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Digital Life
3:06 pm
Sun October 6, 2013

Composing Game Soundtracks That Move 'Faster Than Light'

Composer Ben Prunty creates soundtracks and sound effects for video games.
Courtesy of Ben Prunty

This weekend, independent video game developers and fans gathered for the international IndieCade Festival in Los Angeles.

One of the featured speakers Saturday was sound designer Ben Prunty, who integrates audio into some of the most popular independent video games. Prunty composed the soundtrack to the computer game Faster Than Light, which was nominated for IGN's Best Overall Music and Best PC Sound of 2012.

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Business
3:06 pm
Sun October 6, 2013

Tesla Slips From Pedestal That May Have Been Too High

It's been a rough week for Tesla, but extra scrutiny is expected for the new car on the block, says Jake Fisher of Consumer Reports.
Jeff Chiu AP

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 7:52 am

Over the last year of so, Tesla motors has received some really good press. But this past week, it's been knocked off its pedestal.

"We're a country that likes to put things up on pedestals and then tear them down from pedestals. We do that with people, I think we do that with things," says Jack Nerad, an analyst with Kelley Blue Book.

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Middle East
3:06 pm
Sun October 6, 2013

Resurgent Wave Of Violence Floods Iraq

It's been a weekend of horrific violence in Iraq, and September had the highest number of civilian deaths since the U.S. withdrawal. Host Arun Rath speaks with Adam Schreck, Baghdad bureau chief for The Associated Press, about the on-going sectarian violence there.

Around the Nation
3:06 pm
Sun October 6, 2013

Holdout Pennsylvania Pelted With Gay Marriage Lawsuits

Sasha Ballen and Dee Spagnuolo (far right) are party to two of five lawsuits filed since the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage in June. Attorney Robert C. Heim (left) is helping to represent them.
Emma Jacobs NewsWorks/WHYY

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 3:47 pm

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act said that the federal government must recognize same-sex marriages from states that allow them. Since the decision, couples in states which do not recognize same-sex marriages have filed a flurry of lawsuits.

Conditions are ripe for litigation in those states, like Pennsylvania. In July, a rogue county clerk outside Philadelphia started granting marriage licenses to gays and lesbians, defying the state's ban.

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U.S.
3:06 pm
Sun October 6, 2013

Why Women Might Be Giving Up On Math And Science

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

The vast majority of professional scientists, mathematicians and engineers are men. But why? More young women than ever are pursuing advanced degrees, but there are still very few female professors of physics, math or engineering. We caught up with some young women at UCLA, all good students who had scored well enough in math to get into UCLA, and asked them why they decided not to study science or math in college.

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NPR Story
3:06 pm
Sun October 6, 2013

Breaking The Silence Between The U.S. And Iran

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani reviews the honor guard upon arrival from the U.S. at Mehrabad airport in Tehran, Iran, on Sept. 28. Iranians from across the political spectrum hailed the historic phone conversation between President Barack Obama and Rouhani, reflecting wide support for an new tone between the two nations.
Ebrahim Noroozi AP

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 4:14 pm

Tension, distrust, hostility: For more than 30 years, those words have described the relationship between Iran and the United States. But there's one other overriding word to describe it: silence.

Since 1979, no American president had spoken with a leader of Iran. That all changed on Sept. 27, when President Obama entered the White House briefing room and said that he had spoken with Hassan Rouhani, Iran's new president, by telephone.

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The Two-Way
2:41 pm
Sun October 6, 2013

Monster Truck Crash Kills Eight At Outdoor Event In Mexico

People in a crowd flee as an out-of-control monster truck plows through spectators at a Mexican air show in the city of Chihuahua Saturday. Officials say they are investigating the incident, in which eight people died.
AP

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 7:00 am

Three days of mourning have been declared in Chihuahua, Mexico, where at least eight people were killed by an out-of-control monster truck this weekend. A crowd had gathered to watch the truck at an outdoor arena that lacked any visible barriers.

From Mexico, James Blears reports for our Newscast unit that the truck went from crushing cars to plunging into a crowd of spectators, leaving eight dead and dozens more injured:

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Digital Life
1:47 pm
Sun October 6, 2013

Isabella Rossellini, Getting Animal Again With 'Mammas'

In her Web series, Mammas, film star Isabella Rossellini portrays animal mothers. Here, she's an oil beetle.
Courtesy Sundance Channel

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 3:06 pm

Film star Isabella Rossellini has a fish on her head.

She is a mouthbrooder, she explains, helpfully — meaning a fish who incubates her eggs in her mouth.

Rossellini's newest Web series is Mammas, an unconventional look at the natural world and our accepted notions of it.

"My films are comical films. They are made to laugh at," Rossellini tells NPR. "They are comical — and scientifically correct."

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The Two-Way
1:47 pm
Sun October 6, 2013

Boehner And Cruz, And Lew Too: Voices On The Shutdown

On the sixth day of a federal government shutdown that has barricaded national parks and attractions, tourists take photos at the World World II Memorial in Washington Sunday.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

With a government shutdown nearing its second week, there were no signs of a new deal in Washington Sunday. But several leaders are speaking out about the impasse, even as they look ahead to the next battle: an Oct. 17 deadline to raise the U.S. debt ceiling.

When House Speaker John Boehner was asked on ABC's This Week about the possibility that he might present a "clean" funding bill that doesn't attack the new health care system in the Affordable Care Act, the Ohio Republican said there was no point.

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The Two-Way
10:11 am
Sun October 6, 2013

School Pulls All-Beef Burgers From Menu, Citing Complaints

Advocates for healthy food in Virginia schools have met a reversal, after cafeterias changed back to hamburgers with additives due to students' complaints. The schools had been serving all-beef burgers such as these, being grilled at a farmer's market.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 12:21 pm

Students in a Virginia school system are now eating hamburgers with additives in them, after officials heeded their complaints about the appearance and taste of the all-beef burgers it had been serving. The burgers that are now being served include a reported 26 ingredients.

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Music Interviews
10:03 am
Sun October 6, 2013

Returning To Music, Tested By Loss

Cellist and composer Erik Friedlander's new album is titled Claws & Wings.
Angelo Merendino Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 3:06 pm

Cellist and composer Erik Friedlander lost his wife of many years, dancer and choreographer Lynn Shapiro, to breast cancer in 2011. She'd been diagnosed a decade earlier, and Friedlander says music became a place of vital release for him as her condition worsened.

"During the difficult years, I did take refuge in working," he says. "It was a place where I could make the rules; where I could control what I could control."

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Author Interviews
8:51 am
Sun October 6, 2013

'Book Of Matt': An Alternative Motive Behind The Infamous Murder

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 1:21 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. Fifteen years ago today, a young man named Matthew Shepard was beaten and tied to a fence outside Laramie, Wyo. He later died of those injuries. The two men convicted of his murder, Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson, were said to have been motivated by hate because Matthew was gay. The event drew national attention. President Bill Clinton condemned it as a hate crime.

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The Two-Way
8:36 am
Sun October 6, 2013

The Votes Are In: Sandy Hook Elementary Will Be Torn Down

Voters in Newtown, Conn., have approved a plan to use nearly $50 million in state funds to demolish Sandy Hook Elementary and build a new school in its place. This photo provided by Craig Hoekenga shows his son Trey, a kindergarten student at Sandy Hook, on the school bus this year. The window has a quote from the late principal, Dawn Hochsprung, who was killed in last December's mass shooting.
Craig Hoekenga AP

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 12:23 pm

In a referendum marked by a large turnout and an emphatic result, the people of Newtown, Conn., have voted to demolish Sandy Hook Elementary and build a new school. Sandy Hook was the scene of a mass shooting last December, when 20 children and six staff members were killed.

Saturday's vote asked citizens to decide whether to take nearly $50 million in state money to fund the demolition of Sandy Hook and the planning and construction of a new school on essentially the same site.

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Sunday Puzzle
8:27 am
Sun October 6, 2013

Find The Rhyme And The Reason

NPR

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 1:05 pm

On-air challenge: For each given category, name things in the category starting with the letters R, H, Y, M, E. For example, if the category were "chemical elements with names ending in -ium," you might say: radium, helium, yttrium, magnesium and einsteinium. You can give the answers in any order, and any answer that works is fine.

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The Two-Way
7:51 am
Sun October 6, 2013

Iran Says It Has Arrested 4 In Nuclear Sabotage Plot

Iran's Ali Akbar Salehi, who heads the country's Atomic Energy Organization, says four saboteurs have been arrested and are being interrogated.
Alexander Klein AFP/Getty Images

Iran has arrested four people who it says were intent on sabotaging facilities in its nuclear program. The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran says the four are now being questioned.

"Some time ago, a number of people were arrested in one of the (nuclear) facilities when they were involved in planning activities," Ali Akbar Salehi said Sunday, according to Iran's state-run Tasnim News Agency.

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The Two-Way
7:22 am
Sun October 6, 2013

Suicide Bombers In Iraq Kill Students At Elementary School

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 12:29 pm

Suicide car bombers carried out a deadly strike on a school and a police station near Tel Afar, a small town in northeastern Iraq, Sunday. At least 12 students and their principal died in the attack on an elementary school, according to reports.

Part of the school building is believed to have collapsed as a result of the blast. The suicide bombing at the town's police station reportedly did not cause further casualties.

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The Two-Way
6:33 am
Sun October 6, 2013

Destruction Of Syria's Chemical Weapons System Begins

United Nations vehicles leave a Damascus hotel last week. The team of international disarmament experts began to dismantle Syria's chemical weapons production facilities on Sunday.
Louai Beshara AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 8:09 am

In Syria, a team of international weapons experts has begun the process of destroying the country's chemical weapons arsenal.

"The inspectors used sledgehammers and explosives to begin the work," NPR's Deborah Amos reports for our Newscast unit. "They are on a tight deadline to destroy more than 1,000 tons of nerve gas and banned weapons within a year."

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The Two-Way
5:52 am
Sun October 6, 2013

Karen Stalls In Gulf; Maximum Winds Fall To 30 MPH

A GOES satellite handout photo provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows Tropical Storm Karen churning in the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday afternoon. Karen, the second named storm to hit the U.S. this hurricane season, has weakened into a tropical depression.
NOAA Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 7:50 am

Karen, once feared to hit the U.S. Gulf Coast as a hurricane, has stalled out and weakened into a tropical depression. The National Weather Service says the storm is "drifting" at 2 mph, moving toward Louisiana's southeastern edge. As of early Sunday morning, it was about 165 miles west-southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River.

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Author Interviews
5:18 am
Sun October 6, 2013

An American Jewish 'Bride' Remembers Her Escape From Kabul

In her memoir, Phyllis Chesler questions whether she and her first husband, Abdul-Kareem, were ever really in love. "Were we soul mates?" she writes. "I am not sure. I dare not remember — the pain would be overwhelming and pointless."
Courtesy Palgrave Macmillan

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 9:14 am

Phyllis Chesler and Abdul-Kareem met in college. She was an 18-year-old Jewish girl from the East Coast; he was a young Muslim man from a wealthy Afghan family. They fell in love over New Wave cinema, poetry and existentialism, and eventually they married.

In her new memoir, An American Bride in Kabul, Chesler tells her story of excitedly traveling to Afghanistan in 1961 with her new husband, who said he wanted to be a modernizing force in his country. But, as she tells NPR's Rachel Martin, her passport was almost immediately confiscated upon arrival.

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Politics
5:18 am
Sun October 6, 2013

GOP Bears The Brunt Of Public Anger At Shutdown

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 9:14 am

By a slight margin, Americans think Republicans are to blame for the government shutdown, says Michael Dimock, director of the Pew Research Center for People and the Press. Dimock talks to host Rachel Martin about how the public is responding to the standoff in Congress.

Politics
5:18 am
Sun October 6, 2013

Did You Hear The One About The Government Shutdown?

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 9:14 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

As we just heard, the government shutdown is affecting people inside and outside the Beltway. All over the country, there are workers going without pay and services grinding to a halt. But the government shutdown has also made for some great comedic fodder. Here's late night host Stephen Colbert earlier this week.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE COLBERT REPORT")

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Politics
5:18 am
Sun October 6, 2013

San Diego Air Show Grounded By Shutdown

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 9:14 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The shutdown is affecting communities all over the country. We're going now to San Diego. There is a big U.S. Navy presence in town and San Diego is home to the Miramar Air Show. But that show has been cancelled this weekend due to the partial government shutdown. In past years, the event has drawn over half a million people, earned millions of dollars for programs that help military families. NPR's Sam Sanders reports from San Diego.

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Politics
5:18 am
Sun October 6, 2013

The Debt Ceiling Looms Over Budget Showdown

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 9:14 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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The Salt
5:18 am
Sun October 6, 2013

That Smoky Smell Means Chile Roasting Season In New Mexico

Fresh picked green chiles are bound for stews, burritos, enchiladas, pozole and more. Fall is chili roasting season in New Mexico.
Tim Robbins NPR

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 11:39 am

It's chile season in New Mexico, where they take their chiles pretty seriously.

Indeed, the chile is the official state vegetable, so it's probably best to not mention it is actually a fruit. No matter what it is, the fall harvest is on, and that means it's time to fire up the grills.

Green chiles roasting over a hot gas flame give off a smoky, sweet, pungent perfume.

That smell is part of what has drawn customers like Lorenzo and Peggy Lucero to the Diaz farm in Deming, in southwest New Mexico, for the past 30 years.

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The Sunday Conversation
5:18 am
Sun October 6, 2013

Wife Works To Free Pastor From Iranian Prison

Saeed Abedini continues to miss family trips, birthdays and anniversaries. His wife, Naghmeh, is working with the American Center for Law and Justice to have him returned home to his family.
Courtesy of the ACLJ

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 9:14 am

Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.

Naghmeh Abedini's Iranian-American husband converted from Islam to Christianity 13 years ago. Since then, Saeed Abedini has made many trips to Iran, most recently to build an orphanage.

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Around the Nation
5:18 am
Sun October 6, 2013

In This Business, Scaredy Cats Need Not Apply

To get an interview at the Scream Zone in San Diego County, Calif., applicants have to get past a green demon first.
Beth Accomando for NPR

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 6:42 am

Every job requires a special skill set.

In this business, screaming is one of those skills. Also, being certified on a chainsaw.

"We're always looking for folks who have a passion for wielding a chainsaw while wearing makeup and costume and just scaring the heck out of people," says Jennifer Struever.

Streuver is the event manager for Scream Zone at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego County, Calif. Haunted houses are part of the multibillion-dollar business of Halloween — and they need employees.

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PG-13: Risky Reads
5:03 am
Sun October 6, 2013

'Spell'-Bound By A Goofy Book — And Later, United By It

Melissa de la Cruz and her husband Michael Johnston are the co-authors of Frozen.

How is this a risky read, you might ask? Piers Anthony's Xanth series is a tongue-firmly-in-cheek affair, filled with awful puns about bad dreams delivered by horses — literal "night mares" — and corny jokes about how Xanth is eerily similar to the geography of Florida, the author's home state.

Isn't this book just funny? How is it risky? Or dark? Or adult? Yet precisely because of its naughty, offhand humor, we found it risky and thrilling. Let us explain ...

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Parallels
4:10 am
Sun October 6, 2013

As Afghan Troops Take The Lead, They Take More Casualties

Afghan medics at Forward Operating Base Nolay in the southern province of Helmand treat an Afghan police officer shot by militants.
Sean Carberry NPR

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 7:46 am

The Taliban have been waging a particularly bloody offensive this year now that Afghan government forces are in charge of security. The result: Afghan army and police are suffering record numbers of casualties — far more than NATO ever did at the height of its troop presence in Afghanistan.

So even as NATO forces are preparing to leave, they are working to bolster the medical capabilities of Afghan forces at hospitals, clinics and training centers across the country.

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Movie Interviews
4:08 am
Sun October 6, 2013

Revisiting The Doomed On Their Quest For 'The Summit'

Pemba Gyalje Sherpa survived his August 2008 climb on K2 and was even able to help save some of the other expeditionaries. But 11 died trying to conquer the mountain that month.
Robbie Ryan IFC Films

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 5:05 pm

Mountain climbing requires stamina and skill, but at some point — especially on the world's tallest and riskiest peaks — it becomes a game of chance. In August of 2008, if you were one of the dozens of people trying to climb to the top of K2, the odds of your living to tell your story weren't good: During the last push to the summit and the immediate descent that followed, 11 people died.

In the documentary The Summit, filmmaker Nick Ryan tries to piece together what happened in what has been called the deadliest event in modern mountain climbing.

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Shots - Health News
4:02 am
Sun October 6, 2013

It's Time To Rediscover The IUD, Women's Health Advocates Say

Intrauterine devices are one of the most effect forms of birth control, but are relatively underutilized, at least in the United States.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 2:56 pm

What will it take to make intrauterine devices sexy?

IUDs are highly effective forms of contraception, but fear of side effects, lack of training for doctors and costs can keep women away. Health organizations and private companies are trying to change that by breaking down misconceptions and broadening access.

The contraceptives are inserted into the uterus and can prevent pregnancy for years. And they're reversible. Shortly after they're taken out, a woman can become pregnant.

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