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The Two-Way
4:38 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Obama Will Nominate Jeh Johnson To Head Homeland Security

Jeh Johnson in June of 2012.
Alex Wong Getty Images

President Obama will nominate attorney Jeh Johnson to be the next Homeland Security secretary.

Johnson recently served as the Pentagon's top lawyer.

Obama will announce his pick at 2 p.m. Friday, NPR's Scott Horsley tells us.

The Department of Homeland Security is currently without a leader. Former Secretary Janet Napolitano ended her stint six weeks ago. She left to become the president of the University of California system.

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From Scratch
4:23 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Joan Ganz Cooney, Co-Founder Of Sesame Workshop

Jessica Harris speaks with television producer Joan Ganz Cooney, co-founder of Sesame Workshop, a non-profit organization that develops children's shows intended to help children everywhere reach their highest potential. After, she talks with Stephen McDonnell, founder of Applegate Farms, a natural organic meat company.

It's All Politics
4:10 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

4 Things To Know About Cory Booker's Election

Sen.-elect Cory Booker of Newark, N.J., talks to supporters during his victory party Wednesday night. Booker was elected to fill the seat of the late Frank Lautenberg.
Julio Cortez AP

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 5:26 pm

Cory Booker's victory Wednesday in New Jersey's special Senate election didn't surprise anyone.

From the moment he captured the Democratic nomination in the reliably blue state, the Newark mayor was the heavy favorite to defeat Republican Steve Lonegan.

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Shots - Health News
3:59 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

How The GOP's Shutdown Over Obamacare Fell Short

Susan and Jack Cooper of Richardson, Texas, demonstrate against the government shutdown in Dallas this month.
Tony Gutierrez AP

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 5:44 pm

Remember how that fight over the budget was all about Obamacare?

Seems like ancient history now, but House Republicans ostensibly shut down the government 17 days ago, demanding first a defunding, and, when that failed, a year's delay in the health law.

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Economy
3:58 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Economists Fear 'Flying Blind' Without Government Data

The Federal Reserve headquarters in Washington, D.C., where the federal government shutdown left policymakers without key economic data.
J. David Ake AP

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 4:51 pm

Talk to economists about the government shutdown's impact on their forecasts and you'll hear this phrase again and again:

Flying blind.

For economists and investors, "at this moment, we are flying blind," said Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve and now president of Greenspan Associates LLC, a consulting firm.

Greenspan is not alone in feeling a little lost without the compass of government reports.

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The Two-Way
3:51 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Report: NSA Plays Crucial Role In Drone Attacks

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 7:00 pm

Basing its reporting on documents obtained by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, The Washington Post moved a story last night that details a close collaboration between the spy agency and the Central Intelligence Agency, when it conducts drone attacks against suspected terrorists.

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Parallels
3:12 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

India, China Top List Of Nations With Most Slaves

Child laborers wait to be processed at a safe house after being rescued during a raid at a factory in New Delhi by workers from Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Save the Childhood Movement) in June.
Kevin Frayer AP

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 6:45 pm

Nearly 30 million people live in slavery worldwide, with most of them in Asia and Africa, according to a report released Thursday.

The Walk Free Foundation's ranking incorporates factors that include the traditional definition of slavery — owning another person — as well as things such as child marriage and human trafficking.

Here are the highlights of the report:

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The Two-Way
2:30 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Post-Shutdown Palate Cleanser: Panda Cam Is Back!

The panda cub now weighs 5 pounds. This photo was taken Tuesday.
Courtney Janney Smithsonian's National Zoo

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 6:56 pm

If the ugliness in Washington left a bad taste in your mouth, we have the perfect palate cleanser.

The panda cam at the Smithsonian's National Zoo, which was shutdown along with the federal government, is back online. It means you can once again ogle the now eight-week-old cub and her mother, Mei Xiang.

The zoo writes:

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A Blog Supreme
2:23 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Five Songs By The 'Rhodes Scholar' Keyboardist Of Hip-Hop

Keyboardist and producer Bob James' 1970s work helped to establish the sound of smooth jazz — and lives on in hip-hop samples galore.
Courtesy of the artist

Professing love for Bob James' music can yield a side-eye in some circles. Jazz purists routinely view the keyboardist's 1970s period as a progenitor to smooth jazz — an idiom they frequently react to as if it were a sign of the apocalypse.

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Live in Concert
2:18 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Cults, Live In Concert

Cults performed live Wednesday at NPR Music's showcase at (Le) Poisson Rouge in New York.
Loren Wahl for NPR

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 1:27 pm

Set List

  • "High Road"
  • "Slow Song"
  • "Abducted"
  • "Always Forever"
  • "Were Before"
  • "You Know What I Mean"
  • "I Can Hardly Make You Mine"
  • "Go Outside"
  • "Keep Your Head Up"

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Shots - Health News
2:04 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Houston, We Have Dengue Fever

Mosquitoes like this Aedes aegypti female can spread dengue fever.
James Gathany CDC

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 5:03 pm

Dengue fever is in Houston. And it turns out the mosquito-borne illness isn't exactly a stranger there.

Dengue has been roaming around the city since 2003, according to a study published Wednesday. "There was dengue circulating, and we had no idea that it was here because we just weren't looking," says the study's lead author Dr. Kristy Murray of the Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital.

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World Cafe
2:00 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Tedeschi Trucks Band On World Cafe

Tedeschi Trucks Band.
Mark Seliger Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 3:47 pm

Two of the best roots rock musicians of their generation make an appearance on a special episode of World Cafe, which is hosted in NPR's Studio A at the organization's headquarters in Washington, D.C. Singer Susan Tedeschi and her husband, guitarist Derek Trucks, joined forces in 2010 and formed the Tedeschi Trucks Band.

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All Songs Considered
1:51 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

The Good Listener: How Do I Name My Band, Anyway?

Hoobastank has sold more than 10 million albums. Does it really matter what you call your band?
Courtesy of the artist

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the new Pokemon 3DS games that have zombified our once-expressive children is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, tips on how to name one's band.

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Television
1:31 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

'Dancing On The Edge' Is Fun For Both The Eyes And The Ears

Set in London in the early 1930s, Dancing on the Edge is a five-part miniseries about a black jazz band trying to crack the dance halls and radio playlists. Made for BBC-2, the episodes will air starting Saturday night on the Starz cable network.
Starz

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 4:52 pm

One of my most enjoyable parts of being a critic is steering people toward something so good, but so relatively obscure, that they might never have checked it out unless they'd been nudged in that direction. My personal best example of that, ever, was the imported BBC miniseries The Singing Detective, by Dennis Potter, about 25 years ago.

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Author Interviews
1:31 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Billy Crystal Finds Fun In Growing Old (But Still Can't Find His Keys)

Courtesy of Henry Holt and Co.

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 3:48 pm

Billy Crystal isn't happy about turning 65, but at least he's finding a way to laugh about it. His new memoir — Still Foolin' 'Em: Where I've Been, Where I'm Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys? — is on the best-seller list, and he'll be back on Broadway in November.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
1:18 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

What If They Opened A Dolphin Theme Park, And Nobody Came?

Demonstrators at a rally in Tokyo on August 31 protest against the start of Japan's annual dolphin hunt in Taiji.
Yoshikazu Tsuno AFP/Getty Images

Earlier this month, plans for a new marine theme park were announced for the town of Taiji, Japan. Sometime within the next five years, if the plans come to fruition, tourists will be able to observe and swim with dolphins and small whales. Then, while still in the park, they can eat dolphin and whale meat, all the time knowing that their park fees support the slaughter of dolphins.

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It's All Politics
1:12 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

A Look Back At The Shutdown, In Photos

Children from a Head Start program in Washington, D.C., join supporters and members of Congress on Oct. 2 to call for an end to the shutdown and to fund the comprehensive education, health and nutrition service for low-income children and their families.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 5:12 pm

The budget fight that led to a partial federal government shutdown finally came to an end late Wednesday.

For 16 days, beginning at midnight on Oct. 1, hundreds of thousands of federal employees were told not to come to work. Museums, monuments, libraries and parks were closed across the country.

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World Cafe
12:22 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Latin Roots: Choro With Aaron Levinson

Aaron Levinson.
Courtesy of the artist

Choro is a style of Brazilian music that's a hybrid of European and African influences. It started in the 19th century as the Portuguese flooded into Rio.

Grammy award-winning producer Aaron Levinson rejoins World Cafe for Wednesday's installment of the Latin Roots series, where he'll play examples of choro. One selection from the mid-1940s has a kind of Hot Club of France jazz feel, while a more modern example stems from Israel, where bands are keeping the form alive.

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Code Switch
12:21 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

A Photographer Turns Her Lens On Men Who Catcall

"Untitled."
Courtesy of Hannah Price

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 4:20 pm

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The Salt
12:21 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Pucker Up, America: Beers Are Going Sour

Hold Your Horses: The main flavor of a sour beer is tartness, like a strawberry or lemon. But many sours also have a "funky" taste that some say smells like a horse blanket or a barnyard.
Morgan Walker NPR

Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 10:57 am

Move over, bitter IPAs and chocolaty stouts. There's a new kid on the craft brewing block, and it's going to knock your salivary glands into action.

It's called "sour beer." When you take a sip, it's like biting into a Granny Smith apple that's soaked in a French red wine: crisp, refreshing and a bit odd.

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