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11:36 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Barry Altschul: The Jazz Drummer Makes A Comeback

Drummer Barry Altschul writes tunes that play complex games with rhythm.
Dmitry Mandel Courtesy of TUM Records

The release last year of a 2007 reunion by the late Sam Rivers' trio confirmed what a creative drummer Altschul is. He has been one for decades. Altschul was a key player on the 1970s jazz scene, when the avant-garde got its groove on. Now, as then, he's great at mixing opposites: funky drive with a spray of dainty coloristic percussion, abstract melodic concepts with parade beats, open improvising and percolating swing. He's a busy player, but never too loud — he's also busy listening.

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The Two-Way
11:34 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Ahead Of Federal Reserve Statement, Stocks Are Up

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 12:27 pm

Update at 2:03 p.m. ET. Rates Unchanged:

Following a meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, the Federal Reserve said in a policy statement today that it is continuing with its "highly accommodative stance of monetary policy."

That means that it will stay the course with its aggressive stimulus, buying $85 billion of bonds a month.

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Author Interviews
11:06 am
Wed March 20, 2013

'Sex And The Citadel' Peeks Inside Private Lives In The Arab World

Shereen El Feki is the author of Sex and the Citadel.
Kristof Arasim Pantheon

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 12:49 pm

"I know of young women who have been returned to their families by their husbands because, as you say, they did not bleed on defloweration," Shereen El Feki tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

El Feki, the author of the new book Sex and the Citadel: Intimate Life in a Changing Arab World, spent five years traveling across the Arab region asking people about sex: what they do, what they don't, what they think and why.

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All Songs Considered
10:59 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Electronic Edition: James Blake And Brian Eno, DJ Koze, Bonobo, More

Clockwise from upper left: Joker, Bonobo, James Blake, DJ Koze, Julio Bashmore
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 7:21 am

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World
10:26 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Imperfect Gentlemen Says Being Persian Is Hip

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 7:33 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

You can find our next guest on most Monday nights at the Laugh Factory in Los Angeles, where he is part of Comedy Bazaar and he offers his signature riffs on his particularly interesting cross-cultural dilemmas.

TEHRAN VON GHASRI: My name is Tehran. It's like the capital city of Iran. You're, like, wondering, what were my parents thinking, naming me Tehran, right? But I'm half black, half Iranian, which comes with a lot of advantages. I have a lot of fun at the airport. It's true. Homeland Security knows me on a first name basis.

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Iraq
10:24 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Iraq War: Retired Marine Faces The Past

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR news. I'm Michel Martin. Today, we are going to spend some time across North Africa and the Middle East. It's the first day of spring, and that means it's the Persian New Year. We are going to celebrate Nowruz later in the program, with a comedian who's putting a new spin on the holiday. That's in just a few minutes.

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World
10:24 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Tupac Encouraged The Arab Spring

Rap and hip-hop were both a driving force, and a coping mechanism, for people in the Middle East and North Africa during the Arab Spring. In particular, the music of Tupac Shakur resonates with Arabs, long after the U.S. rapper's own death. But why? Michel Martin looks for an answer, along with Khaled M, a Libyan-American rapper.

Around the Nation
10:24 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Teen Pregnancy Ads: Shame Campaign?

A new public service announcement in New York City aimed at preventing teen pregnancy is raising eyebrows. Ads feature young children with captions such as, 'Got a good job? I cost thousands of dollars each year.' Host Michel Martin asks the beauty shop ladies if the ads are helpful or just a shame campaign.

The Two-Way
10:11 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Colorado Governor Signs 'Landmark' Restriction On Guns Into Law

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper speaks at a news conference at the Capitol in Denver on Wednesday.
Ed Andrieski AP

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed into law a bill that bans high-capacity magazines and calls for background checks on private and online sales of guns.

Hickenlooper signed the bill exactly eight months after a gunman opened fire in a suburban Denver movie theater, killing 12 and injuring another 70.

The Denver Post reports:

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The Picture Show
10:03 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Now And Then: Rephotographing Iraq

Maya Alleruzzo AP

A lot of photographers are revisiting 2003 this week — the year the U.S. invaded Iraq — and sharing photos from the years of war that followed. Even more literally, Associated Press photographer Maya Alleruzzo revisited various sites photographed during the war to see what has changed and what hasn't.

One scene speaks volumes: Today, shoppers pass through a busy shopping district in Baghdad. But in the 2008 photo, taken by Hadi Mizban for AP, the sidewalk is covered in fresh stains from a bombing that killed 22 people.

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Monkey See
9:48 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Men Are From Mars, Women ... Love Cup Holders?

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 10:37 am

When you read the words of Clotaire Rapaille, a "French-born psychiatrist-turned-marketer" quoted in yesterday's interesting Slate article about the marketing of cars to women, it's hard not to read them in a voice that's sultry and French and not entirely serious, as if he's some kind of sales expert crossed with Pepe Le Pew (despite the fact that this doubtless has no basis in reality).

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The Two-Way
8:57 am
Wed March 20, 2013

The Stream Of Syrian Refugees Strains Lebanon

Um Ahmed, her husband, Abu Ahmed, and their two children sit inside a United Nations refugee registration center in Tripoli, Lebanon. They fled the northern Syrian city of Aleppo a month ago. "There was a lot of shelling," said Um Ahmed. "I wasn't thinking. I was just thinking of my children."
Nicole Beemsterboer NPR

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 1:43 pm

Um Ahmed holds her infant daughter outside a United Nations registration center for Syrian refugees in Al Mina, a northern Lebanese city near the Syrian border. She is among a group of dozens of Syrians waiting for their names to be called.

Um Ahmed tries to coax her screaming infant daughter to take a bottle. The baby is hot — the slight brown curls of her hair are matted to her head with sweat, and the bottle offers no comfort. She keeps crying. She's been here before.

"The first time I came they didn't accept us," Um Ahmed says. "They told us I need documents."

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The Two-Way
8:49 am
Wed March 20, 2013

On Australia's Great Barrier Reef, There's A Turf Battle Raging

Guillermo Diaz-Pulido from Griffith University in Brisbane grows bits of seaweed attached to pieces of coral in tanks at the research facility on Australia's Heron Island.
Richard Harris NPR

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 9:02 am

NPR Science Correspondent Richard Harris traveled to Australia's Great Barrier Reef to find out how the coral reefs are coping with increased water temperature and increasing ocean acidity, brought about by our burning of fossil fuels. Day 2: The good news is life could get better for seaweed.

Picture a coral reef and the first things likely to come to mind are brilliantly colored fish swimming among stout branches of coral. Let your mind wander a bit more and you might imagine some sea turtles, stingrays and sharks.

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The Two-Way
8:44 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Chinese Solar Panel Maker Suntech Goes Bankrupt

Workers at a Suntech plant in Wuxi last month.
Peter Parks AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 12:25 pm

The future doesn't look so bright for China-based Suntech, one of the world's largest makers of solar panels: On Wednesday, it was forced into bankruptcy after missing a $541 million payment to bondholders.

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The Two-Way
8:40 am
Wed March 20, 2013

President Obama Predicts Indiana Will Win NCAA Tournament

Christian Watford of the Indiana Hoosiers moves against Frank Kaminsky of the Wisconsin Badgers during a semifinal game of the Big Ten Basketball Tournament at the United Center on March 16, 2013.
Jonathan Daniel Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 9:21 am

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The Two-Way
7:58 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Though It Doesn't Feel Like It In Parts Of The Country, It's Really Spring!

A snow-covered cherry blossoms at the Yuyuantan Park in Beijing, China.
Li Xin Xinhua /Landov

Don't tell Chicago, Buffalo or Minneapolis — which will see high temperatures just in the 20s, today — but at 7:02 a.m. ET., the Earth's axis was neither tilted from nor toward the sun, marking the beginning of spring in the northern hemisphere.

So: Happy spring equinox!

The National Weather Service provides this explanation for what's happening with the Earth's orbit:

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Planet Money
7:52 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Is It Legal To Sell Your Old MP3s?

Brenda Chase Newsmakers

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 12:12 pm

Say you buy a textbook in another country, where textbooks are cheap. Then you bring the book back to the U.S. and sell it at a profit. Did you break the law?

No, you didn't. In a ruling that came down yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a student who had his friends and relatives buy textbooks in Thailand which he later re-sold in the U.S. on eBay.

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Shots - Health News
7:48 am
Wed March 20, 2013

How Ideas To Cut ER Expenses Could Backfire

Wilfred Mobley pushes a patient to the radiology department at the University of Miami Hospital in Miami.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 11:58 am

Cash-strapped states are coming up with an appealingly simple fix for soaring Medicaid costs: Don't pay for emergency room visits for people who aren't sick enough to be there.

There's a problem, though. It's almost impossible to figure out who's sick enough and who isn't at the moment they walk in the door, researchers say.

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Kitchen Window
7:27 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Lard And Schmaltz Make A Comeback In The Kitchen

This version of Matzo Ball Soup is made with rendered chicken fat, or schmaltz.
Peter Ogburn for NPR

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 11:53 am

I grew up in the South, where every home cook I admired kept a can of bacon grease in the refrigerator. That grease was used to launch many fine dishes. One friend's mother made biscuits with butter and bacon fat. Needless to say, I was a husky child.

Now, after years in culinary exile, lard is staging a comeback.

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The Two-Way
6:51 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Colo. Department Of Corrections Chief Shot And Killed At His Home

This undated image provided by the Colorado Department of Corrections shows its director Tom Clements.
Uncredited AP

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 10:08 am

The head of Colorado's Department of Corrections was shot and killed after answering the front door of his home.

Gov. John Hickenlooper made the announcement in an email sent to corrections employees.

"I can hardly believe it, let alone write words to describe it," Hickenlooper wrote.

The AP reports:

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The Two-Way
6:40 am
Wed March 20, 2013

South Korea Eyes Pyongyang After Possible Cyber Attack

Members of the Korea Internet Security Agency check on cyberattacks at a briefing room Wednesday.
Jung Yeon-Je AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 8:40 am

Computer networks at South Korea's three main broadcasters and major banks crashed simultaneously Wednesday, leading to speculation that it was caused by a North Korean cyberattack.

According to South Korea's Yonhap news agency:

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Around the Nation
6:31 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Arizona State's Sun Devil To Get Another Makeover

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 7:30 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep, with an update on Sparky, the Arizona State Sun Devil. The university mascot is a devil with a pitchfork and horns. He got a makeover with help from Disney. But as we've reported, this effort to make a friendlier, more accessible devil created a monster. Many students hate the new Sparky with an almost religious fervor, so the university has surrendered. Authorities will re-redesign the devil costume and let alumni and others vote on the design.

The Two-Way
6:26 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Former Gov. Mark Sanford, Stephen Colbert's Sister Advance After S.C. Primaries

Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford in 2009.
Davis Turner Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 6:31 am

The race to fill South Carolina's 1st Congressional District has gotten quite a bit of attention. Mostly because of the cast of politicians vying for the seat vacated when Tim Scott was appointed to Senate by Gov. Nikki Haley.

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Around the Nation
6:25 am
Wed March 20, 2013

$3 Flee Market Find Proves Valuable

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 5:03 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.

We hear, occasionally, about a flea market find that turns out to be a valuable work of art. This morning the tale of a tiny Chinese bowl, pretty and looking like an open blossom. It was bought for $3 at a tag sale in New York. The bowl sat for several years on a mantel before the owner wondered where it came from, turns out the Song Dynasty a thousand years ago. Yesterday, the bowl sold at auction for $2.25 million.

It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

The Two-Way
6:14 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Cyprus Scrambles For 'Plan B' Bailout

German Chancellor Angela Merkel gestures as she leaves a parliamentary session on Wednesday in Berlin.
Johannes Eisele AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 6:48 am

Cypriot politicians are busy trying to come up with an alternative plan to raise the cash needed to stave off a collapse of its banking sector after they unanimously rejected an international bailout package that would have imposed a levy on the nation's savings accounts.

Here's a quick look at some of Wednesday's developments:

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The Two-Way
5:44 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Arriving In Israel, Obama Reaffirms An 'Unbreakable Bond'

President Barack Obama is greeted by Israeli President Shimon Peres, left, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu upon his arrival ceremony at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Wednesday.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 7:20 am

President Obama landed in Israel this morning, marking the first time he visits the country as president.

"I see this visit as an opportunity to reaffirm the unbreakable bond between our nations, to restate America's unwavering commitment to Israel's security and to speak directly to the people of Israel and to your neighbors," Obama said during a welcoming ceremony at the Tel Aviv airport.

NPR's Larry Abramson, who's at the airport, just spoke to our Newscast unit. He said Obama was welcomed by Israeli President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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The Two-Way
5:42 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Book News: Jane Goodall Apologizes For Lifted Passages In Her New Book

Primatologist Jane Goodall observes chimpanzees in 1997 at the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary near Nanyuki, north of Nairobi, Kenya.
Jean-Marc Bouju AP

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 11:56 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Around the Nation
5:11 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Fracking Rule Delays Rile New Yorkers

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 7:30 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.

Horizontal hydro-fracking has transformed the energy market. Drillers get natural gas out of the ground by drilling down, then sideways, using water pressure to unlock energy - natural gas. But for all the money coming out of the ground in some places, the technique is contentious and New York does not allow it; which causes landowners to feel they're being left behind.

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Economy
5:11 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Analyzing The Housing Industry

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 6:16 am

For more on the housing industry, Steve Inskeep talks to David Wessel, economics editor of The Wall Street Journal.

Law
5:11 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Court:Reselling Books Bought Abroad Isn't A Copyright Violation

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 7:30 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with some books for resale.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: Start reading now. The Supreme Court has ruled that buying books overseas and reselling them in the United States does not violate copyright law. Yesterday's six/three decision comes as a relief to companies like eBay and Costco that resell all sorts of foreign goods.

NPR's Dan Bobkoff reports.

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