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3:28 am
Sat August 24, 2013

What Albert Murray Taught Us About Jazz

Albert Murray in 1974.
Craig Herndon The Washington Post/Getty Images

An essayist, cultural theorist, novelist, educator and biographer who died on August 18 at 97, Albert Murray spent more than five decades developing his thesis that America is a culturally miscegenated nation. His contention was that blacks are part white, and vice versa: that both races, in spite of slavery and racism, have borrowed from and created each other. In all of his writing, jazz music — derived from the blues idiom of African-Americans — was the soundtrack at the center of his aesthetic conception.

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The Salt
3:26 am
Sat August 24, 2013

Wine Has Sommeliers. Now, Beer Has Cicerones

Ray Daniels inspects a glass of beer. A Chicago brewer, Daniels started the Cicerone training program five years ago.
Johnny Knight Courtesy of Ray Daniels

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 6:08 pm

If you've been to a fancy restaurant, you've probably seen a sommelier — those wine experts who make sure you get the best possible match for your meal. But what if you don't want a chardonnay or pinot? What if you want a nice cold beer?

A new program is working to bring this same level of knowledge to the world of malt and hops by turning out batches of certified beer experts known as Cicerones.

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Theater
3:25 am
Sat August 24, 2013

Bread And Puppet Marks 50 Years Of Paper Mache And Protest

Bread and Puppet Theater performs during a protest in New York in June 1982.
AP

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 9:39 am

Bread and Puppet Theater has been a familiar presence at political demonstrations since the anti-war protests of the 1960s. Its giant puppets and raucous brass band also marched against wars in Central America, Afghanistan and Iraq. In 1982, Bread and Puppet led a parade in New York that, according to police estimates, consisted of more than a half-million anti-nuclear protesters. Though massive street protests may be a thing of the past, Bread and Puppet's work is still unapologetically political as it celebrates its 50th anniversary.

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Around the Nation
5:49 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

San Diego Mayor Resigns Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 7:12 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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The Two-Way
4:49 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

ESPN Says It Backs Reporting As It Pulls Out Of NFL Series

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 5:12 pm

  • Sportswriter Stefan Fatsis Discusses ESPN's Decision On 'All Things Considered'

ESPN President John Skipper released a statement Friday defending the network's journalistic integrity after it pulled out of an investigation of the NFL.

ESPN had been a partner with PBS's Frontline on a forthcoming series about concussions in the National Football League. A trailer for the two-part investigation says Frontline "investigates what the NFL knew and when they knew it" regarding the lasting effects of head injuries.

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The Two-Way
4:33 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

NSA Says Some Analysts Willfully Violated Spying Authority

The National Security Agency says that on rare occasions some of its analysts deliberately violated the agency's surveillance authorities.

NPR's Tom Gjelten tells our Newscast unit that the violations generally do not involve surveillance of U.S. citizens' telephone or email data. He filed this report:

"The NSA this week briefed members of Congress on employee compliance with surveillance authorities. In a new statement the agency summarized what it reported.

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It's All Politics
4:29 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Is This The Beginning Of Obama Unbound?

President Obama speaks at a town hall-style meeting at SUNY Binghamton on Friday.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Are we seeing the beginning of a trend from the occupant of the Oval Office — a President Obama unbound?

That's the question after Obama cast aside his usual caution while speaking at a town hall-style meeting in Binghamton, N.Y., on Friday. Asked about his proposals for attacking soaring higher education costs, Obama said:

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The Record
4:18 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Haven't I Heard This Song Before?

The hook in Vanilla Ice's song "Ice Ice Baby" was based on a passage from "Under Pressure" by David Bowie and Queen, but the rapper denied the similarity at first.
Time & Life Pictures Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 7:12 pm

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The Two-Way
4:12 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Mei Xiang, Giant Panda At National Zoo, Gives Birth To A Cub

Mei Xiang, who gave birth Friday, enjoying a piece of fruit on Dec. 19, 2011, at the National Zoo.
Fang Zhe Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 4:35 pm

The Smithsonian National Zoo has some happy news this evening: Mei Xiang, a giant panda, gave birth to a cub at 5:32 p.m. ET.

In some ways this was a surprise, as the zoo did not know the panda was pregnant until earlier this month, when she began to act like she was expecting.

The zoo says their panda team heard the cub vocalize and saw Mei Xiang cradle her cub.

The zoo reports in a press release:

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The Two-Way
4:10 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner Announces His Resignation

Mayor Bob Filner of San Diego speaks at a news conference in July.
Bill Wechter Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 5:19 pm

Embattled Mayor Bob Filner on Friday announced that he would step down at the end of the month following allegations by more than a dozen women that he sexually harassed them.

With equal measures of remorse and defiance, Filner, speaking before the City Council, apologized to his supporters and to "all the women I have offended."

"I had no intention to be offensive, to violate any physical or personal space," he said.

"I never had any intention to be a mayor who went out this way," he said.

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The Two-Way
3:56 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Discrimination Suit Dropped Against TV's Paula Deen

Cooking show host Paula Deen in an appearance on Fox & Friends last December.
Slaven Vlasic Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 5:28 pm

An agreement has been reached to dismiss a sexual harassment and discrimination suit against Food Network personality Paula Deen and her brother.

The Associated Press reports that a document filed in U.S. District Court in Savannah, Ga., said the parties had reached agreement "without any award or fees to any party."

Lisa Jackson — a former employee of Uncle Bubba's Seafood and Oyster House, a restaurant owned by Deen and her brother, Bubba Hiers — charged that she suffered from sexual harassment and racial discrimination.

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Sports
3:49 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

What To Make Of Tiger Woods' Major-less Year

Tiger Woods watches his tee shot on the third hole during the first round of The Barclays golf tournament on Thursday.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 7:12 pm

By the standard of normal golfing mortals, Tiger Woods has had an incredible summer. He's won multiple tournaments and millions of dollars in prize money. What he didn't do was win any of golf's four major championships, and that has led some to write off Woods' 2013 as a failure.

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Environment
3:49 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

The 'Consensus' View: Kevin Trenberth's Take On Climate Change

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 7:12 pm

Next month, a scientific committee sponsored by the United Nations will put out its latest assessment of climate change. The report is expected to underscore yet again that climate change is a serious problem and human beings are largely responsible.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) represents a consensus view of hundreds of scientists from around the world. The effort shared the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore.

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Business
3:32 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Ballmer's Retirement Announcement Drives Up Microsoft Stock

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 7:12 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer made a surprise announcement today. He'll retire within the year after 13 years at the helm. Microsoft experienced strong growth under Ballmer. But as NPR's Laura Sydell reports, he's been a lightning rod for critics of the company and his announcement immediately drove up Microsoft's stock price.

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Planet Money
3:01 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Cash, Cows And The Rise Of Nerd Philanthropy

A family in western Kenya received this cow as part of a Heifer International program.
NPR

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 7:12 pm

For more of our reporting on this story, please see our recent column in the New York Times Magazine, and the latest episode of This American Life.

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Asia
3:01 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Corruption Trial Not Working Out As Communist Party Had Hoped

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 7:12 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

China's Communist Party had hoped a high profile corruption trial this week would send a message that the party punishes its own and operates under the rule of law. But so far, the trail of former Politburo member Bo Xilai hasn't quite worked out that way. NPR's Frank Langfitt reports on how China's biggest case in decades is toying with the expectations of the millions of people following the trial.

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Middle East
3:01 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Did Publicizing The Terror Alert In Yemen Help?

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 7:12 pm

The partial reopening of the U.S. Embassy in Yemen, which was the focus of a recent terror alert, suggests that the immediate threat of a terrorist attack has passed. Officials cannot be certain whether the alert disrupted planning for a possible attack, whether the threat was a bluff or whether the intelligence that led to the alert was flawed. The issuance of warnings is a specialty within the intelligence community, but the recent episode underscores how much uncertainty surrounds the field.

Middle East
3:01 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Former Ambassador: Syria Will Fight No Matter What U.S. Does

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 7:12 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. There are growing calls for international military action if it's proved that Syria used chemical weapons in an attack this week that's believed to have killed more than 1,000 people. Britain, France and Turkey are among those calling for a forceful response. In an interview today on CNN, President Obama sounded a cautious note.

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Middle East
3:01 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Obama Still Wary Of U.S. Military Intervention In Syria

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 7:12 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. President Obama continued his back-to-school bus tour today, visiting college campuses in New York and Pennsylvania. Back here in Washington, D.C., administration officials wrestled with how the U.S. should respond to this week's alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria. Obama says Wednesday's attack around Damascus, if verified, raises grave concern and could threaten core national interests of the United States.

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Around the Nation
3:01 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Summer Nights: Senior Softball In Huntington Beach, Calif.

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 10:46 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Nothing suggests summer like a game of softball. As part of our Summer Nights series, we're visiting Murdy Park in Huntington Beach, California, for a game of senior women's softball. It was a game between the Mighty's and the Misfits. Gloria Hillard reports.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: All right. Let's go, ladies.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

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Around the Nation
3:01 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

San Diego City Council Considers Mayor's Resignation

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 7:12 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

To San Diego now where, after weeks of accusations of sexual harassment, apologies, denials, a lawsuit and a trip to a treatment center, the saga of Mayor Bob Filner may be coming to a close, or at least one chapter of it may be coming to a close. The San Diego City Council is in session, and it's considering a deal that would lead to Filner's resignation.

Sandhya Dirks of member station KPBS joins me now from San Diego City Hall. And, Sandhya, there have been reports of a resignation deal for a few days now. Where do things stand?

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Law
3:01 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Sgt. Bales Sentenced To Life In Prison For Afghan Murders

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 7:12 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Now to the other major court martial we've been following, that of Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales. He pleaded guilty to killing 16 civilians, mostly women and children, during a nighttime massacre in Afghanistan. That plea allowed him to avoid the death penalty. Today, a military jury sentenced Bales to life in prison without the possibility of parole. But as NPR's Martin Kaste reports, that sentence was not harsh enough for relatives of Bales' Afghan victims.

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Law
3:01 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Hasan Could Receive Death Penalty After Guilty Verdict

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 7:12 pm

A military jury has unanimously convicted Major Nidal Hasan of 13 counts of pre-meditated murder in the attack on Fort Hood. Hasan could now face the death penalty.

Education
3:01 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Chicago School Closures Send Kids Through Dangerous Areas

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 7:12 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. The start of the school year in Chicago on Monday comes with extra challenges. Fifty of the city's schools were closed over the summer, leading parents to worry that students would have to walk through neighborhoods where gun violence has been rampant. So the district made a promise it would provide safe routes to schools using an expanded version of a program call Safe Passage. NPR's Cheryl Corley reports.

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The Two-Way
2:37 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Russia Bans Protests At Site Of Sochi Winter Games

Demonstrators protest against homophobia and repression of gays in Russia, in front of the Russian Embassy in Madrid on August 23, 2013.
Gerard Julien AFP/Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin issued an executive order that bans protests around the site of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

The AP reports Putin issued the 10-week ban along with other orders designed to tighten security. Of course, the ban comes amid international consternation about Russia's laws prohibiting people from publicly supporting "nontraditional relationships."

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All Tech Considered
1:11 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Three Tips For Microsoft's Next CEO

Microsoft's next chief will face a host of challenges, including doing more to encourage innovation.
Kin Cheung AP

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 2:30 pm

Speculation is already beginning about who will replace Steve Ballmer as CEO of Microsoft. The names being floated are as diverse as Stephen Elop, the head of Nokia, and Steven Sinofsky, who ran Windows.

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Shots - Health News
12:35 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

To Reduce Prejudice, Try Sharing Passions And Cultures

Sharing passions can help erase ethnic prejudice. No word if that includes a passion for NCAA basketball.
Marcio Jose Sanchez AP

Originally published on Mon August 26, 2013 8:17 am

People can become less prejudiced, but it's not entirely clear how we make the journey from hatred to acceptance.

Something as simple as a shared passion for The Catcher in the Rye can help, researchers say. So does getting an inside look at the other person's culture, even if only for a few minutes.

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The Two-Way
12:27 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

U.S. Soldier Sentenced To Life In Afghan Village Attacks

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, foreground, is seen in a courtroom sketch earlier this week, as prosecutor Lt. Col. Jay Morse, right, speaks to the jury. Bales was sentenced to life in prison without parole Friday.
Peter Millett AP

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 2:14 pm

A military jury has sentenced Robert Bales, the U.S. Army staff sergeant who admitted to killing 16 Afghan civilians in 2012, to life in prison without parole. During the punishment hearings held this week, Bales was confronted by family members of victims and people who survived the attacks of March 11, 2012.

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The Two-Way
12:02 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Gunman Found Guilty On All Counts In Fort Hood Murder Rampage

Army Maj. Nidal Hasan is seen in a booking photo after being moved to the Bell County Jail on April 9, 2010, in Belton, Texas.
Bell County Sheriff's Office handout Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 1:41 pm

A military jury has returned a guilty verdict on multiple counts of murder and attempted murder against Maj. Nidal Hasan, the U.S. Army psychiatrist accused in the November 2009 mass shooting at Fort Hood.

The attack at the Texas military base killed 13 people and wounded 32 others.

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The Two-Way
11:59 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Drop In New Home Sales May Be Sign Higher Rates Are Biting

The scene earlier this year at a home construction site in Phoenix.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Proving once again that when it comes to economic data there's almost always a "but" to watch out for:

The housing sector has been one of the economy's stars in recent months, as we said Thursday when the news broke that sales of existing homes rose an estimated 6.5 percent in July from June.

But ...

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