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5:13 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

A Journey Of Pain And Beauty: On Becoming Transgender In India

Abhina Aher was born a boy biologically and is now a hijra, a member of an ancient transgender community in India. Of her painful physical and psychological transformation, Aher remembers now: "I just wanted to become a beautiful butterfly."
Julie McCarthy NPR

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 6:29 pm

The signs came early that Abhina Aher was different.

Born a boy biologically and given the male name Abhijit, Aher grew up in a middle-class neighborhood of Mumbai, India. The son of a single mother who nurtured a love of dance, Aher would watch enthralled as she performed.

"I used to wear the clothes that my mother used to wear — her jewelry, her makeup," Aher, now 37, recalls. "That is something which used to extremely fascinate me."

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This Week's Must Read
4:50 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

A Love Letter To Literature: Reading Gabo In 'The Paris Review'

Writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who won the Nobel Prize in 1982, died Thursday at 87.
Paco Junquera Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 5:13 pm

Everyone has a favorite Gabriel Garcia Marquez book, and mine is Love in the Time of Cholera. It's the story of a romance that lasts decades, unwinding through the pages of the book. It's verbose, vibrant and full of love.

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It's All Politics
4:31 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Are Democrats Trying To Energize The Base With The Race Card?

Attorney General Eric Holder (right) recently expressed outrage at the treatment President Obama and he have received from conservatives. He stopped just short of saying it was race-related, leaving that for the African-American audience at the recent National Action Network convention to decide.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 5:46 pm

Few mixtures in American life are more emotionally combustible than the one formed by the combination of politics and race.

That helps explain why Democrats, in general, and President Obama, in particular, have tended to steer clear of overtly raising race as an issue to explain some of the opposition to Obama's presidency and agenda.

There seems to be a shift in recent days, however.

Top Democratic party officials have either directly or indirectly blamed race for some of the hostility to Obama, his policies, or both.

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The Salt
3:53 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

In The Land Of Razor Clams, Dinner Hides Deep Within The Sand

Clams this fresh taste like tender calamari.
Martin Kaste/NPR

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 5:13 pm

As soon as you drive into town, it's pretty clear that Long Beach, Wash., is all about the razor clam. The first clue is the giant frying pan. It's 14 feet tall and a relic of the clam festivals of the 1940s. And then there's the clam statue that spits when you insert a quarter.

But if you really want to see how much people here love their clams, you'd have to be like Karen Harrell and get up before dawn and drive out onto the blustery beach to go clam digging.

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Politics
3:48 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

In Virginia, Politicians Fish For Support At Old-Fashioned Event

Former Sen. George Allen (center) greets attendees at the 64th annual Wakefield Shad Planking in Wakefield, Va., in April 2012. This year's Shad Planking featured Democratic Sen. Mark Warner as the speaker.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 5:13 pm

At a time when new technologies and social media are transforming politics, we turn to a decidedly old-fashioned campaign event. It's an annual festival known as the Shad Planking, a spring rite of Virginia politics for nearly 70 years.

It's a must-attend event for state politicians, who practice the oldest form of retail politicking among tall pine trees at a dusty campsite.

In Wakefield, about an hour southeast of Virginia's capital of Richmond, shad fish have been roasting by on an open fire since 5 a.m. They're nailed to oak planks.

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Africa
3:42 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Somalis In Kenya Are Used To Raids, But They Say This Was Different

Kenyan security officers rounded up people Friday as part of a crackdown that has swept up thousands of undocumented refugees, immigrants and Kenyan citizens of Somali descent in recent weeks.
Tony Karumba AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 6:12 pm

Mohammed Ali Isaac's hands shook as he showed his Kenyan ID to the police officers. They let him pass, but his cousins weren't so lucky. The two women had forgotten their IDs at home, and the police were threatening to load them into one of three large trucks they'd brought for the purpose.

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NPR Story
3:41 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Cosby Represents

As an entertainer, Bill Cosby included Latin music and many Latino actors. Host Maria Hinojosa and producer Daisy Rosario talk about what seeing Latinos represented in Cosby's work has meant to them.

NPR Story
3:41 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Sabiduría: Lessons In Longevity

Pianist and composer Irving Fields was born in Brooklyn in 1915. After hearing Latin music in Cuba, he became one of the foremost interpreters of American-style Rumba. He's still performing today.

NPR Story
3:07 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Salsa Is Food, Not Music

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 3:41 pm

We call the music salsa, but is that really the right name? We talk to our guests about salsa as a marketing term, whether or not it's a rhythm, and what we really mean when we say salsa.

The Two-Way
3:02 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Rescue Workers Erect Memorial To Washington Mudslide Victims

A memorial erected by rescue workers near the site of the March 22 mudslide that killed at least 39 people.
Martin Kaste NPR

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 8:35 pm

Rescue workers still searching for bodies from the March 22 landslide that killed at least 39 people near the town of Oso, Washington, erected a simple, but moving memorial to the victims of the tragedy. Four people are still listed as missing.

NPR's Martin Kaste, who took the photo, says the rescue effort is in a "transition phase" as crews from other states are leaving and being replaced by fresh searchers.

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All Tech Considered
3:01 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Airbnb To Start Charging Hotel Taxes In A Handful Of Cities

Airbnb, the online home-rental service, says it will start collecting hotel taxes in a few American cities.
Chris Weeks Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 5:13 pm

When Regitze Visby, a tourist visiting San Francisco from Denmark, searched for accommodations for her trip and saw she could stay at one of the famed "painted ladies" on Alamo Square through Airbnb, she took it.

At $135 a night, "it was a good deal," she says.

But does she know if she's paying a transient occupancy tax or a hotel tax? "I have no idea," she says.

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Code Switch
2:58 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Playwright Phillip Hayes Dean Dies At 83

Courtesy of Craig Schwartz Photography

Playwright Phillip Hayes Dean died earlier this week. His family says the 83 year-old died in Los Angeles of a heart condition. He was in the midst of overseeing a production of his most famous play, "Paul Robeson."

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It's All Politics
2:46 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Obama: Your Question, Ms. Keith?

Snapshots from a NPR White House correspondent's life. That's Tamara Keith's Air Force 1 selfie (bottom left), and her asking the president a question at Thursday's press conference (upper right).
Tamara Keith NPR

I officially became NPR's White House correspondent in January. But the job didn't seem real until Thursday at 3:56 PM, when the President of the United States looked down at a white note card and said "ahhhh, Tamara Keith."

That was my cue to ask a question — my first at a presidential press conference.

Here's what the experience felt like — and how it happened.

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Sports
2:44 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Welcome, Spring — And More Importantly, Playoff Hockey

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 5:13 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

After the marathon, Boston sports fans will still have playoff hockey. If you pay attention to the National Hockey League, then you probably heard or maybe even said that there's nothing like the playoffs. And judging from the start of this year's playoffs, it's not an exaggeration. Here to talk more about it is sportswriter Stefan Fatsis. And, Stefan, the NHL playoffs began on Wednesday, but just how exciting have these first games been?

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Shots - Health News
2:41 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

One Scientist's Quest To Vanquish Epileptic Seizures

The dream of epilepsy research, says neurobiologist Ivan Soltesz, is to stop seizures by manipulating only some brain cells, not all.
Steve Zylius UC Irvine Communications

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 5:13 pm

In the early 1990s, a young brain researcher named Ivan Soltesz heard a story that would shape his career.

His adviser told him about a school for children whose epileptic seizures were so severe and frequent that they had to wear helmets to prevent head injuries. The only exception to the helmet rule was for students who received an award.

"The big deal for them is that they can take the helmet off while they're walking across the stage," Soltesz says. "And that thing struck me as just wrong."

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Commentary
2:41 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Week In Politics: A Deal On Ukraine And Health Care Numbers

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 5:13 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And we're joined now by our regular Friday political observers, columnists E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and Brookings Institution. Hey there, E.J.

E.J. DIONNE: Hey, good to be with you.

CORNISH: And David Brooks of The New York Times. Hi there, David.

DAVID BROOKS: Good to be with you.

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Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
2:34 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Steely Dan On Piano Jazz

Donald Fagen (left) and Walter Becker of Steely Dan.
Danny Clinch Courtesy of the artist

In Steely Dan, guitarist Walter Becker and singer-pianist Donald Fagen are masters of irony and erudition.

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Music Interviews
2:08 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

On Latest Album, Gina Chavez Unearths Her Latin Roots

Up.Rooted is singer-songwriter Gina Chavez's sophomore effort and her first full-length album.
Judson Baker Courtesy of Press Junkie

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 5:13 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Texas native Gina Chavez did not come to music early on. When she was 18, she went to a country-blues show in Austin to hear singer Toni Price. It was after that she decided she wanted to learn how to play guitar. So she turned to her dad.

GINA CHAVEZ: You know, I said, hey, dad, don't you have a guitar in the closet? He pulls it out and turns out it's a 1954 Martin, which people who know things about guitars are, you know, they start drooling all over themselves.

CORNISH: A year later, she started writing her own songs.

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Environment
2:08 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Pipeline Put Off, As Keystone Review Is Indefinitely Extended

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 5:13 pm

The Keystone XL pipeline remains a major point of contention within the Democratic Party, as green voters pull President Obama one direction and pro-energy senators and labor unions pull the other. It looks as though the "comment period" for the project will be extended, delaying a decision past the November elections.

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Media
2:08 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

There Is A Media Slant, And Readers Might Be Responsible

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 5:13 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish. Your favorite newspaper has a political slant, thanks to you, the reader. That's the finding of University of Chicago economist Matthew Gentzkow. His work measuring media slant has in part won him this year's John Bates Clark Medal. The prestigious honor from the American Economic Association is given to the country's most promising economist under the age of 40.

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Ecstatic Voices
2:08 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

In New Mexico, A Brotherhood Of Ancient Hymns

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 5:13 pm

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Politics
2:08 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Hey, Superheroes On The National Mall: Any Advice For Congress?

People arrive on the National Mall Friday dressed as comic book characters during the kickoff of Awesome Con 2014 in Washington, D.C.
Meredith Rizzo/NPR

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 5:13 pm

Hundreds of people gathered on the National Mall Friday to see if they could break the Guinness World Record for the largest group dressed as comic book characters ever assembled.

It was the kickoff to Awesome Con 2014, a comic book convention that will take place in Washington, D.C., this weekend. In the end, the group came up short by several hundred people to break the world record.

But with so much superhero power concentrated next to the U.S. Capitol, NPR had to ask: Did the caped figures have any advice for Congress?

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Around the Nation
2:08 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Marathon Safety Embraced By Boston, For The Most Part

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 5:13 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

This year's Boston Marathon will take place on Monday, and it will have a lot more security than in the past. Last year, of course, two bombs near the finish line killed three people and injured dozens more. Afterwards, Massachusetts authorities spent months developing a new security plan. The goal was to create an environment that's safe and secure but still allows people to have fun. Whether the plan can achieve that remains an open question, as NPR's Jeff Brady reports.

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World
2:08 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Leaflets Given To Donetsk Jews Made Waves Worldwide, But Not In Donetsk

An anti-fascist sign hangs on the barricade outside an occupied government building in Donetsk.
Ari Shapiro NPR

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 5:13 pm

A development in Eastern Ukraine has set social media on fire and triggered outrage around the world.

In the city of Donetsk, someone distributed fliers ordering Jews to register with the separatists who have taken over government buildings.

Even though nobody in Ukraine believed the leaflet was real, the fliers hit a nerve.

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News
2:08 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Disaster On Everest Marks Deadliest Day In Mountain's History

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 5:13 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Just ahead of peak climbing season on Mount Everest, tragedy has struck once again. At least 12 local climbers are dead and several more or missing after a massive avalanche this morning. The climbers, Nepalese Sherpas, were setting up ropes along a dangerous stretch of slope used by adventure tourism companies. This is looking to be the deadliest day in Mount Everest's history and the worst accident since 1996 when eight climbers died in a blizzard.

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The Salt
2:03 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Like Ham? There's A Festival For That In French Basque Country

Visitors look at Bayonne hams displayed on the first day of the yearly ham fair.
Gaizka Iroz AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 3:52 pm

In Bayonne, they take their ham very, very seriously.

This medieval fortress of a town is minutes from the French seaside ports of Barritz and St. Jean de Luz, and not far from Spain's St. Sebastian. It has reigned as a cultural and commercial center for a millennium, according to historian Mark Kurlansky in The Basque History of the World.

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The Two-Way
1:58 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Keystone XL Pipeline Review Extended By State Department

A TransCanada Keystone Pipeline pump station operates outside Steele City, Neb. The State Department is extending the review period for the pipeline, given ongoing litigation in Nebraska over the project.
Lane Hickenbottom Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 4:08 pm

  • Tamara Keith's Report For 'All Things Considered'
This post was updated at 6 p.m. ET.

The State Department is giving federal agencies more time to review the Keystone XL Pipeline project. The additional time was given "based on the uncertainty created" by an ongoing legal battle in Nebraska, according to a State Department statement.

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World
1:56 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Captains Uncourageous: Abandoning Ship Long Seen As A Crime

The Costa Concordia ran aground off the Italian coast in 2012, killing 32 people. Its captain was accused of manslaughter and abandoning the 4,200 passengers and crew on the night of the wreck.
Andreas Solaro AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 2:30 pm

Cowardice comes in many forms, but there's a special sense of shame reserved for captains who abandon ship.

South Korean authorities have arrested Capt. Lee Jun-Seok, who was one of the first to flee from the ferry as it sank on Wednesday.

"I can't lift my face before the passengers and family members of those missing," Lee told reporters.

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Alt.Latino
1:24 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Salsa Legend Cheo Feliciano Dies

Cheo Feliciano at the opening of The Fania All Stars 2013 world tour in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
David F. Gasser LatinContent/Getty Images

Three days of mourning have been declared in Puerto Rico following the death of salsa great Cheo Feliciano in a car accident there early Thursday. The singer was 78. "His music embodied the rhythm of Puerto Ricans living in New York City," U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) said in a statement, "and his lyrics helped tell our collective story."

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A Blog Supreme
1:12 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Why Metallica's Bassist Is Producing A Jazz Documentary

The late virtuoso bassist Jaco Pastorius enjoyed only a relatively brief career, but was influential to musicians across genres.
Courtesy of JPI

It seems an unlikely match.

In one corner, you have Metallica's Robert Trujillo. The most popular heavy metal bassist alive, he prowls beast-like across arena stages, rumbling guts with the low B on the 5-string instrument he slings to one side like a battle ax.

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