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Shots - Health News
2:40 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Young Girls May Get More 'Teaching Time' From Parents Than Boys Do

Of Blocks And Books: Parents may be more likely to take a young daughter to the library than a son, and to read to the girl for longer periods of time, a new analysis suggests.
Hulton Archive iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 11:27 am

For some years now, teachers and parents have noted something about boys and girls. Starting in elementary school, young girls often score better on reading and math tests than young boys do.

The differences are uneven on different tests and do not describe the experience of every child, but empirical studies do document a difference.

Now, two economists are proposing a partial explanation for the disparity that might give some parents heartburn.

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National Security
5:04 pm
Sun May 5, 2013

The Hidden Cost Of The Drone Program

A model of a drone is hoisted in the air at a protest of the U.S. military's use of drones during a demonstration on April 3 in New York.
Don Emmert AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 3:02 pm

A faint light has begun to shine in recent weeks on the secretive U.S. program of drone strikes and targeted killings.

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The Two-Way
4:33 pm
Sun May 5, 2013

The Threat To Indonesia's Biodiversity, Foretold In The 1800s

British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace was not only a key figure in developing the theory of evolution in the mid-19th century but also had the foresight to call for saving endangered species.

Wallace, who died 100 years ago this year, did his most important research in the rich biodiversity of Indonesia, and his plea for preservation is even more compelling than when he wrote it.

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The Two-Way
4:04 pm
Sun May 5, 2013

Solar-Powered Airplane Completes First Leg Of U.S. Flight

The Solar Impulse takes off from Moffett Field NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif., Friday, as a team member rides an electric bike alongside the plane.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

The Solar Impulse, an airplane traveling across the United States using only solar power, is in Phoenix today, after reaching Arizona from California Saturday. It took the plane about 20 hours to travel from Mountain View, Calif., near San Francisco.

The aircraft is capable of flying at night as well as in daytime; the plane had about 75 percent of its battery power remaining when it landed in Arizona.

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Movies I've Seen A Million Times
4:02 pm
Sun May 5, 2013

The Movie Derek Cianfrance Has 'Seen A Million Times'

Actors Ray Liotta (from left), Robert De Niro, Paul Sorvino and Joe Pesci in Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas.
Warner Bros. Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 5, 2013 6:20 pm

The weekends on All Things Considered series Movies I've Seen A Million Times features filmmakers, actors, writers and directors talking about the movies that they never get tired of watching.

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Religion
3:08 pm
Sun May 5, 2013

A Search For Faith In 'Godless' Washington

The National Cathedral in Washington, D.C, is one of the world's largest cathedrals, and the seat of the Episcopal Church.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 3:03 pm

War has brought the act of faith to the forefront for those who occupy the White House. President Lincoln famously issued a call to prayer during the Civil war. Franklin Roosevelt announced D-Day to the nation with a prayer.

Today, President Obama receives a daily spiritual meditation. The man who sends those messages is a Pentecostal minister named Joshua DuBois.

When he first moved to Washington, D.C., DuBois says he had already formed an impression about the spiritual life of the town.

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Music Interviews
2:49 pm
Sun May 5, 2013

A Funky-Fresh Sound From Somalia, With A Political History

The cover image of Dur-Dur band's Volume 5.
Album cover

Originally published on Sun May 5, 2013 6:20 pm

Imagine the capital of Somalia, Mogadishu, in the 1980s. You can't, right? Neither can most music critics. That's why the recent re-release of a record by a popular '80s-era Mogadishu dance band has caught the attention of critics lately.

The founders of Dur-Dur Band now live in Columbus, Ohio. Weekends on All Things Considered asked members Abdinur Daljir and Sahra Dawo to go to a studio there — accompanied by an interpreter — to talk about the newly reissued record and the story that precedes it.

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Author Interviews
2:43 pm
Sun May 5, 2013

A Tale From The Delta, Born Of The Blues

Originally published on Sun May 5, 2013 6:20 pm

Bill Cheng's new novel, Southern Cross the Dog, is deeply rooted in the Mississippi Delta. It follows the story of one boy after he survives the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and spends the next few decades as a refugee, an abandoned orphan and then an itinerant laborer.

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The Two-Way
2:37 pm
Sun May 5, 2013

Malaysia: Entrenched Coalition Wins 13th Straight Election

Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak (second from left) celebrates his victory with a prayer on election day in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. His National Front coalition won a simple majority in the general election.
Nicky Loh Getty Images

The National Front coalition that has governed Malaysia for 56 consecutive years won a majority of parliamentary seats in a general election Sunday, extending its streak of victories that began in 1957.

Malaysian election officials reported a record voter turnout in Sunday's national election, as more than 10 million voters — or 80 percent of the electorate — cast ballots.

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The Two-Way
11:59 am
Sun May 5, 2013

Springs Fire May Be Fully Contained Monday, Officials Say

Elite U.S. Forest Service Hotshot firefighters walk the blackened edge of the Springs Fire near Camarillo, California. Citing favorable weather, officials say the fire could be contained Monday.
David McNew Getty Images

Firefighting officials in California are optimistic that they can get more of the Springs Fire under control Sunday, as for the second day cooler temperatures and higher humidity are expected to help their cause. The fire could be entirely contained by Monday, they say.

"Firefighters made progress overnight," member station KPCC reported this morning. "The Springs Fire is holding fast at 28,000 acres."

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The Two-Way
10:57 am
Sun May 5, 2013

British Member Of Parliament Says Rape Claim Is False

One day after being arrested over allegations that he raped one man and sexually assaulted another, a senior British legislator says the accusations are without merit. Britain's House of Commons Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans says the claims were made by people "who until yesterday I regarded as friends."

The complaints made against Evans accuse him of abuse in a period from July 2009 to March of this year. The men who filed the complaints are believed to have been in their 20s in that time span. Evans says that the two men who made the accusations know one another.

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The Two-Way
7:49 am
Sun May 5, 2013

Soccer Referee Dies, One Week After Being Felled By Punch

Soccer referee Ricardo Portillo died Saturday, after being struck by a player. Here, Portfillo, is seen holding a soccer ball, in a photo held by his brother-in-law, Jose Lopez, Thursday.
Rick Bowmer AP

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 9:11 am

A soccer referee who was punched by a player after calling a foul on him during a recreational soccer game in Utah died Saturday night, a week after he was hit once in the face. The suspect, who received a yellow card penalty from referee Ricardo Portillo, was arrested Monday and remains incarcerated, officials say.

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The Two-Way
4:27 am
Sun May 5, 2013

Long Hidden, Vatican Painting Linked To Native Americans

Centuries of grime was removed during the recent restoration, revealing the men with the headdresses.
Courtesy of Vatican Museums

For close to 400 years, the painting was closed off to the world. For the past 124 years, millions of visitors walked by without noticing an intriguing scene covered with centuries of grime.

Only now, the Vatican says a detail in a newly cleaned 15th century fresco shows what may be one of the first European depictions of Native Americans.

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Around the Nation
4:24 am
Sun May 5, 2013

A Splash Of 'Urban Ocean' On A Southern California Cruise

A cruise run by the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, Calif., exposes guests to the "urban ocean" in the country's biggest shipping terminal.
Kirk Siegler NPR

Originally published on Sun May 5, 2013 5:41 pm

A cruise run by the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, Calif., sounds like a picturesque summer outing. But the Urban Ocean boat cruise highlights the juxtaposition of a powerful port with a fragile ecosystem: You're just as likely to see trash as you are to see marine life.

In front of the aquarium, school kids are running around, eager to go inside and pet the sharks and see the penguins. There's also a marina, where a small passenger boat called the Cristina shoves off from sunny Shoreline Aquatic Park.

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World
4:24 am
Sun May 5, 2013

Foreigners At Home: Turkey Beckons To Germany's Turks

The euro crisis and Islamophobia are making Turkey more appealing to the descendants of Turkish immigrants who have been living in Germany.
Julian Finney Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 5, 2013 5:39 pm

In 1961, desperate to increase its labor force, West Germany signed an employment agreement with Turkey and launched a wave of immigration that continues to have repercussions today.

Now, after years of being treated as second-class citizens in Europe's economic powerhouse, large numbers of Turks — descendants of the first wave of immigrants — are returning to Turkey.

In A Strange Land

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Latin America
4:24 am
Sun May 5, 2013

Violence, Hardship Fuel Central American Immigration To U.S.

Honduran Army soldiers patrol streets in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, in April. Gang violence has many Hondurans fleeing to the U.S.
Orlando Sierra AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 4:03 pm

William Ordonez and his wife, Carolia, thought that starting a new business in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, was a great idea.

But just two weeks after they started selling chips, candy and soda, gang members showed up and ordered them to pay about $25 a week.

"We tried explaining to them that we just opened, we aren't making that much, we can't pay you," Ordonez says.

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The Sunday Conversation
4:24 am
Sun May 5, 2013

Former Detainee Talks Of Desperation In Guantanamo Bay

Libyan-born, former Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Deghayes was imprisoned from 2002 to 2007. While there, he went on three hunger strikes to protest his imprisonment. No charges were ever filed against him.
Shaun Curry AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 5, 2013 11:57 am

Omar Deghayes is one of hundreds of former detainees who have been released from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay over the past several years.

Arrested in Pakistan in 2002, Deghayes, a Libyan citizen, was held as an enemy combatant until his release in December 2007. No charges were ever filed against him.

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The Two-Way
11:57 pm
Sat May 4, 2013

Facility Near Damascus Attacked By Israel, SANA Says

An image taken from video obtained from the Ugarit News, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows an airstrike hitting the area around Damascus, Syria, early Sunday.
AP

Originally published on Sun May 12, 2013 7:25 am

Israeli warplanes attacked a military research center near Damascus early Sunday, according to intelligence reports and Syrian state media. The attack prompted Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al Mekdad to deem it a "declaration of war" by Israel, CNN reports.

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Middle East
4:28 pm
Sat May 4, 2013

Syrian Rebel Leader: We Won't Share U.S. Arms With Extremists

Free Syrian Army fighters sit behind an anti-aircraft weapon in Aleppo, Syria, in February. The rebels say U.S.-provided weapons would help in their fight against Bashar Assad's regime.
Abdullah al-Yassin AP

Originally published on Sun May 5, 2013 10:01 am

The Obama administration says it's considering providing arms to rebels fighting to bring down Syrian President Bashar Assad if the U.S. can confirm his forces did in fact use the debilitating nerve gas sarin in recent attacks. Coupled with news that Israel reportedly launched an airstrike at a target in Syria to prevent a shipment of missiles from reaching Hezbollah, these events could represent a game changer in the conflict-ravaged nation.

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The Record
4:28 pm
Sat May 4, 2013

Big Songs, Big Hype (Oh Yeah, They're Women)

Lauren Mayberry of Chvrches performs at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, in March.
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 12:19 pm

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The Two-Way
3:54 pm
Sat May 4, 2013

Star Wars Fans 'Use The Fourth' To Celebrate

Fans are celebrating Star Wars Day today, May 4. Here, actor David Prowse (center), who played Darth Vader in the first Star Wars trilogy, poses with costumed fans in France last week.
Thierry Zoccolan AFP/Getty Images

Today is May 4, unofficially known as Star Wars Day — seemingly for the lone reason that it presents an opportunity for people to tell one another, "May the Fourth be with you." But fans of the George Lucas films are also using the day as an excuse to break out costumes and photos, and generally let their Jedi flag fly.

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Around the Nation
3:52 pm
Sat May 4, 2013

Times Square's Naked Cowboy Wrangles Some Co-Workers

The original Naked Cowboy, Robert Burck (second from right), shows off with new naked cowfolk, from left, Karen Munos, Titus Gandy, Alejandra Quinones and Patricia Burck in New York's Times Square.
Margot Adler NPR

Originally published on Sun May 5, 2013 9:21 am

In the bustle and craziness of New York's Times Square on a busy afternoon or night, you will see scores of costumed figures: Batman, Elmo, the Statue of Liberty.

But for more than a dozen years, arguably the most original of these is the Naked Cowboy. His fame has now spawned a franchise, with eight different cowboys and cowgirls.

Almost anytime you go to Times Square, you will see the original Naked Cowboy in a white cowboy hat, white boots and white underwear briefs, with the words "Naked Cowboy" written across his butt. That's all he's wearing.

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Around the Nation
3:52 pm
Sat May 4, 2013

Schools On Military Bases Also Fall Victim To Sequester Cuts

Originally published on Sat May 4, 2013 4:28 pm

Transcript

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

It's been two months since the across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration officially went into effect. The decision on that was made here in Washington, but the effects are being felt all over the country. Take, for example, a chunk of money called impact aid.

JACK BOOGAARD: There's three different kids that can receive this type of money called impact aid.

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Interviews
3:52 pm
Sat May 4, 2013

Diary Of A Gitmo Detainee

Originally published on Sat May 4, 2013 4:28 pm

This week, Slate magazine published excerpts of the 466-page memoir of Guantanamo detainee Mohamedou Ould Slahi. It's a remarkable account of the interrogation methods that were used by the U.S. and their effects. Weekends on All Things Considered guest host Kelly McEvers talks to Larry Siems, who posted the memoirs.

The Two-Way
3:05 pm
Sat May 4, 2013

To Silence Discontent, Chinese Officials Alter Workweek

Protesters demonstrate against plans for a factory to produce paraxylene, a toxic chemical used to make fabrics, in China's Yunnan province on Saturday. In nearby Chengdu, planned protests were thwarted.
STR AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 5, 2013 5:03 am

How do you prevent protests in China? Move the weekend.

That's the Orwellian step taken by local authorities in the southwestern city of Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province. May 4 is a sensitive date commemorating an influential student movement in 1919. It's especially potent in Chengdu, where it marks the fifth anniversary of a protest against the construction of a $6 billion crude oil refinery and petrochemical facility in Pengzhou, 25 miles away.

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The Two-Way
2:34 pm
Sat May 4, 2013

Kentucky Derby: Rain-Soaked Track Awaits A New Champion

Joel Rosario rides Orb during the 139th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on Saturday in Louisville, Ky. The odds-on favorite won the race.
Morry Gash AP

Originally published on Sat May 4, 2013 6:01 pm

Update at 6:45 p.m. Orb Takes Derby Title:

Favored heavily 5-1 prior to the race, Orb has taken the title of the 139th Kentucky Derby Saturday at Churchill Downs.

The win gives Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey his first victory in the race for 3-year-old Thoroughbreds.

"It's like living a dream," Orb's jockey, Joel Rosario, told NBC after the race, calling it "a perfect trip."

The other top finishers were Golden Soul in second, Revolutionary in third and Normandy Invasion in fourth place.

Orb ran the 1 1/4 mile race in 2:02.89.

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The Two-Way
11:09 am
Sat May 4, 2013

Seven U.S. Troops Die In Attacks In Afghanistan

Originally published on Sun May 5, 2013 8:30 am

A roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan killed five members of the U.S. Army Saturday, according to military officials. The International Security Assistance Force says an improvised explosive device was used in the attack.

Update at 5:15 p.m. EDT. Another Deadly Attack:

An Afghan National Army soldier "turned his weapon on coalition troops in the west, killing two in the most recent of so-called insider attacks, the AP reports. NPR has confirmed that both victims of that attack are American.

Our original post continues:

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Sports
11:07 am
Sat May 4, 2013

A 'Decadent And Depraved' Derby With Hunter S. Thompson

When illustrator Ralph Steadman accepted an assignment with writer Hunter S. Thompson at the Kentucky Derby, he never imagined the weekend that would ensue. Here, Steadman depicts the race's winner, a colt named Dust Commander.
Ralph Steadman

Originally published on Sat May 4, 2013 5:27 pm

In the spring of 1970, a British illustrator named Ralph Steadman had just moved to America, hoping to find some work. His first call came from a small literary journal called Scanlan's. It was looking for a cartoonist to send to the Kentucky Derby. Steadman had heard of neither the race nor the writer he was to accompany, a fellow named Hunter S. Thompson.

Steadman hadn't read any of Thompson's work, and he certainly didn't know that the writer had a bit of a drinking tendency, but he agreed to go.

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Afghanistan
10:53 am
Sat May 4, 2013

An Unexpected Festival Paints A Different Version Of Kabul

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Several thousand young Afghans are attending a music and arts festival of their own this week in Kabul. NPR's Sean Carberry sent this postcard from the third annual Sound Central Alternative Music and Arts Festival.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: (Chanting in foreign language)

SEAN CARBERRY, BYLINE: While this is going on outside the French Cultural Center in Kabul...

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC AND CHEERING)

CARBERRY: ...this is going on inside.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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The Two-Way
10:38 am
Sat May 4, 2013

World War II Code Is Broken, Decades After POW Used It

As a prisoner of war, Sub Lieut. John Pryor encrypted information and requests for supplies in letters sent from a German camp to his family in Cornwall.
Plymouth University

Originally published on Sun May 5, 2013 5:04 am

It's been 70 years since the letters of John Pryor were understood in their full meaning. That's because as a British prisoner of war in Nazi Germany, Pryor's letters home to his family also included intricate codes that were recently deciphered for the first time since the 1940s.

Pryor's letters served their purpose in World War II, as Britain's MI9 agents decoded the messages hidden within them — requests for supplies, notes about German activities — before sending them along to Pryor's family in Cornwall.

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