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Author Interviews
12:09 pm
Sun June 2, 2013

Mapping 'The World' Of A Remote Afghan Village

In Oqa, Afghanistan, Boston weaves a saddlebag for her husband's donkey. The weavers of Oqa also weave large carpets, earning less than $1 a day for their work.
Courtesy Anna Badkhen

Originally published on Sun June 2, 2013 3:18 pm

When freelance journalist Anna Badkhen returned to Afghanistan in 2011, she set her eyes on a region so remote it doesn't exist on Google Maps.

In her new book, The World Is A Carpet: Four Seasons in an Afghan Village, Badkhen chronicles her time in Oqa - a rural, rainless village of 240 people and "40 doorless huts."

For many of its residents, survival hinges on the fingers of women and children. They engage in the local tradition of carpet weaving, earning about 40 cents a day for carpets that eventually sell for $5,000 to $20,000 abroad.

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The Two-Way
11:48 am
Sun June 2, 2013

Darrell Issa Calls White House Press Secretary A 'Paid Liar'

California Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, questioning Attorney General Eric Holder last week.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Rep. Darrell Issa, a Republican from California, took a heavy shot at White House Press Secretary Jay Carney today on CNN.

Issa said Carney was a "paid liar." He said Carney was "making things up" when he said the IRS targeting of Tea Party groups was undertaken by "rogue" local employees.

The review, said Issa, was "coordinated directly from headquarters in Washington."

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Music Interviews
11:11 am
Sun June 2, 2013

Eleanor Friedberger Unashamed Of Her Favorite Sounds

Eleanor Friedberger's new solo album is Personal Record.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun June 2, 2013 3:18 pm

Eleanor Friedberger was born in 1976, a little too late to have experienced much of that decade's music firsthand. But the singer-songwriter says she quickly made up for lost time.

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Around the Nation
10:23 am
Sun June 2, 2013

Detroit Museum Not The First To Consider Selling Out

Vincent van Gogh's Portrait of Postman Roulin is part of the collection in the city-owned Detroit Institute of Arts. The financially troubled city of Detroit is eyeing the sale of its prized artworks.
aPic Getty Images

Detroit doesn't have to wait for Antiques Roadshow to come to town to know the city owns priceless treasures. The city-owned Detroit Institute of Arts holds works by van Gogh, Matisse, Renoir and other artists that could bring in tens of millions of dollars each.

And they just might sell. With the city more than $15 billion in debt, Kevyn Orr, the state-appointed emergency manager trying to straighten out Detroit's finances, has asked the museum to inventory its works with an eye toward potentially selling them off.

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The Two-Way
9:23 am
Sun June 2, 2013

Egypt Court Says Upper House Of Parliament Elected Illegally

Originally published on Sun June 2, 2013 9:37 am

Egypt's Supreme Constitutional Court ruled Sunday that the country's upper house of parliament — the so-called Shura council — was illegally elected.

As CBS News reports, that is a serious blow to President Mohammed Morsi's Freedom and Justice party, the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood.

It will essentially cast a pretty big question mark over the constitution the Shura Council drafted and will no doubt embolden the opposition. CBS News explains:

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Parallels
7:41 am
Sun June 2, 2013

Greece Has A PR Problem. Can It Be Fixed?

A protester burns an effigy depicting a Greek worker, in front of parliament in Athens on April 28. A few hundred public servants protested peacefully as lawmakers voted on a new austerity bill.
Kostas Tsironis AP

Originally published on Sun June 2, 2013 8:06 am

Greece used to be a place with a positive global image: gorgeous islands, friendly people, great food and stunning history.

Then came the financial meltdown. Three years ago, when Greece became the first eurozone country to receive a multibillion-dollar bailout, many international media organizations portrayed Greeks as corrupt tax-evaders who liked to riot instead of work.

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Code Switch
7:38 am
Sun June 2, 2013

The Overwhelming Nature Of Code-Switching

Matthew Salesses and his daughter, Grace, pose for a photo.
Daniel Salesses

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 6:49 am

Code-switching can be far from empowering. When I was 2 1/2, I was adopted from Korea. I went from one culture to another, one language to another. For me, code-switching wasn't a freedom, or a choice. It was a one-way street.

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The Two-Way
7:24 am
Sun June 2, 2013

Veteran Storm Chaser Among Those Killed In Oklahoma

Tornado chaser Tim Samaras shows the probes he uses when trying to collect data from a tornado. This photo was taken May 26, 2006, in Ames, Iowa.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Sun June 2, 2013 9:46 am

Tim Samaras had one passion in life: Tornadoes. He told The Weather Channel that when he was kid, his mother sat him down in front of The Wizard of Oz; he was immediately entranced by the violent, dark twister that tore through the landscape.

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The Two-Way
3:22 am
Sun June 2, 2013

After Two Violent Days, Protesters In Turkey Return

Protesters clash with riot police between Taksim and Besiktas in Istanbul, on Sunday.
Gurcan Ozturk AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 2, 2013 10:00 am

This morning central Istanbul was quiet. It was still reeling from two days of anti-government rallies that led to violent confrontations with police. NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Turkey that some 900 people were arrested across the country and several hundred were wounded.

Peter said officials "are beginning to ask questions about who ordered the fierce police crackdown on peaceful demonstrators that triggered the massive anti-government reaction."

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The Two-Way
2:45 am
Sun June 2, 2013

Wildfires Force Evacuations In California, New Mexico

Firefighters keep watch at Green Valley as the fire has burned more than 1,400 acres since Thursday in the Angeles National Forest just north of Castaic, in California.
Zhao Hanrong Xinhua /Landov

Wildfires in California and New Mexico forced the evacuation of hundreds of homes Saturday evening.

The Los Angeles Times has a riveting account of how the Powerhouse fire near a hydroelectric plant in Santa Clarita burned through a few homes.

Patty Robitaille, 61, was forced to leave her home. She grabbed a few documents, pictures and her pit bull. Then, she looked back: "Driving away, you could see the town burning up," she told the paper. "I don't think there's going to be much left."

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Parallels
12:49 am
Sun June 2, 2013

U.S. Tourists Become Israeli Commandos For A Day

Businessmen from Philadelphia practice with wooden cutouts of rifles at Caliber 3, a counter-terrorism training center amid Israeli settlements south of Jerusalem. Millions of tourists visit Israel each year and for those interested in Israel's security, for a price they can spend a few hours learning commando techniques.
Emiliy Harris/NPR

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 3:29 am

After two hours of yelling, shooting and getting tough with a group of American businessmen one hot spring afternoon, Steve Gar turned to storytelling.

Gar is an instructor at Caliber3, a private counterterrorism training center in an Israeli settlement area south of Jerusalem that offers short shooting courses for tourists. Wrapping up the Americans' two-hour session, he called them all to gather around.

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Parallels
12:24 am
Sun June 2, 2013

A City Of Assad Supporters In War-Ravaged Syria

The port city of Tartous is in a region loyal to President Bashar Assad. The city has been a refuge for supporters to vacation and seek work.
Steve Inskeep NPR

Originally published on Sun June 2, 2013 9:33 am

Many people in Syria are accustomed to the sound of daily gunfire. It is normal in battle-scarred cities like Damascus or Qusair.

But along the beaches and in the cafes of Tartous, an area that is a center of support for the embattled President Bashar Assad, the sounds are a bit more peaceful.

Near the water's edge of the Mediterranean, tables, chairs and umbrellas sit upon huge stones. At one of these tables sits a brother and sister on vacation.

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It's All Politics
12:21 am
Sun June 2, 2013

Ted Cruz: 'The New Voice' Of The GOP?

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, accompanied by Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., speaks during a news conference with Tea Party leaders on May 16. Bachmann, chairwoman of the Tea Party Caucus, announced this week she won't seek re-election. Meanwhile, Cruz's fortunes continue to soar.
Molly Riley AP

Originally published on Sun June 2, 2013 5:56 am

On the same day this week that House Tea Party Caucus co-founder Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., announced she won't seek re-election, the fortunes of another Tea Party favorite continued to soar.

Freshman GOP Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas headlined a big fundraiser thrown by the New York Republican Party in the heart of Manhattan. More than 600 Republicans gathered to write checks to their struggling party, which has no statewide officeholders.

But it was not exactly a welcoming committee that awaited Cruz outside the Grand Hyatt hotel.

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Parallels
12:20 am
Sun June 2, 2013

Nodding Syndrome: A Devastating Medical Mystery In Uganda

Most of the children in the nodding syndrome ward at the Atanga Health Center in the Pader district in Uganda are severe cases, who first showed symptoms as early as 2002, or children who have been neglected by their parents. Staffers here treat these patients with a generic anti-convulsant drug called sodium valproate. They also provide the children and their caretakers with food.
Matthew Kielty for NPR

Originally published on Sun June 2, 2013 7:11 pm

It starts with the nodding — otherwise normal children begin to nod their heads, pathologically. Then come the seizures. The children stop growing and stop talking. Ultimately, the disease wrecks the children, physically and mentally.

The strange and deadly illness known as nodding syndrome affects only children, and only in a small pocket of East Africa. It has affected more than 3,000 children since the late 1990s, when it first appeared in what was then southern Sudan. And for more than three years, the cause of nodding syndrome has eluded epidemiologists around the globe.

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Education
12:20 am
Sun June 2, 2013

If Employment Game Has Changed, Who's Teaching The Rules?

Students aren't getting the advice they need to be successful, according to Anthony Carnevale, director of Georgetown's Center on Education and the Workforce.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun June 2, 2013 8:31 am

It still pays to earn a college degree. That is, if you get the right one. Georgetown University published a report Wednesday that looked into this dilemma.

"The labor market demands more specialization. So, the game has changed," says Anthony Carnevale, the report's co-author and director of Georgetown's Center on Education and the Workforce.

Carnevale says students probably aren't choosing the right degrees because they haven't been given the right guidance.

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The Deadly Tornado In Moore, Okla.
1:10 pm
Sat June 1, 2013

No 'Universal' Best Practice To Save Yourself From Tornadoes

A tornado forms over I-40 in Midwest City, Okla., during rush hour on Friday.
Alonzo Adams AP

Originally published on Sat June 1, 2013 1:11 pm

Friday's tornadoes came less than two weeks after an F-5 tornado destroyed a large section of Moore, just south of Oklahoma City. Both episodes raise two sides of one question: When caught in a tornado's path, should you run or hide?

For Morning Edition the day after the powerful tornado on May 20, NPR's Wade Goodwyn spoke with Molly Edwards, who was covered in pink insulation and standing on the rubble of her home with her family.

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U.S.
12:45 pm
Sat June 1, 2013

Bike-Sharing Programs Roll Into Cities Across The U.S.

New York this week became the latest major city to launch a bike-share program.
Craig Ruttle AP

Originally published on Sat June 1, 2013 4:28 pm

It's a good time to be a cyclist in America.

New York kicked off a new bike-sharing program this week, with Chicago and San Francisco both close behind. Those cities are expected to launch similar systems this summer.

The sharing programs are all check-in, check-out systems, with automated stations spread throughout a city, designed for point-to-point trips. "We try to encourage people to use it ... almost like a taxi," says Gabe Klein, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Transportation.

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The Two-Way
12:38 pm
Sat June 1, 2013

Jean Stapleton, Who Played Edith Bunker, Dies

Jean Stapleton as Edith Bunker and Carroll O'Connor as Archie Bunker on the CBS TV series All in the Family in 1976. Stapleton died Friday at 90.
CBS/Landov

Originally published on Sat June 1, 2013 1:28 pm

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Author Interviews
10:52 am
Sat June 1, 2013

'Nine Years' In A Baltimore Funeral Home

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat June 1, 2013 1:11 pm

When her beloved Aunt Mary passed away, 15-year-old Sheri Booker sought solace in an unusual summer job — at the Albert P. Wylie Funeral Home in the heart of Baltimore.

Booker's new memoir, Nine Years Under, describes the job that became a nine-year career and lifelong fascination with the business of burials.

"After Aunt Mary died, I felt like I needed closure," Booker explains. "I wanted answers. I wanted to make sure that she was in good hands, so I found a way into the funeral home, and it was only supposed to be a summer, but it ended up being nine years!"

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NPR Story
10:52 am
Sat June 1, 2013

American Tornado Preparedness Has History Of 'Bad Advice'

Originally published on Sat June 1, 2013 1:11 pm

Transcript

WADE GOODWYN, HOST:

Coming up, the strange history of tornado preparedness. Why exactly did they tell us to hide in the southwest corner of the basement? This is NPR News.

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NPR Story
10:52 am
Sat June 1, 2013

Week In News: Bachmann's Decision, Obama To Meet China's President

Originally published on Sat June 1, 2013 1:11 pm

Transcript

REPRESENTATIVE MICHELE BACHMANN: I will not seek a fifth congressional term to represent the wonderful people of the 6th District of Minnesota.

WADE GOODWYN, HOST:

That's Republican Representative Michele Bachmann announcing her decision in a video released early on Wednesday morning. James Fallows of The Atlantic joins us, as he does most Saturdays. Hello, Jim.

JAMES FALLOWS: Hello, Wade.

GOODWYN: Michele Bachmann, a Tea Party darling - are you surprised?

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Music Interviews
10:52 am
Sat June 1, 2013

Darius Rucker Keeps Stoking His Country Style With 'True Believers'

Originally published on Sun June 2, 2013 11:57 am

Darius Rucker, famous for his rock music with Hootie and the Blowfish, has a third country music album out, called True Believers. He speaks with guest host Wade Goodwyn about his inspiration for the tracks on the album and the wide range of country music styles it covers.

World
10:52 am
Sat June 1, 2013

Violence In Turkey Casts Shadow On Olympic Bid

Originally published on Sat June 1, 2013 1:11 pm

The city of Istanbul for the fifth time is bidding to host the 2020 summer Olympics. It pitched itself as "an emerged nation" to the Olympic Committee. But at the same time, NPR's Peter Kenyon tells guest host Wade Goodwyn, images of police firing tear gas canisters and water cannons at anti-development protesters seemed to send a different kind of message this week.

Law
10:45 am
Sat June 1, 2013

Court Prepares To Write New Chapters In Civil Rights History

The Supreme Court is set to deliver opinions in cases involving affirmative action, the voting rights law and same-sex marriage.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sat June 1, 2013 11:42 am

It's not unusual for the Supreme Court to find itself at the center of roiling national debates.

But this month, justices are poised to deliver blockbuster opinions involving three of the most divisive issues in the public arena. And in doing so, they will write new and potentially groundbreaking chapters in America's civil rights story.

Affirmative action. Voting rights law. Same-sex marriage.

By June's end, Americans will know if and how public colleges and universities may administer programs designed to enroll more minority students.

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The Two-Way
10:20 am
Sat June 1, 2013

Atlantic Hurricane Season Kicks Off Quietly

Satellite image of Hurricane Sandy in October of last year.
NOAA

Today marks the beginning of the six-month Atlantic hurricane season. Maybe it's a good sign, then, that it's pretty quiet out there. The National Hurricane Center is watching only a small wave near Mexico that has a low possibility of developing into a tropical system.

NPR's Debbie Elliott, however, reports the season is expected to be pretty busy. She filed this report for our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
7:15 am
Sat June 1, 2013

UN: Iraq Records 1,045 Deaths In May; Highest In Years

The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq has this grim piece of news today:

"According to casualty figures released today by UNAMI, a total of 1,045 Iraqis were killed and another 2,397 were wounded in acts of terrorism and acts of violence in May.

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Code Switch
5:41 am
Sat June 1, 2013

Haters Gonna Hate, As Shown On A Map

Originally published on Sat June 1, 2013 9:36 am

Note: This post contains strong language, including racial and ethnic slurs.

Geography professor Monica Stephens has spent a lot of time putting haters on the map. Over at Humboldt State University in California where she is a professor, Stephens and a team of undergraduate students spent a year sorting through racial slurs on Twitter by location. And then she mapped them.

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The Two-Way
5:04 am
Sat June 1, 2013

The Case For Vegetarianism, Delivered By A Toddler

Luiz Antonio.
YouTube

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 10:29 am

This blogger will admit that he has struggled off and on with his decision to eat meat. He'll also admit that explaining the food chain to his 3-year-old daughter has produced more soul-searching.

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The Two-Way
4:11 am
Sat June 1, 2013

On Second Day, Anti-Government Protests Swell In Turkey

Turkish protestors and riot policemen clash on Saturday, during a protest against the demolition of Taksim Gezi Park, in Taksim Square in Istanbul.
Bulent Kilic AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 1, 2013 8:04 am

What started as a small protest against the redevelopment of a park in Istanbul, Turkey, has spread to other cities and turned into one of the largest government protests in recent memory. While numbers are hard to come by, Al Jazeera reports that about 10,000 people gathered in Ankara chanting "government resign" and "unite against fascism."

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Movie Interviews
3:30 am
Sat June 1, 2013

Charting The Career Of The 'Evocateur' Of Talk

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Morton Downey Jr. was the loudest mouth on television. He treated guests like guys on the other side of the wrestling ring - bullying, hectoring and blowing smoke in their faces.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE MORTON DOWNEY JR. SHOW")

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Why?

MORTON DOWNEY JR.: Why? What the hell do you mean why? Are you nuts? Get him out of here. Get this guy out...

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