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Politics
6:03 am
Sat July 20, 2013

Detroit's Comeback Story Proved Too Good To Be True

Former Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer, right, and former Gov. John Engler shake hands with Marian and Mike Ilitch during groundbreaking ceremonies at the site of the new Tigers stadium in Oct. 1997. At the time, Archer and Detroit were basking in favorable news coverage.
CARLOS OSORIO AP

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 6:16 pm

Detroit was supposed to be a showplace of the urban renaissance.

A little more than a decade ago, Detroit was widely touted as one of the great comeback stories in the country. It was a common theme in the mid-to-late-1990s, with a generation of successful mayors leading their cities back from the brink — which, in cases such as New York, Philadelphia and Cleveland, included near-collapses into bankruptcy.

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Shots - Health News
5:44 am
Sat July 20, 2013

Polio Eradication Suffers A Setback As Somali Outbreak Worsens

A Yemeni child receives a polio vaccine in the capital city of Sanaa. The Yemen government launched an immunization campaign last month in response to the polio outbreak in neighboring Somalia.
Mohammed Huwais AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 22, 2013 8:02 pm

Somalia hadn't had a case of polio for nearly six years. But in the past few months, the virus has come back. Now the East African country has the worst polio outbreak anywhere in the world.

Twenty new cases of polio were reported this week in Somalia by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. That brings the total number of cases in the Horn of Africa to 73. The rest of the world combined has tallied only 59 cases so far this year.

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It's All Politics
5:03 am
Sat July 20, 2013

5 Memorable Nicknames And The Politicians They Stuck To

Martin Van Buren, the eighth president of the United States.
AP

The race for governor in Virginia is attracting national attention for several reasons. It pits a former Democratic National Committee chairman against a conservative attorney general who helped lead the charge against President Obama's health care law. It's also one of the few high-profile statewide races happening this year, which means it will be closely watched for insights into the national mood ahead of the congressional midterm elections of 2014.

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Deceptive Cadence
4:02 am
Sat July 20, 2013

A Veteran's Piercing True Story Leaps From Page To Stage

The Long Walk, Brian Castner's memoir of PTSD and a difficult homecoming, will soon be an opera.
YouTube

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 5:26 pm

Iraq veteran Brian Castner wrote a book about his struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder for his kids, so they could someday know what he'd been going through when he came home from war.

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The Salt
3:58 am
Sat July 20, 2013

From Ramen To Rotini: Following The Noodles Of The Silk Road

In Turkey, bits of meat are wrapped in squares of pasta to make manti.
thebittenworld Flickr

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 6:22 pm

Popular lore has it that the Italian merchant Marco Polo was responsible for introducing the noodle to China. This legend appeals to Italians, but if you ask the Chinese, they may beg to differ.

In her latest book, On the Noodle Road, author Jen Lin-Liu chronicles a six-month journey along the historic Silk Road from eastern China, through central Asia, Turkey, Iran and eventually arriving in Italy, in search of the true origin of the noodle.

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News
3:57 am
Sat July 20, 2013

Detroit Businesses See Opportunity In Bankruptcy

The Detroit skyline gleams from Grand River Ave., a major thoroughfare into some of the city's blighted neighborhoods.
Carlos Osorio AP

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 3:48 pm

Few Detroiters think the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history is great news.

But plenty see it as an opportunity. Many Detroit business owners hope the bankruptcy will mean more stability and certainty, in a city that has had little of either in recent years.

Sandy Baruah, head of the Detroit Regional Chamber, says the bankruptcy filing did not come as a surprise to him, nor should it surprise anybody else.

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News
3:56 am
Sat July 20, 2013

Obama Breaks His Silence On Trayvon Martin Verdict

"Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago," President Obama told the press Friday.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 3:48 pm

President Obama broke his silence on the Trayvon Martin shooting case Friday, speaking publicly for the first time since a Florida jury acquitted George Zimmerman.

Obama didn't question the jury's not-guilty verdict, but he spoke in unusually personal terms about the history and experiences that shape the way African-Americans in particular see the case.

He spoke frankly about the pain the Trayvon Martin case has left, especially in the African-American community. He said that's a product of a common history that doesn't go away.

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Politics
3:56 am
Sat July 20, 2013

After The Senate Filibuster Deal: Still 'Room For Bad Behavior'

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., speaks Tuesday on Capitol Hill. After a compromise, Reid stepped back from a threat to strip the Senate GOP minority of its right to filibuster executive branch nominees.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 3:48 pm

It was the eve of a series of votes to end GOP filibusters of seven presidential appointees, and Democrats had vowed they would resort to the "nuclear option" and get rid of such filibusters altogether should any of those stalled nominees remain blocked.

All but two of the Senate's 100 members squeezed into the camera-free old chamber that the Senate used until just before the Civil War. Behind closed doors, they talked for more than three hours.

I buttonholed West Virginia Democrat Jay Rockefeller as he stepped out of that Monday night meeting.

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Code Switch
3:55 am
Sat July 20, 2013

Do Racing Snails Drive Racial Stereotypes In 'Turbo'?

Actor Michael Pena voices Turbo's human friend Tito, an ambitious character whose outlandish dreams don't seem to sync up with his brother's vision for their food truck and stand, Dos Bros Tacos.
DreamWorks Animation

Originally published on Mon July 22, 2013 9:03 am

After seeing the animated movie Turbo, Code Switch's Karen Grigsby Bates and Kat Chow reflect on the movie's attempt at showing diversity.

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It's All Politics
5:42 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Obama Explains Black America To White America

President Obama tackled race head-on in his first on-camera response to George Zimmerman's acquittal in the shooting death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 7:08 pm

The days are few and far between when President Obama has intentionally reminded us that he is the first African-American president.

Friday was one.

The president did something no other holder of his office has ever had the life experience to do: He used the bully pulpit to, as an African-American, explain black America to white America in the wake of last week's acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin.

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Law
5:20 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Florida Governor Stands Firm On 'Stand Your Ground' Law

Florida Gov. Rick Scott speaks to protesters Thursday in the Capitol in Tallahassee. Scott told the protesters that he won't ask lawmakers to revamp the state's controversial self-defense law.
Phil Sears AP

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 7:30 pm

In the days after a Florida jury acquitted George Zimmerman in the killing of teenager Trayvon Martin, protesters camped out at Gov. Rick Scott's office in Tallahassee, calling for a meeting.

When Scott met with protesters on Thursday, one of the group's leaders, Philip Agnew, asked the governor to convene a special session of the Legislature to look at repealing the state's stand your ground law.

"It is the time for leadership," Agnew said. "The world is watching. Most definitely, the nation is watching. And you have the opportunity to stand tall above the rest."

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The Two-Way
5:17 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Not All The News About Detroit Is Bad

This Detroit store's neon sign sends a message.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Even as newscasts and newssites are using Detroit's bankruptcy filing to talk about Motown's "meltdown," we've found these stories:

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The Two-Way
5:17 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

SEC Charges Hedge Fund Billionaire Steven Cohen

Steven A. Cohen, founder and chairman of SAC Capital Advisors, is interviewed in Las Vegas in 2011.
Steve Marcus Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 5:52 pm

The SEC on Friday filed civil charges against Steven A. Cohen, the founder of hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors, accusing the billionaire of failing to prevent insider trading.

The Securities and Exchange Commission in a statement Friday afternoon said:

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Movie Interviews
4:25 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Kristen Wiig: That Loud, Strange Lady Isn't Me

Kristen Wiig (with Darren Criss) stars in Girl Most Likely as a hard-luck case who learns how to reboot her disastrous life after she's forced to move back in with her mom.
Nicole Rivelli Roadside Attractions

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 5:12 pm

For seven seasons on Saturday Night Live, actress Kristen Wiig made us laugh — laugh hard — with her off-the-wall, over-the-top characters, from Sue, the woman who loved surprises a little too much, to the unnervingly exuberant Target Lady.

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The Two-Way
4:14 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

How President Obama 'Showed His Brother Card'

President Obama during his appearance at the White House on Friday.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 7:25 pm

(Click here for updates we added after this post was published.)

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Business
4:14 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

New Smartphone Upgrade Plans Can Be Costly In The Long Run

Nearly 60 percent of Americans have smartphones, up from just 8 percent five years ago.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 5:12 pm

Three of the four major wireless companies are out with new plans for those who want the latest smartphone sooner. The plans, with names like Verizon Edge and AT&T Next, essentially let you rent a phone for six months or a year and then trade it in for a new one — but there's a catch.

"You're paying essentially twice," says Avi Greengart, who is research director for consumer devices at Current Analysis and does some consulting for the industry.

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World Cafe
3:55 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Kassin On World Cafe

Kassin performs on World Cafe.
WXPN

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 4:54 pm

Kassin is an artist as well as an in-demand producer who works out of his own studio in Brazil with people like Marisa Monte and Arto Lindsay.

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World Cafe
3:40 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Bebel Gilberto On World Cafe

Bebel Gilberto.
The Windish Agency

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 4:54 pm

  • Listen To Bebel Gilberto On World Cafe

Bebel Gilberto may be the daughter of Joao Gilberto, one of the first bossa nova composers, but that's hardly her only claim to fame. Her album Tanto Tempo, produced by the electronic artist Suba, was a best-seller in Brazil throughout the 2000s.

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The Two-Way
3:35 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

John Kerry: A 'Basis' For New Israeli-Palestinian Talks

Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, West Bank, on Friday. Shortly afterward, Kerry announced a "basis" for the Israelis and Palestinians to resume peace negotiations.
Fadi Arouri Pool/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 21, 2013 7:45 am

Nothing ever seems to come easy in the Middle East, but Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday that there was "a basis" for a new round of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, which would be the first such talks in several years.

Kerry made the announcement in Amman, Jordan, after a series of discussions with Palestinian and Arab leaders.

"We have reached an agreement that establishes the basis for resuming direct final status negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis," Kerry said. "This is a significant and welcome step forward."

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World Cafe
3:27 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Vinicius Cantuária On World Cafe

Vinicius Cantuária.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 4:59 pm

As part of this week's Sense of Place: Rio series, World Cafe revisits a 2004 session with Brazilian singer Vinicius Cantuária. At the time, he was in the midst of a string of highly praised albums, beginning with 1996's Sol Na Cara.

In this interview, Cantuária discusses his love of Tom Jobim, moving to New York City in 1994 and how he feels somehow "more Brazilian" here in the U.S.

The Two-Way
3:17 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Chicago School System Plans More Layoffs

The Chicago Public Schools system is again in the spotlight after announcing late Thursday that it will lay off more than 2,100 employees — nearly half of them teachers. The laid-off educators account for 4 percent of the system's faculty, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

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Music News
3:14 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

A Secret Folk Music Holds Firm In China's Badlands

Zhang Junmin (second from right) and his band perform the Lao Qiang music special in northwest China's Shaanxi province. The character behind the stage means "drama"; Lao Qiang music used to accompany puppet plays and includes a strong storytelling component.
Courtesy of Wang Kuanren

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 5:12 pm

When Guns N' Roses released the album Chinese Democracy five years ago, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman commented that, questions of politics aside, the GNR sound just wasn't most Chinese folks' cup of tea.

"According to my knowledge," he said, "a lot of people don't like this kind of music because it's too noisy and too loud."

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Around the Nation
3:14 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Hot In The City: Manhattan Neighborhood Takes To Streets

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 10:30 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

If you looked at a weather map today, you saw a whole lot of red. Temperatures are in the upper 90s across the country and states in New England and the mid-Atlantic are sweltering in record-high temperatures. In New York City, parks are keeping public fountains running a little longer and gates opened a little later. Sarah Gonzales of member station WNYC spent an evening in the Inwood neighborhood on the northern tip of Manhattan to see how residents are coping.

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Arts & Life
3:14 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

What 'Edward Snowden' The Movie Would Look Like

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 5:12 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Of course, there is another American who worked for this country's intelligence gathering apparatus who's in legal limbo. The case of Edward Snowden, the former government contractor who leaked classified information to the media, is being followed internationally. Currently, Snowden is holed up in a Moscow airport while he tries to get temporary asylum, as he figures out a way to get to one of several countries that have offered him shelter from U.S. charges of espionage.

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The Two-Way
2:52 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Look Up And Smile: NASA's Taking More Photos Of Earth

That little blue dot is how Earth will likely appear in a photo shot from a spacecraft that is studying Saturn.
NASA/JPL-Caltech simulation

As Robert Krulwich says, "it's going to be a very small picture, but we're all going to be in it — all trillions of us on Earth."

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Race
2:45 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Transcript: President Obama's Remarks On Trayvon Martin Ruling

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 4:34 pm

President Obama's statement in the White House briefing room on July 19, as released by the White House:

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NPR Story
2:33 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Obama: Black Americans Feel Pain In Martin Verdict

President Barack Obama gestures as he speaks during the daily news briefing at the White House, Friday, July 19, 2013, in Washington, about the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman. (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 3:45 pm

President Barack Obama says black Americans feel pain after the Trayvon Martin verdict because of a “history that doesn’t go away.”

Obama spoke in a surprise appearance Friday at the White House, his first time appearing for a statement on the verdict since it was issued last Saturday.

Obama says African Americans view the case through “a set of experiences and a history that doesn’t go away.” He says black men in particular are used to being feared and blacks see a disparity in the way they are treated under the law.

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Parallels
2:06 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Brazil's Highflying VIPs Face Backlash Over Air Travel

A helicopter carries VIPs to the Brazilian Grand Prix in Sao Paulo in 2010. Politicians taking expensive helicopters and government planes have generated controversy in Brazil.
Jefferson Bernardes AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 6:57 pm

Unlike New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who often takes the subway to work, some prominent politicians in Brazil have a far more impressive way of getting around: private helicopters and government planes.

Perhaps the most over-the-top example of the trend is that of Rio de Janeiro state Gov. Sergio Cabral. A recent magazine expose showed that his commute to work is only about 6 miles.

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Shots - Health News
1:58 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

HPV Vaccination Might Help Reduce Risk Of Throat Cancers

Vaccines against the HPV virus are already used to prevent cervical and anal cancer.
Harry Cabluck AP

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 3:29 pm

A study of women in Costa Rica is raising hope that getting vaccinated against the human papillomavirus, or HPV, could lower the risk of throat cancers.

The research doesn't show that. It would take a much bigger and longer study to do that – if such a study could ethically be done at all.

What this study does show is that among the nearly 6,000 women in the study, those who got vaccinated against two strains of the virus had 93 percent fewer HPV throat infections four years later.

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NPR Story
1:47 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Iron & Wine's Sam Beam, In His Own Words

Singer-songwriter Sam Beam goes by the stage name Iron & Wine. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Singer-songwriter Sam Beam, who’s better known by his musical persona Iron & Wine, spoke about his influences, making art and his new album, “Ghost On Ghost,” after a performance at the Boston Public Library.

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