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Around the Nation
7:54 am
Sat July 6, 2013

Gabby Giffords, Mark Kelly Go On Gun Rights Tour

A firing range might seem like an unlikely venue to launch a campaign for tougher gun laws. Guest host Linda Wertheimer speaks with astronaut Mark Kelly, who's on tour with his wife, former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, to promote background checks for gun purchasers.

Music Interviews
7:54 am
Sat July 6, 2013

George Benson Follows The Path Of His 'Unforgettable' Idol

George Benson's latest album, Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole, is a tribute to his hero.
Greg Allen Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 11:22 am

You could say George Benson's latest album, Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole, was conceived decades ago. Benson was just a kid when he first mimicked Cole off the radio, singing his own version of "Mona Lisa" while accompanying himself on the ukulele. He even made a recording.

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The Two-Way
7:26 am
Sat July 6, 2013

'Horrific Attack' On School In Nigeria; Dozens Dead

Nigeria.
CIA World Factbook

There's very disturbing news from Nigeria:

"At least 29 pupils and a teacher have been killed in a pre-dawn attack by suspected Islamists on a school in northeastern Nigeria, reports say." (BBC News)

The BBC's Will Ross, reporting from Lagos, adds that "it sounds like a horrific attack." Survivors say the gunmen set fire to buildings. Some of the students were burned alive, he reports, while "others were shot as they tried to run away."

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The Two-Way
6:26 am
Sat July 6, 2013

If Snowden Tries To Get To Latin America, Cuba Could Be Key

Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, who spilled secrets about the NSA's surveillance programs, has been condemned by U.S. officials. But he's been praised by some people around the world. In Berlin this week, supporters carried his picture at a demonstration.
Ole Spata DPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 7:22 pm

Update at 9:22 p.m. ET. Snowden Reveals Documents On Brazil:

Amid requests and offers of asylum in Latin America, Edward Snowden has apparently released documents showing that the U.S. spied on millions of emails and phone calls of Brazilians. NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro tells our Newscast Desk the report, published in the Rio de Janeiro paper O Globo, was co-written by Glenn Greenwald, who has been covering the National Security Agency's programs.

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Environment
6:25 am
Sat July 6, 2013

One Garden's Climate Struggle (And How To Save Yours)

Many of the flowers at Hillwood are doing well despite the ever-changing local climate.
Emily Files NPR

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 10:44 am

At the Hillwood Estate gardens in Washington, D.C., the new norm is: "Expect the unexpected." So says volunteer coordinator Bill Johnson, who has worked on property belonging to the heiress of the Post cereal fortune for 30 years.

Like home gardeners, the horticulturalists and professional gardeners at Hillwood are confronting an unpredictable climate.

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Political Crisis In Egypt
6:21 am
Sat July 6, 2013

The U.S. Holds The Aid Card, Yet Egypt Still Trumps

Egyptian protesters celebrate in Tahrir Square on Wednesday. The United States has managed to alienate just about every political actor in Egypt.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 7:04 pm

The ouster of Mohammed Morsi puts the U.S. in an awkward position: By law, the administration is supposed to cut off aid to a country after a military coup, but Egypt's military has been a key to regional stability. As the administration considers its next steps, it's come under criticism from all sides in Egypt over how it's handling the situation.

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The Two-Way
5:44 am
Sat July 6, 2013

After Deadly Clashes, Cairo Is Calmer But Still Tense

A poster showing ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi was hanging on barbed wire outside the headquarters of the Republican Guard in Cairo on Saturday. On the other side, guards stood watch.
Khaled Elfiqi EPA/Landov

Originally published on Sun July 7, 2013 11:08 am

(We most recently updated the top of this post at 2:05 p.m. ET.)

The death toll from clashes Friday and into early Saturday in Egypt now stands at 36, authorities say. That estimate, released just before 11 a.m. ET, was up from the 30 deaths that had been reported when the day began.

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Around the Nation
4:24 am
Sat July 6, 2013

With Bullets Scarce, More Shooters Make Their Own

Since the Newtown school shooting in December, gun stores nationwide have had difficulty keeping ammunition, like these .223-caliber rifle bullets, in stock.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 7:05 pm

Gun stores around the country have had difficulty keeping up with demand for ammunition in recent months. Fears of government tightening of gun and ammunition controls have meant that retailers, from Wal-Mart to mom-and-pop gun shops, haven't been able to keep bullets on the shelves.

Cliff Poser's gun shop, Cliff's Guns, Safes and Reloading in Boise, Idaho, is one of them. Business has been so crazy lately that he has to keep a special stash of ammunition, just so customers who buy guns from him can also buy bullets.

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Middle East
4:15 am
Sat July 6, 2013

Egypt Remains On Edge After Deadly Clashes

Opponents of Egypt's Islamist ousted President Mohammed Morsi wave national flags as they celebrate in Tahrir Square on Friday.
Amr Nabil AP

Cairo's emblematic Tahrir Square and nearby approaches to the River Nile are largely empty and debris-strewn today and Egypt remains on edge after deadly clashes between supporters and opponents of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.

The two sides fought overnight street battles that left at least 30 dead across the increasingly divided country.

Ismalists are enraged at Morsi's overthrow by millions of protesters backed by the country's powerful military.

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Code Switch
2:48 am
Sat July 6, 2013

Remembering Birmingham's 'Dynamite Hill' Neighborhood

Three civil rights workers stand guard in front NAACP attorney Arthur Shores' house in Sept. 1963. The house was blasted by dynamite the night before.
AP

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 7:54 am

Long before the Civil Rights marches of 1963 thrust Birmingham, Ala. into the national spotlight, black families along one residential street were steadily chipping away at Jim Crow segregation laws — and paying a price for it. As part of our series looking back at the seminal events that changed the nation 50 years ago, NPR's Debbie Elliott paid a visit to Birmingham's Dynamite Hill.

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Health
2:31 am
Sat July 6, 2013

Growing The Latest In 16th-Century Medicine

The opium poppy is the most common source of opium and morphine.
New York Botanical Garden

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 4:37 pm

The Renaissance Garden at the New York Botanical Garden, a re-creation of a 16th-century medicinal garden, is so lush and colorful, it takes only a stroll through to absorb its good medicine.

The garden, part of a summer exhibit called Wild Medicine: Healing Plants Around the World, is a small-scale model of the Italian Renaissance Garden in Padua, Italy, Europe's first botanical garden.

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Parallels
2:23 am
Sat July 6, 2013

After A Rapid Rise, A Challenge To Political Islam

Egyptian soldiers stand guard outside the Republican Guard building in Cairo on Friday. Egyptian troops clashed with mostly Islamist protesters demanding the restoration of the ousted president, Mohammed Morsi.
Khalil Hamra AP

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 4:58 pm

The Arab uprisings of 2011 produced a clear set of winners — the Islamist parties that were well-organized and prepared to swiftly fill the political vacuum left by toppled autocrats.

But the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood now points to the possibility of a countertrend: the failure of Islamist groups to govern effectively and growing public discontent with their rule.

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Parallels
2:21 am
Sat July 6, 2013

What A Fella Has To Do To Get A Drink Around The Muslim World

Bottles of alcohol are gathered to be smashed by Taliban authorities in Kabul in 2001.
B.K. Bangash AP

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 3:00 pm

Reporting in the Middle East and Afghanistan can be challenging enough between dodging the bullets and bureaucracy. But, equally as confounding can be figuring out how and where to have a cold one after a hard day's work. The range of alcohol laws in Muslim countries can be simply dizzying.

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The Two-Way
5:18 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Abortion Providers Sue As Wisconsin Governor Signs Bill

Originally published on Fri July 5, 2013 6:05 pm

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has signed a bill that would require women seeking an abortion to get an ultrasound. The bill also puts restrictions on doctors who perform abortions, reports Marti Mikkelson of member station WUWM in Milwaukee.

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Theater
4:29 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

For Hannibal & Co., A Horrifying New Stage

Exorcistic, a rock parody inspired by a certain 1971 novel and the William Friedkin film made from it, showcases Merlin as a rapping priest inspired by Max von Sydow's Father Merrin. Above, the show poster for the musical's Los Angeles fringe production.
David Haverty Hollywood Fringe

Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 12:26 pm

What do a reanimated deviant surgeon, a cannibalistic serial killer and a demon-plagued, vomit-spattered priest have in common? They're all characters in camp stage musicals inspired by horror films — and they're all played by the same classically trained opera singer.

His name is Jesse Merlin, and he looks a little like a young, untanned George Hamilton. But he has a bass-baritone voice that would be perfect for Gilbert and Sullivan.

Since that's not what Hollywood's looking for, Merlin had to scare up roles elsewhere.

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The Salt
3:53 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

What Is Farm Runoff Doing To The Water? Scientists Wade In

Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey sample water in Goodwater Creek, Mo., for pesticides and other chemicals that may have run off from the surrounding land.
Abbie Fentress Swanson Harvest Public Media

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 10:37 am

America's hugely productive food system is one of its success stories. The nation will export a projected $139.5 billion in agricultural products this fiscal year alone. It's an industry that supports "more than 1 million jobs," according to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

But all that productivity has taken a toll on the environment, especially rivers and lakes: Agriculture is the nation's leading cause of impaired water quality, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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Around the Nation
3:48 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Vacation Horror Stories: Battling Snow And Broken Transmissions

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The search for true relaxation can be a taxing one. You take some time off to get away thinking of paradise and then harsh reality sets in. That's the sort of experience we're chronicling this summer in a series we call...

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Vacation...

(SOUNDBITE OF SCREAM)

SIEGEL: ...Horror Stories.

JIM MCLAUGHLIN: Hi, my name is Jim McLaughlin, and I live in Hershey, Pennsylvania. My wife, my sister, and our combined four children...

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Parallels
3:48 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Gatsby-Like Extravagance And Wealth ... In Communist China

A waiter delivers glasses of wine to guests at a luxury hotel bar near the Bund in Shanghai, on Sept. 8, 2012.
Aly Song Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 10:37 am

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Economy
3:00 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Jobs Keep Growing. How Soon Should The Fed Stop Helping?

Many economists are encouraged by the latest jobs report because the stronger growth doesn't appear to be just a one-month blip.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 10:37 am

The latest employment report is encouraging to many economists because the stronger job growth doesn't appear to be just a one-month blip. But some worry that it's so strong the Federal Reserve may pull back efforts to boost the economy.

The Labor Department's newest data released Friday shows the U.S. added 195,000 jobs in June. The prior two months were also revised upward — above 190,000 for both April and May.

That's three months of more-robust job growth.

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Book Reviews
2:54 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

'Five Star Billionaire' Shows The Human Cost Of Progress

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 10:37 am

The plot of Five Star Billionaire, with its multiple protagonists, may seem deceptively familiar: a neglected boy claws his way from rags to riches; a country girl tries to make her way in the city; a city girl tries to prove her worth in a man's world of business; a rock star falls victim to the fame machine; and a rich man tumbles from grace.

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Social Entrepreneurs: Taking On World Problems
2:25 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

At Cambodia Hotel, The Workers Are The Boss

Traffic passes in front of the Soria Moria Boutique Hotel in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Will Baxter for NPR

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 10:37 am

This story is part of NPR's ongoing series about social entrepreneurs — people around the world who are dreaming up innovative ways to develop communities and solve social problems.

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Religion
2:25 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Two Former Popes Approved For Sainthood

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 10:37 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. Two of the most beloved popes in recent memory - John Paul II and John XXIII - have been formally approved for sainthood. NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports that in his first four months as pope, Francis has shown great personal and spiritual affinity with these two predecessors.

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Middle East
2:25 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Morsi's Ousting Prompts Strong Reactions Around Middle East

Originally published on Fri July 5, 2013 3:49 pm

The immediate reaction to the military overthrow of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi reveals how political and religious fault lines have shifted in the region. Saudi Arabia, an Islamist theocracy, quickly praised the ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood, a group Riyadh sees as a rival. Also cheering was Syria's Bashar al-Assad, whom the Saudis are trying to help force from power.

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Africa
2:25 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Egyptian Ambassador: 'It's Not A Military Coup'

Originally published on Fri July 5, 2013 3:48 pm

Robert Siegel speaks with Egypt's ambassador to the United States, Mohamed Tawfik, following the ousting of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.

Africa
2:25 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Thousands Of Protesters Stage Opposing Rallies In Cairo

Originally published on Fri July 5, 2013 3:48 pm

Friday saw a very tense situation in Cairo. Anti-Morsi crowds filled Tahrir Square and pro-Morsi crowds gathered on the Sixth of October bridge. There were skirmishes between the two groups but no major clashes. There was also almost no police presence in the area, except in helicopters flying above the fray. There were also confrontations in Alexandria.

Food
2:25 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Americans' Dining Technique Was Long-Abandoned By French

Originally published on Fri July 5, 2013 3:48 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Now, a story about table etiquette from our friends at Slate.com. They ask this question. Do you cut and switch? Meaning, do you hold your fork in your left hand and cut with your right and then put down your knife so you can switch your fork to your right hand before you take a bite? Contributing writer Mark Vanhoenacker writes that while the practice has origins in France, they and other Europeans long ago abandoned it.

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Middle East
2:25 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Energy Crisis Cripples Pakistan's Economy

Originally published on Fri July 5, 2013 3:48 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. Most people will agree that the world wants Pakistan, a nuclear-armed nation, to be stable. That's not easy in a country where the Taliban and other militants are killing and maiming people every day. But ask Pakistanis what the country's biggest problem is today and they'll likely cite a different issue. Many will tell you it is Pakistan's severe energy crisis.

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Media
2:25 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Recordings Capture Murdoch's Anger At 'Sun' Investigations

Originally published on Fri July 5, 2013 3:48 pm

Newly released audio tapes capture News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch expressing contempt at the investigation that has embroiled his top-selling newspaper in corruption charges in the U.K. Murdoch was recorded saying he probably panicked by cooperating so fully with Scotland Yard — and told reporters at the Sun that paying cops for information has been a practice in the British press for more than a century.

Sports
2:25 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Pittsburgh Pirates Surprise Baseball Fans With Winning Season

Originally published on Fri July 5, 2013 3:48 pm

Robert Siegel talks to Jonah Keri, baseball columnist for the website Grantland, about the Pittsburg Pirates' amazing season.

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