World

The Two-Way
8:16 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Top Stories: Talk Of Action Against Syria; Fort Hood Jury Meets

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 1:21 pm

Good morning.

Our early headlines:

-- Obama: Time Frame For Possible Action On Syria Has Shortened.

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The Two-Way
7:33 am
Fri August 23, 2013

After Wild Start, Silence From Bo Xilai Corruption Trial

Bo Xilai, in white shirt, on Thursday during his trial on corruption charges at the Jinan Intermediate People's Court in China's Shandong Province.
Kyodo/Landov

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 1:19 pm

  • From 'Morning Edition': Anthony Kuhn on the trial of Bo Xilai

Chinese authorities clamped down Friday on information coming out of the high-profile corruption trial of one-time rising political star Bo Xilai.

As NPR's Anthony Kuhn reported on Morning Edition, during Thursday's opening day in court Bo appeared to run circles around the judges and prosecutors. He denied any guilt, claimed a confession he gave had been coerced and called the testimony of his own wife "laughable."

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The Two-Way
7:16 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Book News: Guantanamo Reading Material Spurs More Controversy

The detention camp at the U.S. military base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Michelle Shephard AP

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 7:24 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

N.B. — Book News is going on vacation next week. Your faithful correspondent will be in California sans laptop and praying that Jonathan Franzen doesn't choose that week to reignite any feuds with daytime talk show hosts. In the meantime, as always, leave your hot tips, scurrilous attacks and existential questions in the comments section or direct them to @annalisa_quinn on Twitter.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
7:03 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Obesity And The Toxic-Sugar Wars

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 7:32 am

For the first time in 30 years, obesity rates in the United States have remained flat. Given the grim numbers, that finding hardly counts as uplifting news. I like the way this inelegant headline cuts to the heart of things: "U.S. adult obesity rates holding steady, but still bad."

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Book Reviews
7:03 am
Fri August 23, 2013

A Little Onion Reveals Layers Of History In 'Good Lord Bird'

Hulton Archive Getty Images

"I was born a colored man and don't you forget it," announces Henry Shackleford in the opening pages of musician and author James McBride's novel, The Good Lord Bird. A manuscript, supposedly discovered after a church fire cleanup, offers the first person account of Henry, a young slave living in the Kansas Territories in 1857, as he becomes involved – reluctantly – with the anti-slavery forces led by John Brown.

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The Two-Way
6:46 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Obama: Time Frame For Possible Action On Syria Has Shortened

Syrian activists — many wearing gas masks — looked for victims and evidence Thursday in an area near Damascus where government forces allegedly used chemical weapons.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 2:05 pm

While the U.S. and its allies cannot move militarily against Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime "without a U.N. mandate and without clear evidence" that Assad's forces have used chemical weapons, the time within which a decision about such action must be made has been shortened, President Obama tells CNN.

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World
6:38 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Dentist Aims To Clone Former Beatle John Lennon

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 7:25 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene.

A Canadian dentist bought one of John Lennon's molars at auction for $31,000. And now, Michael Zuk plans to use the tooth to clone the former Beatle. The DNA sequencing is already underway. But cloning technology is not quite there yet, so Zuk is biding his time in other ways. He released a parody song called "Love Me Tooth," as in...

(Singing) Love, love me tooth.

Sorry, I just did that. What would John Lennon think of all of this? Probably just say, let it be.

Middle East
4:21 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Mubarak's Release From Prison Cuts Across Egypt's Divisions

Security forces and medics wheel a stretcher transporting former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak from a military helicopter into an ambulance at a Cairo military hospital after his release from prison Thursday.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 9:07 pm

In Egypt, members of the Muslim Brotherhood are trying to get supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi back into the streets.

But the military appears to be consolidating its power.

There were signs of Egypt's shifting fortunes on Thursday when former President Hosni Mubarak was flown from jail to house arrest in a hospital. A few dozen people celebrated outside the prison as Mubarak, 85, was ferried away by helicopter.

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Asia
4:21 am
Fri August 23, 2013

China's Big Political Trial Takes A Dramatic Turn

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 7:25 am

Chinese politician Bo Xilai is in court for a second day — accused of corruption and involvement in an attempted cover-up of his wife's murder of a British businessman. The trial opened on Thursday, and Bo put up a fierce defense. But on the second day, it appears he has been silenced.

Asia
4:21 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Regulators Monitor 'Serious Leaks' At Japanese Nuclear Plant

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 7:25 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant is back in the news more than two years after an earthquake and tsunami triggered a series of meltdowns. New leaks found this week prompted regulators to consider raising the alert level there in Japan. NPR's science correspondent Geoff Brumfiel joined us to explain. Geoff, good morning.

GEOFF BRUMFIEL, BYLINE: Good morning.

MONTAGNE: Why raise the alert level?

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Middle East
4:21 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Coach Insists Soccer Can Unite Egyptians

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 7:25 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Our next guest says the only thing that can unite all Egyptians is soccer. American Bob Bradley is coach of Egypt's national soccer team. They're closing in on a spot in next year's World Cup, something Egypt hasn't done since 1990. We reached Coach Bradley earlier in Cairo. Good morning to you, Coach, thanks for coming on the program.

BOB BRADLEY: No problem. It's good to be with you.

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Middle East
4:21 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Week In Review: The Latest On Egypt And Syria

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 7:25 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Mubarak's move to house arrest was just one development in a tumultuous week in the Middle East. The civil war in Syria also took a stunning turn. It appears chemical weapons were used in an attack on a rebel area on a far larger scale than anything that's been alleged before.

To reflect on the state of the region we called Shadee Hameed. He's an analyst with the Brookings Center in Doha and a frequent guest on our program. Good morning.

SHADI HAMID: Hi. Thanks for having me.

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Planet Money
3:24 am
Fri August 23, 2013

The Charity That Just Gives Money To Poor People

Bernard Omondi got $1,000 from GiveDirectly.
Jacob Goldstein NPR

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 1:41 pm

For more of our reporting on this story, please see our recent column in the New York Times Magazine, and the latest episode of This American Life.

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Deceptive Cadence
7:21 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Behind The Latest Round Of Bruised Feelings At The Minnesota Orchestra

The chairs are still empty in Minneapolis, but all sides in the Minnesota Orchestra dispute have been busy trying to snap up web domain names.
iStock

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 12:05 pm

In Minneapolis right now, even small matters have the potential to escalate — fast. Take the latest flashpoint in the Minnesota Orchestra's ongoing tribulations, which in about 24 hours has flared up a lot of ire in the classical community.

About a week ago, a semi-professional musician, blogger and longtime fan of the Minnesota Orchestra named Emily Hogstad was talking with some fellow Minnesota fans about the possibility of organizing a dedicated group of music lovers who want to see an end to the longstanding labor disputes at the Minneapolis-based ensemble.

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The Two-Way
7:17 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Chelsea Manning: Testing The Military On Transgender Issues

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, who now asks to be referred to as Chelsea, dressed as a woman in this 2010 photograph.
U.S. Army handout Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 10:06 pm

The case of Army Pfc. Bradley Manning tested many complex questions about espionage, journalism and even treason. But there was always one thing that lingered as a subtext to the case: Manning's struggle with gender identity.

On Thursday, when Manning announced that he wants to be known as Chelsea Manning, it became clear that the subtext would become the focus and that Manning will now likely test military policy on transgender issues.

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The Two-Way
6:50 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Justice Files Voter Discrimination Suit Against Texas

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said Attorney General Eric Holder was "wrong to mess with Texas."
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

The Justice Department has filed suit against Texas under the Voting Rights Act, claiming that the state requirement for voter identification discriminates against minorities.

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It's All Politics
6:00 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Polite Reception For Obama College Cost Plan Belies Hurdles

President Obama takes the stage at the University at Buffalo on Thursday.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 6:47 pm

The big idea in President Obama's new proposal for tackling the growing crisis in college affordability can be boiled down to this: linking federal higher education aid to a new grading system that would rate colleges and universities on the "value" they provide students.

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Ask Me Another
5:58 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Academy Award Thesaurus

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 11:56 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Now we're going to crown this week's grand champion. Let's bring back our winners from our earlier rounds. From Flip It and Reverse It, Matt Ragan. From Ted Talks, Lily Rothman. From Do You Believe In Something, Tracey Rhys. From Foodie Can't Fail, Emma Schwartz, and from I-plurals, Ann MacEwan.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: I'm going to ask our puzzle guru, Art Chung, to take us out.

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Ask Me Another
5:58 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Julie Klausner: The Pop Culture Maven

Julie Klausner.
Mindy Tucker

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 5:13 pm

The constant flow of celebrity scandals, blockbuster films and reality TV shows these days can seem overwhelming — and in some cases, quite trivial. So leave it to comedian Julie Klausner to make pop culture relevant. As the media ambassador for Vulture.com, the entertainment site for New York magazine, Klausner recaps shows like The Real Housewives reality series, makes weekly videos on pop culture topics, and appears on TV to discuss what's taboo and what's worth following.

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Ask Me Another
5:58 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

i-Plurals

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 9:53 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Let's say hello to our next two contestants, Mike Blejer and Anna MacEwan.

(APPLAUSE)

MIKE BLEJER: Hi.

EISENBERG: Hi to both of you. Anna, you are an elementary school nurse.

ANNA MACEWAN: I am.

EISENBERG: Who is known as the singing nurse. Because you sing all the time?

MACEWAN: Yeah. That's what they say. That's usually at the hospital that I do more of the singing, but not so much at the school.

EISENBERG: OK.

MACEWAN: Yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

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