This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. From NPR News, I'm Melissa Block.
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And I'm Audie Cornish.
It had been a relatively quiet tornado season, until last night, when 10 tornadoes touched down in Texas. The biggest hit Granbury, south of Fort Worth. The twister was a mile-wide with winds up to 200 miles per hour. Six people died and dozens more were injured. Rescuers spent today assessing the damage and going house-to-house searching for survivors. BJ Austin of member station KERA reports.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
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And I'm Audie Cornish. Turkey's Prime Minister Recip Tayyip Erdogan is visiting Washington today. After meeting with President Obama, the two leaders took questions from the press in the White House rose garden. As NPR's Ari Shapiro reports, the president took the opportunity to respond to some of the controversies that have been buffeting his administration.
We wanted to know more about how the IRS normally vets applications for tax-exempt status; how groups qualify and what the red flags might be.
Through the 1990s, Marcus Owens was the director of the Exempt Organizations Division of the IRS, overseeing these very issues. As he explained, 501c4 groups must prove to the IRS that their primary purpose is not politics but social welfare - the betterment of community over private interest.
A new report from the Justice Department's watchdog points to several lapses in the government's witness protection program. The most significant are that U.S. Marshals at one point lost track of two known or suspected terrorists; and that some witnesses inadvertently were not placed on a no-fly list and flew using new identities. The FBI says there are no known current threats from any witnesses.
We're going to take a closer look now at the trove of Benghazi-related emails that the White House made public late yesterday. The emails offer a behind-the-scenes look at how various agencies within the federal government worked to craft the talking points used to describe that attack last September. The talking points were initially developed for members of Congress, but they also provided a script for U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, as she made the rounds of the Sunday morning talk shows, including on ABC.
"He didn't have the same chops and virtuosic approach like Benny Goodman or Artie Shaw, but he told a deep story," says Lovano, who played with Herman early in his career. "He was a blues player from his heart, and really had a beautiful voice on alto saxophone."
Singer-songwriter Mieka Pauley makes her second appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live on the campus of West Virginia University in Morgantown. Born in Boston and raised in Kentucky and Colorado, Pauley told the audience that New York is the closest thing to a home she has now — not because she lives there, but because that's where her storage unit is located. "I'd like to pretend it's an artistic lifestyle ... but I made a series of bad choices."
Hundreds of underground passageways wind like a maze beneath the Egypt-Gaza border, providing a way for Gazans to maneuver around the 2007 Israeli-led economic blockade that took effect after Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip.
And while subterranean tunnels may seem like something out of a thrilling spy movie, the reality and practicality of these channels is somehow not surprising.
Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 2:04 pm
As a child in Bogotá, Edmar Castañeda and his sister took folk dance classes. Their mother made sure of that. Castañeda liked the dancing, but he really liked the live harp accompaniment. In Spanish, the harp is called the llanero. It's Colombian, not a classical harp.
Egyptian folk singer Dina El Wedidi performs at Qasr El Nil Theater during the Downtown Cairo Arts Festival. Wedidi says efforts to revitalize venues like the Qasr El Nil are important because there aren't enough places for musicians of the post-revolution explosion to perform.
Credit Mostafa Abdel Aty / Courtesy of Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival
"Cairo is a city that needs a lot of dusting," says Ahmed El Attar, director of the Downtown Cairo Arts Festival. Efforts are underway to try to restore the city's past cultural glory.
Credit Khaled Desouki / AFP/Getty Images
Emel Mathlouthi, known as the voice of Tunisia's revolution, performs at Qasr El Nil Theater. Her songs of freedom left the audience weeping.
Credit Mostafa Abdel Aty / Courtesy of Downton Contempary Arts Festival
Egypt's capital, Cairo, is now synonymous with protests and sometimes violence. Late at night, the once-bustling downtown streets are largely empty these days. People worry about getting mugged or caught up in a mob.
But the recent Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival is an attempt to revitalize the area with music, art and culture in the old and forgotten venues of downtown Cairo, like the Qasr El Nil Theater.
What is it like to be suddenly and irreversibly thrust into the public spotlight for something truly horrible done by a relative?
"I could hear my last name being whispered in the hallway, and I heard 'murder,' just under people's breath," says Melissa Moore, daughter of Keith Hunter Jesperson, who was sentenced to life in prison for the killing of at least eight women over a five-year period.
When the Senate voted Tuesday to make Marilyn Tavenner the official administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, it was the first time the world's greatest deliberative body had approved someone to head the huge health agency since 2004.
That's right, you have to go way back to the Bush administration to find Dr. Mark McClellan, the last person to be officially put in the post.
This week, Google, already a leader in mapping, created more space between itself and its competitors by more deeply mining the data users provide the company when using its various services.
At the Google developers' conference in San Francisco on Wednesday, Daniel Graf, director of Google Maps, crowed about the company's mapping app for the iPhone — and couldn't quite stop himself from taking a dig at Apple.
"People called it sleek, simple, beautiful, and let's not forget, accurate," he said.