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StoryCorps
12:49 am
Fri April 26, 2013

From Poor Beginnings To A Wealth Of Knowledge

Herman Blake, left, and Sidney Blake at StoryCorps in New York.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 11:14 am

Herman Blake grew up with his mother and six siblings just outside New York City. It was the early 1940s and the family was poor. This shaped their outlook on life.

"When I was growing up the great emphasis was on being able to get a job because we were on welfare, and it was so humiliating," Herman tells his brother Sidney, who is an Episcopal deacon, during a visit to StoryCorps in New York.

One of the Blake brothers, Henry, who wanted the family to stop depending on welfare, decided to drop out of school so he could help take care of their mother.

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The Salt
12:48 am
Fri April 26, 2013

So Jerry Seinfeld Called Us To Talk About Coffee

In an episode of Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee called "Larry Eats A Pancake," Jerry Seinfeld has coffee with Larry David.
YouTube

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 1:48 pm

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Around the Nation
6:17 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Controversy Brews Over Church's Hallucinogenic Tea Ritual

Ayahuasca brew used in South and Central America.
Nha Flickr

A small church in Santa Fe, N.M., has grown up around a unique sacrament. Twice a month, the congregation meets in a ritualized setting to drink Brazilian huasca tea, which has psychoactive properties said to produce a trance-like state.

The Supreme Court confirmed the UDV church's right to exist in 2006. The church doesn't seek new members and prefers to keep a low profile. It did, however, agree for the first time to open up to a journalist.

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Around the Nation
6:16 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Thousands Attend Memorial For Plant Explosion Victims

President Obama visited Waco, Texas, on Thursday day to take part in a memorial for those killed in the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, last week.

Business
6:16 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Regulators Warn Banks On Direct-Deposit Loans

Regulators are warning some of the nation's largest banks to stop offering loans that are hard to distinguish from those given out by storefront payday lenders.
CX Matiash AP

Consumer advocates call them "debt" traps. The banks that offer them call them direct-deposit advances and describe them as available funds for short-term emergencies.

But the cash advances have many of the negative characteristics of payday loans. And on Thursday, U.S. bank regulators took a step toward protecting consumers from the risks they pose. The regulators proposed standards for "deposit-advance products."

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It's All Politics
3:57 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Max Baucus Says He Was Montana's 'Hired Hand' On Gun Vote

Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., is trailed by reporters Monday on Capitol Hill after announcing that he'll retire in 2014.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 6:16 pm

Longtime Democratic Sen. Max Baucus of Montana announced this week that he would not seek re-election next year, ending four decades in Congress and leaving as chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee.

NPR's Robert Siegel spoke with Baucus Thursday about his recent vote against expanded gun background checks, his role in negotiations over President Obama's health care legislation, efforts to remake tax policy, and the legions of his former staffers now populating lobbying shops.

Background Checks

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Around the Nation
3:46 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Making Room: Can Smaller Apartments Help New York City Grow?

Some housing experts say New York's zoning code has discouraged the building of affordable housing by requiring that all apartments be at least 400 square feet. The city is interested in finding ways to rewrite the rules.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 6:16 pm

New York City is notoriously crowded, and it's only getting more so. The city estimates it will have 1 million more people by the year 2030, many of them single. Where to place all these newcomers is a major challenge.

Mayor Mike Bloomberg has announced plans to put up an experimental building of micro-apartments that could be replicated throughout the city. And the Museum of the City of New York is looking at ways to make better use of the city's housing stock.

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The Two-Way
3:37 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Texas Town Honors Dead From Fertilizer Plant Blast

President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama attend a memorial service at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, on Thursday, for those killed in the April 17 explosion of a fertilizer plant.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

West, Texas, said goodbye to 14 people, including 10 firefighters and first responders, who were killed in the April 17 explosion of a fertilizer plant that leveled part of the town.

President Obama attended a memorial service on Thursday to console the grieving families. He said the "tragedy has simply revealed who you've always been."

He told the audience of about 10,000 gathered at Baylor University's Ferrell Center in Waco that the country would help the community rebuild.

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Media
3:15 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

China's CCTV America Walks The Line Between 2 Media Traditions

Before joining CCTV America, Phillip T.K. Yin was an anchor and reporter for Bloomberg Television.
CCTV America

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 6:16 pm

At a time when so many major American news organizations are cutting back, foreign news agencies are beefing up their presence abroad and in the U.S. One of the biggest new players arrives from China and, more likely than not, can be found on a television set near you.

CCTV, or China Central Television, is owned by the Chinese government. With more than 40 channels in China and an offshoot in the U.S., the broadcaster has been highly profitable for the country's ruling Communist Party, which is liking profits a lot these days.

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The Salt
3:03 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Masterpiece In A Mug: Japanese Latte Art Will Perk You Up

Courtesy of Kazuki Yamamoto

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 1:48 pm

Clovers? Hearts? That's small fries, guys. It's time you met The Cat:

That 3-D creation is the work of Japanese latte artist Kazuki Yamamoto. The 26-year-old resident of Osaka creates ephemeral works of art in espresso and foam.

From whimsical monsters crafted from milk froth ...

... to adorable homages to favorite childhood cartoon characters ...

Yamamoto's art makes you regret the need to consume the canvas.

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Theater
2:59 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

On Broadway, One Runt To Rule Them All

The Broadway musical Matilda put NPR's Bob Mondello in mind of two other big-budget tuners with plucky kids at the center of the action — and got him thinking about what these shows say about their eras.
Joan Marcus

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 6:16 pm

Broadway's newest family-friendly musical, Matilda, based on the Roald Dahl novel about a precocious child who proves smarter than all the adults in her life, opened earlier this month to some of the best reviews of the year.

While it's a brand-new show, seeing it jogged my memory — jogged it all the way back to my very first commentary for All Things Considered exactly 29 years ago.

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Politics
2:59 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Sen. Corker Calls On U.S. To 'Step Up' Efforts In Syria

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 6:16 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Tennessee Republican Senator Bob Corker is the ranking minority member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and joins us now. Welcome to the program, Senator.

SENATOR BOB CORKER: Glad to be with you.

SIEGEL: You said in light of what the White House said today, we should step up our efforts. What does that mean, we should step up our efforts in Syria?

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Middle East
2:59 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Evidence Of Syria's Chemical Weapons Use Questioned

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 6:16 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Saying that Syria has used chemical weapons is a major step for the administration. But as we've heard, there's still a lot we don't know about the evidence the White House is relying on.

Joining us now to discuss those uncertainties is NPR's Larry Abramson. And, Larry, what is known about the evidence that the administration is citing and how the U.S. got a hold of it?

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Middle East
2:59 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

White House Undecided On Action For Syria Crossing 'Red Line'

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 6:16 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. Has the so-called red line been crossed in Syria? Today, the Obama administration said it believes the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons and, as President Obama has said in the past, that is a red line that would trigger serious consequences. But as NPR's Mara Liasson reports, the administration says it still has to evaluate the evidence and decide what actions to take.

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The Salt
2:58 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Monkeys Also Want To Eat Like The Locals

The blue corn's just as tasty as the red corn, but it's not what the locals like.
Erica van de Waal Science

When you travel, do you want to drink Bellinis in Venice and yak butter tea in Tibet? Well, so do monkeys.

Monkeys will eat new, different food if they travel to a new place and want to fit in with the locals, according to a new study. But back home, they'll eat what Mama eats, shunning perfectly good food if it doesn't get her approval.

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The Two-Way
12:51 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Still In The Middle Class, But Standing On A Banana Peel

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 1:01 pm

Most U.S. workers fit snugly into the middle class, but they worry a lot about falling out of it, according to a poll released Thursday.

After years of watching home prices slide and job creation stall, 6 in 10 Americans say they fear tumbling from the middle class in the next few years, the Allstate-National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll suggests.

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JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater
12:25 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Allison Miller's Boom Tic Boom On JazzSet

Allison Miller leads Boom Tic Boom at the Kennedy Center during the Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival.
Margot Schulman Courtesy of the Kennedy Center

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 3:56 pm

Allison Miller has a jazz portfolio with Dr. Lonnie Smith, Steven Bernstein and a host of others, as well as a pop career with Brandi Carlile, Ani DiFranco and Natalie Merchant. She's a U.S.

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Arts & Life
12:06 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Steadicam Inventor Joins Inventors Hall of Fame

Garrett Brown with Sylvester Stallone during the filming of Rocky II.
Courtesy Garrett Brown

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 9:32 am

Rocky Balboa's sprint up the stairs of the Philadelphia Art Museum in Rocky is a scene that would have once been impossible to film. Camera innovator Garrett Brown made it possible when he invented the Steadicam, a body-mounted camera that stabilizes handheld shots.

Brown has received three Academy Awards for his technical inventions and holds 50 patents for cinematography devices. The college dropout-turned-inventor will be inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in May.

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Shots - Health News
12:04 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Why Finding A TB Test Got Hard

The skin test for tuberculosis sparks an itchy welt in people who have been exposed to the bacillus.
Greg Knobloch CDC

Hospitals and public health departments around the country are having a tough time coming up with a staple of preventive health care: the skin test for tuberculosis.

The shortage, caused by problems at a factory in Canada, is prompting suspension of routine TB testing around the country.

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Economy
12:02 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Signing Up For Food Stamps

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 12:25 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Another promising report today suggests that the economy in general and employment in particular continue to improve, but there's another statistic that's more troubling. More Americans than ever participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps.

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The Two-Way
11:58 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Body Is ID'd As Missing Student Falsely Linked To Bombings

Sunil Tripathi.
Facebook.com

A body pulled out of the water earlier this week in Providence, R.I., has now been identified as that of 22-year-old Sunil Tripathi, a Brown University student who had been missing since March 15.

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The Two-Way
11:09 am
Thu April 25, 2013

White House: Evidence Syria Used Chemical Weapons

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel speaks with reporters on Thursday in the United Arab Emirates after reading a statement on chemical weapon use.
Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 3:55 pm

Update at 5:45 p.m. ET. 'All Options' On The Table

A White House official reiterated much of what was in the letter sent to Capitol Hill, but added that "all options were on the table in terms of our response."

The official said that reports of the use of chemical weapons in Aleppo in March was one of the incidents being examined.

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It's All Politics
11:08 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Why The Bush Library Won't Make History

Former President George W. Bush speaks alongside former first lady Laura Bush during the opening ceremony of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum on Thursday in Dallas.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 11:50 am

Will history judge George W. Bush more kindly than his contemporaries have?

The man himself seems fairly indifferent.

"I don't think he really cares much at all, to be honest with you," says Kevin Sullivan, who served as White House communications director during Bush's second term. "I think he cares very little about where his approval rating stands today, compared to 2005 or 2008."

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Television
10:58 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Matthew Weiner On 'Mad Men' And Meaning

Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner was also a writer and producer on The Sopranos for a time.
Michael Yarish AMC

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 11:37 am

The sixth season of AMC's Mad Men, which premiered April 7, jumps forward in time a few months from where the fifth season concluded. The first episode of the season comes to a close on New Year's Day 1968. That date was designed to set the tone for the entire season.

That year, says Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner, is, "as far as I can tell, in the top two or three worst years in U.S. history."

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The Two-Way
10:20 am
Thu April 25, 2013

At Bush Library Dedication, Bipartisan Praise

President Obama, former presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter attend the opening ceremony of the George W. Bush Presidential Center on Thursday in Dallas, Texas. The Bush library, which is located on the campus of Southern Methodist University, with more than 70 million pages of paper records, 43,000 artifacts, 200 million emails and four million photographs.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 11:00 am

Four presidents praised another member of their exclusive club Thursday at the dedication of the George W. Presidential Library and Museum on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

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All Songs Considered
10:17 am
Thu April 25, 2013

We Get Mail: Should Parents Try To Get Their Kids Into Great Music?

How much should parents feel responsible for making sure their kids hear Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band?
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 12:05 pm

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The Salt
10:04 am
Thu April 25, 2013

EU Embraces 'Suspended Coffee': Pay It Forward With A Cup Of Joe

A barista serves coffee at a cafe in Naples, Italy. The Italian city's long-standing tradition of buying a cup for a less-fortunate stranger is now spreading across Europe.
Christopher Furlong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 1:48 pm

Tough economic times and growing poverty in much of Europe are reviving a humble tradition that began some one-hundred years ago in the Italian city of Naples. It's called caffè sospeso — "suspended coffee": A customer pays in advance for a person who cannot afford a cup of coffee.

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Asia
10:03 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Rape Of Five-Year-Old Incites Rage In India

The brutal rape of a five-year-old girl in India has caused public outcry there, and led to the arrest of two men. Host Michel Martin explores what the case says about how India handles sexual assault cases. She speaks with Anand Giridharadas, a columnist at The New York Times.

Science
10:03 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Not Your Ordinary Science Fair

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We're going to switch gears now and tell you about a competition that is really about to take off - pun intended. We're talking about the nation's largest rocketry tournament, the Team America Rocketry Challenge.

If you think that making a model rocket is kids' stuff, listen to this: Teams must build a rocket that can fly as close to 800 feet as possible in about 45 seconds. The rockets have to carry two raw eggs into the air and bring them back safely. The top-ranked teams will compete in the national competition on May 11th.

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Africa
10:00 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Mo Ibrahim: The 'Bill Gates Of Africa'

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now it's time for our Wisdom Watch conversation. That's where we learn from people who've made a difference through their work.

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