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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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Middle East
2:46 am
Sat September 21, 2013

Syria Agreement Makes For Unstable Alliances

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

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Yesterday, Syria sent the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons an initial declaration, detailing its trove of chemical weapons. The declaration is now being reviewed by that organization's verification division. The U.S.-Russian agreement reached last weekend calls for inspectors to be on the ground in Syria by November, and all chemical weapons to be removed from the country or destroyed by the middle of next year.

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It's All Politics
2:33 am
Sat September 21, 2013

Obamacare Stars As Villain In Alabama Special Election

Wells Griffith

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NPR Story
2:21 am
Sat September 21, 2013

Art Dealer Pleads Guilty To Selling Fraudulent Paintings

Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 5:43 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. This week, an art dealer named Glafira Rosales pleaded guilty to wire fraud, money laundering and tax evasion after she admitted that she sold paintings that she claimed were by Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Willem de Kooning to a couple of Manhattan galleries.

They were actually painted by an artist living in Queens. Those paintings sold for $80 million. I'm joined now from New York by Jerry Saltz, senior art critic for New York magazine. Thanks very much for being with us.

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NPR Story
2:21 am
Sat September 21, 2013

Cities Race To The Top Of The Ferris Wheel

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

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Las Vegas is set to claim the title for the world's largest Ferris Wheel. It completed it's 550 foot tall high roller last week. But New York City plans for an even taller one, 625 feet, and rumor has it Dubai may be planning an even taller Ferris Wheel, but Chicago can always claim the first and definitive Ferris Wheel, so named because it was George Ferris himself who designed it for the 1893 World's Fair.

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NPR Story
2:21 am
Sat September 21, 2013

NFL Treats Hard Hits With A Light Touch

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

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Know what gets me through the week? The chance to say, time for sports!

(SOUNDBITE OF THEME MUSIC)

SIMON: Football season is back with a kathunk(ph). Plus, the first two teams have qualified for the Major League Baseball playoffs, and the WMBA playoffs are on. NPR's Tom Goldman joins us. Good morning, Tom.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Hiya, Scott.

SIMON: Thanks so much for being with us.

GOLDMAN: A pleasure.

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Author Interviews
12:36 am
Sat September 21, 2013

A Road Trip Sparks An Unlikely Friendship In 'Norvelt To Nowhere'

Jack Gantos recently won the Newbery Medal, the highest award in children's literature, for his novel Dead End in Norvelt.
Anne Lower Courtesy of Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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

From Norvelt to Nowhere is a book that begins in the shadow of nuclear annihilation, during the Cuban missile crisis in 1962. The first few paragraphs also disclose that nine elderly women in the town of Norvelt are dead by poison.

Did we mention it's a kids' book, too?

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The Salt
12:35 am
Sat September 21, 2013

No Schmear Job: A Brief History Of Bagels And Lox

A marriage made in New York, though both partners came with plenty of baggage.
Jerry Deutsch iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 12:35 pm

There's a certain kind of joy in breaking the overnight fast by biting into a bagel: crackling crust, chewy center, smooth and silky cream cheese, sharp smoked salmon. For some, capers and onions join the ritual.

But just who invented this breakfast staple, which has become as American as apple pie?

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Deceptive Cadence
12:31 am
Sat September 21, 2013

Leonard Bernstein's Unconventional 'Anxiety'

Leonard Bernstein's Age of Anxiety symphony is as unconventional as its creator.
Courtesy of Library of Congress

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 12:30 pm

Like Leonard Bernstein himself, there is absolutely nothing predictable about the music he wrote. None of the three amazing works Bernstein labeled as "symphonies" in any way resemble a conventional orchestral symphony.

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It's All Politics
12:29 am
Sat September 21, 2013

Have Obama's Troubles Weakened Him For Fall's Fiscal Fights?

President Obama arrives on the South Lawn of the White House on Friday.
Evan Vucci AP

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

President Obama has had a tough year. He failed to pass gun legislation. Plans for an immigration overhaul have stalled in the House. He barely escaped what would have been a humiliating rejection by Congress on his plan to strike Syria.

Just this week, his own Democrats forced Larry Summers, the president's first choice to head the Federal Reserve, to withdraw.

Former Clinton White House aide Bill Galston says all these issues have weakened the unity of the president's coalition.

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The Salt
12:28 am
Sat September 21, 2013

Trader Joe's Ex-President To Turn Expired Food Into Cheap Meals

Doug Rauch wants to take wholesome food that grocers have to throw away and cook and sell it as low-cost, prepared meals.
Bunnyhero Flickr

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 12:18 pm

Here's some food for thought: One-third of the world's food goes to waste every year. In the U.S., about 40 percent of our food gets thrown out. It's happening on the farm, at the grocery store and in our own homes.

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The Two-Way
1:39 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

Document Sheds New Light On The Time The U.S. Almost Nuked Itself

An atomic cloud rises July 25, 1946 during the "Baker Day" blast at Bikini Island in the Pacific.
National Archives Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 1:48 pm

"One simple, dynamo-technology, low voltage switch stood between the United States and a major catastrophe."

That is the blunt 1969 assessment of Parker F. Jones, the then supervisor of the nuclear weapons safety department at Sandia National Laboratories, in a newly declassified document that sheds light on a 1961 accident in which the United States almost nuked North Carolina.

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It's All Politics
1:35 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

Not-So-Fond Memories From The Last Government Shutdowns

A sign hangs in the window of an information booth at the Lincoln Memorial in December 1995, announcing the temporary closure of the attraction due to the government shutdown.
Mark Wilson AP

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 2:38 pm

For those old enough to remember, the government shutdown skirmishing now underway in Washington brings back some not-so-fond memories of late 1995 and early 1996.

That's the last time a divided government, unable to settle its differences before the money from previous years' spending bills ran out, forced dozens of agencies to close. Some 800,000 federal workers were told to stay home and millions of Americans were shut out of everything from their national parks to small-business loans.

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The Two-Way
12:55 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

BlackBerry To Slash Workforce Amid $1 Billion Loss

BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins officially unveils the Z10 smartphone in January.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 1:30 pm

BlackBerry on Friday issued an early earnings report accompanied by some bad news for its workers — a nearly $1 billion quarterly loss and a 40 percent layoff that amounts to about 4,500 employees.

The AP reports:

"The stock dropped 19 percent to $8.50 after reopening for trading. Shares had been halted pending the news.

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National Security
12:24 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

The Effects Of The Snowden Leaks Aren't What He Intended

Edward Snowden's leaks about the NSA's secret surveillance program have pushed the agency to expedite planned reforms ahead of schedule, according to NSA officials.
Maxim Shemetov Reuters/Landov

An official assessment of the damage caused by news leaks about government surveillance programs suggests that terrorist groups are changing their communication methods in response to the disclosures, according to officials at the National Security Agency.

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Shots - Health News
12:15 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

How Many Die From Medical Mistakes In U.S. Hospitals?

Sometimes the care that's supposed to help winds up hurting instead.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 3:58 am

It seems that every time researchers estimate how often a medical mistake contributes to a hospital patient's death, the numbers come out worse.

In 1999, the Institute of Medicine published the famous "To Err Is Human" report, which dropped a bombshell on the medical community by reporting that up to 98,000 people a year die because of mistakes in hospitals. The number was initially disputed, but is now widely accepted by doctors and hospital officials — and quoted ubiquitously in the media.

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Politics
11:52 am
Fri September 20, 2013

Obama's Latest Challenges Go Beyond The GOP

President Obama gestures as he speaks to workers at the Ford Kansas City Stamping Plant in Liberty, Mo., on Friday.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 12:54 pm

President Obama took his fiscal fight with congressional Republicans to America's heartland Friday. Speaking at a Ford assembly plant near Kansas City, Mo., Obama warned that the federal government could turn into a "deadbeat" unless Congress passes a stopgap spending bill and agrees to raise the debt limit within the next few weeks.

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Code Switch
11:52 am
Fri September 20, 2013

This Tiny Town Is Trying To Stop Neo-Nazis From Taking Over

Craig Cobb's house on Main Street in Leith, N.D., where he spends his days posting online comments advocating for white supremacists to join his settlement. Cobb, a self-described white supremacist, has invited fellow white separatists to help him transform the town into a white enclave.
Kevin Cederstrom AP

A white supremacist has plans to take over a tiny town in North Dakota and turn it into one for whites only. This weekend, members of one of the nation's largest neo-Nazi organizations will descend upon the town in a step toward making that vision a reality — and several residents are trying to stop them.

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Movie Interviews
11:52 am
Fri September 20, 2013

Stuart Blumberg Really Wants To Talk About Sex

Stuart Blumberg has written several films, but Thanks for Sharing is his first directorial effort.
Anne Joyce Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 12:28 pm

When somebody enters a 12-step program to deal with addiction, it's meant to be an all-encompassing, life-changing process — and one we don't always hear about.

But in Stuart Blumberg's romantic comedy Thanks for Sharing, which hits theaters this weekend, the 12-step program is front and center. In this case it's for people struggling day to day with sex addiction, forging bonds with their fellow addicts and sponsors.

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The Two-Way
11:29 am
Fri September 20, 2013

'On The Media' Presents: A Consumer's Guide To Breaking News

On The Media's breaking news consumer's handbook.
On The Media

When breaking news happens, it's almost always the case that the reporting (and misreporting) of the events shares in the spotlight. (Case in point, Jon Stewart's ruthless take down of CNN's reporting of the Navy Yard mass shooting, this week.)

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World
11:16 am
Fri September 20, 2013

All Across Brazil, The Art Scene Is Shifting

A couple review the work of Brazilian artist Victor Arruda during ArtRio, the International Art Fair of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Sept. 5.
Yasuyoshi Chiba AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 1:15 pm

Brazil is known for its music and distinctive dances, not necessarily for its paintings or photography. But that is changing. Not only are Brazilian artists now getting big play in major museums around the world, but something new is happening inside Brazil: There's a burgeoning appetite for art.

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The Two-Way
10:47 am
Fri September 20, 2013

Powerful Typhoon Has Hong Kong In Its Sights

In this NASA image released Thursday, Typhoon Usagi is seen nearing Taiwan and the Philippines.
NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team

Super-typhoon Usagi — the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane with sustained winds of 150 mph — is expected to skirt the Philippines and Taiwan before slamming into the Chinese coast near Hong Kong over the weekend.

The storm is forecast to skirt the coast of Luzon in the northern Philippines on Friday and brush the southern tip of Taiwan on Saturday. Although it is expected to be downgraded in strength by the time it hits Hong Kong on Sunday evening, Typhoon Usagi could still do considerable damage.

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Shots - Health News
9:55 am
Fri September 20, 2013

Study Finds Mixed Results For Back Braces To Treat Scoliosis

Scoliosis didn't keep golfer Stacy Lewis from becoming a top-ranked pro. She spent almost eight years wearing a back brace, yet still had to have surgery.
Jonathan Ferrey Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 10:38 am

For decades, doctors have been recommending that children with scoliosis wear a back brace so that the sideways curve of the spine doesn't get worse.

But there was scant evidence to prove back braces really help.

And telling a teenage girl she's going to have to wear a brace 18 hours a day for 7 1/2 years, as pro golfer Stacy Lewis did, can be a tough sell for parent and child alike.

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Music Interviews
9:53 am
Fri September 20, 2013

A Young Composer Steps Outside Of Himself (And Into Pop)

Composer Ellis Ludwig-Leone leads the chamber-pop ensemble San Fermin.
Kyle Dean Reinford Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 12:59 pm

In an era when an online single or leaked demo can make or break a band, a young New York composer is taking a chance on a full-blown concept album. Ellis Ludwig-Leone is the 24-year-old, classically trained leader of the group San Fermin, whose self-titled debut tells a 17-song love story.

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The Two-Way
9:37 am
Fri September 20, 2013

Hiroshi Yamauchi, Nintendo's Visionary President, Dies

Hiroshi Yamauchi (left), with the founder of Kyocera, Kazuo Inamori, in 2000.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 10:08 am

For those of us of a certain age, Hiroshi Yamauchi brings fond memories of childhood triumph. His name was always in the end credits of Nintendo games during the company's heyday in the '80s and '90s.

Yamauchi, who was president of Nintendo from 1949 to 2002, re-imagined the Kyoto-based firm from a playing-card company to a pioneer in the video game industry. Yamauchi died Thursday at age 85.

David Sheff, author of Game Over: How Nintendo Conquered The World, says Yamauchi was a ruthless business man who, nonetheless, had a knack for picking talent.

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Parallels
9:25 am
Fri September 20, 2013

Will The U.S. Grant A Visa To Sudan's Indicted Leader?

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir, who faces genocide charges, has applied for a visa to come to the U.S. for the annual United Nations General Assembly next week. The U.S. has not yet said whether he'll be allowed in the country.
Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 3:09 pm

As the host of the United Nations, the U.S. is supposed to let everyone come to the annual U.N. General Assembly, not just the people it likes.

But this year, the proposition is being put to the test. Sudan's president, Omar al-Bashir, was indicted three years ago by the International Criminal Court on genocide charges stemming from the mass killings in Sudan's western Darfur region.

Bashir has also applied for a visa to the U.N. meetings next week.

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