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7:00 am
Sat April 14, 2012

'The Lifeboat': Who Gets Saved In Titanic Times?

Originally published on Sat April 14, 2012 10:25 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Now, a piece of fiction inspired by the Titanic's fateful voyage. In the weeks leading up to the anniversary of the famous shipwreck, a cluster of books have been released looking back on the voyage. But the book that caught the eye of NPR's Lynn Neary is invented. It's the story of a fictional shipwreck that occurred two years after the Titanic. It's called "Lifeboat." Here's her report.

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NPR Story
7:00 am
Sat April 14, 2012

Romney Talks Freedom At NRA Conference

Originally published on Sat April 14, 2012 10:25 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. Scott Simon is away. I'm Linda Wertheimer. After a long, turbulent primary season, Mitt Romney is now fully in general election mode. With Rick Santorum out of the race, Romney is trying to clarify the differences between himself and President Obama. He's also trying to nail down his support from the Republican base. NPR's Ari Shapiro reports from St. Louis on Romney's speech yesterday, to the annual convention of the National Rifle Association.

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World
7:00 am
Sat April 14, 2012

Ahead Of Summit, Obama Underscores Growing Exports

Originally published on Sat April 14, 2012 10:25 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

President Obama is in Colombia today, along with 33 leaders, gathered for the Summit of the Americas. During his visit, the president hopes to highlight growing economic ties within the region. On his way to Colombia, Mr. Obama made a swing-state pit-stop in Tampa, Florida.

NPR's Scott Horsley reports.

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World
7:00 am
Sat April 14, 2012

Secret Service Agents Recalled From Summit

Originally published on Sat April 14, 2012 10:25 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

As the Summit of the Americas gets under way today, there is one embarrassing incident which threatens to distract from international efforts to focus on trade and the economy. Twelve U.S. Secret Service agents have already been sent home for alleged misconduct involving prostitutes in Cartagena. The agents have been replaced and the Secret Service says its security plans at the summit has not been compromised.

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Latin America
7:00 am
Sat April 14, 2012

As Brazil Grows, U.S. Refits Relationship

Originally published on Sat April 14, 2012 10:25 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Now that President Obama is in Cartagena, he'll begin the conversations about trade and business opportunities in Latin America. But the Summit of the Americas is not the first meeting this week for President Obama and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

On Monday, Rousseff visited the White House. And after this weekend's summit, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will head to that Brazil's capital, Brasilia.

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Around the Nation
7:00 am
Sat April 14, 2012

Philly Residents Compete To Tear Down Illegal Signs

Originally published on Sat April 14, 2012 10:25 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Spring cleaning usually means clearing out your closet. But, it's more than that in Philadelphia. Spring-Cleanup is a city-wide effort with residents headed out today to tidy up sidewalks, streets and even utility poles. Many of them are covered with so-called bandit signs, advertising cash for junk cars and the like. From member station WHYY in Philadelphia, Elizabeth Fiedler reports on a competition to tear down as many of these illegal signs as possible.

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World
7:00 am
Sat April 14, 2012

World Powers Meet With Iran For Nuclear Talks

Originally published on Sun April 15, 2012 7:43 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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Europe
7:00 am
Sat April 14, 2012

Greek Orthodox Easter In A Time Of Austerity

Originally published on Sat April 14, 2012 10:25 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

Greek Orthodox Christians celebrate Easter at midnight tonight. It's traditionally the biggest holiday in Greece. But there is a cloud over the celebration. Reporter Joanna Kakissis sends us this postcard from Athens and the inner-city cathedral of Saint Lucas.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHANTING)

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Around the Nation
7:00 am
Sat April 14, 2012

Sanford, Fla., Sighs In Relief And Looks Forward

Originally published on Sat April 14, 2012 10:25 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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The Record
7:00 am
Sat April 14, 2012

Indian Record Label Hits The Road To Save Traditional Music

Sakar Khan with his kamancha in his home in Hamira, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. He's passed his favorite kamancha — the one he got from his father — to his son, Darra. But this one plays just fine, if he's the guy playing it.
Michael Sullivan NPR

Originally published on Sat April 14, 2012 3:24 pm

The number of major record labels is down to three. But that's not necessarily a bad thing when it comes to promoting music that's out of the mainstream. A label called Amarrass Records, founded in the Indian state of Rajasthan, is dedicated to exposing and preserving indigenous folk music before it disappears.

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Politics
5:42 am
Sat April 14, 2012

A Felon, But He'll Probably Be Re-Elected Anyway

Pennsylvania State Rep. Bill DeWeese (right) has been convicted of corruption but is running for re-election nonetheless.
Bradley C. Bower AP

It's been a rough stretch for Pennsylvania's state Legislature. Within the past two months, four onetime floor leaders have been sentenced, pleaded guilty or found guilty of corruption charges. But a jury verdict isn't stopping one of those legislators from running for re-election.

Former state House Speaker Bill DeWeese is campaigning for another term, though earlier this month, he gave a farewell address on the Pennsylvania House floor.

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Books
5:02 am
Sat April 14, 2012

'Prague Fatale': 'Downton Abbey With SS'

Penguin USA

Philip Kerr is a British novelist, born a decade after the end of World War II, who has written a series of compelling thrillers about crime in wartime Nazi Germany. His hero — mostly a hero — is a tough and cynical Berliner, a cop named Bernie Gunther. The newest book is the eighth in the series; it's called Prague Fatale.

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Author Interviews
5:01 am
Sat April 14, 2012

'Heretics': The Crisis Of American Christianity

iStock Photo

The United States ranks as the most religious country in the developed world. And New York Times columnist Ross Douthat says that despite our politics, debates and doubts, this country is as God-besotted today as ever.

But in his new book, Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics, Douthat argues that religion has fallen into heresy (hence the feisty subtitle). Douthat recently spoke with NPR's Linda Wertheimer about why he thinks American Christianity has become distorted.


Interview Highlights

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Titanic: Voyage To The Past
5:01 am
Sat April 14, 2012

History Lost And Found: A Letter From Titanic

Surviving officers of the Titanic recalled ship's doctor John Edward Simpson as perfectly calm in the face of death, even giving his pocket flashlight to one of the lifeboat captains.
Courtesy of Kate Dornan

Originally published on Sat April 14, 2012 1:36 pm

Many famous names went down with the Titanic, like the American millionaire John Jacob Astor IV, the wealthiest person on the ship, and Macy's department store owner Isidor Straus.

But you may not know about one of the ship's doctors — John Edward Simpson. Aboard the Titanic, Simpson wrote a letter to his mother back home in Belfast. It was mailed from the great ship's last port of call before it made its disastrous turn across the North Atlantic.

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The Salt
5:00 am
Sat April 14, 2012

Revealing The Revolting Beauty Of Food Waste

Watermelon | Place of production: Pilar de la Horadada, Alicante, Spain | Transporting distance: 2.442 km | Carbon footprint (total) per kg: 0,54 kg | Water requirement (total) per kg: 1490 L
Klaus Pichler

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:52 am

Isn't rotting food beautiful?

Nobody likes to see good food go bad. But Klaus Pichler's photography series One Third, which portrays food in advanced stages of decay, is a feast for the eyes — even if it turns the stomach.

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Asia
4:55 am
Sat April 14, 2012

World Smolders As Smoke Clears Over N. Korea

South Koreans watch a TV showing a graphic of North Korea's rocket launch at a train station in Seoul on Friday.
Jung Yeon-Je AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat April 14, 2012 8:32 pm

North Korea's decision to launch a rocket early Friday drew swift and widespread condemnation by the international community. The White House suspended a shipment of 240,000 tons of food aid to North Korea, and the U.N. Security Council, which quickly met, called the launch deplorable and said it violated two council resolutions.

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The Two-Way
4:00 am
Sat April 14, 2012

Secret Service Agents Pulled From Summit For Alleged Misconduct

Originally published on Sat April 14, 2012 4:41 pm

A dozen Secret Service agents tasked with providing security for President Obama at a summit in Colombia have been sent home for alleged misconduct involving prostitution, The Washington Post reports.

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Fresh Air Weekend
11:42 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

Fresh Air Weekend: R.A. Dickey, Carole King

Carole King was in a doo-wop group called the Co-Sines when she was a teenager.
Jim McCrary

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:


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Monkey See
11:01 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

The Fourth Stooge: Memories Of 'Uncle Shemp'

Originally published on Mon April 16, 2012 9:02 am

This weekend, the Farrelly Brothers' version of The Three Stooges arrives in theaters. You'll see plenty of Larry, Moe and Curly. But who won't you see? Shemp. Or, as NPR's Sue Goodwin calls him, "Uncle Shemp."

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It's All Politics
5:28 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

In Southwestern Pa., Two Conservative Democratic Incumbents Fight For One Seat

House Speaker John Boehner administers the House oath to Rep. Jason Altmire, D-Pa., on Jan. 5, 2011.
Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 4:55 pm

To get elected in southwestern Pennsylvania as a Democrat, it helps to be a conservative one. And because of congressional reapportionment, two conservative Democratic incumbents are facing off for a single seat in their party's primary later this month.

Rep. Jason Altmire and Rep. Mark Critz, who are vying for the state's 12th District seat, each oppose abortion rights and favor gun rights. Their race on April 24 may come down to the few issues that do distinguish the two congressmen.

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Making Babies: 21st Century Families
4:32 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

Ties That Bind: When Surrogate Meets Mom-To-Be

Surrogate Whitney Watts had her son, J.P., while her husband, Ray Watts, was at sea with the Navy. Surrogacy experts say it's crucial for surrogates to have their own children because they'd presumably understand the emotions involved in bearing a child. The couple for whom Whitney carried twins paid for all expenses during the pregnancy, including private health insurance.
Marisa Peñaloza NPR

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 4:55 pm

Second in a four-part report

As she approached her sixth month of pregnancy last year, Whitney Watts' cervix had started to shorten. It's a common problem with twins. Watts was concerned, and was taking care not to overexert herself.

But it's probably fair to say her condition was far more frightening for Susan de Gruchy, the woman who had hired Watts to be a surrogate because she and her husband were unable to conceive. Nearly 400 miles away, de Gruchy was obsessed with worry.

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Three Books...
4:23 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

Permanent Siesta: 3 Books To Whisk You Away

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 4:55 pm

One doesn't necessarily associate spring travel with heavy reading. For one, books are bulky luggage, the weighty enemies of economical packers; even an e-reader takes up precious space in one's overflowing duffel. And two, escapist migration to mountaintops or flowery fields or seaside locales for sun worship and meditative communion with nature connotes a markedly book-free environment, an escape from the office or the solemn halls of academe.

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Music Interviews
4:04 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

The Magnetic Fields: 'Out Late At A Bar, Writing A Song'

Stephin Merritt (far left) has led The Magnetic Fields since the early 1990s, with a songwriting style that ranges from sincere to bitter to ironic.
Marcelo Krasilcic

For more than 20 years, the indie-pop group The Magnetic Fields has been singing songs about love, though not always in the traditional sense. With a style that ranges from bitter to sincere to ironic, Stephin Merritt — the group's frontman, writer and producer — has created a growing cast of characters surviving love's vicissitudes.

In his characteristic deadpan, Merritt tells NPR's Linda Wertheimer that he owes the inspiration for many of those characters to a particular ritual of his.

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It's All Politics
3:52 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

Romney Wins Some Votes, If Not All Hearts, At NRA Meeting

Chris Patrie looks at the Benelli display of shotguns during the NRA annual meetings and exhibits Friday in St. Louis.
Whitney Curtis Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 13, 2012 4:27 pm

Some 70,000 people are attending the National Rifle Association's annual convention in St. Louis this weekend. It's hard to find any who support Barack Obama.

But that doesn't mean gun owners are completely sold on Mitt Romney. He may be the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, but many NRA members still harbor some doubts.

"I'd really like to see someone more pro-gun, but if he's all we got, he's all we got," said Kenny Hoehgesang, a retired power plant worker from Schnellville, Ind.

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Jazz
3:32 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

Alfredo Rodriguez: 'Crossing The Border' To Meet A Legend

Alfredo Rodriguez's new album is titled Sounds of Space.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 5:06 pm

In 2009, jazz pianist Alfredo Rodriguez showed up in Laredo, Texas, with only a suitcase, some sheet music and one aim: to collaborate with Quincy Jones. A Cuban seeking amnesty in the U.S., Rodriguez ended up arrested by Mexican border officials. He says they questioned him for hours and demanded money.

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Making Babies: 21st Century Families
3:29 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

Legal Debate Over Surrogacy Asks, Who Is A Parent?

William Stern holds his daughter, then known as Baby M, in 1987. The Sterns' surrogate tried to keep the baby after she was born. Their court battle became the first public debate about surrogacy.
M. Elizabeth Fulford AP

Third in a four-part report

These days it can take a village to create a child. Technology means someone who never thought they'd be able to conceive can use a sperm donor, an egg donor and a surrogate — a woman who bears a child for someone else. But the law has not kept pace with technology, and with so many people involved, a key question remains: Who is a legal parent?

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Europe
3:27 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

Tough Cuts In Portugal May Be Exacting High Toll

Retiree Alfredo Silva, 67, wore a skeleton costume to an anti-austerity protest in Lisbon, Portugal, last month.
Lauren Frayer for NPR

After a financial bailout earlier this year, fees in Portugal's health system have risen substantially. As a result, nongovernmental organizations say, the poor and elderly in Western Europe's poorest country can no longer afford essential care. Some Portuguese fear that austerity measures are threatening not only their livelihoods, but their lives.

Alfredo Silva, 67, showed up at an anti-austerity protest in Lisbon last month dressed as a skeleton. He says the costume shows the effect of Portugal's $100 billion bailout on retirees like him.

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Technology
3:15 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

It's Called 'As Hard As Rocket Science' For A Reason

An Atlas missile is launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla., in October 1964. Cape Canaveral has been the site of numerous launch failures as the United States developed missile and rocket technology.
Fox Photos Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 7:14 am

North Korea this week quite literally demonstrated an old truism, with the world as an anxious witness. It turns out that reaching space is, as the saying goes, as tough as rocket science.

The much hyped launch of the Unha-3 rocket, which North Korea said was meant to place a satellite into orbit to celebrate the centenary of the country's "Great Leader" Kim Il Sung, apparently failed Friday shortly after launch. It was the fourth time North Korea had tried and failed to do it, adding to the growing worldwide history of failed rocket launches.

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Animals
3:05 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

Searching For Nature's Time Machines in 'Relics'

In a new book, Relics: Travels in Nature's Time Machine, Harvard entomologist and photographer Piotr Naskrecki documents his travels, from New Guinea to New Zealand and beyond, looking for organisms whose genes can tell us something about conditions on Earth millions of years ago.

Television
3:04 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

'Airbender' Creators Reclaim Their World In 'Korra'

Korra demonstrates fire- and water-bending in The Legend of Korra, a new series from the creators of Avatar: The Last Airbender. It premieres April 14 on Nickelodeon.
Nickelodeon

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 4:55 pm

When M. Night Shyamalan's fantasy film The Last Airbender — panned by both critics and fans of the wildly popular TV series on which it was based — flopped majestically at the box office, it looked like the end of a valuable franchise.

But now, with The Legend of Korra, which premieres Saturday on Nickelodeon, the creators of Avatar: The Last Airbender have been given a rare chance to rebuild a world that was taken away from them.

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