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The Two-Way
9:23 am
Sun June 30, 2013

'Furious' EU Demands Answers After New Report Of NSA Spying

European Union flags fly in front of the organization's headquarters in Brussels.
Wu Wei Xinhua/Landov

"Senior European Union officials are outraged by revelations that the U.S. spied on EU representations in Washington and New York," Germany's Der Spiegel writes. "Some have called for a suspension of talks on the trans-Atlantic free trade agreement."

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The Two-Way
8:36 am
Sun June 30, 2013

'Deeply Humbled' Obama Visits Mandela's Former Jail Cell

President Obama looks out the window of the Robben Island prison cell that once held Nelson Mandela. The president and his family visited the prison on Sunday.
Gary Cameron Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 12:37 pm

(We most recently updated this post at 1:50 p.m. ET.)

After visiting the jail cell on South Africa's Robben Island where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years in prison during the long struggle against apartheid, President Obama wrote on Sunday about the bravery of Mandela and others who demanded their rights.

In a message he added to the island's visitors book, the president said:

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The Two-Way
7:50 am
Sun June 30, 2013

13 Years In Jail For Writing On A Sidewalk With Chalk?

Sidewalk chalk: The tools of a criminal?
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 12:37 pm

There's no evidence that he wrote anything obscene.

His messages could be easily erased.

And they don't seem to have upset many, if any, people.

But in San Diego, 40-year-old Jeffrey Olson is on trial for expressing his opinions on sidewalks outside three Bank of America branches. He's charged with 13 counts of vandalism. Jury deliberations began Friday, our colleagues at KPBS say. If convicted on all counts, they add, he faces up to 13 years in prison.

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The Two-Way
7:05 am
Sun June 30, 2013

Top Stories: Heat Wave; NSA Spying On The EU

The Two-Way
6:43 am
Sun June 30, 2013

Egypt: Morsi Rejects Calls To Step Aside As Protests Build

Thousands of protesters who oppose Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi were in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Sunday.
Mohamed Abd El Ghany Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 5:14 pm

  • From 'Morning Edition': Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports from Cairo
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The Two-Way
5:55 am
Sun June 30, 2013

Western States' Heat Wave Turns Deadly; No Relief In Sight

It was hot Saturday in Sun City, Ariz., and across the Southwest.
Richard A. Brooks AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 2:51 pm

(Most recent update: 4:45 p.m. ET.)

The brutal heat wave that has Southwest states in its grip is being blamed for at least one death.

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Arts & Life
5:45 am
Sun June 30, 2013

A Hindu Goddess Arrives To Bless Embassy Row

The goddess Saraswati now looks down upon Embassy Row in Washington, D.C.
Sarah Ventre NPR

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 1:28 pm

Embassy Row — otherwise known as Massachusetts Avenue — in Washington, D.C., is decorated with flags of every nation, flying in front of impressive embassy buildings.

In front of the embassies, there are often statues of national heroes. Winston Churchill graces the grounds of the British Embassy. Outside the Indian Embassy, Mahatma Gandhi looks as though he's in full stride, clad in loincloth and sandals.

And now, there's a Hindu goddess. Saraswati just arrived. She stands in a garden in front of Indonesia's embassy, glowing white and gold, with her four arms upraised.

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Music News
5:42 am
Sun June 30, 2013

Taj Mahal: Still Cooking Up 'Heirloom Music' His Own Way

Taj Mahal is credited with helping popularize American blues over the course of his five-decade career.
Jay Blakesberg Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 10:46 am

Taj Mahal has a degree in animal husbandry and agronomy, and planned to be a farmer. Music was just something he did.

"No matter what went down, music was always going to be a part of my life," the guitarist and singer says. "What ultimately happened is that, over a period of time, I just kind of looked around and when like, 'Wow! I'm actually making a living doing this.'"

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Music Interviews
5:42 am
Sun June 30, 2013

John Scofield Returns To The Scene Of The Jam

John Scofield's latest album is the genre-fluid, continent hopping Uberjam Deux.
Frank Stefan Kimmel Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 10:43 am

If you sample the first few notes of guitarist John Scofield's new album, Uberjam Deux, you might mistake it for something out of West Africa. But a spin through the tracks takes you to another hemisphere with a sound right out of Jamaica, then to American shores with a soulful homage to Al Green.

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All Tech Considered
5:18 am
Sun June 30, 2013

Q&A: On The Death Of Google Reader And The Future Of Reading

Google is shutting down the Google Reader on Monday.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 8:01 pm

You can't say they didn't warn you. On Monday, Google Reader will no longer be available. The search behemoth is putting its RSS reader to rest, leaving millions of dedicated users scrambling to find other platforms for organization of their news feeds and content exploration.

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Three Books...
5:03 am
Sun June 30, 2013

3 Books That Watch Your Every Move

They can watch us, of course. We knew they could. We suspected. But to have it confirmed, to discover that exactly this and precisely that, these emails we sent, those calls we made, are neatly documented and filed away (just in case there should be a future cause for concern, of course, don't worry yourself, it will probably never be you) ... that's a little uncomfortable.

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Three Books...
4:48 am
Sun June 30, 2013

The Man, The Myth, The Reading List: Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela, with his wife, Winnie, walks to freedom after 27 years in prison on Feb. 11, 1990, in Cape Town.
AP

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 5:35 pm

Growing up in apartheid South Africa with widespread state censorship, it was hard to get to know our political leaders. The first time I actually saw a photograph of Nelson Mandela was in high school in the mid-1980s.

A braver classmate had managed to sneak a few grainy images into our school — a full-face, younger Mandela, his fellow Robben Island inmate Walter Sisulu and the South African Communist Party leader Joe Slovo.

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Texas 2020
3:37 am
Sun June 30, 2013

In Houston, Diversity You Can Sink Your Teeth Into

Chef Anita Jaisinghani owns Pondicheri, a casual spot serving up her take on the street foods of her native India.
Liz Halloran NPR

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 12:25 pm

Stephen Klineberg polishes off a spicy lamb mint burger, mops his brow and recalls the Houston he moved to as a young professor in the 1970s.

"It was a deeply racist, deeply segregated Southern city," he says; an oil boomtown of black and white Americans.

There were no restaurants like Pondicheri, where Houston chef Anita Jaisinghani's hip take on Indian street food — and the air conditioning's battle with 100-degree heat — conspire to make the Rice University professor sweat.

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The Salt
3:30 am
Sun June 30, 2013

Your Choice In Utensils Can Change How Food Tastes

Cheese might take on a whole new flavor when you use a plastic utensil.
Elizabeth Willing Courtesy Flavour

Originally published on Fri July 5, 2013 10:45 am

Being "born with a silver spoon in your mouth" has long been known to have advantages. Apparently, eating off a silver spoon also has its perks — it seems to make your food taste better.

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Middle East
3:23 am
Sun June 30, 2013

Lack In Leadership Hurts Palestinian Peace Prospects

Palestinians wait for Mohammed Assaf, the first Palestinian winner of the Arab Idol contest, in front of his family home in the southern Gaza Strip last Tuesday. The cheering for Assaf crossed political and ideological divides.
Adel Hana AP

Originally published on Sun July 7, 2013 6:14 am

Shortly before midnight last Thursday, in front of a cheering crowd, 31-year-old Hussein al-Deik was picked as the president of Palestine.

It wasn't a real election; just the grand finale of a TV reality series, shot in front of a live audience. Suheir Rasul, co-director of the Jerusalem office of Search for Common Ground, the organization that put on the show, said the goal is to get young people excited about the democratic process.

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Deceptive Cadence
3:00 am
Sun June 30, 2013

Revved-up Vivaldi, Persian Bamboo And Soaring Spirituals: New Classical Albums

album cover for Corps Exquis

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 5:41 am

It's a brave new musical world. Between downloads, iPods, music sharing websites and the good old CD, we have more easy access to the songs and symphonies we love than ever before.

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Parallels
2:57 am
Sun June 30, 2013

Kabul Postcard: Newly Paved Sidewalks, A Lion On The Roof

Afghan official inspects wreckage at the site of a suicide attack near Kabul military airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, on June 10. After a month outside the country, NPR's Sean Carberry returned to find some things that had changed, but many, like insurgent violence, that remain the same.
Ahmad Jamshid AP

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 10:42 am

I've just returned to Kabul after a month out of the country. In a place where it sometimes feels like nothing changes, a lot has changed.

First, a few oddities. An Afghan businessman on my street apparently bought a lion cub and has been keeping it on his roof. I'm not sure if that has anything to do with the fact that I have yet to see any of the ubiquitous, dust-caked street dogs in the neighborhood since I returned, but I don't miss them.

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Sunday Puzzle
2:25 am
Sun June 30, 2013

Turn That Shrub Into Something Presidential

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 11:36 am

On-air challenge: For the Sunday before the Fourth of July weekend, every answer is the last name of a U.S. president, which comes from their anagrams. For example, "shrub" without R is "Bush."

Last week's challenge: Write down these five words: "aide," "heart," "tough," "gelatin" and "emanate." There is something very unusual they have in common. What is it? And what's another word with this property?

Answer: mite, item

Winner: Gig Moineau of Newton, Mass.

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Code Switch
5:07 pm
Sat June 29, 2013

Legalese Aside, How Do We Talk About Race Nowadays?

Field director Charles White of the NAACP speaks at a podium outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday. The court ruled that a key part of the Voting Rights Act is unconstitutional.
Win McNamee Getty Images

This was a week in which the country was reminded of our continuing struggle with race — and how we're still not quite sure how to talk about it.

The conversation started with the actions of the Supreme Court: A key provision of the Voting Rights Act was dismantled, and the University of Texas was told to re-evaluate its affirmative action policy.

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Author Interviews
4:20 pm
Sat June 29, 2013

Lillian Leitzel, The Tiny, High-Flying 'Queen' Of The Circus

Leitzel is remembered as the first true circus diva.
Dean Jensen's collection Courtesy Crown Publishing Group

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 5:52 pm

In the first half of the 20th century, aerial performers — not elephants or tigers — were the big draw at circuses. And nobody was a bigger star than Lillian Leitzel, a tiny woman from Eastern Europe who ruled the Ringling Brothers circus.

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Sports
4:00 pm
Sat June 29, 2013

Back On The Ground, Nik Wallenda Dreams Up His Next Walk

Nik Wallenda practices walking across a wire in Sarasota, Fla., last week.
Chris O'Meara AP

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 5:07 pm

Daredevil Nik Wallenda of the famous "Flying Wallendas" family successfully walked on a 2-inch-thick cable across a 1,500-foot gorge near the Grand Canyon last week — without a net.

Back on solid ground, Wallenda says of course he has butterflies, but he doesn't get dizzy and there's no fear. He speaks with weekends on All Things Considered host Jacki Lyden about his latest death-defying walk on the high wire.


Interview Highlights

On training for the Grand Canyon

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Monkey See
3:50 pm
Sat June 29, 2013

Girls' Legos Are A Hit, But Why Do Girls Need Special Legos?

Olivia also has a treehouse.
Lego

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 7:55 pm

Two years ago, in 2011, 90 percent of Lego's consumers were boys. A tough statistic to swallow for those of us who grew up playing with Lego's gender-neutral buckets of bricks. But the statistic came straight from Lego, which was then focused on boys with franchised sets based on properties like Star Wars and The Avengers after weathering a disastrous period in the 1990s that left the company on the brink of collapse.

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Sports
3:46 pm
Sat June 29, 2013

'I Am A Gay High School Basketball Coach'

Anthony Nicodemo is head basketball coach at Saunders High School in Yonkers, N.Y.
Courtesy of MSG Varsity

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 3:03 pm

When pro basketball player Jason Collins announced earlier this year that he was gay, Anthony Nicodemo was listening.

Nicodemo is the head basketball coach at Saunders High School in Yonkers, N.Y. At great risk to his cherished career, he recently decided to come out to his team.

"I said, 'You know, I always try to preach to you guys about being yourself and really being honest and open,' " Nicodemo recounts his story to NPR's Jacki Lyden.

"'I haven't been honest with you guys. I haven't been honest with a lot of people. I am a gay high school basketball coach.' "

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The Two-Way
3:09 pm
Sat June 29, 2013

Biden Asks Ecuador To Deny Snowden Asylum

Vice President Joe Biden.
Ethan Miller Getty Images

"Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa said on Saturday the United States had asked him not to grant asylum for former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden in a 'cordial' telephone conversation he held with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden," Reuters writes.

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Movies
3:08 pm
Sat June 29, 2013

Rescued, Hitchcock's Silent Films Flicker Anew

Carl Brisson stars as sideshow boxer "One Round Jack" in Alfred Hitchcock's 1927 film The Ring. That and eight more of the master's early silent features have restored by the British Film Institute.
Rialto Pictures/BFI

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 5:07 pm

Alfred Hitchcock's early silent films have resurfaced in what's being called the single biggest restoration project in the history of the British Film Institute, and now "The Hitchcock 9" are touring the U.S. this summer.

Hitchcock is best known for his Hollywood suspense films of the post-war era, like Psycho and Vertigo. But the director was born in England and began his directing career there during the silent era. In fact, he loved both seeing and making silent films.

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Music Interviews
3:08 pm
Sat June 29, 2013

La Vida Bohème: Dance Rockers Harness Chaos And Conflict

La Vida Bohème's second album, Sera, draws upon a handful of musical influences, from disco to reggae.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 5:07 pm

Henry D'Arthenay grew up in Caracas, Venezuela — a country currently rife with political conflict. As lead singer of the Venezuelan alt-rock band La Vida Bohème, D'Arthenay used that chaos for fuel in constructing the band's latest album, Será, which was released in April.

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NPR Story
3:08 pm
Sat June 29, 2013

Measuring The African-American Financial Divide

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 5:07 pm

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

We continue this week to dig into the findings of our poll of African-American communities and how black Americans rate many aspects of their lives. We conducted the poll with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health.

While the gap between the well-off and poor in the U.S. has stretched wide in recent years, we found that black Americans describe their financial divide as a nearly 50-50 split, and it affects how they view their world. NPR's Cheryl Corley reports.

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The Two-Way
2:34 pm
Sat June 29, 2013

It's 'Wedding Weekend In San Francisco' After Prop 8 Ruling

U.S. Army Captain Michael Potoczniak (right) embraced his partner of 10 years Todd Saunders as they obtained their marriage license at City Hall in San Francisco on Saturday.
Stephen Lam Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 4:59 am

"A long line of fiancés and their families snaked out of the clerk's office" in San Francisco on Saturday, the Chronicle reports, as couples lined up to be among the first to be married now that it's legal again for same-sex couples to be get hitched in California.

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The Two-Way
2:31 pm
Sat June 29, 2013

Crashes, Chaos During Stage 1 Of Tour De France

Riders and bicycles were spread across the road after one of the crashes Saturday during Stage 1 of the Tour de France, which began in Corsica.
Joel Saget/pool EPA/LANDOV

There were pileups on the race course and a bus got stuck at the finish line as the Tour de France began Saturday with "chaos and crashes," as The Guardian puts it.

When Stage 1 was over on Corsica, The Associated Press writes, "German rider Marcel Kittel was first to arrive, after dodging all sorts of mayhem."

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Pop Culture
1:44 pm
Sat June 29, 2013

Lego Markets New 'Friends' For Girls

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 9:35 am

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Lynn Neary. Two years ago, 90 percent of kids playing with Legos were boys. You heard that right. Nine-zero. That's partly because Lego had turned from gender neutral buckets of bricks to selling heavily franchised sets such as "Star Wars" or "Avengers." For our series about kids and culture, NPR's Neda Ulaby looked at Lego's recent gamble on girls.

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