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NPR Story
5:57 am
Sat March 23, 2013

Gay Lobbying On The Hill Has Short Yet Strong History

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 11:37 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

One argument used by some conservatives in the Supreme Court cases is that gay Americans have become so politically powerful and prominent they don't need special consideration from the courts. Whether or not that's true, it is clear that lesbian-gay-bisexual-and-transgendered advocacy groups have built a strong network of lobbyists and political activists in Washington, D.C.

NPR's Peter Overby reports.

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NPR Story
5:57 am
Sat March 23, 2013

Obama Leaves Middle East With Mixed Reviews

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 7:26 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. And President Obama heads home from the Middle East today after a mixed reception to his four-day visit. Mr. Obama spent much of that time in Israel trying to lay the groundwork to revive the long-stalled peace process with Palestinians. He also traveled to the West Bank and met with Jordan's King Abdullah. NPR's Scott Horsley has a recap.

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Same-Sex Marriage And The Supreme Court
5:32 am
Sat March 23, 2013

The Senators Who Oppose DOMA, Despite Having OK'd It

Supreme Court justices will hear arguments Tuesday on California's Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage. On Wednesday they'll hear arguments on the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between one man and one woman.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 23, 2013 10:53 am

The soul-searching over the Defense of Marriage Act went viral last week after Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman, a social conservative and original co-sponsor of the 1996 bill, sought out CNN to say something no one saw coming.

Portman said he'd decided to oppose DOMA and support same-sex marriage, two years after learning his college-age son was gay.

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Music Interviews
4:25 am
Sat March 23, 2013

The Milk Carton Kids: At Life's Crossroads, A Duo Looks Both Ways

Kenneth Pattengale (left) and Joey Ryan, who record as The Milk Carton Kids. Their new album is called The Ash & Clay.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 7:28 am

Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan were doing just fine as solo performers. Then one night, Ryan walked into a bar where Pattengale was playing.

"I heard Kenneth perform a song that he had written from the perspective of a dead dog, only very recently having been hit by a truck," Ryan says, wryly. "And it was that sort of uplifting material that drew us together."

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Author Interviews
4:24 am
Sat March 23, 2013

'Z' Tells The Fitzgeralds' Story From Zelda's Point Of View

St. Martin's Press

Originally published on Sat March 23, 2013 6:13 am

F. Scott Fitzgerald first saw his future wife from across a crowded room at a country club dance in Montgomery, Ala., where he was in basic training and she was waiting to be discovered by the world. They wed in 1920, and the two went on to have a famously turbulent marriage — tarnished by personal and professional jealousy, alcohol abuse and mental illness — which they both immortalized in their writing.

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Middle East
4:24 am
Sat March 23, 2013

In Saudi Arabia, Shiite Muslims Challenge Ban On Protests

Anti-riot police face off with protesters in Saudi Arabia's eastern city of Qatif on March 11, 2011. Despite bans on the demonstrations, Shiite Muslims in the eastern part of the country have continued to stage protests, demanding political changes.
Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sat March 23, 2013 2:27 pm

Editor's note: When Arab Spring protests broke out in Saudi Arabia in 2011, the government reacted quickly, pumping $130 billion into the economy and cracking down on dissent. While this approach has worked in some cities, the Shiite Muslims in the Eastern Province continued to demonstrate. Reese Erlich, on assignment for GlobalPost and NPR, managed to get into the city of Qatif and meet with protest leaders.

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Movie Interviews
4:23 am
Sat March 23, 2013

Maori-Mentored, Soul-Singing Mom Inspired 'The Sapphires'

In The Sapphires, an R&B-loving musician helps turn four Australian aboriginal women into a soul act. From left: Julie (Jessica Mauboy), Cynthia (Miranda Tapsell), Gail (Deborah Mailman) and Kay (Shari Sebbens).
The Weinstein Company

Originally published on Sat March 23, 2013 6:13 am

In the late 1960s, an all-girl singing group hit it big. But they didn't come from Detroit or Memphis — the four young aboriginal women hailed from the Australian Outback.

At the time, aboriginal people were just gaining basic civil rights, like voting and being counted as Australian citizens. The girls faced intense racism at home, but they took their act all the way to Vietnam to entertain American troops.

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Author Interviews
4:23 am
Sat March 23, 2013

At 80, Philip Roth Reflects On Life, Literature And The Beauty Of Naps

The Library of America recently published the ninth and final volume of a complete collection of Philip Roth's works, and a new documentary on PBS looks back on his prolific career.
Courtesy PBS

Originally published on Sat March 23, 2013 11:01 am

Philip Roth turned 80 years old this week, and his hometown of Newark, N.J. — a city he left long ago, but often returns to in his books — honored the man often acclaimed as America's greatest living novelist with a marching band, a birthday cake in the shape of books piled high and lots of symposia.

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Education
4:22 am
Sat March 23, 2013

Race, Poverty Central To National School-Closure Debate

Jean De Lafayette Elementary School is one of 50 schools slated to be closed in Chicago. Cities across the country are facing similar decisions, and opposition to the closures is growing.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 6:49 pm

In Chicago, parents are fighting to prevent the city from closing 54 public schools. The Chicago Teachers Union is planning a rally against the cost-cutting proposal next week.

School closings are nothing new, but in a growing number of districts around the country, what was once seen as a local decision to close schools has now morphed into a politically charged campaign.

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Shots - Health News
4:18 am
Sat March 23, 2013

At Age 3, Affordable Care Act Is No Less Controversial

President Obama signs the Affordable Care Act at the White House on March 23, 2010.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 23, 2013 10:33 am

The Affordable Care Act turns 3 on Saturday, and it seems just as divisive as the day President Obama signed it.

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The Two-Way
4:17 am
Sat March 23, 2013

Coal And Coral: Australia's Self-Destructive Paradox

The city of Gladstone near the Great Barrier Reef is the world's fourth largest coal-export hub. Dredges, like one seen here, have turned the harbor brown as they work to expand the coal port.
Richard Harris NPR

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 5: A return to shore finds that people prefer cars to corals.

It's not every day you open an in-flight magazine and read an ad touting "spitwater pressure cleaners for the mining industry." Flip the page and you'll also see an ad cajoling you to "snorkel, sip, snooze" on the Great Barrier Reef.

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Live At The Village Vanguard
4:39 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Tom Harrell's 'Colors Of A Dream': Live At The Village Vanguard

Tom Harrell at the Village Vanguard.
John Rogers for NPR

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 7:37 pm

At 66, the jazz trumpeter Tom Harrell is as busy as ever: His current band has released five excellent albums since 2007 alone. (It performed for this concert series in 2009.) He's so prolific that he's been writing and arranging music for other ensembles all the while. Last year, Harrell presented a nine-piece chamber jazz ensemble, and he's been at work on a new, piano-less project.

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Same-Sex Marriage And The Supreme Court
4:20 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

As Support For Gay Marriage Grows, An Opponent Looks Ahead

Maggie Gallagher has been an outspoken opponent of gay marriage for the past decade. She debated the issue at Saddleback College this month with John Corvino (right), a gay-marriage proponent who is also a personal friend.
The Lariat Robert Cody Shoemake

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 5:17 pm

As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to weigh in on gay marriage, Maggie Gallagher, one of the nation's leading voices in opposition to same-sex marriage, is also preparing for what might come next.

Gallagher, co-founder of the National Organization for Marriage, likes to call herself an "accidental activist." After graduating from Yale in 1982, she thought she'd become a writer and focus on what she called "important things," like money and war. She never fathomed she'd end up on TV almost daily, smack in the middle of the war zone over gay marriage.

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Middle East
4:07 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Obama Leaves Mideast With Better Relationship With Netanyahu

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 5:17 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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The Two-Way
3:41 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Saturday Mail Delivery: Safe For Now?

Veteran USPS letter carrier Michael McDonald gathers mail to load into his truck before making his delivery run in the East Atlanta neighborhood on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, in Atlanta.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 4:25 pm

Does the budget bill passed by Congress this week derail the United States Postal Service (USPS) plan to end Saturday delivery of first class mail?

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Politics
3:34 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

From Leadership Posts, Women Said To Be Changing Senate Tone

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., speaks at a field hearing of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, in Tacoma, Wash., last year.
Ted S. Warren AP

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 5:17 pm

A lot of fanfare followed last November's election, when the number of women in the U.S. Senate surged to 20 — more than ever before.

But quieter victories came after. Female senators now claim an unprecedented number of leadership positions, and for the first time in history, women are at the helm of both the Appropriations and Budget committees — as well as half of the Armed Services subcommittees.

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It's All Politics
3:32 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Republicans Launch Mission To Turn Up Their Digital Game

Tweets from GOP supporters scroll along the side of a large-screen display at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Aug. 28, 2012.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 5:17 pm

The Republican and Democratic parties have been in a digital arms race for years. And this week, Republicans frankly admitted that they are losing.

Now, the GOP has ambitious plans to improve its game.

Monday's report from the Republican National Committee puts it bluntly: "Republicans must catch up on how we utilize technology in our campaigns. The Obama team is several years ahead of everyone else in its technological advantage."

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Around the Nation
3:13 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

14 Million Americans Don't Work Due To Disability, And The Number Is Growing

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 7:50 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Now we begin a series of stories that will continue next week on the program, a story that's central to our economy but rarely discussed. It's about 14 million Americans who don't have jobs and who don't show up in any of the unemployment measures we use - 14 million Americans who are invisible to the American economy and essential to understanding it. Here's NPR's Chana Joffe-Walt with our Planet Money team.

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Law
2:56 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

State Laws Govern Gun Purchases Very Differently Across The Country

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 5:17 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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National Security
2:56 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

After Decade Of Detention, Guantanamo Prisoners Go On Hunger Strike

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 5:17 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. More than two dozen detainees at the prison at Guantanamo Bay are on a hunger strike. U.S. officials say the prisoners are refusing meals because after a decade in detention without trial, they feel they have been forgotten. But lawyers for the men tell a different story. NPR's Dina Temple-Raston reports.

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Business
2:56 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Former QB Drew Bledsoe Becomes Unlikely Lobbyist For Interstate Wine Sales

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 5:17 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. Former NFL quarterback Drew Bledsoe has been a lot of places since his glory days with the New England Patriots. He went on to play for Buffalo and Dallas and in his retirement, he returned to his hometown of Walla Walla, Washington, where he founded a winery. Bledsoe has not forgotten his New England fans. In fact, he wants people in Massachusetts to be able to buy his wine and, for that matter, other wines online.

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Middle East
2:56 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

U.S. Pledges $200 Million To Jordan To Aid With Syrian Refugees

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 5:17 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

I'm Melissa Block. And first up this hour, President Obama's tour of the Middle East. There are two headlines from that trip today - new aid for people fleeing Syria's civil war; and new diplomatic ties between two of Washington's key allies in the region, Turkey and Israel. First, the aid money. The president met with Jordan's King Abdullah today. He pledged $200 million to Jordan, to help care for the flood of refugees from Syria.

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Law
2:56 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

40 New York Counties Call For Repeal Of State's Tough New Gun Laws

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 5:17 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

I'm Robert Siegel. And now, the end of our series Guns in America. This week, we've taken you to Georgia, where Charles Foster Jr. was shot and killed in the early hours of 2013.

BLOCK: To Wyoming which leads the nation in suicides, many by gun.

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Middle East
2:56 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

U.S. Stands Firm On Decision Not To Arm Syrian Rebels

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 5:17 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

France and Britain want the European Union to lift an arms embargo on Syria. The reason? They want to help Syria's rebels topple Bashar al-Assad's regime. The U.S. says it won't stand in the way. But so far, the Obama administration has decided not to arm Syrian rebels and focus instead on diplomacy. Many analysts see this as a role reversal, as NPR's Michele Kelemen explains.

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U.S.
2:56 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

FCC Chairman Had Trouble Pleasing Interest Groups, Industry

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 5:17 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The head of the Federal Communications Commission gathered his staff this morning, 1,700 people, to tell them this...

JULIUS GENACHOWSKI: I'm announcing that I'll be stepping down as chairman of the FCC in the coming weeks.

BLOCK: The FCC regulates your cell phone, your television and the companies that bring you the Internet. Here's NPR's Neda Ulaby.

NEDA ULABY, BYLINE: In this morning's speech to his staff, Julius Genachowski talked about how their work affects ordinary people.

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Song Travels
2:41 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Matt Munisteri On 'Song Travels'

Matt Munisteri.
Courtesy of the artist

Matt Munisteri is a guitarist, vocalist and composer with an ear for a bygone era. A masterful and mainly self-trained musician in high demand, he has arranged for and performed with artists including Mark O'Connor, Julian Lage, Catherine Russell and Diana Krall.

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Shots - Health News
2:25 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Doubts Raised About Cutting Medicare Pay In High-Spending Areas

Whose wallet would get pinched if Medicare payments were cut in areas where service levels run high?
iStockphoto.com

Doctors and hospital administrators in parts of the country that are heavy Medicare spenders can relax their grips on their prescription pads and billing computers.

An influential panel on Friday panned the idea raised in Congress to pay them less for Medicare services if their regions are heavy users of medical services.

The idea is an outgrowth of decades of research into why Medicare spends more per beneficiary in some places such as New York City, Florida and McAllen, Texas, and significantly less in parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin.

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The Two-Way
2:18 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

FAA Announces Tower Closures Coming In April

The control tower at Troutdale Airport in Troutdale, Ore., one of the towers slated for closure.
Don Ryan AP

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 4:22 pm

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced Friday that it will close 149 air traffic control towers from April 7 due to budget constraints. The number announced is 40 fewer than the FAA originally planned to close. The cuts in service are part of the FAA's response to sequestration, as we reported in a recent story from Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Latrobe, Pa.:

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Author Interviews
1:10 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

With Humor And Sorrow, 'Life After Life' Explores Death

Elderly and young person holding hands
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 5:17 pm

A woman who moves from Boston to be near the grave of her lover; the widow of a judge who keeps a scrapbook of murder and crime; an 85-year-old who has always seen the sunnier side of life; an old man feigning dementia. In the fictional Pine Haven retirement center, together and separately, these characters face the ends of their lives. They're the stars of Jill McCorkle's new novel, Life After Life, which balances humor and sorrow as it explores the moment of death.

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The Two-Way
12:42 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Chinua Achebe And The Bravery Of Lions

Chinua Achebe, Nigerian-born novelist and poet speaks about his works and his life at his home on the campus of Bard College in 2008.
Craig Ruttle ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 1:30 pm

Chinua Achebe, the prominent Nigerian novelist and essayist who died on Thursday, said in a 1994 interview with the Paris Review, "There is that great proverb — that until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter."

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