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Author Interviews
7:40 am
Sat July 4, 2015

An Outsider In Buenos Aires Goes Incognito, For Love Of Tango

Lydia Thompson NPR

Originally published on Sat July 4, 2015 9:04 am

In the dirty, crowded, and impoverished immigrant barrios of Buenos Aires of 1913, a 17-year-old girl arrives with little more than some clothes and her grandfather's violin.

Her name is Leda, and she's the character at the heart of Carolina de Robertis' third novel, The Gods of Tango.

Leda, an Italian girl, was sent for by her cousin-husband, but widowed before her ship even lands in South America. She soon finds comfort and excitement in a new kind of music that's filling the city's courtyards, bars and brothels: the tango.

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It's All Politics
10:13 am
Wed July 1, 2015

Can The Candidate Move Beyond 'The Christie Show'?

A supporter at Gov. Chris Christie's announcement Tuesday.
Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 2, 2015 5:06 am

It was the least suspenseful cliffhanger in the history of cliffs.

Governor Christie has, essentially, been running for higher office for years. But as of Tuesday he is now, officially, a presidential candidate.

This week the Christie Tracker podcast, from WNYC and New Jersey Public Radio, headed to Livingston High School for analysis on the announcement.

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NEWS
8:46 am
Mon June 29, 2015

Embraced Yet Forbidden, Staff Sergeant Comes Out As Transgender

Staff Sgt. Patricia King, who has been in the Army for 16 years, says she decided to start her gender transition in January.
Christian Murdock Colorado Springs Gazette

Originally published on Wed July 1, 2015 2:00 pm

By serving in the Army, Staff Sgt. Patricia King is breaking the rules.

King enlisted 1999 under her birth name, Peter. At the beginning of this year, King — a decorated soldier with three deployments to Afghanistan under her belt — started her gender transition.

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Music Interviews
4:48 pm
Sun June 28, 2015

The Sound Of Twin Danger: Frank Sinatra Meets The Clash

Twin Danger's Vanessa Bley and Stuart Matthewman
Sunny Khalsa Courtesy of the artist

Cocktail jazz isn't a sound you hear very much in pop music these days. But a duo known as Twin Danger is causing a scene with their self-titled debut album and live shows.

It's a familiar mood for saxophonist Stuart Matthewman; he co-wrote many of the biggest hits for Sade, like "No Ordinary Love" and "Your Love Is King."

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Governing
3:44 pm
Sat June 27, 2015

For Families Of U.S. Hostages, New Policy May Bring New Hope

Linda Boyle (left) and Lyn Coleman hold a photo of their children, who were kidnapped in Afghanistan in 2012. Caitlan Coleman, an American married to Canadian Joshua Boyle, was pregnant when the couple was abducted.
Bill Gorman AP

Originally published on Sat June 27, 2015 4:36 pm

More than 80 Americans have been taken hostage abroad since Sept. 11, 2001. Currently, 30 Americans are being held around the world.

Until this week, the families of those hostages would have faced the threat of prosecution from the U.S. government for trying to pay a ransom to kidnappers.

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Book News & Features
3:26 pm
Sat June 27, 2015

Marvel's Half-Black, Half-Latino Spider-Man Is Going Mainstream

Marvel has put half-African-American, half-Latino teen Miles Morales in the Spider-Man suit.
Courtesy of Marvel

Originally published on Sat June 27, 2015 4:36 pm

Step aside, Peter Parker: There's a new Spider-Man joining the Marvel Universe.

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Around the Nation
6:11 am
Sat June 27, 2015

National Cathedral Should Not Be Stained With Confederate Flag, Dean Says

A glass window at Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., shows Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. The dean of the cathedral has called for its removal.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 27, 2015 8:30 am

The Confederate stars and bars have been taken down from flagpoles and store shelves all over the country this week. Calls for their removal follow the June 17 shooting of nine people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C.

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Television
4:18 pm
Sun June 21, 2015

The Human Drama Of Hacking Fuels TV Thriller 'Mr. Robot'

USA's Mr. Robot tells the story of a cyber-security engineer and vigilant hacker (played by Rami Malek) who also suffers from anxiety.
Sarah Shatz USA Network

Originally published on Mon June 22, 2015 8:13 am

Cyborgs and androids are nowhere to be seen in the new USA show Mr. Robot. Instead, the drama is centered on a very human interior — the mind of Elliot, the unlikely hacker hero. From his first words — "Hello, friend" — his voice-over keeps audiences squarely inside his world.

"Elliot is sort of an internal, isolated guy who can't really interact with people socially, in real life, but online he can hack them and knows all the intimate, private details of them," Sam Esmail, the show's creator and executive producer, tells NPR's Arun Rath.

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Asia
3:11 pm
Sun June 21, 2015

From California To Kathmandu, Task Force 2 Responds To Disasters

Members of Task Force 2 from the Los Angeles County Fire Department recovered survivors from a building that collapsed in May after a major aftershock in Singati, a mountain village in Nepal.
Kashish Das AP

Originally published on Sun June 21, 2015 4:18 pm

California's Task Force 2 is ready for anything. As an elite disaster response team based in Los Angeles County, it has to be. But it's not just prepped for disasters at home — it's ready to respond to emergencies halfway around the world as well.

Just days after the devastating April 25 earthquake in Nepal, Task Force 2's firefighters, doctors and engineers were on the ground, helping rescue people.

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World
3:11 pm
Sun June 21, 2015

Snapshot Sleuthing Confirms Russian Military Presence In Ukraine

A soldier in the Russian army posed, rifle in hand, for a snapshot at a battlefield checkpoint. Simon Ostrovsky, at right, located the same spot in Vuhlehirsk, in Ukraine's Donetsk region.
VICE News

Originally published on Mon June 22, 2015 6:03 am

Reports of the Russian military helping pro-Russian separatist fighters in Ukraine are common — but can be hard to confirm. Russia denies that its soldiers are fighting in Ukraine.

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Middle East
6:24 am
Sun June 21, 2015

For A British Man, Fighting ISIS Was Simply The Right Thing To Do

Seen here in an undated photograph, Macer Gifford — an alias he uses to protect his family — left his job as a financial trader in London to fight ISIS in Syria.
Courtesy of Macer Gifford

Originally published on Sun June 21, 2015 1:48 pm

We have heard about how ISIS is recruiting foreign fighters to join its ranks. But it's happening on the other side as well.

Just last week, a Massachusetts man who died fighting against ISIS in Syria was laid to rest.

Last year, a British man who calls himself Macer Gifford left his job as a financial trader in London and went to join the Kurds and fight the self-declared Islamic State in Syria.

Gifford spoke on the condition that NPR not reveal his real name, because he fears for the safety of his family in the UK.

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Movie Interviews
3:03 am
Fri June 19, 2015

'Sadness Is Like A Superhero': Amy Poehler On Pixar's 'Inside Out'

"[Sadness is] such a funny opposite energy to Joy, who is literally jumping up and down," Poehler says. "And Sadness just wants to lie down and kind of feel her feelings." Poehler plays Joy (left) and Phyllis Smith plays Sadness in the new film Inside Out.
Disney/Pixar

Originally published on Sun June 21, 2015 10:37 am

A new animated feature from Pixar aims to do the near-impossible, as any parent would tell you: get inside the mind of a preteen girl. Inside Out is about an 11-year-old girl named Riley, but the real stars are her emotions — five colorful characters representing joy, sadness, anger, fear and disgust.

Pete Docter, the creative force behind Up and Monsters, Inc., wrote and directed the film, and actress Amy Poehler plays Joy. Both of them laugh about one of the biggest challenges of the movie: deciding how many emotions to include.

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Interviews
3:03 am
Fri June 19, 2015

'I'm So Proud To Have You As A Daughter'

Mario Loiseau and his daughter Mabou during a recent visit to StoryCorps.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri June 19, 2015 10:20 am

Mario Loiseau works two jobs, including long hours as a parking lot attendant, to help pay for his 9-year-old daughter Mabou's tutoring. Mabou is a science and language prodigy and is already studying college-level algebra.

"So Daddy, how did you feel when I was born?" she asked her father during a recent visit to StoryCorps in New York City.

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The Two-Way
4:17 pm
Thu June 18, 2015

The Victims: 9 Were Slain At Charleston's Emanuel AME Church

Charleston residents visit a makeshift memorial for victims of Wednesday's mass shooting at the Emanuel AME Church on Calhoun Steet in Charleston, S.C.
Randall Hill Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sat June 20, 2015 6:44 pm

The nine people who were killed in a mass shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., on Wednesday have been identified by the authorities.

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Author Interviews
4:27 pm
Sun June 14, 2015

'You Couldn't Make This Stuff Up': Inside The Lives Of The 'China Rich'

Lydia Thompson NPR

Originally published on Mon June 15, 2015 11:06 am

In his 2014 novel Crazy Rich Asians, author Kevin Kwan took readers to Singapore and into the lives of Asia's elite, who live in a world of opulence so extreme, it's absurd.

The novel became an international best-seller, with a movie in the works.

Now those Crazy Rich Asians are back as a mix of old and new characters in Kwan's new novel, China Rich Girlfriend.

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Health
4:18 pm
Sun June 14, 2015

'Man With The Golden Arm' Donates Blood That Has Saved 2 Million Babies

James Harrison was recognized in 2003 with the Guinness World Record for the most blood donated by one person.
DAVID GRAY Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon June 15, 2015 9:20 am

When James Harrison was 14, he got really sick. One of his lungs had to be removed, and he needed a lot of blood.

"I was in the hospital for three months and I had 100 stitches," he recalls.

After receiving 13 units — almost 2 gallons — of donated blood, Harrison knew right away that he wanted to give back.

"I was always looking forward to donating, right from the operation, because I don't know how many people it took to save my life," he says. "I never met them, didn't know them."

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Sports
3:51 pm
Sat June 13, 2015

Academic Foul: Some Colleges Accused Of Helping Athletes Cheat

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill faces charges of NCAA violations including the existence of sham classes and grade inflation for student-athletes.
Gerry Broome AP

Originally published on Sat June 13, 2015 4:21 pm

Some college athletes are cheating, and the NCAA is cracking down on universities that enable them to do it. Earlier this year, the NCAA came down hard on Syracuse University for academic fraud.

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Author Interviews
3:51 pm
Sat June 13, 2015

'Seven Good Years' Between The Birth Of A Son, Death Of A Father

Lydia Thompson NPR

Originally published on Sat June 13, 2015 4:21 pm

Israeli writer Etgar Keret is beloved around the world for his funny, haunting and frequently fantastical short stories. But he's hardly one to stick to a single medium: on top of his stories, he's written graphic novels, TV shows, movie scripts and a children's book. And public radio fans may know his work from its numerous appearances on This American Life.

But for 25 years — whether in print, on air, on screen or in comic-book form — he only wrote fiction.

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Author Interviews
2:25 pm
Tue June 9, 2015

Napoleon In America: Not As Strange As It Sounds

Robert Siegel interviews Munro Price, author of Napoleon: End of Glory about napoleon's failed plan to relocate to America after the defeat at Waterloo.
Courtesy of OUP

Originally published on Wed June 10, 2015 8:25 am

Here's a preposterous idea: Napoleon Bonaparte, defeated at Waterloo, his 15-year run as dictator, conqueror and self-crowned emperor at an end, escapes to the United States. Well, as preposterous as that idea might sound, 200 years ago this month, Napoleon Bonaparte was thinking precisely that thought: Flee to America. How serious was he, and what would he have done if he'd become a Jersey boy? Munro Price is a professor of modern European history at Bradford University in England and the author of Napoleon: End of Glory.

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Michel Martin, Going There
1:31 am
Tue June 9, 2015

The #BlackLivesMatter Movement: Marches And Tweets For Healing

Desiree Griffiths of Miami holds up a sign reading "Black Lives Matter" during a protest over the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.
Lynne Sladky AP

Originally published on Tue June 9, 2015 12:02 pm

In 2013, after George Zimmerman was acquitted for killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, a young woman in California named Alicia Garza wrote an emotional Facebook post that ended with the words "Our Lives Matter, Black Lives Matter." Her friend, Patrisse Cullors, turned that into a hashtag.

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Music News
1:14 am
Mon June 8, 2015

Amid Violence In Baghdad, A Musician Creates A One-Man Vigil

Karim Wasfi, conductor of the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra, at his home in Baghdad, has been playing his cello at the sites of explosive attacks in Baghdad.
Ahmed Qusay for NPR

Originally published on Mon June 8, 2015 9:29 am

The roar of a car bomb has been the prelude to Karim Wasfi's performances of late.

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Author Interviews
4:21 pm
Sun June 7, 2015

In Debut Novel, Air Force Officer Questions How We Honor Our Veterans

Lydia Thompson NPR

Why do we honor combat veterans? In his new novel, Air Force officer Jesse Goolsby asks that question through the stories of three veterans, their experiences in war and their lives back at home.

I'd Walk with My Friends If I Could Find Them is grounded in the wars of the last 15 years, but Goolsby points out the action takes place as much in the private lives the men lead in America as it does on the battlefield.

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All Tech Considered
4:21 pm
Sun June 7, 2015

What Makes Algorithms Go Awry?

By clicking "Like" and commenting on Facebook posts, users signal the social network's algorithm that they care about something. That in turn helps influence what they see later. Algorithms like that happen all over the web — and the programs can reflect human biases.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed June 10, 2015 12:23 pm

Like it or not, much of what we encounter online is mediated by computer-run algorithms — complex formulas that help determine our Facebook feeds, Netflix recommendations, Spotify playlists or Google ads.

But algorithms, like humans, can make mistakes. Last month, users found the photo-sharing site Flickr's new image-recognition technology was labeling dark-skinned people as "apes" and auto-tagging photos of Nazi concentration camps as "jungle gym" and "sport."

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Author Interviews
3:18 pm
Sat June 6, 2015

'Balm' Looks At Civil War After The Battles, Outside The South

Courtesy of Amistad

Originally published on Mon June 8, 2015 11:22 am

Dolen Perkins-Valdez wants to change readers' perspective on the Civil War. Her best-selling debut novel, Wench, explored the lives of slave women — not on Southern plantations, but in a resort for slaveowners' mistresses in Ohio. Her new book, Balm, is set in the postwar period, and it's also in an unexpected place: Chicago.

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Code Switch
1:44 am
Fri June 5, 2015

Former Baltimore Mayor: City Must Confront The 'Rot Beneath The Glitter'

Kurt Schmoke, former mayor of Baltimore, is now the president of the University of Baltimore.
Courtesy of the University of Baltimore

Originally published on Fri June 5, 2015 5:58 am

It's the end of a tough week in Baltimore. Tensions continue in the Freddie Gray case. And now the murder rate has spiked to a 40-year high. One man who understands well what the city is going through is Kurt Schmoke. He's a native son and was elected as Baltimore's first black mayor in 1987. He served three terms, grappling with high unemployment, poor schools and violent crime.

Now the president of the University of Baltimore, Schmoke shares his memories of the city and his thoughts about moving it forward with Morning Edition.

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Music Interviews
3:11 pm
Thu June 4, 2015

Telling Brian Wilson's Fractured Life Story On Film

Paul Dano (center) co-stars in Love & Mercy as Brian Wilson in the 1960s heyday of The Beach Boys.
Francois Duhamel Roadside Attractions

Originally published on Thu June 4, 2015 6:50 pm

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National Security
3:59 pm
Wed June 3, 2015

Gen. Martin Dempsey On Iraq: A Fight That Will Take 'Multiple Years'

Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey speaks during the graduation ceremony at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., on May 23. In an interview with NPR, he says he's not surprised by the slow going against the Islamic State, predicting it will be a "long campaign."
Mike Groll AP

Originally published on Wed June 3, 2015 10:42 pm

Gen. Martin Dempsey has spent more than a decade dealing with Iraq, and as his tenure as chairman of the Joint Chiefs winds down, he sees a conflict that will long outlast his time in uniform.

Dempsey helped train the Iraqi military from 2005 to 2007 in what he describes as a "debacle" in the early stages. He saw the rapid rise of the self-described Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL. And now he oversees the U.S.-led bombing campaign against the extremist group in both Iraq and Syria.

And he has no illusions it will be quick or easy.

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Music Interviews
3:59 pm
Wed June 3, 2015

Mumford & Sons On Plugging In And Turning Up

Mumford & Sons' electrified new album is called Wilder Mind.
Ty Johnson Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu June 4, 2015 5:07 pm

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The Salt
1:41 am
Tue June 2, 2015

A Tome For Peruvian Food, By Its Most Acclaimed Ambassador

Mixed ceviche from Peru: The Cookbook.
Courtesy of Phaidon Press

Originally published on Tue June 2, 2015 12:42 pm

Maybe you've noticed a dish that keeps popping up in more restaurants across the U.S.

Peru is one of the countries that lays claim to ceviche, which is made of raw fish and chilies, cured in lime juice.

So how do you know you're tasting a perfect ceviche?

"In the first bite, you want to find a strong citrus flavor balanced with the fish, and a little bit spicy, but a fresh spicy given by a fresh chili," says chef Gaston Acurio.

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Author Interviews
3:35 pm
Sun May 31, 2015

Rich Housewives Go Under The Microscope In 'Primates Of Park Avenue'

Emily Bogle NPR

Originally published on Thu June 4, 2015 10:13 am

On the hunt from a good public school for her son, Wednesday Martin moved from her old home in downtown Manhattan to a new one just a few miles north. The spots were no more than a short cab ride away from one another, yet she soon found they were galaxies apart in personality.

For one thing, the moms around her looked entirely different.

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