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The Two-Way
5:52 pm
Mon September 3, 2012

'Green Mile' Actor Michael Clarke Duncan Dies At 54

Michael Clarke Duncan, seen here in 2010, has died at age 54 in a Los Angeles hospital. The actor appeared in more than 70 films, including blockbusters such as Armageddon and Kung Fu Panda.
Angela Weiss Getty Images for AFI

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 10:48 am

Actor Michael Clarke Duncan has died at age 54, according to his fiancee, the Rev. Omarosa Manigault. Known for his huge size and deep, resonant voice, Duncan received an Oscar nomination for his performance in The Green Mile, the 1999 prison film in which he starred alongside Tom Hanks.

Duncan's death was announced by Manigault, who in July said that she performed CPR on the actor after finding him in a state of cardiac arrest late at night.

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It's All Politics
4:52 pm
Mon September 3, 2012

Can Obama 'Reintroduce Hope' At Convention?

A delegate shows off her button on the eve of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
Jae C. Hong AP

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 5:55 pm

It's been a rough four years since Barack Obama accepted his party's nomination during a celebratory Denver convention that launched the freshman Illinois senator to the White House.

Recovery from the worst economy since the Great Depression has been excruciatingly slow. The national unemployment rate has remained stubbornly above 8 percent.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
3:58 pm
Mon September 3, 2012

Time Tells Its Own Story: A Labor Day Fable

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 5:06 pm

The astronomer in me will tell you that summer officially ends on Sept. 22. That's the date of the Autumnal Equinox, the point in Earth's orbit where the hours of day and night are equal. That definition is fine for a scientific understanding of the cosmos, but when it comes to experience, we all know that summer really ends on Labor Day. And in that division between the ways we meter time (for science or business) and the way we actually live time, there is a Labor Day lesson we might keep close to our hearts all year long.

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Middle East
3:53 pm
Mon September 3, 2012

Under The Shadow Of Jets, A Syrian Town Presses On

Syrians gather by the rubble of a house destroyed by shelling in the northern town of Azaz, on the outskirts of Aleppo, on Monday.
Muhammed Muheisen AP

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 3:12 am

Syrian air force jets bombed the rebel-held town of Al-Bab in northern Syria on Monday, killing at least 18 people, according to Syrian activists.

Over the summer, the rebels gained control of a number of towns and villages along the Syrian-Turkish border. Now, those places are being bombarded from the air and from the ground by government forces.

Azaz, in northern Syria's Aleppo province, is one of these places. There, the tombstones in the old section of the town's cemetery are laid out in neat rows.

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All Tech Considered
3:53 pm
Mon September 3, 2012

When A Kickstarter Campaign Fails, Does Anyone Get Their Money Back?

In seeking financial backers for her Ouya game console, Julie Uhrman was looking for about $1 million. The business received far more than that amount.
Kickstarter

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 2:48 pm

Crowd funding began as a way to support the arts on the Internet. Artists could go online to pitch a new album, for example, in the hope that thousands would give small amounts. But now it's expanded to entrepreneurs, and the rules aren't quite as clear.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:53 pm
Mon September 3, 2012

Romney And Abortion: Another Shift In The Works?

Mitt Romney proclaimed himself a strong supporter of abortion rights in state campaigns in 1994 and in 2002. Now, he says he opposes almost all abortions.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 11:48 am

Is Mitt Romney shifting his abortion position again?

It's fairly well-known that Romney proclaimed himself in favor of abortion rights when he ran for office in Massachusetts, then reversed himself before launching his presidential bid. But recently, the GOP nominee seems to be softening his opposition somewhat. Or is he?

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Afghanistan
3:53 pm
Mon September 3, 2012

For Afghan Girl, Going To School Is Act Of Bravery

Afghan girls walk home from school in Kunduz province earlier this year. Despite progress in recent years, girls who want an education face threats from the Taliban and other extremists, and sometimes even their own families.
Johannes Eisele AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 6:05 pm

In Afghanistan, girls are required by law to go to school. However, many of them never do.

Death threats, acid attacks and bombings by Taliban militants and other extremists lead many parents who support female education to keep their daughters at home.

Sometimes, it's the families themselves who stand in the way. School officials in conservative communities say relatives are often more interested in marrying off their daughters or sisters than in helping them get an education.

But some girls, like 18-year-old Rahmaniya, are fighting back.

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It's All Politics
1:57 pm
Mon September 3, 2012

Political Analyst: N.C. Could Be Key, Regardless Of Electoral Outcome In State

Preparations continue Monday for the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 3:51 pm

In 2008, Barack Obama became the first Democratic presidential candidate in more than three decades to carry North Carolina.

This week, as President Obama heads back to North Carolina to accept his party's nomination, polls show that he may be hard-pressed to repeat his Tar Heel State success of four years ago.

But in the state lies an opportunity for Obama, political analyst Charlie Cook said Monday during a poll briefing in Charlotte, where the Democratic National Convention opens Tuesday.

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It's All Politics
12:21 pm
Mon September 3, 2012

Why I'm A Democrat: Marion Barry, Washington's Mayor For Life

Councilman Marion Barry in 2009.
Stephen Boitano AP

Throughout the Republican National Convention, we asked people in Tampa why they were Republicans.

We're doing the same thing here in Charlotte, N.C. for the Democratic National Convention.

We started by asking Marion Barry, the former mayor of Washington, D.C. and current councilman.

He's always been a polarizing and controversial figure in politics.

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Asia
12:07 pm
Mon September 3, 2012

Pakistan's Transgenders In A Category Of Their Own

Malaika, 19, sits behind a friend while her makeup is applied at a friend's home in Rawalpindi. The transgender teenager got straight As in school before dropping out because of discrimination from her classmates. Now she dances at weddings and other parties for money.
Lauren Frayer NPR

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 3:53 pm

Urban Pakistan assaults your senses: tangles of traffic; Pakistani pop competing with the mosque's call to prayer; pungent spices in the steamy air. And then there are the transvestites.

At traffic lights, you see people draped in elegant pink and red clothing, with sparkling makeup. They tap their painted fingernails on your car window, asking for money. And that's when you notice the stubble on their chins.

"Begging here in traffic is just a part-time job," says 32-year-old Mina Mehvish. "I really want to be a dancer."

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It's All Politics
11:22 am
Mon September 3, 2012

'Now It's Our Turn': The Democratic National Convention Kicks Off In Charlotte

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on the floor of the Time Warner Cable Arena on Sunday.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Unlike what Republicans did in Tampa last week, Democrats will lay out a clear plan to get the country back on sound footing, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said during news briefing in Charlotte, N.C., moments ago.

Villaraigosa, who is the chair of the Democratic National Convention, said that by the time the convention wraps up Thursday night, the party will have crystalized its platform and explained that this election is about a stark choice.

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Business
11:03 am
Mon September 3, 2012

Which Workers Need Unions, And Which Don't?

Union shops in the private sector have dwindled in recent decades. Now, public union leaders worry that they're losing political clout, bargaining power and members. That raises questions about whether unions fallen victim to their own success. Originally broadcast on June 7, 2012.

Music Interviews
11:03 am
Mon September 3, 2012

Classical 'Rock Star' Joshua Bell Takes On Conducting

Classical violinist Joshua Bell is the conductor of the orchestra at the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields in London.
Ethan Miller Getty Images for The Smith Center

This interview was originally broadcast on June 7, 2012.

Joshua Bell, the violin prodigy who grew into what some call a classical-music rock star, has taken the helm of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, an English chamber orchestra based in London. Bell is the orchestra's first music director since Sir Neville Marriner, who created the group.

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Music Interviews
11:03 am
Mon September 3, 2012

The Day Buddy Guy 'Left Home,' Bound For The Blues

"I didn't learn nothing from a book," Buddy Guy tells NPR's Neal Conan. "I learned by ... being quiet, keep your ears open and listen."
Paul Natkin

This interview was originally broadcast on June 5, 2012.

Guitar legend Buddy Guy has been called the bridge between the blues and rock 'n' roll, as well as one of the most influential blues musicians in the world. Guitar icons like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan and countless others use words like "legend," "master" and "greatest of all time" to describe him.

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Music Reviews
11:03 am
Mon September 3, 2012

Miguel Zenon And Laurent Coq Play 'Hopscotch'

Miguel Zenon.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 1:57 pm

The new quartet album by alto saxophonist Miguel Zenón and pianist Laurent Coq is called Rayuela, which means "hopscotch." It's named for Julio Cortázar's novel, the fragmented tale of a wandering bohemian and his social circles in Parisian exile, as well as back home in Buenos Aires.

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Interviews
11:03 am
Mon September 3, 2012

Joan Rivers Hates You, Herself And Everyone Else

Joan Rivers says her material has only gotten stronger with age. "I always say, 'What are you going to do? Are you going to fire me? Been fired. Going to be bankrupt? Been bankrupt.'"
Courtesy of the author

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 1:57 pm

This interview was originally broadcast on June 11, 2012.

Joan Rivers doesn't hold anything back.

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Author Interviews
11:03 am
Mon September 3, 2012

Understanding History With 'Guns, Germs, And Steel'

A growing number of colleges are assigning all incoming freshmen a common book to read so they can discuss it when they arrive on campus.
iStockphoto.com

Freshmen "common reads" are becoming increasingly popular at American colleges and universities. Incoming freshmen are assigned the same book over the summer and are asked to come prepared to discuss the book in their first week on campus.

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The Salt
7:53 am
Mon September 3, 2012

No More Shame: Boxed Wine Now Comes In A High-End Fashion Purse

Vernissage is trying to revamp boxed wine to attract a more sophisticated customer.
Vernissage

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 3:14 pm

Ladies, if the thought of showing up at a party or a picnic with a box of wine seems a little gauche, there's now a product for you: Vernissage's "bag-in-a-bag" of wine. It's boxed wine, shaped like a handbag.

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The Two-Way
6:43 am
Mon September 3, 2012

Trucks Full Of Cash: U.S. Firms Make Plans For Greece Euro Exit

A woman walks past a closed branch of the ATE bank in Athens, on July 30 as employees of the bank went on strike.
Angelos Tzortzinis AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 7:41 am

European leaders have vowed to do all they can to keep the eurozone intact, but U.S. companies are making contingency plans in case Greece is forced to leave the currency union.

The New York Times said major U.S. banks and corporations are "preparing for what was once unthinkable" — Greece's exit from the eurozone:

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Around the Nation
6:43 am
Mon September 3, 2012

Stephen Brede, 61, Paddles Around Lake Erie

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep with congratulations to Stephen Brede. He climbed into a canoe on the Michigan shore of Lake Erie in June. Two months later he returned to the same spot from the opposite direction, having paddled around the entire lake. He says he camped onshore and sometimes residents took him in. The Petoskey News-Review says he now reports having paddled around three of the Great Lakes. And at age 61, he has two to go. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

Around the Nation
6:34 am
Mon September 3, 2012

Nicholas Cage Outed For Video Late Fees

Being in the video rental business is tough these days, and Old Bank DVD in Los Angeles goes after every last dollar. Actor Nicholas Cage owed more than $200 in late fees. The store outed him on Facebook, and he settled the debt.

Books News & Features
3:41 am
Mon September 3, 2012

Super Man, Wonder Woman: The New Power Couple

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 5:15 am

Dating can be difficult at the best of times, but if you're the Man of Steel it's near impossible — until now. The latest edition of Justice League gives Superman a romantic break by pairing him up with Wonder Woman. According to Justice League writer Geoff Johns, the relationship will definitely cause tension around the office.

Election 2012
3:04 am
Mon September 3, 2012

In Convention Run-Up, Obama Targets Three States

President Obama waves as he walks on stage during a campaign stop on the campus of the University of Colorado in Boulder on Sunday.
David Zalubowski AP

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 4:01 pm

President Obama holds a Labor Day campaign rally in Toledo, Ohio, on Monday, and then flies to Louisiana to inspect the damage from Hurricane Isaac. The Toledo rally is part of a long weekend of campaigning, leading up to the Democratic National Convention, which starts Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C.

The president held a rally with thousands of students at the University of Colorado over the weekend. Just five days earlier, he'd been at Colorado State. Obama is hoping to harness the cross-state rivalry between the schools in the service of his re-election campaign.

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Around the Nation
3:04 am
Mon September 3, 2012

Charlotte Braces For Democratic National Convention

A view of the skyline of Charlotte, N.C., on Sunday. Preparations for the Democratic National Convention are under way around Charlotte, where the party is expected to nominate President Obama to run for a second term.
Mladen Antonov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 3:56 pm

Delegates, journalists and protesters are beginning to fill the streets of Charlotte, N.C. The city has a lot riding on the Democratic National Convention, which gets under way Tuesday.

Hundreds of protesters paraded around the downtown area of Charlotte — which residents call Uptown — gathering in front of Bank of America headquarters.

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Around the Nation
3:03 am
Mon September 3, 2012

Fears About Shariah Law Take Hold In Tennessee

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 7:53 am

It's getting tougher to be a Republican in some parts of the country while also fully accepting the practice of Islam.

In Tennessee, an incumbent in the U.S. House found herself on the defensive after being called soft on Shariah law, the code that guides Muslim beliefs and actions. And the state's governor has been forced to explain why he hired a Muslim.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:02 am
Mon September 3, 2012

Can We Learn To Forget Our Memories?

Research shows that under certain circumstances, we can train ourselves to forget details about particular memories.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 6:06 pm

Around 10 years ago, Malcolm MacLeod got interested in forgetting.

For most people, the tendency to forget is something we spend our time cursing. Where are my keys? What am I looking for in the refrigerator again? What is that woman's name?

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Middle East
2:59 am
Mon September 3, 2012

With No End To Conflict In Sight, No Winners In Syria

Omm Ahmed, a refugee from Daraa, Syria, carries her infant near her tent at Zaatari Refugee Camp in Mafraq, Jordan, on Sunday. Syrian civilians have borne the greatest brunt of the conflict in their country.
Mohammad Hannon AP

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 5:15 am

The conflict in Syria is now nearly a year and a half old, and there appears to be no end in sight.

August was the deadliest month yet, with thousands of people, mostly civilians, killed in fighting around the country. While anti-government rebels are making advances, government troops are digging in their heels.

It started as a protest movement. Now, analysts in the U.S. and the region agree, the conflict in Syria is a civil war.

A Civil War

Even Syrian President Bashar Assad came close to acknowledging as much in a speech last week.

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Dead Stop
2:58 am
Mon September 3, 2012

A Resting Place For Hunting Hounds In Alabama

Franky Hatton and Cletis pose in front of the gravestones of Hatton's champion coon hounds at Coon Dog Cemetery near Cherokee, Ala.
Debbie Elliott NPR

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 5:15 am

Seventy-five years ago, Key Underwood and his raccoon-hunting dog Troop had a connection. Years of training and a deep relationship make human and canine a seamless hunting unit. The two can share a special bond.

So when old Troop died, Underwood buried him on the crest of a hill hidden away in the lush countryside near Cherokee, Ala. It was Underwood's favorite hunting spot. He marked the grave with an old chimney stone he chiseled with a hammer and screwdriver.

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NPR Story
2:57 am
Mon September 3, 2012

Once Denied A Purple Heart, A Soldier Gets Her Medal

Retired Army Major Michelle Dyarman holds the Purple Heart medal she was awarded after suffering a severe concussion from an IED in Baghdad in 2005.
Robb Hill for NPR

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 8:11 am

In 2010, NPR reported that some Army commanders refused to award the Purple Heart to many troops who got concussions in combat because they didn't consider these "real" injuries. As a result of our story, the Army did its own investigation and put out new guidelines on Purple Hearts. Last week, the Army told NPR that under the new rules, they've finally awarded the medal to almost 1,000 soldiers, including Michelle Dyarman, whom we profiled in our original 2010 reports.

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Politics
4:22 pm
Sun September 2, 2012

On Defense In Era Of Anti-Big Government Sentiment

In 1936, President Franklin D. Roosevelt was making the case that government was a necessary and positive part of American life. Contemporary Democrats are having less success with the argument.
Joe Caneva AP

Originally published on Sun September 2, 2012 5:57 pm

Democrats today, for the most part, balance between two slightly competing ideas: that government is part of the solution, while still acknowledging that it can be part of the problem. Meanwhile, they're up against a long-running Republican messaging campaign against "big government."

The concept of big government goes back to around the beginning of the 20th century. Princeton historian Julian Zelizer traces the idea to the Wilson administration and its initiatives, including the creation of the Federal Reserve.

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