
11:22 am
Sun September 22, 2013

Small Syrian Border Town Magnifies Rift Between Rebel Groups

A Free Syrian Army soldier stands on a Syrian military tank in front of a damaged mosque in the Syrian town of Azaz in September 2012. A different rebel group, an al-Qaida offshoot, took over the town on Wednesday.
Hussein Malla AP

A small town on the Syrian-Turkish border is playing an outsized role in what has become a war within the war in Syria. Azaz is now a symbol of the dangerous rift between Western-backed rebels under the umbrella of the Free Syrian Army and a radical Islamist groups linked to al-Qaida.

Clashes on Wednesday — the seizure of Azaz by an al-Qaida offshoot — were followed more closely than other battles, in part because Azaz was the gateway town for journalists reporting on Syria.

From Cooperation To Competition

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The Two-Way
10:41 am
Sun September 22, 2013

Crash Stops Cross-Country Charity Bike Ride, Miles From Goal

Jacob Landis has been riding his bike to every Major League Baseball stadium, to raise money to help the needy pay for cochlear implants. His ride ended Saturday night due to a crash — but Landis says he'll still be at the Marlins' stadium next week.
Jacob's Ride

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 11:24 am

Cyclist Jacob Landis, who rode more than 10,000 miles on his bike this year to raise money for cochlear implants, will miss out on the final miles of his ride after being hit by a truck. Landis had planned to ride his bike to every Major League Baseball stadium this season. Despite the crash, he says he'll still go to the final game on his schedule.

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It's All Politics
9:53 am
Sun September 22, 2013

EPA Gives Coal-State Democrats A Chance To Sound Republican

State and local leaders break ground at a Louisville, Ky., coal-burning power plant in November 2012.
Dylan Lovan AP

For Democrats running in coal-producing states like Kentucky and West Virginia, the Environmental Protection Agency's new limits on greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants provide a carboniferous chance to demonstrate independence from President Obama.

Those Democrats will probably take advantage of every chance they get to separate themselves from the president in voters' minds, since their Republican opponents will be working overtime to portray them as reliable Obama votes if they're elected to Congress.

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Music Interviews
9:17 am
Sun September 22, 2013

?uestlove And Elvis Costello On Writing Together

?uestlove and The Roots play backing band to Elvis Costello on the new collaborative album Wise Up Ghost.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 4:34 am

Since NBC's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon launched in 2009, Elvis Costello has been a frequent guest. There, Costello got to work with the show's in-house band, The Roots, and he struck up a professional relationship with the its leader, Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson.

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The Two-Way
8:40 am
Sun September 22, 2013

U.S. Helicopter Crashes In Red Sea, With 5 Aboard

A U.S. Navy helicopter has crashed in the Red Sea, carrying a crew of five, the military service says. The status of the crew is not yet known; a search and rescue effort was begun after the crash Sunday, using boats and aircraft.

"The crash was not due to any sort of hostile activity," the Navy says. "The incident is under investigation."

The helicopter, a MH-60S Knighthawk, had been on operations with a guided-missile destroyer, the USS William P. Lawrence. It is part of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron Six.

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The Two-Way
8:23 am
Sun September 22, 2013

Striking Images, Personal Stories Emerge From Kenyan Mall Attack

Civilians try to move to safety in a Nairobi shopping mall, where a standoff that began Saturday has lasted into Sunday. Images and witness accounts depict harrowing scenes inside the mall.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

One day after panic and confusion took over a shopping mall in Nairobi, survivors' accounts and photographs provide a close-up perspective of the scene. Their stories have given new detail to the chaos that erupted after attackers used grenades and guns to begin a standoff that lasted into Sunday.

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The Two-Way
5:29 am
Sun September 22, 2013

Suicide Attack Strikes Church In Pakistan; Dozens Dead

People gather outside All Saints Church in Peshawar, Pakistan, Sunday, after a suicide bombing attack killed scores of people earlier in the day, officials said.
Mohammad Sajjad AP

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 6:33 am

Two suicide bombers struck the All Saints Church following a service in Peshawar, Pakistan, Sunday, killing more than 70 people and wounding more than 120, according to the AP and other news outlets. The victims are believed to include many children.

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The Two-Way
4:13 am
Sun September 22, 2013

China's Bo Xilai Is Given Life Sentence For Bribery, Other Crimes

Men watch a TV screen showing former Chinese politician Bo Xilai, who was sentenced to life in prison Sunday by a court in Jinan, Shandong Province.
Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

A Chinese court has sentenced Bo Xilai, the former Politburo member who was snared on graft charges, to life in prison. The sentence for offenses that include bribery, embezzlement, and abuse of power, completes a shocking fall for Bo, who had been a rising star in China's political system.

"Bribes received directly by Bo or via his family totaled 20.44 million yuan (about 3.3 million U.S. dollars), the court decided," reports state news agency Xinhua.

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The Two-Way
3:29 am
Sun September 22, 2013

Nairobi Mall Attack: Civilians Remain Hostages; Dozens Dead

Kenyan soldiers secure a section of Nairobi's upscale Westgate Mall, in this image taken from AFP TV. At least 68 deaths have been reported as a result of Saturday's midday attack by gunmen at the mall.
Nichole Sobecki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 1:26 pm

This post was last updated at 5:25 p.m. ET.

A standoff that began with a shocking attack at Kenya's Westgate Mall Saturday is in its second day, with civilians held hostage by gunmen in the upscale shopping center.

The authorities say they have isolated the attackers. As of Sunday afternoon, Red Cross officials reported 68 deaths and at least 200 wounded in the assault, with 49 people still missing. We'll add news to this post as it emerges.

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Education
2:37 am
Sun September 22, 2013

The Sad Death Of An Adjunct Professor Sparks A Labor Debate

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 1:19 pm

The death of a long-time, part-time professor in Pittsburgh is gathering the attention of instructors nationwide. The trend of relying on part-time faculty has been in the works for decades, and Margaret Mary Vojtko's story is seen by some as a tragic byproduct.

Last spring, months before her death, Vojtko showed up at a meeting between adjunct professors at Duquesne University and the union officials who had been trying to organize them. The professors are trying to organize a union affiliated with the United Steelworkers.

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Africa
2:37 am
Sun September 22, 2013

Somali President Tries To Pull Country Out Of Emergency

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud speaks to the press prior to talks at the U.S. State Department on Friday.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 6:20 am

The extremist group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for a deadly attack on a mall Saturday in Nairobi, Kenya. Just to the east of Kenya, Somalia has been desperately trying to drive the Islamist group out of its towns and cities.

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Code Switch
2:37 am
Sun September 22, 2013

The Last Tweets From An American Jihadist In Somalia

In this 2011 photo, American-born Islamist militant Omar Hammami, right, sits with al-Shabab deputy leader Sheikh Mukhtar Abu Mansur Robow during a press conference in Somalia.
Farah Abdi Warsameh AP

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 5:42 am

Omar Hammami grew up in the small of town of Daphne, Ala., but ended up in southern Somalia on the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorist list. Last week, Hammami was reportedly killed by members of al-Shabab, the al-Qaida-linked militant group, after a falling out with its leadership.

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All Tech Considered
12:40 am
Sun September 22, 2013

The Promises And Pitfalls Of Social Media — For Police

David Oliver, chief of police in Brimfield, Ohio, maintains a Facebook page that went viral (by police Facebook page standards) earlier this year. With more than 80,000 followers, he mixes humor with blunt opinions.
Tony Dejak AP

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 6:48 am

For years, teens in Upper Darby Township, Pa., have taken to the local cemetery for after-hours, underage and very illegal parties.

And for years, the cops in the Philadelphia suburb have played a cat-and-mouse game to break up the graveyard debaucheries.

But this year, when the cops caught teens drinking in the cemetery, they didn't just file some paperwork — they also tweeted about it.

It's policing in the 21st century: where community outreach comes on Twitter, surveillance tape footage is posted on YouTube and gangs are infiltrated on Facebook.

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It's All Politics
12:36 am
Sun September 22, 2013

Obama's Passing Up Chances To Turn On The Charm

President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama arrive at last year's congressional picnic on the South Lawn of the White House. This year, the picnic — seen as a chance for lawmakers to socialize beyond party lines — was canceled.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 6:20 am

President Obama isn't known as a schmoozer like Bill Clinton or a back-slapper like George W. Bush. But he does know that a personal touch can woo allies and soften adversaries.

Right now, domestic and international crises are looming on all sides of the president. Although a little tenderness might come in handy, Obama is repeatedly passing up opportunities to wage a charm offensive.

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Asia
6:34 pm
Sat September 21, 2013

Bo Xilai's Life Sentence Reveals China's Leadership Problem

Disgraced politician Bo Xilai stands during his trial on corruption charges in August.
Kyodo/Landov

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 6:20 am

A court in East China sentenced former top Chinese official Bo Xilai to life in prison for corruption after one of the highest-profile political trials of recent years.

Media coverage of the court hearings transfixed audiences with details of murder, a love triangle and lavish official life styles. The case may prove to be a political Pandora's box that could bring down even higher-ranking officials and widen divisions over the country's future direction.

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Shots - Health News
1:19 pm
Sat September 21, 2013

In Life, Man Immune To HIV Helped Scientists Fight Virus

Stephen Crohn, a New York artist and editor, carried a genetic mutation that protected him against HIV. He died last month at age 66. The cause was suicide.
Facebook.com

Stephen Crohn, a man best known for staying alive during the early days of the AIDS epidemic, died Aug. 23 at age 66. Throughout his lifetime, the New York artist helped researchers uncover vital clues about HIV and how to stop it.

Crohn's partner was one of the first people to die from AIDS in 1978. Over the years, Crohn watched boyfriends and acquaintances die from the disease. But he never got sick.

Knowing that there was something unique about himself, Crohn volunteered to be studied.

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Music News
12:45 pm
Sat September 21, 2013

Walking The Sunset Strip, A Fading Beacon Of Cool

The Whisky a Go Go club on the storied Sunset Strip, once the hub L.A.'s music scene, acknowledged the May 2013 death of The Doors' keyboardist on its marquee: "Rest In Peace Ray Manzarek, Thanks for the Memories."
Jason Kempin Getty Images

In a city with 6,500 miles of blacktop, one stretch of road might be the most legendary in Los Angeles: the Sunset Strip. It's where the vibrant L.A. music got its vibe; imagine The Doors blaring through the gates of one club and The Byrds softly strumming just a few doors down. From one decade to the next, from folk to metal to hip-hop, iconic music was born there.

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Media
12:37 pm
Sat September 21, 2013

Westerly Weekends: 'All Things Considered' Shifts Viewpoint

The weekend broadcast of All Things Considered has moved to Los Angeles. This view of the city comes from from Griffith Observatory.
Ray_from_LA/Flickr

Originally published on Sat September 21, 2013 12:45 pm

Like many pioneers before it, All Things Considered has moved west. On Saturdays and Sundays, the show will air from NPR studios in Culver City, Calif., with a new host, Arun Rath.

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Pop Culture
12:03 pm
Sat September 21, 2013

An Introduction To What's New And What's Next

A Japanese micro-bar only has room for four customers at a time.
Will Robb

Originally published on Sat September 21, 2013 12:45 pm

The online magazine Ozy launched Monday, offering readers original reporting on new trends and stories on the horizon.

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Science
12:03 pm
Sat September 21, 2013

Black Widow Spider Fan Gets Dangerously Close To His Subject

Nature writer Jackson Landers kept a black widow alive in a jar on his desk for months.
Courtesy Jackson Landers

Originally published on Sat September 21, 2013 3:07 pm

The first time Jackson Landers spotted a black widow spider on his front porch, he was transfixed. The nature writer grew curious about the poisonous arachnids and even kept one as a pet in a jar for months.

"When you're confronted by this deadly, venomous thing day after day, you can't help but become interested in it," Landers tells NPR's Arun Rath.

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Economy
11:54 am
Sat September 21, 2013

Stuck In Poverty Amid Signs Of Recovery

Food distributed by the Manna Food Center is packed in cardboard boxes to be loaded into clients' cars.
Chloe Coleman NPR

Originally published on Sat September 21, 2013 12:45 pm

For the third year in a row, the poverty rate has remained stuck at about 15 percent. Nearly one in six Americans was living in poverty in 2012, according to a new report by the Census Bureau. Despite a slow-moving economic recovery, these latest numbers show that for poor Americans, there are few signs of any recovery.

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Parallels
11:36 am
Sat September 21, 2013

The U.S. Has More Guns, But Russia Has More Murders

A worker at the Grand Okhota sportsman gun shop in Moscow on April 23.
Karpov Sergei ITAR-TASS /Landov

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 12:39 pm

The U.S. and Russia have been taking lots of jabs at each other.

Russian President Vladimir Putin criticized President Obama's plan for a military strike in Syria, and the Russian leader then denounced American "exceptionalism" in a biting op-ed in The New York Times.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., fired back Thursday with his own op-ed in the Russian paper Pravda, entitled, "Russia Deserves Better Than Putin."

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The Two-Way
8:24 am
Sat September 21, 2013

North Korea Cancels Plans For Cross-Border Family Reunions

South Korean Cho Jang-geum, 81, weeps as she fills out an application to reunite with family members who live in North Korea, at the headquarters of the Korean Red Cross in Seoul Saturday. North Korea announced today that it is indefinitely postponing the reunions of families who were separated by the 1950-53 Korean War. The meetings were to take place in the coming week.
Park Dong-ju AP

Originally published on Sat September 21, 2013 10:54 am

A chance for families in South and North Korea to meet their long-lost relatives has been put off indefinitely, as North Korea canceled reunions that were to take place in the coming week. A South Korean official called the decision "inhumane" Saturday.

"The North's postponement shattered the thrill and hopes of nearly 200 families overnight and deserves denunciation as an inhumane act," Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Eyi-do said, according to The Korea Herald.

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The Two-Way
7:11 am
Sat September 21, 2013

Bombings Kill Dozens Of Mourners At Baghdad Funeral

Originally published on Sat September 21, 2013 11:04 am

In Baghdad's Sadr City, a bombing attack that struck during a funeral has killed dozens of people, with the death toll continuing to rise Saturday. Multiple reports are citing at least 65 deaths in the attack, one of several in Iraq today.

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NPR Story
6:01 am
Sat September 21, 2013

Deadly Shooting In Nairobi Mall

Originally published on Sat September 21, 2013 6:34 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. An upscale shopping mall in Nairobi is the scene of a deadly standoff.

(SOUNDBITE OF SCREAMING AND CRYING)

SIMON: Kenyan armed forces are battling gunmen who stormed that mall earlier today. The Red Cross says that at least 20 people have been killed in the attack. NPR's Gregory Warner is on the scene. Greg, thanks for being with us.

GREGORY WARNER, BYLINE: Thanks, Scott.

SIMON: And what's the latest?

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The Two-Way
4:47 am
Sat September 21, 2013

Syria Meets Deadline On Chemical Weapons; Fighting Continues

A rebel fighter cleans his weapon in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo Friday. Syria's civil war continues, even as the country follows a schedule of releasing information on its chemical weapons program.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 21, 2013 6:44 am

Syria has delivered documents about its arsenal of chemical weapons, meeting a deadline set in the framework agreement between the U.S. and Russia that was announced Sept. 14. The deal calls for destroying all of the weapons by June of 2014. But the country's civil war is showing no sign of slowing down.

Saying that it was confirming Syria's "expected" disclosure, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons announced Saturday that its technical teams are "currently reviewing the information received."

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The Two-Way
3:19 am
Sat September 21, 2013

Hostages Trapped Inside Nairobi Shopping Mall

A line of soldiers from the Kenya Defense Forces runs around the front of the Westgate Mall in Nairobi this morning.
Ben Curtis AP

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 1:28 am

Updated Sunday 5:46 a.m. ET


The death toll at an upscale shopping mall in Nairobi has increased to at least 52, and civilians are still inside as militants exchange sporadic barrages of gunfire with Kenyan security troops outside.

"The priority is to save as many lives as possible," Joseph Lenku, Kenya's Interior cabinet secretary told AP early today. Kenyan forces have already rescued about 1,000 people, he said.

He said that five to 15 attackers are involved in the standoff, but declined to estimate the number of hostages.

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Politics
2:46 am
Sat September 21, 2013

New York's Next Mayor, Bound To Be A Brooklynite

Republican mayoral hopeful Joe Lhota speaks at a news conference Monday.
Frank Franklin II AP

Originally published on Sat September 21, 2013 11:04 am

This week, the center of New York City's political universe was downtown Brooklyn.

With the dust settling from the mayoral primary, the two candidates who will be on the ballot to replace outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg both live in the city's biggest borough.

On Thursday, Republican candidate Joe Lhota shook hands with voters pouring out of the subway a few blocks from his home in Brooklyn Heights.

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Politics
2:46 am
Sat September 21, 2013

What's Next In The Congressional Budget Showdown?

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, speaks at a Republican rally Friday after the House passed a measure that would temporarily fund the government while crippling President Obama's health care law. The Senate is not expected to follow suit.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Sat September 21, 2013 6:34 am

The House has passed a stopgap spending bill that would keep the government open through Dec. 15. It passed almost entirely along party lines: In addition to funding the government, it calls for defunding of the Affordable Care Act.

The White House has said President Obama would veto the bill, were it to come to his desk in this form. And it most likely won't. Democrats, who control the Senate, won't pass a bill that defunds Obamacare.

Which raises the question, now what?

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