World

Music Interviews
5:08 am
Sun June 9, 2013

Tim McGraw: 'I'm Just Now Learning How To Be Good'

Tim McGraw's new album is called Two Lanes to Freedom.
Nigel Parry Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 2:16 pm

Tim McGraw has been a star long enough that he can look back on his early music and laugh a little bit. That goes for his hairstyles as well; ask him about the music video for "Indian Outlaw," and he'll tell you about what he calls "the mullet days." But that hit from his second album, along with the track "Don't Take the Girl," put his music career on a whole different trajectory.

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Parallels
5:05 am
Sun June 9, 2013

'Arab Idol' Finalist Delivers Sweet Music, Palestinian Pride

Palestinian performer Mohammad Assaf is a finalist on Arab Idol, which is filmed in the Lebanese city of Jounieh north of the capital Beirut.
Anwar Amro AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 16, 2013 8:18 am

In Palestinian territory, Mohammad Assaf's face is easy to find. Big posters of the dark-haired 23-year-old dreamboat smile at you along boulevards in Ramallah. And in Gaza, a giant banner of Assaf billows outside his family home.

Assaf's dad, Jabar Assaf, is bursting with pride.

"I'm very, very, very proud of my son. Besides singing so well, he is very polite, and he is studying at the university," Jabar Assaf says. "He's no street kid. I'm very proud."

So are many other Palestinians — including 16-year-old Abeer Ali.

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Theater
5:05 am
Sun June 9, 2013

Clothes Make The Man (And The Woman, And The Show) On Broadway

Laura Osnes, Santino Fontana and the ensemble of Cinderella — one of the Broadway season's more lavish musicals, whose costume designer, William Ivey Long, is nominated for his sixth Tony Award.
Carol Rosegg

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 6:37 pm

Part of what makes a Broadway show a Broadway show — read "splashy," especially if we're talking musicals — is the costumes. Some shows feature hundreds.

And a battalion of workers is involved in a highly choreographed backstage ballet, not just to keep the actors looking good but to help them change costumes almost instantaneously.

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Sunday Puzzle
4:56 am
Sun June 9, 2013

Follow Homer To Find Your Way

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 5:32 pm

On-air challenge: Categories are given based on the name "Homer," the name of a town in Alaska. Name something in the category beginning with each of the letters H-O-M-E-R. For example, if the category were "Chemical Elements," you might say Helium, Oxygen, Magnesium, Einsteinium, and Radon. You can give the answers in any order.

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The Two-Way
7:36 pm
Sat June 8, 2013

Construction Worker In Custody For Phila. Building Collapse

Sean Benschop, 42, is facing charges in connection with a fatal building collapse in Philadelphia on Wednesday.
Philadelphia Police Department

A construction worker has turned himself in to police in connection with Wednesday's building collapse in Philadelphia. The incident killed six people and wounded more than a dozen.

"Sean Benschop was demolishing a four-story building next to a Salvation Army thrift store, when part of the structure collapsed onto the store," WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler tells our Newscast Desk.

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Science
6:03 pm
Sat June 8, 2013

Aquarium Sculptors Create Coral For Conservation Awareness

Projected image of the complete Blacktip Reef exhibit.
Courtesy of the National Aquarium

Originally published on Sat June 8, 2013 10:42 pm

Most aquarium visitors are there to see sharks, sea turtles, fish and other marine life. But at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, there's another star attraction: Coral.

The Aquarium's Blacktip Reef exhibit will open later this summer, and give visitors a look at an Indo-Pacific coral reef. But curators can't just carve a chunk out of a wild reef to put in the vast tank, that would destroy the very ecosystem for which they hope to raise conservation awareness. And corals take hundreds of years to develop into a reef, so the aquarium can't grow its own in-house.

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Three-Minute Fiction
5:41 pm
Sat June 8, 2013

Beyond The Fence

iStockphoto.com

The love of his life had been married for five years before he met her, and dead for five days before he'd found out. Clandestine lovers weren't notified in the event of a tragedy. The police and medical examiners had waited days before releasing the names of those killed in the concert fire to the public.

The paper had published profiles of the victims, and that's where, halfway through his usual breakfast of a slice of toast and a banana, the news had found him.

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National Security
5:30 pm
Sat June 8, 2013

Week In News: Spying Suspicions Come To Light

Originally published on Sat June 8, 2013 6:03 pm

Revelations this week that the National Security Agency has been running an extensive domestic surveillance program involving companies like Google, Facebook and Apple has caused many Americans to ask what's left of their privacy. Guest host Tess Vigeland speaks with James Fallows, national correspondent with The Atlantic.

U.S.
5:30 pm
Sat June 8, 2013

Signs Point To Destructive Wildfire Season Ahead

Originally published on Sat June 8, 2013 6:03 pm

Transcript

TESS VIGELAND, HOST:

Authorities are still searching for a motive in yesterday's shooting rampage in Santa Monica, California. Santa Monica Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks said the alleged shooter had weapons with the capacity to fire 1,300 rounds of ammunition.

Meanwhile, north of Los Angeles, fire officials say the so-called powerhouse fire in the Angeles National Forest is 90 percent contained. Twenty-four homes were destroyed, and state officials say the blaze cost some $16 million to knock down.

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Movies I've Seen A Million Times
5:30 pm
Sat June 8, 2013

The Movie Nick Offerman Has 'Seen A Million Times'

Actors John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara in John Ford's The Quiet Man.
Getty Images Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 2:38 pm

The weekends on All Things Considered series Movies I've Seen A Million Times features filmmakers, actors, writers and directors talking about the movies that they never get tired of watching.

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From Our Listeners
5:30 pm
Sat June 8, 2013

Three-Minute Fiction Reading: 'Beyond The Fence'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat June 8, 2013 6:03 pm

NPR's Bob Mondello reads an excerpt of one of the best submissions for Round 11 of our short story contest. He reads Beyond the Fence by Matthew Campbell of Salem, Mass. You can read the full story below and find other stories on our Three-Minute Fiction page or on Facebook.

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Author Interviews
5:30 pm
Sat June 8, 2013

Time-Traveling Serial Killer Hunts For 'The Shining Girls'

Originally published on Sat June 8, 2013 6:03 pm

Over the last 15 years, the South African writer Lauren Beukes has been a journalist, a screenwriter, a documentarian — and most recently, a novelist. Her newest book is called The Shining Girls, a summer thriller about a time-traveling serial killer and the victim who escapes to hunt him down.

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The Two-Way
5:19 pm
Sat June 8, 2013

DNI Calls Reporting On Government Surveillance 'Reckless'

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee in April.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 8, 2013 9:08 pm

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper on Saturday said media reporting this week about government surveillance activities amounted to "reckless disclosures" that could hand terrorists a playbook to foil detection.

He said the surveillance measures are legal and said the reporting lacked full context:

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Music Interviews
4:58 pm
Sat June 8, 2013

A Rock Star, A Novelist And A Super-Producer Write A Musical

T-Bone Burnett, John Mellencamp and Stephen King are the creative team behind Ghosts of Darkland County, a stage show based on a true story of small-town tragedy.
Kevin Mazur Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 8:04 am

Comedian George Carlin liked to say that art doesn't have a finish line. The trio behind Ghost Brothers of Darkland County are the embodiment of that idea. Each is a superstar in his chosen field: rock music legend, best-selling novelist, record producer — trades they could have been content to pursue to the grave. Instead, they went and wrote a musical together, 13 years in the making.

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The Two-Way
4:00 pm
Sat June 8, 2013

For London Zoo Patrons, It's A Case Of Once Bitten, Twice Shy

A squirrel monkey at the London Zoo, photographed in December.
Carl Court AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 6:02 am

A "walk-through" enclosure at the London Zoo apparently allows visitors to get a little too close to resident squirrel monkeys and several people have the bite marks to prove it, according to details of a report published in a U.K. newspaper.

The Camden New Journal says 15 people suffered bites from the black-and-tan monkeys over a 12-month period last year.

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Politics
3:31 pm
Sat June 8, 2013

Our Surveillance Society: What Orwell And Kafka Might Say

News about data collection by the government sounds uncomfortably like prophetic novels of the past.
Alex Williamson Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 1:48 pm

President Obama says he's not Big Brother. The author who created the concept might disagree.

Addressing the controversy over widespread government surveillance of telephone records and Internet traffic Friday, Obama said, "In the abstract, you can complain about Big Brother and how this is a potential program run amok, but when you actually look at the details, then I think we've struck the right balance."

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This Is NPR
2:48 pm
Sat June 8, 2013

Joss Whedon Loves NPR

Melissa Kuypers NPR

Fans of writer/producer/director Joss Whedon don't just kinda like him. They REALLY LOVE him. He's responsible for shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly, and movies like Cabin in the Woods and The Avengers, as well as the un-categorize-able Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. This weekend he has a modern, black and white movie adaptation of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing in theaters. Whedon came in to talk to Morning Edition Host Renee Montagne about shooting the film in two weeks, entirely at his house.

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The Two-Way
2:41 pm
Sat June 8, 2013

Serena Williams Wins French Open, Clenches 16th Grand Slam

Serena Williams celebrates match point Saturday against Russian Maria Sharapova at Roland Garros in Paris.
Julian Finney Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 8, 2013 3:18 pm

Serena Williams has won her 16th Grand Slam title and her first French Open championship in more than a decade.

Williams beat Maria Sharapova at Roland Garros on Saturday, 6-4, 6-4.

The Daily Mail writes:

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The Two-Way
1:30 pm
Sat June 8, 2013

Authorities: China Bus Fire That Killed 47 Was Arson-Suicide

Photo taken Friday of the burned-out bus in Xiamen, China, where 47 people were killed in an apparent arson-suicide.
AFP/Getty Images

Police in China said Saturday that a suicidal man was responsible for a fire that swept through a commuter bus in the country's eastern coastal city of Xiamen, killing 47 people including the arsonist and injuring dozens more.

Authorities say 59-year-old Chen Shuizong left a suicide note at his home before setting the fire aboard the bus during Friday's rush hour. The official Xinhua news agency says he was "unhappy and pessimistic about his life, and planned the arson to vent personal grievances."

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Three-Minute Fiction
1:24 pm
Sat June 8, 2013

The Pomelo

iStockphoto.com

The man was so beautiful. He appeared to be stepping out of the ad on the side of the bus, his hair illuminated in sun. Amelia saw the little slip of paper burst from his pocket when he pulled out his keys. It flipped in the air once, twice before it caught against the cement stairs right in front of her. She quickly shut her mailbox with the very tiny key that made her feel oversized and fumbling.

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