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The Two-Way
3:12 pm
Sun September 22, 2013

Obama At Navy Yard Memorial: 'Once More, Our Hearts Are Broken'

President Obama speaks during a memorial service at the Marine Barracks Sunday in Washington, D.C., honoring victims of Monday's shooting at the Navy Yard.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 4:07 am

President Obama spoke at a memorial service Sunday to honor the 12 victims of Monday's Navy Yard shootings.

"The tragedy and the pain that brings us here today is extraordinary. It is unique," he said.

But Obama also noted Monday's incident is the fifth mass shooting he has witnessed as president. "Once more, our hearts are broken," he said.

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The Salt
2:59 pm
Sun September 22, 2013

Move Over Vodka; Korean Soju's Taking A Shot At America

Boxes of empty Jinro soju bottles sit in a downtown Seoul, South Korea, shop on April 1, 2005.
Jung Yeon-Je AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 1:35 pm

Every year, the trade magazine Drinks International puts out a list of the top-selling alcohols in the world, and in the category of spirits, there is one brand that more than doubles the sales of its closest competitor every year. Smirnoff, Jack Daniel's and Bacardi don't even come close.

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Author Interviews
2:59 pm
Sun September 22, 2013

'Hollywood Said No,' But 'Mr. Show' Fans Said Yes!

From left, Bob Odenkirk and David Cross co-created the sketch comedy series Mr. Show. They have since played long-running roles on Breaking Bad and Arrested Development, respectively.
Sharon Alagna Courtesy of Grand Central Publishing

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 4:19 pm

When the comedy program Mr. Show with Bob and David came on the air in 1995, there was nothing like it. Created by comedians Bob Odenkirk and David Cross, it was full of dark, subversive and riotously funny sketches tied together with bizarre and brilliant segues reminiscent of Monty Python's Flying Circus.

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Europe
2:59 pm
Sun September 22, 2013

Merkel Appears Victorious, But Coalition's Future Uncertain

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 4:19 pm

In Germany Sunday, exit polls show that Chancellor Angela Merkel has won a third term, with her political party getting the most votes. But one of the key members in her ruling coalition appears to have been voted out of parliament, leaving it unclear who Merkel will partner with in her next government.

Africa
2:59 pm
Sun September 22, 2013

Kenyan Government Moves To End Deadly Mall Standoff

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 4:19 pm

In Nairobi Sunday night, Kenyan government forces appear to be preparing for a major push to end the standoff in the Westgate Mall. The government says it has cornered the gunmen who stormed the mall Saturday. NPR's Gregory Warner tells host Arun Rath at least 68 people have been killed.

Education
2:59 pm
Sun September 22, 2013

In Push For 'Common' Standards, Many Parents Left Uneducated

The Common Core Standards establish academic expectations across states in math and English language arts.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 12:51 pm

Forty-five states have adopted the Common Core State Standards, the first-ever national academic standards for students. But opposition is growing, and some lawmakers are having second thoughts about their states' support.

Meanwhile, proponents of the standards are still struggling to explain the initiative to parents, many of whom say they've never even heard of Common Core.

Looking For Direction

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Parallels
2:22 pm
Sun September 22, 2013

Small Syrian Border Town Magnifies Rift Between Rebel Groups

A Free Syrian Army soldier stands on a Syrian military tank in front of a damaged mosque in the Syrian town of Azaz in September 2012. A different rebel group, an al-Qaida offshoot, took over the town on Wednesday.
Hussein Malla AP

A small town on the Syrian-Turkish border is playing an outsized role in what has become a war within the war in Syria. Azaz is now a symbol of the dangerous rift between Western-backed rebels under the umbrella of the Free Syrian Army and a radical Islamist groups linked to al-Qaida.

Clashes on Wednesday β€” the seizure of Azaz by an al-Qaida offshoot β€” were followed more closely than other battles, in part because Azaz was the gateway town for journalists reporting on Syria.

From Cooperation To Competition

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The Two-Way
1:41 pm
Sun September 22, 2013

Crash Stops Cross-Country Charity Bike Ride, Miles From Goal

Jacob Landis has been riding his bike to every Major League Baseball stadium, to raise money to help the needy pay for cochlear implants. His ride ended Saturday night due to a crash β€” but Landis says he'll still be at the Marlins' stadium next week.
Jacob's Ride

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 2:24 pm

Cyclist Jacob Landis, who rode more than 10,000 miles on his bike this year to raise money for cochlear implants, will miss out on the final miles of his ride after being hit by a truck. Landis had planned to ride his bike to every Major League Baseball stadium this season. Despite the crash, he says he'll still go to the final game on his schedule.

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It's All Politics
12:53 pm
Sun September 22, 2013

EPA Gives Coal-State Democrats A Chance To Sound Republican

State and local leaders break ground at a Louisville, Ky., coal-burning power plant in November 2012.
Dylan Lovan AP

For Democrats running in coal-producing states like Kentucky and West Virginia, the Environmental Protection Agency's new limits on greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants provide a carboniferous chance to demonstrate independence from President Obama.

Those Democrats will probably take advantage of every chance they get to separate themselves from the president in voters' minds, since their Republican opponents will be working overtime to portray them as reliable Obama votes if they're elected to Congress.

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Music Interviews
12:17 pm
Sun September 22, 2013

?uestlove And Elvis Costello On Writing Together

?uestlove and The Roots play backing band to Elvis Costello on the new collaborative album Wise Up Ghost.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 7:34 am

Since NBC's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon launched in 2009, Elvis Costello has been a frequent guest. There, Costello got to work with the show's in-house band, The Roots, and he struck up a professional relationship with the its leader, Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson.

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The Two-Way
11:40 am
Sun September 22, 2013

U.S. Helicopter Crashes In Red Sea, With 5 Aboard

A U.S. Navy helicopter has crashed in the Red Sea, carrying a crew of five, the military service says. The status of the crew is not yet known; a search and rescue effort was begun after the crash Sunday, using boats and aircraft.

"The crash was not due to any sort of hostile activity," the Navy says. "The incident is under investigation."

The helicopter, a MH-60S Knighthawk, had been on operations with a guided-missile destroyer, the USS William P. Lawrence. It is part of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron Six.

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The Two-Way
11:23 am
Sun September 22, 2013

Striking Images, Personal Stories Emerge From Kenyan Mall Attack

Civilians try to move to safety in a Nairobi shopping mall, where a standoff that began Saturday has lasted into Sunday. Images and witness accounts depict harrowing scenes inside the mall.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

One day after panic and confusion took over a shopping mall in Nairobi, survivors' accounts and photographs provide a close-up perspective of the scene. Their stories have given new detail to the chaos that erupted after attackers used grenades and guns to begin a standoff that lasted into Sunday.

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The Two-Way
8:29 am
Sun September 22, 2013

Suicide Attack Strikes Church In Pakistan; Dozens Dead

People gather outside All Saints Church in Peshawar, Pakistan, Sunday, after a suicide bombing attack killed scores of people earlier in the day, officials said.
Mohammad Sajjad AP

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 9:33 am

Two suicide bombers struck the All Saints Church following a service in Peshawar, Pakistan, Sunday, killing more than 70 people and wounding more than 120, according to the AP and other news outlets. The victims are believed to include many children.

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The Two-Way
7:13 am
Sun September 22, 2013

China's Bo Xilai Is Given Life Sentence For Bribery, Other Crimes

Men watch a TV screen showing former Chinese politician Bo Xilai, who was sentenced to life in prison Sunday by a court in Jinan, Shandong Province.
Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

A Chinese court has sentenced Bo Xilai, the former Politburo member who was snared on graft charges, to life in prison. The sentence for offenses that include bribery, embezzlement, and abuse of power, completes a shocking fall for Bo, who had been a rising star in China's political system.

"Bribes received directly by Bo or via his family totaled 20.44 million yuan (about 3.3 million U.S. dollars), the court decided," reports state news agency Xinhua.

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The Two-Way
6:29 am
Sun September 22, 2013

Nairobi Mall Attack: Civilians Remain Hostages; Dozens Dead

Kenyan soldiers secure a section of Nairobi's upscale Westgate Mall, in this image taken from AFP TV. At least 68 deaths have been reported as a result of Saturday's midday attack by gunmen at the mall.
Nichole Sobecki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 4:26 pm

This post was last updated at 5:25 p.m. ET.

A standoff that began with a shocking attack at Kenya's Westgate Mall Saturday is in its second day, with civilians held hostage by gunmen in the upscale shopping center.

The authorities say they have isolated the attackers. As of Sunday afternoon, Red Cross officials reported 68 deaths and at least 200 wounded in the assault, with 49 people still missing. We'll add news to this post as it emerges.

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Author Interviews
5:37 am
Sun September 22, 2013

Abused By Both Polanski And Media, 'The Girl' Moves On

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 9:20 am

In March of 1977, a 13-year-old aspiring actress scored what she thought would be her big break: a magazine photo shoot with a famous movie director. What happened that day made headlines around the world: Director Roman Polanski, then 43, gave Samantha Gailey a hefty helping of champagne and Quaaludes, then raped her.

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The Sunday Conversation
5:37 am
Sun September 22, 2013

NFL Veteran Recounts The Bruises And Breaks Of Life In The League.

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 9:20 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.

Being a professional football player can be a brutal life. Nate Jackson spent six years in the NFL, mostly as a receiver with the Denver Broncos, and while he wasn't a star β€” or even a starter β€” he did carve out life in the rarefied air of professional sports, and he got just as banged up as any big-name player. But he learned to play through the pain.

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Sunday Puzzle
5:37 am
Sun September 22, 2013

Play The Blame Game

NPR

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 9:20 am

On-air challenge: You will be given two words. Think of a third word that can follow each to complete a familiar two-word phrase. The third word will rhyme with one of the given words. For example, given "blame" and "board," you would say "game," as in "blame game" and "board game."

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Photography
5:37 am
Sun September 22, 2013

In Ed Ruscha's Work, A City Sits For Its Portrait

Another image from Twentysix Gasoline Stations: œStandard, Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, taken in 1962. The humble gas station also made an appearance in Ruscha's painted works.
Ed Ruscha Courtesy of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 9:20 am

For a seminal work of art, Twentysix Gasoline Stations doesn't look like much. It's a small, thin paperback book resembling an old industrial manual β€” just 26 black-and-white photos of gas stations that Los Angeles artist Ed Ruscha self-published 50 years ago, when he was 26.

"If I showed the book to somebody who worked in a gas station, they might be genuinely interested in it, saying, 'Oh yeah, I remember that place out on the highway.' "

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Middle East
5:37 am
Sun September 22, 2013

Historic Thaw Possible In U.S., Iran Relations

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 9:20 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

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NPR Story
5:37 am
Sun September 22, 2013

Standoff, Gunfire Continue At Nairobi Mall

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 9:20 am

Gunmen and hostages remain inside a Kenyan shopping mall 24 hours after a shooting that left at least 39 dead and more than 150 wounded.

Africa
5:37 am
Sun September 22, 2013

Somali President Tries To Pull Country Out Of Emergency

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud speaks to the press prior to talks at the U.S. State Department on Friday.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 9:20 am

The extremist group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for a deadly attack on a mall Saturday in Nairobi, Kenya. Just to the east of Kenya, Somalia has been desperately trying to drive the Islamist group out of its towns and cities.

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Code Switch
5:37 am
Sun September 22, 2013

The Last Tweets From An American Jihadist In Somalia

In this 2011 photo, American-born Islamist militant Omar Hammami, right, sits with al-Shabab deputy leader Sheikh Mukhtar Abu Mansur Robow during a press conference in Somalia.
Farah Abdi Warsameh AP

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 8:42 am

Omar Hammami grew up in the small of town of Daphne, Ala., but ended up in southern Somalia on the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorist list. Last week, Hammami was reportedly killed by members of al-Shabab, the al-Qaida-linked militant group, after a falling out with its leadership.

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Education
5:37 am
Sun September 22, 2013

The Sad Death Of An Adjunct Professor Sparks A Labor Debate

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 4:19 pm

The death of a long-time, part-time professor in Pittsburgh is gathering the attention of instructors nationwide. The trend of relying on part-time faculty has been in the works for decades, and Margaret Mary Vojtko's story is seen by some as a tragic byproduct.

Last spring, months before her death, Vojtko showed up at a meeting between adjunct professors at Duquesne University and the union officials who had been trying to organize them. The professors are trying to organize a union affiliated with the United Steelworkers.

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Books News & Features
5:03 am
Sun September 22, 2013

Banned Romance: What's So Bad About Happily Ever After?

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 10:07 am

As Banned Books Week begins, it's a good time to examine one genre that frequently falls afoul of censors: romance.

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All Tech Considered
3:40 am
Sun September 22, 2013

The Promises And Pitfalls Of Social Media β€” For Police

David Oliver, chief of police in Brimfield, Ohio, maintains a Facebook page that went viral (by police Facebook page standards) earlier this year. With more than 80,000 followers, he mixes humor with blunt opinions.
Tony Dejak AP

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 9:48 am

For years, teens in Upper Darby Township, Pa., have taken to the local cemetery for after-hours, underage and very illegal parties.

And for years, the cops in the Philadelphia suburb have played a cat-and-mouse game to break up the graveyard debaucheries.

But this year, when the cops caught teens drinking in the cemetery, they didn't just file some paperwork β€” they also tweeted about it.

It's policing in the 21st century: where community outreach comes on Twitter, surveillance tape footage is posted on YouTube and gangs are infiltrated on Facebook.

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Movie Interviews
3:37 am
Sun September 22, 2013

'Wadjda' Director: 'It Is Time To Open Up'

Women aren't permitted to travel unattended in the streets of Saudi Arabia, so Wadjda director Haifaa Al Mansour worked from inside a van, communicating with her crew via walkie-talkie.
Tobias Kownatzki Razor Film/Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 9:20 am

Wadjda, being touted as the first feature film shot entirely in Saudi Arabia β€” a country with no movie theaters and a relationship with cinema that's complicated at best β€” tells the story of a defiant 10-year-old pushing back against the social expectations that define her life as a young Saudi woman.

Wadjda's source of independence comes in the form of a green bicycle she wants to buy for herself. But girls in Saudi Arabia don't ride bicycles, so she has to be creative.

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It's All Politics
3:36 am
Sun September 22, 2013

Obama's Passing Up Chances To Turn On The Charm

President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama arrive at last year's congressional picnic on the South Lawn of the White House. This year, the picnic β€” seen as a chance for lawmakers to socialize beyond party lines β€” was canceled.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 9:20 am

President Obama isn't known as a schmoozer like Bill Clinton or a back-slapper like George W. Bush. But he does know that a personal touch can woo allies and soften adversaries.

Right now, domestic and international crises are looming on all sides of the president. Although a little tenderness might come in handy, Obama is repeatedly passing up opportunities to wage a charm offensive.

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Monkey See
10:10 pm
Sat September 21, 2013

On TV's Big Night, Can Netflix Crash The Emmy Party?

Neil Patrick Harris will host the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards Sunday on CBS.
Nino Munoz CBS

It might seem like the only TV serious viewers are paying attention to right now is Breaking Bad, but on Sunday night, just as Walter White's penultimate episode is unfolding on AMC, we'll be finding out over on CBS whether his show, his portrayer Bryan Cranston, or other personnel will be taking home Primetime Emmy Awards.

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Asia
9:34 pm
Sat September 21, 2013

Bo Xilai's Life Sentence Reveals China's Leadership Problem

Disgraced politician Bo Xilai stands during his trial on corruption charges in August.
Kyodo/Landov

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 9:20 am

A court in East China sentenced former top Chinese official Bo Xilai to life in prison for corruption after one of the highest-profile political trials of recent years.

Media coverage of the court hearings transfixed audiences with details of murder, a love triangle and lavish official life styles. The case may prove to be a political Pandora's box that could bring down even higher-ranking officials and widen divisions over the country's future direction.

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