World

The Two-Way
5:03 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Loved Or Loathed, Hugo Chavez Was The Ultimate Showman

Always a showman, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who died Tuesday, sings folk songs with a mariachi group in the capital, Caracas, in 2005.
Andrew Alvarez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 6:26 pm

I first encountered Hugo Chavez in Caracas, starring in his own television show, Hello, Mr. President. I couldn't take my eyes of the program, which began at 11 a.m. and ended after 7 p.m.

It was an endurance test for even the most die-hard sycophants and terrific entertainment for a first-time viewer. While the camera would pan droopy-eyed Cabinet members seated in the front row, El Presidente showed no signs of flagging.

At the seven-hour mark, he chirped, "Bueno!" and declared, "It's early! Let's keep talking."

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This Is NPR
4:52 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Russell Peters Hearts NPR

Melissa Kuypers NPR

Comedian Russell Peters is in the middle of his "Notorious" world tour, an homage to his favorite rapper, the Notorious B.I.G. He took a break from the stage to talk with Tell Me More about his success as a comedian, and growing up in Toronto as the son of Indian parents.

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It's All Politics
4:47 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Obama's Outreach To GOP: More Optics Than Opportunity?

Republican Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire at the Capitol last month. The senators are among a group invited to dine Wednesday with President Obama.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 5:21 pm

President Obama recently acknowledged the obvious: He doesn't have the supernatural powers necessary to do a mind meld, Jedi or otherwise, with Republican congressional leaders that would lead to pacts on fiscal policy or anything else for that matter.

But if he doesn't have the power to force meetings of the minds with his Republican opponents, he can at least still get meetings with them.

Popping up on the president's schedule all of a sudden was a Wednesday night dinner at a Washington, D.C., hotel with a group of GOP senators.

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Dance
4:30 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Bolshoi Dancer Admits To Organizing, But Not Executing, Acid Attack

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 11:49 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's been nearly two months since a masked man in Moscow threw sulfuric acid in the face of the Bolshoi Ballet's artistic director, Sergei Filin. He suffered burns and his sight was damaged. Well, today, Moscow police announced they've arrested three men who have confessed to the crime and that includes a lead soloist with the Bolshoi.

The police released footage of the dancer after his arrest. He's 29-year-old Pavel Dmitrichenko.

PAVEL DMITRICHENKO: (Speaking foreign language)

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Shots - Health News
4:30 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Hear That? In A Din Of Voices, Our Brains Can Tune In To One

Scientists say that understanding how the cocktail party effect works could help people who have trouble deciphering sounds in a noisy environment. Guests make it look easy at a Dolce and Gabbana Lounge party in London in 2010.
Paul Jeffers AP

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 11:49 am

Scientists are beginning to understand how people tune in to a single voice in a crowded, noisy room.

This ability, known as the "cocktail party effect," appears to rely on areas of the brain that have completely filtered out unwanted sounds, researchers report in the journal Neuron. So when a person decides to focus on a particular speaker, other speakers "have no representation in those [brain] areas," says Elana Zion Golumbic of Columbia University.

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The Salt
4:29 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Can Milk Sweetened With Aspartame Still Be Called Milk?

Morgan Barnett, 7, drinks from containers of 1 percent milk and chocolate milk during lunch at a school in St. Paul, Minn., in 2006.
Eric Miller AP

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 10:45 am

The dairy industry has a problem. Despite studies demonstrating milk's nutritional benefits, people are drinking less and less of it.

Even children are increasingly opting for water or other low-cal options — including diet soda and artificially sweetened sports drinks.

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The Two-Way
4:28 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Arkansas Legislature Embraces Strictest U.S. Abortion Law

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 6:42 am

Arkansas has approved a law banning most abortions after 12 weeks of gestation, as both houses of the state's legislature vote to override a veto by Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe. The Republican-backed Human Heartbeat Protection Act will become the nation's most restrictive law.

In vetoing the Senate version of the bill Monday, Beebe said that it "would impose a ban on a woman's right to choose an elective, nontherapeutic abortion well before viability."

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Books
3:55 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Monsters, Myths And Poetic License In Anne Carson's 'Red Doc'

Anne Carson's newest book is called Red Doc>.
Peter Smith

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 6:42 pm

You don't read poetry. That's fine. Nobody does anymore. I'm not going to make you feel bad about that. But if there is one book I've pressed on more people in the past decade, it is Anne Carson's Autobiography of Red. And I'm here to tell you its sequel has just been published, and that it's pretty much the biggest event of the year.

Autobiography of Red was a novel written in verse, a crossbreed of poetry and prose that retold the myth of Geryon and Herakles, aka Hercules.

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All Songs Considered
3:31 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

We Get Mail: Picking The Perfect Travel Playlist

This little scamp gets ready for Norway's Trondheim Metal Fest by psyching himself up with the music of Napalm Death.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 2:14 pm

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Planet Money
3:27 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

If The Catholic Church Were A Business, How Would You Fix It?

Now that Pope Benedict XVI has officially gone into retirement, the next leader of the Catholic Church has a lot to consider, including finances.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 11:49 am

The next pope will be the spiritual leader of the world's Catholics. He will also be leading a multibillion-dollar financial empire. And from a business perspective, the Catholic Church is struggling.

We talked to several people who study the business of the church. Here are a few of the issues they pointed out.

1. Globally, the church's employees are in the wrong place.

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The Two-Way
3:26 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Sen. Rand Paul Launches An Old-Fashioned Filibusterer On Brennan Nomination

Sen. Rand Paul.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 11:31 pm

Sen. Rand Paul has been talking for hours on the floor of the Senate today in an effort to delay the nomination of John Brennan for CIA chief.

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A Blog Supreme
2:59 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Time Is On Their Side: Ageless Jazz Drumming

"Killer" Ray Appleton, a veteran drummer with the wisdom of experience and ageless swing.
Jimmy Katz Courtesy of the artist

I've been listening to two very good new albums led by drummers. After learning that both men are in their early 70s, I can't help but wonder how I process that fact in what I hear.

"Killer" Ray Appleton (b. 1941) and Barry Altschul (b. 1943) practice different styles. But they both came of musical age in the hard-bop era, spent many years living in Europe and eventually returned to New York. In other words, they've each got a lot of experience.

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The Two-Way
2:58 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Missing Soviet Soldier Found Alive In Afghanistan After 33 Years

Destroyed Soviet tanks and armored vehicles in Afghanistan, a grim legacy of Moscow's decade-long occupation that began in 1979.
Joel Saget AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 3:26 pm

More than three decades ago, Soviet soldier Bakhretdin Khakimov went missing in Afghanistan after he was wounded in battle with Afghan mujahedeen forces.

His whereabouts remained unknown until two weeks ago, when he was tracked down by a team from the Warriors-Internationalists Affairs Committee, a Moscow-based nonprofit that looks for Soviet MIAs in Afghanistan.

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Latin America
2:56 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Cubans Wonder If Aid Will Still Flow Following Death Of Chavez

Cuba's Fidel Castro was a mentor to Hugo Chavez, and the Venezuelan leader provided oil and other assistance to Cuba. The two men met in Havana in June 2011 when Chavez went for cancer treatment.
Granma AP

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 11:49 am

The death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is an especially tough blow for Cuba, whose feeble state-run economy has been propped up for more than a decade with Venezuelan oil shipments and other subsidies.

The Castro government has declared three days of mourning, calling Chavez "a son" of Cuba, but privately Cubans are quietly fretting about the potential loss of billions in trade and the threat of a new economic crisis.

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The Two-Way
2:56 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Economy Growing At 'Modest To Moderate Pace,' Fed Says

There was "modest to moderate" economic growth across the nation as the year began, the Federal Reserve says in its latest "beige book" review of conditions around the nation.

According to the central bank, five of its 12 districts "reported that economic growth was moderate in January and early February." Those five: Dallas, New York, Minneapolis, Richmond and St. Louis.

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Classics in Concert
2:49 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Carnegie Hall Live: Golijov's 'St. Mark Passion'

Osvaldo Golijov's St. Mark Passion at Carnegie Hall.
Melanie Burford NPR

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 10:42 am

PERFORMERS

  • Robert Spano, conductor
  • Orquesta La Pasion (Mikael Ringquist and Gonzalo Grau, leaders)
  • Jessica Rivera, soprano
  • Luciana Souza, vocalist
  • Reynaldo Gonzalez-Fernandez, Afro-Cuban singer and dnacer
  • Deraldo Ferreira, capoeirista and berimbau
  • Members of the Schola Cantorum de Venezuela
  • Maria Guinand, chorus director
  • David Rosenmeyer, music supervisor
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All Songs Considered
2:24 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

First Watch: Julianna Barwick, 'Offing'

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 5:38 pm

In a way, singer Julianna Barwick's ethereal voice and seemingly shapeless songs are a form of abstract art: colorful and curious, with lines that drift and flow in unexpected but beautiful directions. For her latest video, and a new song called "Offing," Barwick finds commonality in architect Philip Johnson's Glass House and a strange sculpture from artist Ken Price. Barwick performs alongside the sculpture for a live audience, filling the Glass House with layers of her sublime voice.

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Latin America
2:00 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Hugo Chavez: The Legacy Of A Polarizing Leader

Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 2:12 pm

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

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NPR Story
2:00 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

After Chavez, What's Next For Venezuela

Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 3:53 pm

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Lynn Neary.

And as I've just mentioned, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez died Tuesday. He led his country for 14 years. A passionate defender of the poor, Chavez had closed ties with Cuba's Fidel Castro, but alienated the United States with his socialist agenda. His politics reverberated throughout the region.

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Politics
2:00 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

The Political Fallout Of Sequestration

Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 2:05 pm

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Lynn Neary in Washington. Jeb Bush switches his views, Romney remarks on his regrets, and the president says he can't call on the force. It's Wednesday and time for...

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: A Jedi mind meld...

NEARY: Edition of the political junkie.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDINGS)

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.

VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: Where's the beef?

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