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Code Switch
1:18 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Renowned Kung Fu Master Inspires Slew Of Action Flicks

Tony Leung (center) fends off challengers as Wing Chun kung fu master Ip Man in Wong Kar Wai's The Grandmaster.
The Weinstein Company

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 11:34 am

Forty years after his death, there's a name that's become practically synonymous with Chinese kung fu films.

And no, it's not Bruce Lee.

It's actually his teacher, Ip Man.

The late kung fu master's life story has inspired more movie releases than Spider-Man. The five films so far include Hong Kong director Wong Kar Wai's The Grandmaster, which opens Friday in New York and Los Angeles.

The Filmmakers' Creation

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National Security
6:12 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Outgoing FBI Boss On His Legacy And What Kept Him Up At Night

FBI Director Robert Mueller testifies on Capitol Hill in June.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 5:25 am

For a man at the center of so many critical government actions, with a portfolio that includes preventing terrorist strikes and cyberattacks, FBI Director Robert Mueller has mostly avoided the limelight since he joined the bureau just a week before Sept. 11, 2001.

As his friend and former CIA Director George Tenet says, Mueller represents a different type.

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Deceptive Cadence
5:23 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Behind The Latest Round Of Bruised Feelings At The Minnesota Orchestra

The chairs are still empty in Minneapolis, but all sides in the Minnesota Orchestra dispute have been busy trying to snap up web domain names.
iStock

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 10:05 am

In Minneapolis right now, even small matters have the potential to escalate — fast. Take the latest flashpoint in the Minnesota Orchestra's ongoing tribulations, which in about 24 hours has flared up a lot of ire in the classical community.

About a week ago, a semi-professional musician, blogger and longtime fan of the Minnesota Orchestra named Emily Hogstad was talking with some fellow Minnesota fans about the possibility of organizing a dedicated group of music lovers who want to see an end to the longstanding labor disputes at the Minneapolis-based ensemble.

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The Two-Way
5:09 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Chelsea Manning: Testing The Military On Transgender Issues

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, who now asks to be referred to as Chelsea, dressed as a woman in this 2010 photograph.
U.S. Army handout Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 8:06 pm

The case of Army Pfc. Bradley Manning tested many complex questions about espionage, journalism and even treason. But there was always one thing that lingered as a subtext to the case: Manning's struggle with gender identity.

On Thursday, when Manning announced that he wants to be known as Chelsea Manning, it became clear that the subtext would become the focus and that Manning will now likely test military policy on transgender issues.

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The Two-Way
4:45 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Justice Files Voter Discrimination Suit Against Texas

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said Attorney General Eric Holder was "wrong to mess with Texas."
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 4:50 pm

The Justice Department has filed suit against Texas under the Voting Rights Act, claiming that the state requirement for voter identification discriminates against minorities.

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It's All Politics
4:00 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Polite Reception For Obama College Cost Plan Belies Hurdles

President Obama takes the stage at the University at Buffalo on Thursday.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 4:47 pm

The big idea in President Obama's new proposal for tackling the growing crisis in college affordability can be boiled down to this: linking federal higher education aid to a new grading system that would rate colleges and universities on the "value" they provide students.

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Business
3:42 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Is Government's Renewed Push On Mortgage Fraud Too Late?

Foreclosures increased dramatically as a result of risky subprime loans during the 2000s.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

"Remain aggressive." That's the message Attorney General Eric Holder says he has given to prosecutors around the country about pursuing wrongdoing by financial institutions — particularly, wrongdoing related to the financial crisis of 2008.

But as the five-year anniversary of the crisis approaches, the record of prosecutions against high-level Wall Street executives has been dismal.

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The Two-Way
3:30 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

NYC Lawmakers Override Bloomberg On Police Oversight

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks at a news conference with New York Police Department Commissioner Ray Kelly last week.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 3:26 pm

New York's City Council has approved a new layer of oversight for the nation's largest police force, overriding Mayor Michael Bloomberg a week after the NYPD's stop-and-frisk tactics were deemed "indirect racial profiling" of blacks and Latinos.

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Education
3:08 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Obama Calls For College Affordability On Bus Tour

President Obama was in Buffalo, N.Y., today, talking up the college affordability program at the SUNY campus there and urging Congress to do more to support higher education. The president also has a political agenda as he drives from town to town. NPR's Scott Horsley is with the president and joins us now.

Business
3:08 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Nasdaq Trading Halted For Hours By Technical Glitch

Trading on the Nasdaq exchange was halted today due to an unspecified technical glitch. The shutdown rattled investors and raised fresh concerns about the safety and stability of financial markets. Nasdaq in particular has experienced technological mishaps, most notably during the Facebook IPO in 2012.

Asia
3:08 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Former Chinese Politician Has Spirited Defense At Trial

The former politician Bo Xilai offered a spirited defense in court in China on Thursday, surprising observers who had expected a quick show trial to end the country's biggest political scandal in decades. However Bo was allowed to cross-examine witnesses and tell judges he had been framed in the bribery charges against him. He said he had confessed to the charges under psychological pressure during interrogation.

Middle East
3:08 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Syrian Doctor Describes Treating Chemical Weapons Victims

Hundreds of people are believed to have perished in an alleged government-launched chemical weapon attack earlier this week on the rebel stronghold of Ghouta, outside of Damascus. Melissa Blocks speaks with Abo Abdulrahman, a doctor from a field hospital there, who reports an enormous influx of patients coming into his clinic.

Africa
3:08 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Latest Clashes In Egypt Bloodier Than 2011 Revolution

Melissa Block talks to Heba Morayef, Director of Human Rights Watch's Egypt office, about their latest report on human rights violations.

Africa
3:08 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Mubarak's Release Sparks New Debate Over Egypt's Future

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was released from prison on Thursday and immediately flown to a military hospital in Cairo. The court-ordered release does not mean the end of his problems. The 85-year-old Mubarak is still facing charges of conspiracy and murder in a re-trial that could begin as early as this weekend. A small group of Mubarak supporters gathered outside the prison for his release, but overall the decision to transfer him to the hospital has not ignited any street protests.

Afghanistan
3:08 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Some Afghans Already Cynical About Next Year's Election

April 5, 2014 — that's the day Afghans are scheduled to head to the polls to elect a successor to President Hamid Karzai. He's constitutionally banned from running for a third term. But, in a country that loves a good conspiracy theory, many think that Karzai will find some way to stay in power. Even if he doesn't, there are still many questions about how free and fair next year's vote will be.

Economy
3:08 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Unemployment Claims Drop To Pre-Recession Levels

More than 330,000 people filed new claims for unemployment insurance benefits last week. That sounds like a big number — and is a slight increase over the previous week — but it's being taken as some very good news. For a month, now, fewer new people are asking for unemployment insurance than at any time since November, 2007. That's before the Great Recession.

Education
3:08 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Do The Data Exist To Make A College-Rating System Work?

President Obama delivers a speech on education at the University of Buffalo on Thursday.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 4:46 pm

President Obama unveiled a plan on Thursday that would, for the first time, tie federal student aid to a new rating system for colleges and universities. While the president's message that higher education costs should be reined in was simple enough, the sweeping proposal is anything but.

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Around the Nation
3:08 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

911 Call Captures School Employee Talking Down Gunman

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 4:37 pm

We hear some of the 911 call from a Georgia school clerk to the police earlier this week. Antoinette Tuff, who works at the McNair Discovery Learning Center, talked a 20-year-old gunman who was brandishing an AK-47 and shooting at police, into giving himself up.

History
3:08 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

John F. Kennedy Faced Civil Rights Opponents In His Own Party

One aim of the organizers of the 1963 March on Washington was to get Congress to pass civil rights legislation. President John F. Kennedy had proposed a wide-ranging measure earlier that summer. But he faced unrelenting opposition from lawmakers, many in his own party.

Law
3:08 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Soldier Who Admitted To Killing Afghans Apologizes In Court

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 9:15 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

In a military court in Washington State today, Army Sergeant Robert Bales offered these words: Sorry just isn't good enough, but I am sorry. Bales agreed to plead guilty to killing 16 Afghan civilians, as part of a deal that spared him the death penalty. Now his sentencing hearing is wrapping up.

And NPR's Martin Kaste is at the hearing at Joint Base Lewis McChord. He joins us now.

Martin, this is the first time that the jury heard from Sergeant Bales at any length. What did he say to explain what he did?

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Law
3:08 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Justice Department Sues Texas Over Strict Voter ID Law

The Justice Department is suing the state of Texas over its strict voter ID law, saying it discriminates against minorities. The attorney general also wants a judge to order Texas to get federal permission before it changes its election procedures.

Sports
3:08 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Ichiro Suzuki Joins Two Other Baseball Greats With 4,000th Hit

Ichiro Suzuki got his 4000th hit on Wednesday, joining Ty Cobb and Pete Rose as the only baseball players to reach that milestone.

Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Teenage Graceland: A Temporary Home For Troubled Kids

In Short Term 12, Grace (Brie Larson) counsels Marcus (Keith Stanfield), an angry young man about to age out of the foster care system.
Cinedigm

Originally published on Sun August 25, 2013 9:22 am

A group foster home + abused and at-risk kids + tough love + junior staff nearly as troubled as their charges: The potential for cliche is everywhere in Destin Cretton's enormously engaging Short Term 12, and — happily — is everywhere avoided. What might seem on paper a cloyingly sentimental heartwarmer becomes, in Cretton's hands, a briskly believable, often funny, always invigorating and ultimately wrenching story of emotional fortitude.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

In Bleak 'Paradise: Faith,' Both Can Seem Distant

Nabil Saleh
Strand Releasing

The difference between a provocative film and a challenging one can be difficult to parse. Yet it's essential to understanding the success and occasional missteps of Ulrich Seidl's Paradise: Faith, the second part in a trilogy that, so far, has excelled at exploring the depths of human misery.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

In 'Drinking Buddies,' Drifting Through The Suds

Kate (Olivia Wilde) and Luke (Jake Johnson) work together at a Chicago brewery — and teeter on the brink of a relationship. But in this film, the work is more compelling than the play.
Magnolia Pictures

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 1:07 pm

"She's so pretty, she could be in any movie," a fan gushed after a screening of Joe Swanberg's Drinking Buddies. There's a lot more to Olivia Wilde than her feline loveliness, which, combined with a challenging stare that dares you to dismiss her as fluff, reminds me of a young Michelle Pfeiffer. But not much of that is allowed out to play in this strained comic drama about two young couples struggling to answer universal questions in particular ways.

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The Two-Way
2:55 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Detroit's Packard Complex Could Sell Below $100,000 If Deal Fails

Detroit's abandoned Packard car plant, seen here in a 2010 photo, could eventually sell for $21,000 if a development deal falls through, a Wayne County official says.
Carlos Osorio AP

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 4:10 pm

The Packard plant, which once symbolized the might of America's auto industry, is at risk of heading to auction if a pending development deal fails. If that happens, The Detroit Free Press reports, the 35-acre site eventually could be sold "for as little as $21,000," a figure that comes from Wayne County Deputy Treasurer David Szymanski.

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Shots - Health News
2:02 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

For Strokes, Superfast Treatment Means Better Recovery

The main goal in stroke treatment: saving brain.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 5:01 pm

Time is brain, the saying goes. The faster people get treatment for a stroke, the less brain damage they suffer. A new study says much faster is much better, especially for mild and moderate strokes.

People treated with a clotbusting drug within 90 minutes of having symptoms of a stroke had excellent recoveries, with less lasting disability.

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JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater
1:40 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Branford Marsalis Quartet On JazzSet

The Branford Marsalis Quartet.
Eric Ryan Anderson

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 8:36 am

From January 1992 to September 2001, Branford Marsalis set the JazzSet pace, hosting 39 new shows a year (now we do 26) from the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band; festivals in Iowa City, Telluride, Pasadena, Mount Hood, Montreal and Brevard, N.C.; the new music festival in Groningen, the Netherlands, and the Havana Jazz Festival in Cuba; clubs from Yoshi's in California to Sculler's and the Regattabar in Boston. WGBH producer Steve Schwartz sent us lots of Boston sets during that first decade, all of them much appreciated.

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Parallels
12:58 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

In Familiar Refrain, Syria Faces Criticism, Not Intervention

A Syrian man protesting an alleged chemical weapons attack in his homeland holds up a placard Wednesday in front of the United Nations offices in Beirut.
Hussein Malla AP

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 3:43 pm

The international community once again rose in near unanimity to condemn a mass killing of civilians in Syria. But, as with so many previous episodes, no one proposed concrete action intended to prevent such bloodshed in the future.

The White House on Thursday expressed "deep concern" and urged a U.N. investigation into what the Syrian opposition says was a chemical weapons attack near Damascus on Wednesday that left hundreds dead.

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All Songs Considered
12:35 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

The Good Listener: When Is It OK To Wear Headphones In Public?

As Melissa McCarthy's etiquette-minded character in Bridesmaids demonstrates, there's nothing wrong with wearing headphones on an airplane.
Suzanne Hanover Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 4:33 pm

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the monthly bale of sunflower seeds we've decided to order from Amazon Prime via subscription is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, a request for advice on when and where it's courteous to wear headphones in public.

Brian Bowen writes via Facebook: "When is it OK to wear headphones in public — in transit, at work, during events large or small, standing in line at the post office, etc.?"

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