World

Around the Nation
5:01 pm
Sun March 10, 2013

Solitary Confinement: Punishment Or Cruelty?

A hallway at Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia. The prison, opened in 1829 and closed in 1970, pioneered the use of solitary confinement.
Jacki Lyden NPR

An estimated 80,000 American prisoners spend 23 hours a day in closed isolation units for 10, 20 or even more than 30 years.

Now, amid growing evidence that it causes mental breakdown, the Federal Bureau of Prisons has decided for the first time to review its policies on solitary confinement.

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Theater
5:01 pm
Sun March 10, 2013

'The Last Five Years' Returns To New York

Adam Kantor and Betsy Woolfe star in the current off-Broadway revival of Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years.
The Hartman Group / Second Stage Theatre

The Last Five Years originally ran off-Broadway in 2002. Cited as one of Time magazine's "Ten Best of 2001," it won Drama Desk awards for Best Music and Best Lyrics.

There are only two characters in the musical, Jamie and Cathy. Jamie is a young novelist and Cathy is a struggling actress. Told in reverse chronological order, the drama shows what happens when an artistic couple's romance fizzles out.

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Author Interviews
5:01 pm
Sun March 10, 2013

A Twin Carries On Alone In 'Her: A Memoir'

Christa and Cara Parravani were identical twins. When they were 28, Cara died of a drug overdose, and Christa spiraled into depression.

In her new book, Her: A Memoir, Christa explores their bond of sisterhood, which went beyond blood into the elliptical world of twinhood.

Both were artists, one a writer and the other a photographer. Both married young. Both lived through a hardscrabble childhood with a troubled mother. But Cara's path diverged after she was attacked and raped at age 24.

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Environment
4:18 pm
Sun March 10, 2013

Remembering Aldo Leopold, Visionary Conservationist And Writer

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 10:13 am

"There are some who can live without wild things, and some who cannot. These essays are the delights and dilemmas of one who cannot. Like winds and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted until progress began to do away with them. Now, we face the question whether a still higher 'standard of living' is worth its cost in things natural, wild and free." — A Sand County Almanac

A Sand County Almanac, a collection of essays and observations, was written decades ago by Aldo Leopold, the father of the American conservation movement.

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Law
4:07 pm
Sun March 10, 2013

Once On Death Row, He Now Fights To Defeat The Death Penalty

Kirk Bloodsworth was the first person in the U.S. to be exonerated by DNA evidence after receiving the death sentence. Convicted in 1985 of the rape and murder of a young girl, he was released in 1993.
Mladen Antonov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 10, 2013 7:35 pm

Maryland is about to become the 18th state to abolish the death penalty.

A bill has passed the state Senate and is expected to pass the House of Delegates easily with the governor's ardent support. The strongest advocate to end the death penalty in Maryland is Kirk Bloodsworth, who was convicted of murder in that state in 1985 and was the first person in the U.S. to be sentenced to death row then exonerated by DNA evidence.

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The Two-Way
4:00 pm
Sun March 10, 2013

Militants In Nigeria Kill Seven Hostages, Including Westerners

A man in Kano, Nigeria, reads a local newspaper Sunday that carries a story about the killing of seven hostages by a militant group.
Sunday Alamba AP

Militants in Nigeria have killed seven hostages, including three Westerners, in an act the British foreign secretary called "pure, cold-blooded murder."

The seven hostages — four Lebanese and one British, one Greek and one Italian citizen – worked for the Setrapo construction company. They were kidnapped Feb 16 from Jama'are, a town about 125 miles north of Bauchi, the capital of Bauchi state. Ansaru, a group that's an offshoot of Boko Haram, the militant Islamist movement, claimed responsibility for the killings.

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The Two-Way
11:35 am
Sun March 10, 2013

Afghan President Karzai Claims Taliban, U.S. Colluding

Afghan President Hamid Karzai said in a nationally televised speech on Sunday that the U.S. and the Taliban are holding talks.
Ahmad Jamshid AP

Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai claims the U.S. is holding talks outside Afghanistan with the Afghan Taliban.

The allegations come as Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel continues his first visit to the nation as Pentagon Chief – and after a deadly explosion in Kabul on Saturday that the Taliban called a message to the new defense secretary.

Karzai made his claims in a nationally broadcast address just hours before he was to meet with Hagel, reports NPR's David Welna, who is traveling with Hagel.

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The Two-Way
10:35 am
Sun March 10, 2013

The Queen Takes A Stand For Women, And Maybe Gay Rights, Too

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II will sign a new charter for the 54-member Commonwealth on Monday.
Ian Gavan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 10, 2013 3:59 pm

With a stroke of her pen, Queen Elizabeth II is giving royal support to equal rights.

Her majesty is expected to sign a new charter for the Commonwealth on Monday. The charter declares the core values for the 54 member states, most of which were once under British rule. It's getting attention for statements on gender equality and what it may imply for gay rights.

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The Two-Way
5:53 am
Sun March 10, 2013

In Ancient Aleppo, Plotting The Future

Syrians carry a large revolution flag and chant slogans during a protest in Aleppo, Syria, where young people and children sang songs against President Bashar Assad and the Syrian regime, Dec. 21, 2012.
Virginie Nguyen Hoang AP

A soft-spoken, clean-shaven, 31-year-old aid worker hopes to determine, in part, the future of Aleppo, Syria's largest city.

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Afghanistan
5:39 am
Sun March 10, 2013

Defense Secretary Hagel Navigates Afghan 'War Zone'

Originally published on Sun March 10, 2013 11:20 am

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is taking his first overseas trip since taking the top job at the Pentagon. He'll be visiting troops and key officials in Afghanistan. Host Rachel Martin speaks with NPR's David Welna, who is along on the trip.

Asia
5:39 am
Sun March 10, 2013

News From North Korea Careens From Terrifying To Ridiculous

Originally published on Sun March 10, 2013 11:20 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Afghanistan
5:39 am
Sun March 10, 2013

Sniffing Out Bombs In Afghanistan: A Job That's Gone To The Dogs

Military Police Sgt. Joshua Hancock and Nero, his Dutch shepherd, play at Forward Operating Base Frontenac in Kandahar province in southern Afghanistan. Nero is trained to sniff out improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, and to attack.
Sean Carberry NPR

Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 12:42 pm

Lucy is a stereotypically giddy black labradoodle. She's not what you picture when you think of a military dog serving on the front lines in Afghanistan. She wiggles around the room chasing her tennis ball and thinks my microphone cover is a chew toy.

But her handler, Spc. Heath Garcia, says when Lucy is on a mission, she's all business. She's highly trained to sniff out improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, which are the No. 1 killer of civilians and troops in Afghanistan.

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Music
5:39 am
Sun March 10, 2013

Musician Gustavo Santaololla: Exceptional Yet Incredibly Varied

Originally published on Sun March 10, 2013 11:20 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. It takes a special kind of person to blaze a trail. A bit later this hour, we'll hear from actress Rita Moreno about her amazing life from her childhood in Puerto Rico to the harrowing boat trip that brought her to New York City to becoming an acclaimed actress, singer and dancer and a mainstay of American stage and screen. But now...

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Arts & Life
5:39 am
Sun March 10, 2013

It's 'Literally' In The Dictionary

Originally published on Sun March 10, 2013 11:20 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We're going to take a moment now to talk about a word - yep, one word. Maybe you use it all the time or maybe you feel people use the word and it drives you up the wall. I'm talking about the word literally.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Sports
5:39 am
Sun March 10, 2013

The 'Pre-Gripe': How NCAA Seeds Its Tournaments

Originally published on Sun March 10, 2013 11:20 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

It is just one week until Selection Sunday. What is Selection Sunday you ask? Well, that is the day when the NCAA announces the teams that will compete in this year's men's basketball tournament. NPR's Mike Pesca wanted to give us a heads-up now before the griping begins about which teams made the cut and which didn't. Hey, Mike.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Consider this the pre-gripe gripe.

MARTIN: Yeah. I figured you might have some - I mean, you have a lot of issues - but you have specific issues with the NCAA selection process.

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Sunday Puzzle
12:33 am
Sun March 10, 2013

From A To Z

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun March 10, 2013 11:20 am

On-air challenge: Every answer is a word containing an A and a Z. Given anagrams of the remaining letters, name the word. For example, given "leg," the answer would be "glaze".

Last week's challenge: Eight people are seated at a circular table. Each person gets up and sits down again — either in the same chair or in the chair immediately to the left or right of the one they were in. How many different ways can the eight people be re-seated?

Answer: 49

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Pop Culture
12:03 am
Sun March 10, 2013

Thirty Years Later, Still 'A Good-Old-Boy Thing'

James Best played Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane, the bumbling minion of Jefferson Davis "Boss" Hogg, a corrupt county commissioner and the show's Big Bad. Rosco's dog Flash was played by a basset hound named Sandy.
CBS Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 10, 2013 11:43 am

They were good old boys, never meaning no harm, making their way the only way they knew how — Bo and Luke Duke, the central characters on The Dukes of Hazzard, one of the biggest TV hits of the 1980s.

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Three-Minute Fiction
6:04 pm
Sat March 9, 2013

Three-Minute Fiction: The Round 10 Winner Is ...

Lisa Rubenson of Charlotte, N.C., wrote our Round 10 winning story, "Sorry for Your Loss."
Courtesy of Lisa Rubenson

Originally published on Sun March 10, 2013 6:26 am

Did you leave a message after our prompt? For Round 10 of Three-Minute Fiction, we asked you to submit a short story in the form of a voice mail message. For this contest, the original fiction must be read in about three minutes, no more than 600 words.

After four weeks and more than 4,000 stories, we have a winner.

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Three-Minute Fiction
6:03 pm
Sat March 9, 2013

Sorry For Your Loss

iStockPhoto.com

Originally published on Sat May 4, 2013 12:24 am

Hi, it's me — Christine. I can't believe you still have this number. That I still remember it. But there's your voice on the machine ... like no time has passed. I'm so sorry for your loss, Nick, for your mom. Can anyone else hear this? [PRESS # TO ERASE AND RERECORD YOUR MESSAGE]

# Hi Nick, it's Christine. Christine Williams. Remember? It's been a long time. I called because — I know it's tough right now. I'm sorry to hear about the death of ... that your mom passed — try and say something real. [PRESS # TO ERASE AND RE-RECORD YOUR MESSAGE]

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The Two-Way
5:55 pm
Sat March 9, 2013

Venezuela Sets Date To Elect Chavez's Successor

A woman wipes photos of late President Hugo Chavez at a makeshift altar for him in the main square of Sabaneta, western Venezuela, on Saturday.
Esteban Felix AP

Originally published on Sun March 10, 2013 8:57 am

  • Listen to the full story on Hugo Chavez's legacy on All Things Considered

Venezuela's elections commission announced Saturday that voters will go to the polls on April 14 to choose a successor to President Hugo Chavez, who died this week after a battle with cancer.

The nation's constitution mandated that an election be called within 30 days of Chavez's death on March 5, but the scheduled date falls outside of that window. Nicolas Maduro, Chavez's vice president, was sworn in as interim leader on Friday.

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