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Tiny Desk Concerts
8:42 am
Sat September 14, 2013

Arturo O'Farrill: Tiny Desk Concert

The Arturo O'Farrill Octect performs a Tiny Desk Concert in June 2013.
Hayley Bartels Hayley Bartels/NPR

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 4:10 pm

Latin jazz works best when the musicians involved are as fluent in Afro-Cuban rhythms as they are in the deep grooves and advanced harmonics of bebop. Arturo O'Farrill has that pedigree in his DNA: His father, Chico O'Farrill, was part of a groundbreaking group of musicians who created the mash-up of Afro-Cuban music and jazz back in late-'40s New York.

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The Two-Way
8:25 am
Sat September 14, 2013

Colorado Gets Brief Break From Flood Warnings; Rain Is Forecast

Samantha Kinzig of Longmont, Colo., and her daughter Isabel, 5, took a close look at a damaged bridge in Longmont Friday. Heavy rains that fueled widespread flooding in numerous Colorado towns have eased, but forecasters predict more on Saturday and Sunday.
Marc Piscotty Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 14, 2013 2:17 pm

The rains that brought severe flooding to parts of northern and central Colorado have eased, allowing people a chance to regroup before more rain comes, possibly as soon as Saturday afternoon. Thousands of residents have been displaced by the flooding, from Fort Collins in the north to Colorado Springs in the south, since waters hit dangerous levels Wednesday.

The floods have been blamed for four deaths, as the Two-Way reported Friday.

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Fresh Air Weekend
7:03 am
Sat September 14, 2013

Fresh Air Weekend: Snowden Leaks, Billie Jean King And Jonathan Lethem

Billie Jean King, seen here in 1977, learned to play tennis on the public courts near her Long Beach, Calif., home.
Kathy Willens AP/Press Association Images

Originally published on Sat September 14, 2013 3:16 pm

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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The Two-Way
6:13 am
Sat September 14, 2013

U.S. And Russia Form A Plan On Syria's Chemical Weapons

Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced a plan to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons arsenal from Geneva on Saturday.
Larry Downing AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 14, 2013 11:06 am

Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart have reached a deal that calls for Syria to destroy all of its chemical weapons. The plan, which Kerry announced in a news conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Geneva on Saturday, gives Syria a week to detail its chemical arsenal.

"The world will now expect the Assad regime to live up to its public commitments," Kerry said. "And as I said at the outset of these negotiations, there can be no games, no room for avoidance, or anything less than full compliance by the Assad regime."

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Author Interviews
5:47 am
Sat September 14, 2013

Cows Have Accents ... And 1,226 Other 'Quite Interesting Facts'

Iakov Kalinin iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat September 14, 2013 9:28 am

Did you know that cows moo in regional accents? Or that 1 in 10 European babies was conceived in an IKEA bed? Or that two-thirds of the people on Earth have never seen snow?

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Latin America
5:47 am
Sat September 14, 2013

Striking Teachers Forced Off Mexico City Plaza

Originally published on Sat September 14, 2013 9:28 am

Federal police removed thousands of protesting teachers Friday from the main downtown plaza where they had camped out for weeks. The teachers are angry about a new education law that takes power away from their union.

Middle East
5:47 am
Sat September 14, 2013

The Ins And Outs Of Securing Chemical Weapons

Originally published on Sat September 14, 2013 9:28 am

What it would take to identify, inventory and destroy Syria's chemical weapons? How can the U.S. tell if Syria is lying, and whether this solution bestows an unintended legitimacy to the Assad regime? Host Scott Simon asks Former United Nations weapons inspector Charles Duelfer.

Middle East
5:47 am
Sat September 14, 2013

U.S., Russia Reach Agreement On Syria

Originally published on Sat September 14, 2013 9:28 am

Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Saturday they have reached an agreement on a framework for Syria to destroy all of its chemical weapons. Michele Kelemen speaks with host Scott Simon.

Middle East
5:47 am
Sat September 14, 2013

Syrian Militants Battle For Christian Village

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 10:50 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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StoryCorps
5:47 am
Sat September 14, 2013

Hotline Responders Answer Veterans' Desperate Calls

Rich Barham, left, and Nelson Peck are both veterans working for the Veterans Crisis Line.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Sat September 14, 2013 11:43 am

Responders at the Veterans Crisis Line work to help veterans through their darkest hours. The Department of Veterans Affairs runs the hotline, the only national line dedicated to helping veterans in crisis.

A report in February was the most comprehensive to date from the VA on veterans and suicide. As of that publication, the Crisis Line had made approximately 26,000 rescues of actively suicidal veterans.

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NPR Story
5:22 am
Sat September 14, 2013

Diplomats Sing For Peace

Originally published on Sat September 14, 2013 9:28 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

In the midst of international crisis and consternation this week, five U.N. diplomats stepped onto the stage at the United Nations headquarters to sing.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG)

CHORUS: (Singing) Many people, one world...

SIMON: From Romania, Canada, Cape Verde and Costa Rica, we've got the singing ambassadors with us to tell us about their new CD, "Ambassadors Sing for Peace." Thank you very much for being with us.

AMBASSADOR GUILLERMO RISHCHYNSKI: Our pleasure.

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NPR Story
5:22 am
Sat September 14, 2013

Colorado Voters Recall Two Gun Control Backers

Originally published on Sat September 14, 2013 9:28 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Another Colorado story now. Gun control advocates had hoped that last year's shootings in Newtown, Connecticut and Aurora, Colorado might move more Americans to call for stricter gun laws. Gun control measures ground down in the U.S. Congress but some states did pass legislation, including Colorado. Yet this past week, Colorado voters recalled two lawmakers who had backed the legislation.

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NPR Story
5:22 am
Sat September 14, 2013

Rescue Operations Underway In Flooded Colorado

Originally published on Sat September 14, 2013 9:28 am

Heavy rain and flooding have destroyed scores of communities, with at least four people dead. While the rain had let up a little, more is expected Saturday.

Technology
5:00 am
Sat September 14, 2013

New Computer School Makes French Students Teach Themselves

Xavier Niel, the French Internet billionaire and founder of the Internet provider Free, reacts after delivering his speech in January 2012. Niel has founded a new computer school in Paris named 42.
Jacques Brinon AP

Originally published on Sat September 14, 2013 11:25 am

A new computer school in Paris has been overwhelmed by some 60,000 applicants.

The school, called 42, was founded by a telecom magnate who says the French education system is failing young people. His aim is to reduce France's shortage in computer programmers while giving those who've fallen by the wayside a new chance.

In the hallways of 42, suitcases and sleeping bags are piled, and people are stretched out on mattresses in some of the corners. There are showers and dozens of colorful bath towels.

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National Security
4:57 am
Sat September 14, 2013

Medea Benjamin's Anti-War Activism: Wearing Pink, Seeing Red

A Code Pink protester holds up a red-painted hand behind Secretary of State John Kerry as he testifies on Capitol Hill on Sept. 4 about possible military strikes on Syria.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 9:49 am

As the Obama administration made its case for military action in Syria, one of the loudest voices in opposition came from Medea Benjamin, the co-founder of Code Pink.

You may not know her by name, but if you follow national politics, you've no doubt seen her work.

At the House Foreign Affairs Committee earlier this month, for instance, as Secretary of State John Kerry made the case for a military strike in Syria, Medea Benjamin sat behind him, holding up her hands, painted bright red.

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Author Interviews
4:55 am
Sat September 14, 2013

Art Spiegelman Reflects On 60 Years Of Pen And Ink

Originally published on Sat September 14, 2013 9:28 am

It's axiomatic now that comics have gone from being kids' stuff to, in some cases, adults only. These days, comics are recognized as a real artistic form, one that can be complex, subtle, pointed, probing and profane.

One of the artists most responsible for this is Art Spiegelman, who drew for Topps Bubble Gum comics, invented the Garbage Pail Kids, created a character who was all head, no body, for Playboy and won the Pulitzer Prize for Maus, his Holocaust comic — a phrase that was once unfathomable.

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Author Interviews
2:58 am
Sat September 14, 2013

McMillan 'Asks' Readers To Empathize With A Family's Problems

Terry McMillan is the best-selling author of Waiting to Exhale and How Stella Got Her Groove Back
Matthew Jordan Smith Courtesy of Penguin Group USA

Originally published on Sat September 14, 2013 9:28 am

Terry McMillan weaves together different voices, generations, races and surprises in her latest novel, Who Asked You?. It's a family story that revolves around Betty Jean — known as BJ — a woman who worked as a Los Angeles maid and raised three kids. Her husband is now retired and suffers from Alzheimer's and her children have grown up in radically different ways. One son, Dexter, is in prison. Another son, Quentin, is a successful chiropractor who has had multiple marriages, pointedly lives out of town and wants little contact with his family.

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Architecture
2:57 am
Sat September 14, 2013

In Los Angeles, Showcasing A City That Might Have Been

Pereira and Luckman, Los Angeles International Airport Original Plan, 1952
LAWA Flight Path Learning Center

Originally published on Sat September 14, 2013 8:52 pm

A museum exhibit about buildings that don't exist might not sound all that exciting. But the Architecture & Design Museum in Los Angeles has had its crowds grow to 10 times their normal level for a show called Never Built: Los Angeles. It's on through Oct. 13 – and it's all about projects that were imagined for the city but never constructed.

Let's start with one of the most high-profile: a 1968 proposal that would've dramatically altered the profile of Mount Hollywood.

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Middle East
2:54 am
Sat September 14, 2013

In Syria Debate, Obama's Internal Dialogue Becomes Audible

President Obama's speeches about Syria have at times seemed to reveal his own internal struggle on the topic.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Sat September 14, 2013 4:21 pm

A surprise agreement between the U.S. and Russia, announced Saturday, calls for Syria to destroy all of its chemical weapons by mid-2014. The deal follows a chaotic week of seat-of-the-pants foreign policy.

Performing on the international stage, Obama and his Cabinet secretaries have offered up one plot twist after another, though it often seems as if the actors are working without a script.

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Around the Nation
2:53 am
Sat September 14, 2013

For Wounded Vets, Climbing Half Dome Only Half The Mission

At base camp, Timmy O'Neill, gives instructions to volunteers and veterans participating in the week's hiking and climbing activities.
David P Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Sat September 14, 2013 12:50 pm

Timmy O'Neill is guiding Steve Baskis through ancient yellow pines that almost touch the sky. They're hiking all day to base camp in California's Yosemite National Park, 2,000 feet up in Little Yosemite Valley.

Taking Baskis by the hand, O'Neill traces the distant ridge of Half Dome, a bald rock rising almost a mile from the valley floor. That's tomorrow's challenge.

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Music News
12:03 am
Sat September 14, 2013

Barbez Mines Resistance And Tradition Of Italian Jews

New York musician Dan Kaufman (third from right) traveled to Rome to learn more about the city's Jewish community and the Italian resistance during WWII. The result is a new album by his band Barbez, based in part on the lost melodies of Roman Jewish music.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat September 14, 2013 9:28 am

The unique musical traditions of Rome's ancient Jewish community were almost lost for good. Now, those melodies are being revived — not by musicologists, but by a rock band based in New York.

"I fell in love with the melodies, and I started to re-imagine them for my band in our own style," says Dan Kaufman, guitarist and leader of the Brooklyn band Barbez.

The Tradition

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
6:28 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Not My Job: Writer Mark Leibovich Gets Quizzed On Louis XIV

Ralph Alswang Courtesy Blue Rider Press

Originally published on Sat September 14, 2013 10:32 am

Washington, D.C., has long been thought of as a city filled with corrupt, cynical careerists who care only about themselves. Well, New York Times reporter Mark Leibovich has written a book called This Town that basically proves it.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
6:28 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Prediction

Originally published on Sat September 14, 2013 10:32 am

Now that he's done his New York Times op-ed, our panelists predict what Vladimir Putin will write a column about next.

Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
6:28 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Lightning Fill In The Blank

Originally published on Sat September 14, 2013 10:32 am

Transcript

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Now, on to our final game, Lightning Fill In The Blank. Each of our players now has 60 seconds in which to answer as many fill in the blank questions as he or she can, each correct answer now worth two points. Carl, can you give us the scores?

CARL KASELL ANNOUNCER: Mo Rocca and Faith Salie are tied for first. Each has three points. P.J. O'Rourke has two.

SAGAL: OK. P.J., you are pulling up the rear, so you're going to go first. The clock will start when I begin your first question. Fill in the blank.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
6:28 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Limericks

Originally published on Sat September 14, 2013 10:32 am

Carl reads three news-related limericks: Chicken Latte, Bieber Barbasol, Blabbermouth.

Shots - Health News
5:32 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

After Disasters, DNA Science Is Helpful, But Often Too Pricey

A Thai medic checks bodies for forensic identity in Phang Nga province in southern of Thailand on Jan. 11, 2005. Thousands of people were killed in Thailand after a massive tsunami struck on Dec. 26, 2004.
Pornchai Kittiwongsakul AFP/Getty Images

Human DNA is the ultimate fingerprint. A single hair can contain enough information to determine someone's identity — a feature that's been invaluable for identifying the unnamed casualties of natural disasters and war. But forensic scientists who use DNA say the technology isn't always available where it's most needed, like in poor countries, or in war zones like Syria.

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Environment
4:57 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Spy Drones Turning Up New Data About Hurricanes And Weather

A Global Hawk unmanned aircraft comes in for a landing at the Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Va., on Sept. 7, 2012, after studying Hurricane Leslie. The remotely controlled planes can stay in the air for as long as 28 hours and fly over hurricanes at altitudes of more than 60,000 feet.
NASA

For several weeks now, two unmanned spy planes have been flying over the Atlantic on an unusual mission: gathering intelligence about tropical storms and hurricanes.

The two Global Hawk drones are a central part of NASA's five-year HS3 (Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel) Mission investigating why certain weather patterns become hurricanes, and why some hurricanes grow into monster storms.

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The Two-Way
4:46 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Social Security Wrongfully Paid $1.3 Billion In Disability

People line up outside of the Social Security Administration office in San Francisco, in February of 2005.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 4:52 pm

The Government Accountability Office says that the Social Security Administration made about $1.3 billion in payments over two years to about 36,000 people who were believed to be working, while claiming they were disabled.

The GAO arrived at this number by comparing names on the National Directory of New Hires and people on disability insurance.

While $1.3 billion sounds like a whole lot of money, keep in mind that this only represents less than 1 percent of all the disability benefits paid by the agency.

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Shots - Health News
4:23 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Synthetic Marijuana Prompts Colorado Health Investigation

A sign outside a medical marijuana dispensary in Manitou Springs, Colo. Voters amended the state's constitution to legalize marijuana for recreational use in November 2012.
Eric Whitney

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 3:58 pm

More than 150 people are now believed to have been sickened by synthetic marijuana in Colorado, which legalized recreational use of real pot last November. Three people may have died.

State and federal investigators are scrambling to identify the exact source of the illnesses. The state health department has named about a dozen illicit products, often sold as "incense," that it believes are responsible for at least some of the illnesses. The stuff goes by names like "Spice," "Crazy Clown" and "Dead Man Walking."

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The Two-Way
4:12 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Judge Rules 'Ikea Monkey' To Remain In Animal Sanctuary

A still from news video of Darwin's great escape in December.
ABC News

Darwin the 'Ikea monkey' will no longer be hitting the superstores with a Canadian woman who calls him her son after a judge in Ontario ruled that the primate is not a pet and should remain at an animal sanctuary.

As we wrote in December, Darwin, a Japanese macaque dressed in a heavy shearling coat, attracted considerable attention when he escaped from a locked crate in owner Yasmin Nakhuda's car in Toronto. He made his way through rows of parked cars and ended up inside a nearby Ikea store before staff there cornered him and called in animal control officials.

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