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4:11 am
Sun January 20, 2013

Fiction Truer Than Fact: A Haunting Autobiographical Novel

Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 11:28 am

Sarah Manguso's latest book is called The Guardians.

I like autobiographies that approach their subjects insidiously. My favorite ones begin as a study of someone or something else. Then, partway through, the author realizes he's the subject. And my very favorite autobiographies are the ones, in all their particularity, that might as well be about me — or you, or anyone.

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It's All Politics
4:03 am
Sun January 20, 2013

5 Questions About The Inauguration

Workers seen through a fence adjust American flags on the Capitol during preparations Thursday for the inauguration.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 10:28 am

1) Why Monday?

Inaugural events are sprinkled over three days, with the most important one actually taking place out of the public eye on Sunday. That's when the official oath of office will be administered at the White House, on the date and time (noon on Jan. 20) specified by the Constitution. But because the 20th falls on a Sunday this year, the public festivities, including another oath taking, all happen Monday.

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It's All Politics
4:03 am
Sun January 20, 2013

Presidential Double Take: The Difference Four Years Makes

President Obama seems to have picked up a few gray hairs in the four years since he was sworn in on Jan. 20, 2009 (left). On the right, he's shown in December 2012.
Getty Images/AFP NPR

Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 1:56 pm

Every president gets sworn in once, but it's a smaller club of presidents who manage to get there twice. Here's a look at some recent presidents who served two terms. See who changed the most (or the least) in four years.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

It's All Politics
4:03 am
Sun January 20, 2013

Obama So Far: Making History, Inspiring An Opposition

President Obama walks outside the Oval Office on May 3.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Sun January 20, 2013 7:17 am

Any American president hoping to stake a claim to being viewed by future generations as great and transformative — or at least very good and effective — would be wise to choose his predecessor well.

To that end, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan probably couldn't have done better than to follow, respectively, James Buchanan, Herbert Hoover and Jimmy Carter.

Similarly, President Obama no doubt benefited from comparisons to George W. Bush, who's unlikely to make many historians' lists of the presidential greats.

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Author Interviews
4:02 am
Sun January 20, 2013

Presidents Use Bully Pulpit To Shape American Language In 'Words'

Bloomsbury

Originally published on Sun January 20, 2013 6:05 am

The office of the president offers a lot of responsibilities and privileges. Your actions drive the world's most powerful military, billions of dollars worth of domestic policy and, perhaps most importantly, the way the country speaks.

That's what linguist and writer Paul Dickson contends in his new book, Words From the White House. It's a look back through history at the words and phrases popularized by our presidents — including the ones they don't get credit for anymore.

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Politics
4:02 am
Sun January 20, 2013

What Obama May Do Next, At Home And Around The World

Originally published on Sun January 20, 2013 6:05 am

Host Rachel Martin speaks with NPR correspondents Ari Shapiro, Scott Horsley and Michele Kelemen about President Obama's likely second-term agenda, from handling debt and the deficit to gun control and next steps in the country's relationship with Iran.

Religion
4:02 am
Sun January 20, 2013

In Inauguration, A 'Worship Of The Nation'

Originally published on Sun January 20, 2013 6:05 am

Among the sentiments of love of country and national unity, presidential inaugurations also have a religious element. Host Rachel Martin talks with Stephen Prothero, professor of American religion at Boston University, about how the role of faith in inauguration ceremonies has changed over the years.

Around the Nation
4:02 am
Sun January 20, 2013

Dependent On Arms Plant, N.Y. Town Braces For Gun Laws' Impact

Standing near the Remington Arms factory, Beth Neale, deputy mayor of Ilion, N.Y., says she's watched a lot of large manufacturers leave the region. She's not sure Ilion would easily recover from losing Remington.
Marie Cusick for NPR

Originally published on Sun January 20, 2013 11:30 am

When New York state passed a wave of new gun-control laws on Jan. 15, it outlawed a type of assault rifle made just over an hour's drive from the state capital.

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Around the Nation
4:02 am
Sun January 20, 2013

After Sandy Hook Shootings, Dads Step Up Security

Originally published on Sun January 20, 2013 12:46 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

After the Newtown shootings, some suggested that schools look to local volunteers to beef up security. One national organization has been doing that for years. It's called Watch D.O.G.S., and it organizes fathers to volunteer in their children's schools. After Sandy Hook, the group's strategy didn't changed. Some Watchdogs say they've just become even more vigilant. NPR's Sam Sanders has this report.

SAM SANDERS, BYLINE: Like school principals all over the country, Michelle Wise sprung into action after Sandy Hook.

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Middle East
4:02 am
Sun January 20, 2013

Mitigating The 'Dysfunctional' U.S.-Israeli Relationship

Originally published on Sun January 27, 2013 7:13 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The way that Israelis vote and the policies that motivate those decisions will be watched closely from this country as well.

For more on what this election and events in the Middle East mean for the United States, I'm joined by Aaron David Miller. He's a vice president and distinguished scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington. He's also a former Middle East negotiator. He joins us now.

Mr. Miller, thanks so much for being with us.

AARON DAVID MILLER: A pleasure, Rachel.

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Around the Nation
4:02 am
Sun January 20, 2013

Welcome To Alaska, Where Winter Is Cold And Bikes Are Fat

Bike shop owner Kevin Breitenbach rides a fat bike in the White Mountains National Recreation Area in Alaska in March.
Josh Spice

Originally published on Sun January 20, 2013 7:44 am

The plummeting mercury in Alaska this time of year doesn't keep bikers inside. More and more of them are heading to recreational trails and to the office on "fat bikes." They look like mountain bikes on steroids, with tires wider than most people's arms.

Kevin Breitenbach runs the bike shop at Beaver Sports in Alaska's second-largest city. Aboard a fat bike, he makes his way down a trail that winds through a forest as wet, quarter-sized snowflakes drop from the sky. Visibility is low, and the snow hides the roughest spots on the trail.

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Around the Nation
4:02 am
Sun January 20, 2013

'That's Our Guy': Chicagoans Welcome Obama Back To D.C.

Chicagoan Janice Trice was an Obama volunteer in 2008 and 2012. Her husband died on Election Day in 2008, before he could celebrate Barack Obama's victory, or even find out that he won. She says this pilgrimage is a way for her to honor his memory.
Sam Sanders NPR

Originally published on Sun January 20, 2013 7:23 am

For President Obama's first inauguration, Rep. Danny Davis of Illinois organized a group of more than 700 people — on 10 buses — to make the journey from Chicago to Washington, D.C.

Last time, one of those buses broke down. This time, however, the group decided to take an 18-hour Amtrak ride to see the second presidential inauguration of their hometown hero.

Davis staffer Tumia Romero, who organized the trip, says she did not want to deal with the nightmare of a bus having issues again.

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Middle East
4:02 am
Sun January 20, 2013

Ahead Of Elections, Israelis Talk Politics

Originally published on Sun January 27, 2013 7:13 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Israelis are going to the polls this week in national elections. And yes, the big issues that are always part of Israeli politics are still there: the conflict with the Palestinians, the threat from Iran. But it's not just security that's on the minds of voters in Israel, especially young people. Last week in Tel Aviv, a bunch of 20-something Israelis gathered in a warehouse on the city's waterfront to talk politics.

(SOUNDBITE OF A CROWD)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Grazie, red wine here.

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Music News
4:02 am
Sun January 20, 2013

A High School Salsa Band In The Inaugural Parade? 'Of Course!'

The young musicians of Seguro Que Si will perform in this weekend's Inaugural Parade. Left to right: Daniel Chico (bass), Kevin Arguelles (piano), Maxwell Frost (timbales), Christopher Muriel (congas), Niyah Lowell (bongos), Annette Rodriguez (vocal), Sean Fernandez (trumpet), Robby Cruz (trumpet).
Greg Allen NPR

Originally published on Sun January 20, 2013 10:13 am

In the Inaugural Parade following the president's swearing-in on Monday, regimental and high school marching bands will appear alongside groups showcasing the nation's diversity. These include a float representing South Carolina and Georgia's Gullah-Geechee culture, plus Native American groups and a mariachi band from Texas. Bringing the salsa is Seguro Que Si, a high school band from Kissimmee, Fla.

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Inauguration 2013
10:27 pm
Sat January 19, 2013

The Presidential Oath: Not Always Perfect, But It Gets The Job Done

Barack Obama takes the oath of office beside his wife Michelle and daughters Sasha, right, and Malia, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 20, 2009.
Chuck Kennedy AP

Originally published on Sun January 20, 2013 4:20 pm

President Obama takes the oath of office for a second term on Sunday and Monday. By the time he is through Monday, he and President Franklin D. Roosevelt will be the only two presidents to have taken the presidential oath four times — Roosevelt because he was elected four times, and Obama because he will have taken the oath twice the first time and twice the second.

Obama took the oath twice in 2009 because he and Chief Justice John Roberts messed it up a bit the first time and redid it a second time in private to quell any questions about Obama being president.

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Monkey See
10:13 pm
Sat January 19, 2013

Our Royalty: Bangs Aren't All Michelle Obama And Kate Middleton Have In Common

First lady Michelle Obama waves after addressing the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Sept. 4.
Jae C. Hong AP

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 10:28 am

Ask yourself this question: How weird would it be if you changed your hair and it was on the news?

No, seriously. Pull back from everything you know about celebrity and pretend it's about you. You change your hair. You decide, "Hey, you know what? It's been long for a while; what if I went a little shorter?" And so you go a little shorter. And then it is on the news.

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Sunday Puzzle
10:03 pm
Sat January 19, 2013

What's In A Name?

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun January 20, 2013 9:25 am

On-air challenge: You will be given the first names of two famous people, past or present. The first person's last name, when you drop the initial letter, becomes the second person's last name. For example, given "Harold" and "Kingsley," the answer would be "Harold Ramis" and "Kingsley Amis."

Last week's challenge: Think of two familiar, unhyphenated, eight-letter words that contain the letters A, B, C, D, E and F, plus two others, in any order. What words are these?

Answer: feedback; boldface

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It's All Politics
4:47 pm
Sat January 19, 2013

On His Campaign Promises Report Card, Obama Did 'Pretty Well'

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 5:25 pm

PolitiFact has been keeping a list — a very long list — on the president's first term.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning political watchdog assesses the veracity of political claims, and this week, it released a report card on the promises Obama made during his first presidential campaign.

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Education
3:28 pm
Sat January 19, 2013

New Reading Standards Aim To Prep Kids For College — But At What Cost?

New education standards place more emphasis on nonfiction reading and writing over fiction works. Some say this could lead students away from a passionate engagement with literature.
Chris Sadowski iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 7:17 pm

Once upon a time, in the long ago world of high school reading, Holden Caulfield was perhaps the epitome of angst: a young man suddenly an outcast in the world he thought he knew. The antihero of J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye was about to enter a perilous journey of self-discovery.

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Around the Nation
3:28 pm
Sat January 19, 2013

The Rev. Al Sharpton, In Six True-False Statements

Rev. Al Sharpton, founder and president of National Action Network (NAN), prepares to leave its corporate office for the WWRL radio station in New York, January 11.
Shiho Fukada for NPR

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 9:19 am

Editor's note: NPR's Corey Dade recently traveled to New York to interview the Rev. Al Sharpton about the unusual arc of his checkered career, from pugnacious street fighter for racial justice to savvy insider with ties to CEOs, a successful television show and the the ear of a soon-to-be second-term president.

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Music
3:10 pm
Sat January 19, 2013

Janis Joplin: The Queen Of Rock

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 5:25 pm

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

If you're just tuning in, this is WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden. And it's time now for music. Today, a major musical birthday.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PIECE OF MY HEART")

JANIS JOPLIN: (Singing) I want you to come on, come on...

LYDEN: Janis Joplin would have turned 70 years old on this day.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PIECE OF MY HEART")

JOPLIN: (Singing) And take it, take another little piece of my heart now, baby.

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Author Interviews
3:02 pm
Sat January 19, 2013

'All We Know': Three Remarkable But Forgotten Lives

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 5:25 pm

The scene is Paris in the 1920s. The stars are three women: Esther Murphy, a product of New York high society who wrote madly but could never finish a book; Mercedes de Acosta, an insatiable collector and writer infatuated with Greta Garbo; and Madge Garland, a self-made Australian fashion editor at British Vogue. All three were lesbians.

Their histories burst onto the literary scene this summer in the biography All We Know: Three Lives by Wesleyan University professor Lisa Cohen.

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World
3:02 pm
Sat January 19, 2013

Standoff Over Hostages Continues In Algeria

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 5:25 pm

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden. An international hostage drama has come to an end in Algeria. After four days, the Algerian army ended the bloody siege of a remote oil and gas facility where Islamist militants were holding dozens of Western hostages. The brutal assault was launched Thursday morning. Many people are dead, up to 23 captives and at least 30 Islamists, according to the Algerian state media.

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Around the Nation
3:02 pm
Sat January 19, 2013

How Did Tacoma, Wash., Get To Be America's 'Gayest City'?

Tacoma, Wash., tops The Advocate magazine's list of "Gayest Cities in America." It was followed by Springfield, Mass., and Spokane, Wash. Advocate editor Matthew Breen says marriage equality gave the advantage to cities in Washington state this year.
USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 5:25 pm

Every year when The Advocate magazine publishes its list of the "Gayest Cities in America" it comes with a few surprises. This year was no different.

At the top of the list for 2013: Tacoma, Wash.

To Tacoma resident Ellen Cohen, the superlative was unexpected.

"In all of Tacoma coming out as No. 1 in anything would surprise me," she said.

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Analysis
3:02 pm
Sat January 19, 2013

Week In News: Speculating On Obama's Second Term

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 5:25 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

(SOUNDBITE OF PRESIDENT OBAMA'S 2009 INAUGURAL ADDRESS)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: My fellow citizens, I stand here today humbled by the task before us.

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

The newly minted President Obama from his 2009 inaugural address. Another speech is surely coming together right now for Monday's inauguration. James Fallows of The Atlantic joins us, as he does most Saturdays. Hello there, Jim.

JAMES FALLOWS: Hello, Jacki.

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The Two-Way
7:40 am
Sat January 19, 2013

Hostages, Militants Reported Dead In Algerian Assault

British Defense Minister Philip Hammond (left) and U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta hold a joint press conference on the Algerian hostage crisis Saturday in London.
Leon Neal AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 4:51 pm

The four-day standoff in the Algerian desert came to a bloody end Saturday morning when Algerian forces stormed the gas plant where Islamist militants were holding foreign hostages.

Seven hostages were killed in the assault, as were 11 militants, Algeria's state media reported. In total, 32 militants and 23 other people died in the conflict, the Algerian interior ministry said in a statement.

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Fresh Air Weekend
7:03 am
Sat January 19, 2013

Fresh Air Weekend: Ben Affleck And Dustin Hoffman

Ben Affleck as Tony Mendez in Argo. Affleck also directed the film, which is based on events surrounding the Iran hostage crisis of 1979.
Keith Bernstein Warner Brothers

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 9:59 am

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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Africa
5:13 am
Sat January 19, 2013

Facts Buried In Hostage Crisis In Algeria

The hostage-taking drama at an Algerian gas and oil plant in the Sahara desert is in its fourth day. The Algerian army has reportedly laid siege to the facility and is fighting a remaining group of entrenched jihadists who have hostages. Host Scott Simon gets the latest from NPR's Eleanor Beardsley in Paris.

Shots - Health News
4:32 am
Sat January 19, 2013

Inching Closer To The Demise Of A Stubborn Parasitic Worm

A boy with multiple Guinea worms sits outside a containment center in northern Ghana, February 2007.
Wes Pope Chicago Tribune/MCT /Landov

What's the big fuss about Guinea worm, a parasite that now infects just a few hundred people? Well, the public health community finally has the nasty bug's back against the wall.

There were only 542 cases of Guinea worm worldwide last year, the Carter Center said this week. That's 48 percent less than in 2011. And it's a mere blip compared to the 3.5 million cases back in 1986.

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The Picture Show
4:31 am
Sat January 19, 2013

Presidential Access: Unguarded Moments, Captured On Film

President Truman, wearing a shirt that reads "Coach Truman, Athletic Department," leads exercises on the deck of the USS Missouri on his return trip to Washington from Brazil, 1947.
Byron H. Rollins/AP Courtesy of WHNPA

Every four years, we elect a president. And every term, the president is joined in the White House by his Cabinet and staff — and followed by a press pool intent on documenting the presidency. For those photographers, portraying the true personality and actions of a leader so protected can be difficult.

In 1921, a group was formed to help make access easier. The White House News Photographers Association (WHNPA) was started by 17 camera and motion-picture photographers who covered the daily activities of the White House.

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