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Education
7:18 am
Sun March 30, 2014

What A Small Town's Teen Pregnancy Turnaround Can Teach The U.S.

Michelle Nimmons (with the red shoe) poses with some of the students in her sex education program in Denmark, S.C.
Courtesy of Michelle Nimmons

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 9:57 am

Thirty years ago, the small town of Denmark, S.C., had one of the state's highest teen pregnancy rates.

"We had very young grandparents, grandparents were maybe [in their] 30s," says Michelle Nimmons, who has worked for the past 30 years on the issue of teen pregnancy. "Great-grandmamas were in their 40s, and parents were in their teens, so a lot of education had to happen."

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The Sunday Conversation
5:40 am
Sun March 30, 2014

Devastating Attack Still Leaves Afghan Journalist's Hope Alive

Bilal Sarwary is an Afghan journalist working in Afghanistan for the BBC.
Courtesy of Bilal Sarwary

Originally published on Sun March 30, 2014 3:59 pm

Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.

Bilal Sarwary is a local correspondent for the BBC in Kabul, and over a week ago, he was called to report on yet another insurgent attack that left civilians dead.

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Movie Interviews
3:11 am
Sun March 30, 2014

One Documentary Later, Rumsfeld's Inner World Remains 'Unknown'

Donald Rumsfeld, shown here on a 2006 visit to Iraq, was the Secretary of Defense during the beginning of the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Errol Morris spent over 30 hours interviewing Rumsfeld for his latest documentary.
USMC Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 2:03 pm

Filmmaker Errol Morris is famous for trying to get inside other people's minds and understand the motivations behind the choices they've made. In his most famous film, The Fog of War, Morris sat down one-on-one with former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara to talk about the decisions McNamara made in Vietnam. During the course of the conversation, McNamara makes the stunning admission that some of his actions amounted to war crimes.

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It's All Politics
4:59 pm
Sat March 29, 2014

What's With This Video Of McConnell Doing Stuff?

The Kentucky Opportunity Coalition used footage from Mitch McConnell's campaign for its own ads.
AP

The video uploaded to Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell's YouTube channel on March 11 is no ordinary campaign ad:

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Movie Interviews
3:02 pm
Sat March 29, 2014

In Biblical Blockbuster, Aronofsky Rocks Noah's Boat

The heavens open on Russell Crowe, as Noah, in the new Bible-based film.
Niko Tavernise Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Originally published on Sat March 29, 2014 4:59 pm

The Biblical tale of Noah's Ark isn't the likeliest of big screen blockbusters. But that didn't stop Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain, Black Swan) from pitching it to a Hollywood studio.

"When I first went to the studio, I said, 'Hey, what's the only boat more famous than the Titanic?' " he tells NPR's Kelly McEvers.

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StoryCorps
5:59 am
Sat March 29, 2014

Never Truly Over: Discussing Deployment A Challenge Of Its Own

Army Capt. Drew Pham says his wife, Molly Pearl, helps him push through the difficulties of transitioning back to civilian life after deployment in Afghanistan.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Sat March 29, 2014 9:27 am

Army Capt. Drew Pham, 26, returned from a tour in Afghanistan in October 2011. Since Drew's been back, it's been hard for him to make sense of what he saw there and adjust to his life at home. It's been difficult for his wife, Molly Pearl, to respond to some of the things he would tell her, too.

Pham called once to tell her he had shot a man. He says she didn't know what to say, so she replied, "Well, we'll deal with it when you get home."

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Author Interviews
3:39 am
Sat March 29, 2014

A Grand Tradition Of Family Drama In 'Cavendon Hall'

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 10:33 am

Barbara Taylor Bradford is one of the best-selling authors in the world — and, proudly, a working stiff. She's written 29 novels, beginning with A Woman of Substance in 1979, which became one of the best-selling novels of all time. Her books have been published in more than 90 countries and 40 languages.

Her latest is Cavendon Hall, which takes its title from the great old Edwardian home shared by two families: the aristocratic Inghams and the Swanns, who've served the Inghams since time immemorial.

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Author Interviews
4:01 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

In 'Storied Life,' Characters Come With A Reading List

Jan Sandvik iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri March 28, 2014 4:34 pm

Thirty-nine year old widower A.J. Fikry is an unlikely romantic hero: He's cranky, he drinks too much, his bookstore is failing and don't get him started on the state of publishing. He's also at the center of Gabrielle Zevin's new novel, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry.

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Theater
12:57 am
Thu March 27, 2014

At 81, Playwright Athol Fugard Looks Back On Aging And Apartheid

In 1961, South African playwright Athol Fugard put black and white actors on stage together in his breakout play Blood Knot. He's pictured above in the 1970s.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 10:18 am

Under apartheid, trying to make an artistic political statement was difficult — artists were subject to scrutiny and even arrest. On the other hand, making a political statement was easy: All one had to do was put black and white actors on a stage together.

That's exactly what South African playwright Athol Fugard did back in 1961 with his breakout play Blood Knot. His newest play, The Shadow of the Hummingbird, is now onstage at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Conn.

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Book News & Features
3:38 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

It Was The Best Of Sentences ...

iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 12:41 pm

Have you ever had a sentence stop you in your tracks? Editors at The American Scholar magazine have put out their list of the "Ten Best Sentences" in fiction and nonfiction. Associate editor Margaret Foster says the inspiration came from water cooler talk around the office.

"We're sometimes struck by a beautiful sentence or maybe a lousy sentence, and we'll just say, 'Hey, listen to this,' " she says.

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Intelligence Squared U.S.
9:26 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Debate: Does Affirmative Action On Campus Do More Harm Than Good?

Martha Stewart Intelligence Squared U.S.
  • Listen To The Full Audio Of The Debate
  • Listen To The Broadcast Version Of The Debate

Many colleges and universities use race as a factor in admissions, but the approach has been a hot-button issue for decades — even making its way to the Supreme Court several times since the late 1970s.

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Author Interviews
1:19 am
Tue March 25, 2014

For Writer, 'The Hard Way' Meant Choosing To Stay In Akron, Ohio

Akron was once known as the rubber capital of the world.
Mark Duncan AP

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 9:17 am

When it comes to his hometown of Akron, Ohio, writer and journalist David Giffels says, "I have spent my whole life watching people leave." Once known as the rubber capital of the world, Akron was a hub of tire manufacturing giants. Goodyear, Firestone and Goodrich provided thousands of high-paying jobs until the 1970s, when those jobs began migrating to places with cheaper labor.

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Author Interviews
2:33 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

A Homecoming, Minus The Nostalgia, In Cole's Unsparing 'Thief'

Teju Cole is also the author of Open City.
Teju Cole

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 4:46 pm

"Like it or not, America has softened you" — such are the words of welcome to the unnamed narrator of Teju Cole's Every Day Is for the Thief. The young man is on a trip to his home country of Nigeria, and as he visits his family and friends in Lagos, what he finds isn't quite what he expected: He's pressed for bribes at every turn. He tries to reconcile Nigeria's history with the museums that appear to avoid it. He sees the "Yahoo boys" at an Internet cafe, tapping out scam email messages.

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Around the Nation
5:37 pm
Sun March 23, 2014

Freeing Up California's Prisons: A Massive Undertaking

Inmates in a recreation yard at the Deuel Vocational Institution in Tracy, Calif. California is trying to address court-ordered reductions in overcrowding with a plan to shift thousands of those convicted of "nonserious" crimes to county jails.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 11:18 am

It's been said you can judge the quality of a civilization by the way it treats its prisoners. If that's true, California in 2011 was in poor condition, at least according to the Supreme Court.

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My Big Break
3:15 pm
Sun March 23, 2014

To Mike Birbiglia's Parents: It's OK If Your Son Sticks To Comedy

Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 5:37 pm

As part of a series called "My Big Break," All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.

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Author Interviews
1:43 pm
Sun March 23, 2014

With Sobering Science, Doctor Debunks 12-Step Recovery

Courtesy of Beacon Press

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 12:27 pm

Since its founding in the 1930s, Alcoholics Anonymous has become part of the fabric of American society. AA and the many 12-step groups it inspired have become the country's go-to solution for addiction in all of its forms. These recovery programs are mandated by drug courts, prescribed by doctors and widely praised by reformed addicts.

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Author Interviews
3:23 am
Sun March 23, 2014

'Parentology': Bribes, Behavior And The Science Of Raising Kids

Dalton Conley lives in New York City with his wife and two children.
Stephen P. Hudner Courtesy of Simon and Schuster

Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 9:36 am

Raising kids is hard. It just is. And there's a whole industry out there trying to help parents figure out how to do it. There are all kinds of books on the very basics — sleeping, eating and talking — to those that deal with more complicated stuff, like how to teach self esteem and resiliency.

Adding to that aspirational reading list is Parentology: Everything You Wanted to Know about the Science of Raising Children but Were Too Exhausted to Ask, a new book by sociologist Dalton Conley.

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Pop Culture
4:13 pm
Sat March 22, 2014

Why Comedian Hari Kondabolu Is 'Waiting For 2042'

Brooklyn-based comic Hari Kondabolu
Courtesy of Hari Kondabolu

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 9:44 am

Hari Kondabolu is an Indian-American comedian whose "Konda Bulletins" you might have seen on the FXX show Totally Biased.

Kondabolu's new comedy album is Waiting For 2042 — the year when white people will be the statistical minority in the United States. On the cover, Kondabolu stands proudly perched on a rickshaw, pulled by a white guy in a suit.

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Movies
2:19 pm
Sat March 22, 2014

Fatal Accident Fuels Safety Concerns On Hollywood's Sets

A candlelight march honors Sarah Jones, a camera assistant who was killed by a train in February while shooting the film Midnight Rider.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 22, 2014 6:47 pm

There's growing concern in Hollywood over film crews' safety, as crews feel mounting pressure to push their limits on set. The call for attention to the issue amplified after the death of 27-year-old Sarah Jones.

On Feb. 20, the camera assistant was killed in an accident on the set of the film Midnight Rider, a biopic about the musician Gregg Allman.

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Author Interviews
12:44 pm
Sat March 22, 2014

Jimmy Carter Issues 'Call To Action' Against Subjugation Of Women

Jimmy Carter's other books include Palestine Peace Not Apartheid, Sharing Good Times and Our Endangered Values.
Prakash Methema AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 9:36 am

Editor's note: To hear our full interview with Jimmy Carter, tune into Weekend Edition on Sunday, March 23.

President Jimmy Carter has written more than two dozen books over the course of his career, about everything from the art of aging to how to achieve peace in the Middle East. All his writing is anchored by a deep-seated belief in the equality of all people.

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Movie Interviews
5:50 am
Sat March 22, 2014

When Scripture Hits The Screen, Filmmakers Say Their Prayers

Russell Crowe, the lead in Darren Aronofsky's forthcoming biblical epic Noah, may have received a quick blessing from Pope Francis at a recent public audience, but the movie is drawing criticism in some quarters.
Niko Tavernise Paramount Pictures Classics

Originally published on Sat March 22, 2014 9:18 am

The film Noah, with Russell Crowe in the title role, opens in the U.S. March 28. It's already been banned in several Muslim countries for portraying a man considered a prophet, and here in this country it's stirred controversy among some Christians for not being a sufficiently literal telling of the Bible story. NPR's Scott Simon spoke with Rajinder Dudrah, senior lecturer in screen studies at the University of Manchester, on why religious figures in film can cause both fascination and offense.

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Movie Interviews
3:00 am
Sat March 22, 2014

Doomed 'Dune' Was Generations Ahead Of Its Time

Artwork created for Dune by British science fiction artist Chris Foss.
Courtesy of Chris Foss/Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Sat March 22, 2014 9:18 am

Dune, by Alejandro Jodorowsky, was an ambitious and expensive film that was going to change cinema — and, the filmmaker imagined, the world.

Jodorowsky had already made a name for himself with El Topo in 1970 and The Holy Mountain in 1973, two movies that more or less invented the "midnight movie" phenomenon back when that was a euphemism for tripping.

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Music News
3:02 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

For Kelis, Music Is Back On The Menu

Kelis gave her first U.S. performance in years at the 2014 SXSW music festival in Austin, Texas.
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 4:22 pm

Kelis Rogers has made a career of reinventing herself. When the R&B singer, whose "Milkshake" made her an international pop star in 2003, took the stage last week at SXSW in Austin, Texas, it marked her first live show in the United States in years. Kelis herself insists she never went away (she's continued to tour in Europe and Asia), but she did make a big career change after releasing her last album in 2006: She went to cooking school.

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Found Recipes
5:54 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

This Simple Stew Is A Battleground In A Bowl

John Currence and Punish Stew may share a checkered past, but so many people in his life have loved this easy, hearty soup, he can't help but love it too — or at least act like he does.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 10:10 am

Ask award-winning chef John Currence for a comfort food recipe, and you may hear him tell a story filled with a hefty share of discomfort. In his cookbook, Pickles, Pigs & Whiskey, he shares a simple, hearty soup that he's taken to calling "my purgatory on Earth — I love to hate it, and I hate to love it." For short, he calls it Punish Stew.

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Humans
2:28 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Kids These Days: Growing Up Too Fast Or Never At All?

Hanna Rosin says when kids do things that feel risky on a playground, it allows them to conquer a fear and gain independence.
Fox Photos Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 4:20 pm

On the cover of the April issue of The Atlantic there's a picture of a boy who could be 6 or 7. He's looking to the right toward an adult, whose hand he's holding. He's also wearing a helmet and knee pads. And — for further protection — he has a pillow strapped to his torso.

The cover art is for Hanna Rosin's article, "Hey Parents: Leave Those Kids Alone," about the overprotected child.

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Parallels
2:31 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Architect Remembers Massacre Victims With 'Wounded' Landscape

This illustration, provided by artist Jonas Dahlberg, shows his vision for a "memory wound" near the Norwegian island where dozens of people died during an attack by a right-wing extremist in 2011.
Jonas Dahlbert Studio EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 7:52 am

On a July day in 2011, the world first heard of a small island off Norway called Utoya under the most terrible circumstances. The island was a youth camp for Norway's Labor Party. On that summer day, a heavily armed right-wing extremist stepped onto Utoya and began to walk across it, shooting at random.

Sixty-nine people died, over a hundred were wounded — almost all young people.

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Intelligence Squared U.S.
12:05 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Debate: It May Be Flexing Its Muscles, But Is Russia A Marginal Power?

Samuel LaHoz Intelligence Squared U.S.
  • Listen To The Full Audio Of The Debate
  • Listen To The Broadcast Version Of The Debate

In the past year, Russia has been a decisive player in several events on the international stage — often to the chagrin of the Obama administration. It gave asylum to former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, blocked United Nations efforts to impose sanctions against the Syrian government and sent troops into Ukraine.

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Education
2:25 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Q&A: A Crash Course On Common Core

Cathy Cartier, a proponent of Common Core, teaches an English class at Affton High School in Missouri last month.
Christian Gooden MCT/Landov

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 2:50 pm

Confused about the Common Core State Standards? Join the club. That's not to say the new benchmarks in reading and math are good or bad, working smoothly or kicking up sparks as the wheels come off. It is simply an acknowledgement that, when the vast majority of U.S. states adopt a single set of educational standards all at roughly the same time, a little confusion is inevitable.

Below is a handy FAQ about Common Core. We'll continue answering your questions in the coming months. You can post them in the comments section, or on Twitter and Facebook using #commonq.

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Movie Interviews
2:09 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Jason Bateman, Taking A Turn As The Big Bad

Jason Bateman took cues from Arrested Development in portraying the profoundly unsympathetic character Guy Trilby.
Sam Urdank Courtesy of Focus Features

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 4:33 pm

When you see actor Jason Bateman on screen, he's usually playing the nice guy — or at least the nicest guy in the room. On the TV cult favorite Arrested Development, Bateman is easily the heart of the show.

But given the chance to direct a movie, he cast himself as a vulgar sociopath with a gift for coming up with the perfect put-down. The film is Bad Words, and it tells the story of a 40-year-old elbowing his way onto the middle-school spelling-bee circuit, to the frustration of kids, parents and teachers alike.

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Music
4:40 pm
Sun March 16, 2014

Ambrose Akinmusire: 'Music Can Tell You What It Wants To Be'

Ambrose Akinmusire's latest album is the imagined savior is far easier to paint.
Autumn DeWilde Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 9:02 am

For a jazz trumpet player, you couldn't be more on top of the world than Ambrose Akinmusire. The 32-year-old is looking good on the cover of this month's DownBeat, and he's managed to please the jazz critics and connect with audiences.

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