World

Africa
7:57 am
Sat September 28, 2013

Sense Of Foreboding Lingers After Mall Bombing

Originally published on Sat September 28, 2013 11:28 am

Kenyans are feeling helpless a week after gunmen stormed a Nairobi mall in a carefully orchestrated terrorist attack. NPR's Gregory Warner looks at what we now know about those terrorists, including claims that a British woman was among the attackers.

Africa
7:57 am
Sat September 28, 2013

Al-Shabab Shifts Focus From Territory To Terrorism

Originally published on Sat September 28, 2013 4:05 pm

Al-Shabab has been around for years as a militia group fighting for territory in Somalia.

When al-Shabab militants, dressed in casual clothes, turned up in a ritzy shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya, last weekend and gunned down men, women and children, the group shifted from an insurgent movement to a terrorist organization.

"A week ago, al-Shabab wasn't in the news," says Bruce Hoffman, a a terrorism expert at Georgetown University and the Rand Corporation. "Arguably, outside of Somalia, no one really cared about them."

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Author Interviews
6:05 am
Sat September 28, 2013

On Eliot's 125th, His 'Waste Land' Hasn't Lost Its Glamour

American-born British poet and playwright T.S. Eliot received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948.
Chris Bacon AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 9:55 am

What do you get a Nobel Prize-winning poet for his birthday?

The poet, in this case, is T.S. Eliot, and this year he would have turned the intimidating age of 125. It's a tough question, but New Yorker poetry editor Paul Muldoon has got an answer: a new re-issue of the first edition of Eliot's groundbreaking poem, The Waste Land.

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Author Interviews
5:25 am
Sat September 28, 2013

I, Spy: Valerie Plame Makes Her Fiction Debut In CIA Thriller

Valerie Plame was outed as a covert CIA operative in a 2003 Washington Post column. Her story was depicted in the 2010 film Fair Game, starring Naomi Watts as Plame.
Dennis Cook AP

Originally published on Sat September 28, 2013 11:16 am

Vanessa Pierson, the heroine of Valerie Plame's first novel, is — ahem — "blonde, lithe, and nicely sexy." She is also a CIA agent, determined to lasso a nuclear arms dealer named Bhoot before he arrives at an underground nuclear facility in Iran.

But just as her informant is about to tell her where Bhoot will be, he's shot by a sniper who misses Vanessa — or does he simply overlook her? How will Vanessa Pierson halt the terrorists, protect the world and, by the way, also keep the secret of her forbidden romance with David, a fellow CIA ops officer with green-flecked hazel eyes?

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Music News
5:25 am
Sat September 28, 2013

'If It Swings': An Asian-American Jazzman's Pioneering Career

Gabe Baltazar (fourth from left) at New York City's Birdland Club in 1962, with members of Stan Kenton's band and the Count Basie Orchestra. The photo, from Baltazar's collection, is signed by Kenton (fourth from from right) and trumpeter Harry "Sweets" Edison (second from right).
Courtesy of Gabe Baltazar

Originally published on Sat September 28, 2013 11:16 am

Saxophonist Gabe Baltazar got his big break after Stan Kenton heard him playing in a college band and invited him to join his Orchestra in 1960.

"One of my biggest highlights in Stan's band was being featured on a beautiful standard tune called 'Stairway to the Stars,'" the 83-year-old Baltazar says. "He liked that tune, and he thought it would be my signature song. And throughout my career, four years with the band, I was featured on that and it was just great."

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
5:21 am
Sat September 28, 2013

Who's Carl This Time

Originally published on Sat September 28, 2013 2:18 pm

Carl Kasell reads three quotes from the week's news: A waste of Rhyme; secret crush; must-flee TV.

Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
5:21 am
Sat September 28, 2013

Not My Job: Consultant James Carville Gets Quizzed On Couples

Originally published on Sat September 28, 2013 2:18 pm

James Carville is a Democratic political consultant, a TV pundit, and one half of the most famous mixed marriage in the country — his wife is Republican consultant Mary Matalin.

We've invited him to play a game called "You're like two peas in a pod!" Three questions about freakishly similar couples.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
5:21 am
Sat September 28, 2013

Prediction

Originally published on Sat September 28, 2013 2:18 pm

Our panelists predict will be done with the new island off Pakistan.

Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
5:21 am
Sat September 28, 2013

Lightning Fill In The Blank

Originally published on Sat September 28, 2013 2:18 pm

All the news we couldn't fit anywhere else.

Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
5:21 am
Sat September 28, 2013

Limericks

Originally published on Sat September 28, 2013 2:18 pm

Carl reads three news-related limericks: Swiffer for men; magic bus; you call your mom with that phone?

Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
5:21 am
Sat September 28, 2013

Panel Round Two

Originally published on Sat September 28, 2013 2:18 pm

More questions for the panel: return of the nerds; chauvinist George; Houston, we have a problem.

Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
5:21 am
Sat September 28, 2013

Bluff The Listener

Originally published on Sat September 28, 2013 2:18 pm

Our panelists tell three stories about a place that has implemented a dress code, only one of which is true.

Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
5:21 am
Sat September 28, 2013

Opening Panel Round

Originally published on Sat September 28, 2013 2:18 pm

Our panelists answer questions about the week's news: Two-buck canned duck.

It's All Politics
6:50 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Countdown To Shutdown: Obama Says 'Gears Of Our Economy' At Risk

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 7:25 pm

Friday's highlights:

As expected, the Democratic-controlled Senate passed its own version of a short-term spending bill. It's the version the House approved last week, minus language that would defund Obamacare. That effectively tossed the ball back to the Republican-controlled House.

And President Obama warned House Republicans to avoid the twin disruptions of a government shutdown (at midnight Monday) and a debt default (in mid-October).

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It's All Politics
6:07 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Shutdown Politics, Bill Clinton-Style

President Clinton shakes hands with House Speaker Newt Gingrich prior to giving his State of the Union address in January 1996.
Denis Paquin AP

If the government shuts down on Oct. 1, hundreds of thousands of federal employees could be temporarily forced out of their jobs — and we will almost certainly begin to hear a few of their stories soon after.

On NPR's Tell Me More Friday, Ron Elving, NPR's senior Washington editor, reminded us of a Social Security Administration worker, Richard Dean, who was laid off during the 1995-96 government shutdown and thrust into the forefront of the budget debate by President Bill Clinton.

What made his story unique?

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The Two-Way
5:51 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Ex-U.S. Army Sniper Instructor Nabbed In Thai 'Hit Squad' Sting

Joseph Manuel Hunter (center) is escorted by Thai police commandos to Police Aviation Division after being arrested, in Bangkok on Thursday.
Sakchai Lalit Associated Press

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 6:53 pm

Two former U.S. Army sergeants are among those facing charges in connection with an alleged international hit squad after their extradition from Thailand in a case the prosecuting U.S. attorney says reads like a Tom Clancy novel.

Joseph Manuel Hunter, 48, nicknamed "Rambo," was arrested by Thai authorities after a sting operation led by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, along with Timothy Vamvakias and at least three others on the resort island of Phuket on Thursday.

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This Is NPR
5:36 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

A Fresh Weekend Sound For 'All Things Considered'

NPR Music's All Songs Considered Host Robin Hilton is not so sure this wig says "composer." Maybe something a little more Mozart-y?
courtesy of Robin Hilton

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 10:53 am

Last Saturday, All Things Considered's weekend show began coming to you from a new city, with a new host and also with fresh new theme music. Since it's not every day that NPR commissions a new show tune, we thought we'd check in with the maestro himself - NPR Music Host Robin Hilton - to find out how it all came together and the challenge he faced in writing a new arrangement of the classic.

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Middle East
5:17 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Amb. Power: Security Council Draft Plan On Syria Has Teeth

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 6:22 pm

The United Nations Security Council is considering a legally binding resolution that would require the Syrian government to give up its chemical weapons.

Samantha Power, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, says the U.S. is getting what it wants in the Security Council's draft plan, which calls for Syria to destroy its chemical weapons or face consequences.

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Middle East
5:17 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Aid Groups Say Relief Should Be Part Of UN Deal On Syria

UN Security Council diplomats are working on a resolution that focuses on ridding Syria of chemical weapons. Aid groups want the UN to go further and help them open up routes to get desperately needed assistance to Syrians uprooted by the civil war. They say the paralysis on the security council has had a real costs on the ground and has added to donor fatigue.

Middle East
5:17 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Obama Speaks To Iranian President Rouhani

In a press conference Wednesday, President Obama said he had spoken with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani by telephone, the first such contact between the leaders of the two nations since 1979.

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