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2:27 am
Wed May 2, 2012

Marcel Khalife: The Bob Dylan Of The Arab World

Marcel Khalife is a Middle Eastern musical and political icon.
Driss Ben Malek Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 7:03 am

The Lebanese classical musician and composer Marcel Khalife is often compared to Bob Dylan — not for his music, but for his politics. The Middle Eastern musical and political icon sings about freedom and nationalism.

Khalife is famous for translating poetry into music. For years, he collaborated with the nationalist Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish.

"It began when I graduated from the music conservatory in Beirut. The civil war started in Lebanon — I wanted to change the world with music," says Khalife.

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Arts & Life
2:24 am
Wed May 2, 2012

'Scream' Still Echoes After More Than A Century

This version of The Scream is one of four made by Edvard Munch, and the only one outside Norway. It is coming up for auction at Sotheby's in New York.
AP

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 6:59 am

It's perhaps the most reproduced piece of art ever created. It has adorned key chains and coffee mugs, and the cover of Time magazine. Andy Warhol used it, and now one of the four versions of The Scream, Edvard Munch's iconic work — the only one outside Norway — is coming up for auction at Sotheby's in New York. Sale estimates are as high as $80 million.

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All Tech Considered
2:23 am
Wed May 2, 2012

NBC Will Stream The London Olympics Live — But Only To TV Subscribers

Many track fans watched online four years ago, as sprinter Usain Bolt set a world record at the Beijing Olympics. This year, NBC will stream video of all 302 events online. And Bolt, seen here showing his appreciation for video in 2010, will try to repeat his feat.
Mark Dadswell Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 6:03 am

For decades, Olympics fans have loathed two words: "tape" and "delay." But this summer, things will be different: For the first time, NBC will stream live video of the London Games, online and via mobile.

If you think that decision is overdue, you're not alone. Sports Business Daily media reporter John Ourand says he is shocked it has taken this long for the network to put live video of all Olympic events online.

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Author Interviews
2:23 am
Wed May 2, 2012

Do Liberals Live Under A 'Tyranny Of Cliches'?

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 6:03 am

Conservative critic Jonah Goldberg says he's inspired to write when he gets annoyed. "Aggravation is a muse," he says. And after speaking on a number of college campuses, he grew aggravated enough to write a book. It's called The Tyranny of Cliches: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas.

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Crisis In The Housing Market
2:21 am
Wed May 2, 2012

Should Banks Maintain Abandoned Properties?

An abandoned home on Chicago's South Side, which neighbor Ruben DeSantiago says attracts gang activity. DeSantiago and other neighbors mow the lawn and pick up trash because they say no one else is caring for the house.
Odette Yousef

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 8:49 am

Like hundreds of cities across the country, Chicago is trying to tackle the issue of too many foreclosed and vacant homes. The city is now requiring lenders to ensure that those abandoned properties are secured and maintained. Other cities have similar laws.

But the federal government is suing Chicago over its new rules in what's seen as a test case that could affect whether any city would be allowed to keep lenders on the hook for abandoned properties.

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Planet Money
2:20 am
Wed May 2, 2012

How Colleges Fight For Top Students

"My mom opened the letter and she called me and told me I got the Marquis Scholarship. And she's like, 'It's a humungous scholarship!'" -Michele Tallarita
Jacob Goldstein NPR

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 2:56 pm

It's a gray April evening, and two men have driven from Easton, Pa., to Manhattan. The men are administrators at Lafayette College. They're wearing solid black suits with Lafayette pins on their lapels.

They're here to see 12 students — high school seniors who have been admitted to Lafayette and are trying to decide where to go to college.

The men have come to make the students "feel that Lafayette is in their future and make them think that they'll ruin their lives if they go elsewhere," says Greg MacDonald, Lafayette's dean of admissions.

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Sweetness And Light
9:13 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

A Horse Of A Different Color

Hansen, ridden by Ramon A. Dominguez, races to the finish to win the March 3 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct in New York.
Adam Coglianese AP

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 1:04 pm

The 3-year-old champion colt named Hansen will not be the favorite in the Derby Saturday, but most eyes will unavoidably be upon him.

You see, in a field of chestnuts and bays, Hansen is already brilliant white. Well, technically he's a gray, but without boring you with equine pigmentation detail, thoroughbred grays — like the great Native Dancer — turn whiter as they grow older, and Hansen is simply prematurely white, sort of a four-legged Steve Martin.

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Law
7:26 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

Teammate Testifies Against Clemens In Perjury Trial

Andy Pettitte leaves the federal court in Washington, D.C., Tuesday. Pettitte took the stand in the retrial of Roger Clemens on charges that Clemens lied when he told Congress in 2008 that he had never used steroids or human growth hormone.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 9:44 am

If the prosecution at the Roger Clemens perjury trial hoped for a dramatic showdown on Tuesday, the day was a big disappointment. The prosecution's star witness, Clemens' friend and onetime pitching ace Andy Pettitte, provided as much, if not more, ammunition for the defense.

Clemens is charged with lying to Congress when he testified that he had never used performance-enhancing drugs.

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Afghanistan
6:36 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

A Look At The New Afghanistan Agreement

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 9:44 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

President Obama flew to Afghanistan today and signed a historic agreement on the future of the U.S. involvement in that country. The president traveled under tight security to Kabul and met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai for a signing ceremony at the palace there.

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The Two-Way
5:46 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

Live Blog: President Obama Addresses The Nation From Afghanistan

U.S. President Barack Obama delivers an address to the American people on U.S. policy and the war in Afghanistan during his visit to Bagram Air Base on Tuesday.
Kevin Lamarque AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 8:14 am

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Crisis In The Housing Market
4:55 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

Time To Trade The Lease For A Mortgage?

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, homeownership rates got even closer to pre-housing boom numbers in the first quarter of 2012.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 9:44 am

This week, the U.S. Census Bureau announced that in the first quarter of 2012, the American homeownership rate hit its lowest level in 15 years. During the housing boom, millions more Americans bought homes, bumping the rate to nearly 70 percent. Now, that buying spree has been replaced with millions of foreclosures, and most of those gains have been lost.

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It's All Politics
4:54 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

In Mass. Senate Race, Warren On Defense Over Native American Heritage

U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat, greets people at Dinky's Blue Belle Diner in Shrewsbury, Mass., on Sunday.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 9:44 am

In the tight U.S. Senate race in Massachusetts, Democrat Elizabeth Warren has been playing defense because of allegations that she used her Native American heritage to advance her career.

Warren, the likely Democratic challenger to incumbent Republican Scott Brown, says she did not know that Harvard Law School touted her as a member of a minority group back in the 1990s, when the school's faculty came under criticism for being too white.

But Warren says that when she was growing up in Oklahoma, her family always told her that she's part Cherokee.

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It's All Politics
3:58 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

Politics Not Far From Obama, Romney On Bin Laden Anniversary

President Obama gets a chance to showcase his national security credentials during a surprise visit to Afghanistan on the anniversary of Osama bin Laden's death at the hands of the U.S. military.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 6:20 am

On the one-year anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden by U.S. Navy SEALs, there were two contrasting scenes to consider.

One was of President Obama in Afghanistan on a surprise visit, speaking to U.S. troops as their commander in chief in the nation whence the SEALs departed for their successful raid into Abbottabad in neighboring Pakistan.

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The Two-Way
3:56 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

Facing Criticism, Gay Romney Aide Resigns

Richard Grenell.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Tue May 1, 2012 4:02 pm

Richard Grenell, a long time Republican hired by Mitt Romney's campaign as a foreign policy spokesman, resigned today. Grenell's hiring made news less than two weeks ago, because Grenell is openly gay.

The New York Times reports Grenell's abrupt resignation comes after he came "under attack by antigay activists in the party."

The Romney campaign cofirmed his resignation saying they were "disappointed" Grenell had resigned for "personal reasons."

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Europe
3:54 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

George Papandreou: Greece Had To Make Changes

Former Prime Minister George Papandreou stands by the tough austerity measures that ultimately brought down his government — and ended his family's leading role in Greek politics. Here, the then-leader addresses the Socialist party parliamentary group at the Greek Parliament in Athens in November.
Louisa Gouliamaki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 9:44 am

Europe's economic crisis has been driving leaders from power, one after another. Among those toppled was George Papandreou, who stepped down as the prime minister of Greece last November, just two years into his government's four-year term.

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Media
3:20 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

News Corp. Contrite In Wake Of Scathing Report

An influential group of British lawmakers says Rupert Murdoch, shown above with his son James (left) last July, is unfit to lead his global media empire. The scathing report also says his company misled Parliament about the scale of phone hacking at one of its tabloids.
Sang Tan AP

Originally published on Tue May 1, 2012 4:04 pm

News Corp. executives Rupert and James Murdoch can give a small sigh of relief, perhaps, that U.K. lawmakers investigating the tabloid hacking and bribery scandal did not conclude they misled Parliament in earlier testimony.

But that may be just about the only relief the Murdochs receive.

The scathing report accuses the company and several of its former top British executives of lying to Parliament and of seeking to cover up widespread phone hacking, computer hacking and bribing of government employees.

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Author Interviews
3:18 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

'Blown Covers': Not Ready For The Newsstand

Abrams Books

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:50 am

This week's cover of the New Yorker magazine is a witty drawing by artist Chris Ware of a playground full of young children and their watchful parents. One woman wheels her son in a stroller, only to see that all the other parents are men. The image is called "Mother's Day."

But for all the memorable New Yorker covers out there, an equally large number of covers didn't make it to the newsstand. They were not quite on the money — or were sometimes a little too coarsely on the money.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:56 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

Are Democrats Reaching On Latest 'War On Women' Claim?

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi speaks at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington last week.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

The latest skirmish in the so-called war on women has to do with, of all things, interest rates on student loans. More specifically, the effort by House Republicans to offset the cost of a federal student loan bill by cutting funding from a $15 billion preventive health fund included in the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

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The Two-Way
2:46 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

Suicide Attack In Somalia Kills Seven, Including Politicians

A suicide bomber killed seven people, including three Somali lawmakers in Dusamareb today. Reuters reports that al Shabaab — the Islamic militant group — took responsibility.

Reuters adds:

"While suicide bombers sent by al Shabaab militants have struck government targets and African Union troops in the capital Mogadishu often in recent years, such attacks are rare in central Galgadud region.

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The Two-Way
2:26 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

Obama In Afghanistan On Surprise Visit

President Barack Obama is greeted by Lt. Gen. Curtis "Mike" Scaparrotti, and U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker as he steps off Air Force One at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan earlier today (Tuesday, May 1).
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Tue May 1, 2012 5:54 pm

One year to the day after announcing to the world the death of Osama bin Laden, President Obama is in Afghanistan, the nation from which the al-Qaida leader and his followers planned and organized the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The news of the president's unannounced trip was confirmed just before 3 p.m. ET. Obama is scheduled to deliver a televised address aimed at Americans this evening at 7:30 p.m. ET.

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Science
2:20 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

Psychology Of Fraud: Why Good People Do Bad Things

Adam Cole/NPR

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 9:44 am

Enron, Worldcom, Bernie Madoff, the subprime mortgage crisis.

Over the past decade or so, news stories about unethical behavior have been a regular feature on TV, a long, discouraging parade of misdeeds marching across our screens. And in the face of these scandals, psychologists and economists have been slowly reworking how they think about the cause of unethical behavior.

In general, when we think about bad behavior, we think about it being tied to character: Bad people do bad things. But that model, researchers say, is profoundly inadequate.

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Afghanistan
2:09 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

Facing Death, Afghan Girl Runs To U.S. Military

Afghan women pass U.S. soldiers near Bagram Air Base outside Kabul in 2010. While conditions for Afghan women have improved over the past decade, but they still face many restrictions, as well as abuses like honor killings.
Joel Saget AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 9:44 am

In a remote part of Afghanistan early last year, a girl was sentenced to death. Her crime was possession of a cellphone. Her executioners were to be her brothers. They suspected her of talking on the phone with a boy. The girl, in her late teens, had dishonored the family, her brothers said.

"My older brother took the cellphone from me and beat me very badly. It was dinnertime. They told me that they would execute me after dinner. They said to me this would be my last meal," says "Lina," a pseudonym.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:54 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

What's On Facebook's Mind? Organ Donation

If Facebook has anything to do with it, more organs will be making their way to patients in need.
Frank May Landov

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 11:02 am

Have you signed up to donate your organs if something happens to you? Are you willing to share that information online with your friends, family and acquaintances?

Facebook execs think you might. And they reckon shared stories about the decision to become an organ donor might spur others to do the same.

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The Two-Way
1:53 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

After Helping A Homeless Vet, An Unexpected Holiday Card

Veteran James Brown relaxes in his apartment, which he recently moved into after spending decades on the streets.
Pam Fessler NPR

Originally published on Tue May 1, 2012 2:41 pm

A recent NPR story about homeless veterans brought a remarkable email from listener Gary Bressick, who runs an insurance agency in Los Angeles. The story focused on one veteran, James Brown, who had just moved into his first apartment after living on the streets for most of the previous three decades.

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NPR Story
1:31 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

'Debulked Woman': Ovarian Cancer's Grim Reality

Susan Gubar is a professor emeritus of English at Indiana University, Bloomington, and co-editor of The Norton Anthology of Literature by Women.
Donald Gray

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 9:55 am

Feminist literary scholar Susan Gubar was diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer in November 2008. She then began her emigration "from the world of the healthy to the domain of the ill," she writes in her book, Memoir of a Debulked Woman.

Ovarian cancer often goes undetected until it has spread throughout the abdomen, and is typically fatal. To slow the spread of the disease, Gubar underwent a procedure known as the mother of all surgeries — a radical debulking operation in which her ovaries, uterus, fallopian tubes, appendix and parts of her intestine were removed.

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From Our Listeners
1:31 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

Letters: New Graduates And Jobs, And Joshua Bell

NPR's Neal Conan reads from listener comments on previous Talk of the Nation show topics including the outlook for new graduates and jobs, guns and "Stand Your Ground" laws, and violinist Joshua Bell's new job.

Monkey See
1:22 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

DVD Picks: 'Pillow Talk'

Pillow Talk stars Doris Day (above) and Rock Hudson as a pair of strangers who butt heads and fall in love on a shared telephone line.
Universal Pictures

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 9:44 am

Time for another home-viewing recommendation from film critic Bob Mondello. This week, Bob's listening in on Rock Hudson and Doris Day as they make a bit of Pillow Talk.

What happens when the Girl Next Door meets Mr. Beefcake? It's instant chemistry, albeit of the explosive sort — think Mentos and Diet Coke.

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Around the Nation
1:20 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

'Gal Sports Reporter' Past Shakes Up Newsroom

Originally published on Tue May 1, 2012 1:31 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan.

In a piece in last month's Chicago Tribune, reporter Bonnie Miller Rubin described a message from an earlier self, a copy of the Davenport Times Democrat from 1973 that introduced her as that paper's first gal on the sports desk, complete with a photo of her in a short skirt jogging alongside the track team from a local college. In a column, her then-editor wrote: Please, no special treatment for her just because she's a member of the fairer sex. She joins us in a moment.

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National Security
1:14 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

John Brennan Delivers Speech On Drone Ethics

Originally published on Tue May 1, 2012 1:31 pm

In the first formal acknowledgement of what's been an open secret, White House Counter Terrorism adviser John Brennan publicly stated that the U.S. conducts drone strikes targeted on al-Qaida. In a speech at the Woodrow Wilson Center, Brennan opened many doors on drone strikes.

Asia
1:12 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

Scandals Test U.S.-China Relationship

Originally published on Tue May 1, 2012 1:31 pm

Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's China visit comes at a fragile moment in diplomatic relations. Some analysts describe the Chen Guangcheng and Bo Xilai incidents as a "perfect storm" that will test the relationship between the U.S. and China.

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