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World Cafe
5:07 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Latin Roots: Bomba Y Plena

Nuyorican trombonist Willie Colon.
Courtesy of the artist

In the Latin music scene, there's always an innate pairing of the musical styles bomba and plena as one genre, but the two Afro-Puerto Rican genres are quite distinct. In this, the 27th segment of Latin Roots, Aaron Levinson discusses the birth of bomba and plena, as well as the different musical and rhythmic paths the genres have taken.

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World Cafe
5:07 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Graham Parker And The Rumour On World Cafe

Graham Parker and the Rumour.
Courtesy of the artist

More than 30 years have passed since the British band Graham Parker and the Rumour called it quits. While Parker never left music, he's always dismissed talk of a reunion with The Rumour — until now. The group is back with a new album, tour and high-profile film appearance.

Parker and The Rumour recorded and released their latest record, Three Chords Good, last year, and just wrapped up a handful of shows across Europe and the U.S. In addition to the album, the band also appeared as itself in Judd Apatow's latest movie, This Is 40.

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Author Interviews
5:01 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

In 'Sliver Of Sky,' Barry Lopez Confronts Childhood Sexual Abuse

Barry Lopez
David Liittschwager Barry Lopez

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 9:03 pm

Barry Lopez is known for writing about the natural world. His books include Arctic Dreams and Of Wolves and Men, where he explores the relationship between the physical landscape and human culture. But in a new essay in the January issue of Harper's Magazine, Lopez writes that he was sexually molested by a family friend when he was a boy, and says the man was never brought to justice.

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Sports
4:58 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Washington Redskins Fans Blame Coach For Quarterback's Injuries

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 6:26 pm

Audie Cornish talks to sportswriter Stefan Fatsis about news in the National Football League. They cover the injury of Washington Redskins' quarterback Robert Griffin III, new information about brain damage sustained by the late linebacker Junior Seau, and a preview of the weekend's playoff games.

Latin America
4:54 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Argentine Leader's Plane Grounded By Credit Holders

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 6:26 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

When Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner travels to Asia and the Middle East this month, she won't be flying on the official presidential plane. That's because Argentina fears the Boeing 757 jet known as Tango 1 will be seized when it lands by creditors, bond holders who hold sovereign debt that Argentina has defaulted on. So, instead of taking that risk, President Fernandez will be flying on a rented charter plane at the cost of $880,000.

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It's All Politics
4:53 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Experience Trumps Hope In Obama's Second-Term Cabinet Selections

President Obama nominates Jacob Lew to be his second-term Treasury secretary on Thursday at the White House.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 12:34 pm

A re-elected president who gets to choose a second-term Cabinet has much more knowledge of the kind of team he needs than he did the first time around.

That's one simple way to understand President Obama's decisions as he creates his Cabinet 2.0.

The choices are not those of a president-elect who hasn't moved into the White House, or of a green president who hasn't watched his first international crisis unfold from his leather seat in the White House Situation Room.

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Latin America
4:45 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Hugo Chavez Misses Inauguration Day, But Supporters Fill The Streets

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez remained in Cuba, where he's receiving treatment for cancer, and was not present for his planned inauguration in Caracas on Thursday. However, thousands of supporters gathered outside the presidential palace to show their backing.
Leo Ramirez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 6:26 pm

Three Latin American presidents turned up, as did foreign diplomats. And thousands of President Hugo Chavez's supporters flooded the streets Thursday outside the presidential palace in Venezuela's capital, Caracas.

But Chavez himself didn't show — he remained in Cuba, incapacitated after his latest round of cancer surgery.

Still, the carefully choreographed show did go on, and Chavez's aides said he remains in charge.

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The Two-Way
4:39 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Deadly Day In Pakistan: Dozens Killed In Multiple Blasts In Quetta

Pakistani police officers and residents gather at the site of a bomb blast that targeted paramilitary soldiers in a commercial area in the city of Quetta, killing 11 people. Later in the day, twin blasts at a snooker club in the city killed at least 80 people.
Arshad Butt AP

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 5:53 pm

Back-to-back bomb blasts in the Pakistani city of Quetta on Thursday have claimed the lives of at least 80 people.

"The death toll has risen to 81 so far," Mir Zubair Mehmood, a senior police official, said at a news conference. He said 121 people were wounded. His comments were reported by the privately owned Geo TV.

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It's All Politics
4:28 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Estimated Costs Drive Debate As Florida Weighs Medicaid Expansion

Florida Gov. Rick Scott speaks in Fort Lauderdale in May.
J. Pat Carter AP

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 6:26 pm

Florida and several other states are wrestling with a decision: whether to expand Medicaid.

When the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act last year, the court said states could opt out of that part of the law. But it's key. It would provide coverage to millions of low-income Americans who currently have no health insurance.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott says he's concerned about how much expanding Medicaid would cost. But others charge the governor is exaggerating.

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Health
4:20 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Speaking More Than One Language Could Prevent Alzheimer's

Scientists have found that bilingual seniors are better at skills that can fade with age than their monolingual peers.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 9:07 am

Not so long ago bilingualism was thought to be bad for your brain. But it looks more and more like speaking more than one language could help save you from Alzheimer's disease.

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Science + Technology
3:57 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Agreed, Baby Pandas Are Cute. But Why?

Tai Shan and his mother, Mei Xiang, enjoy frozen fruit treats at the National Zoo in 2006.
Avie Schneider NPR

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 1:05 pm

Xiao Liwu made his public debut Thursday at the San Diego Zoo. Fans crowded around the exhibit, their camera lenses extended, hoping to catch a glimpse of the 5-month-old giant panda cub. If they're lucky and actually do see the 16-pound panda (his Chinese name means "Little Gift"), there'll be much oooing and aaahing.

You'd have to be heartless not to agree that pandas, especially the youngest of them, are as cute as all get-out. Right? But why?

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Sports
3:25 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Baseball Will Test For Human Growth Hormone During Season

Major League baseball will begin random regular-season blood tests for human growth hormone, seen here in an injector pen holding about one week's worth of HGH doses at the clinic of Dr. Mark Molitch of Northwestern University.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 6:47 am

Major League Baseball will expand its effort to fight performance enhancing drugs to include random blood tests for human growth hormone and other substances during the regular season, under the terms of an agreement with the players union that was first reported by

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The Two-Way
3:03 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

What Does $1 Trillion Worth Of Platinum Look Like?

You'd need a lot of these — think in terms of railroad cars to haul them — to have $1 trillion.
Shannon Stapleton Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 3:06 pm

OK, OK. We know that you don't actually need $1 trillion worth of platinum to make this debt-defying coin.

But just for the sake of some financial fun, how much platinum would you actually need to mint a coin that contains a trillion dollars worth of platinum?

Turns out, it's probably more than mankind has available on the market right now.

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The Two-Way
2:29 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Study Of Junior Seau's Brain Finds Signs Of Neurodegenerative Disease

Junior Seau, seen here playing for the New England Patriots toward the end of his career, suffered from a degenerative brain disease, scientists say.
Otto Greule Jr. Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 3:19 pm

Junior Seau, the former NFL linebacker whose suicide last May at age 43 shocked fans and former teammates, suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a neurodegenerative disease associated with repetitive head injuries, according to a study by the National Institutes of Health.

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The Two-Way
2:14 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Obama Taps Top Aide Lew For Treasury

Jack Lew has been nominated to be the next Treasury secretary.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 2:57 pm

  • President Obama announces nomination of Jack Lew for Treasury

Saying he "cannot think of a better person" to take the job, President Obama this afternoon formally announced he is nominating Jacob "Jack" Lew, his chief of staff, to be the next Treasury secretary.

Word of Obama's decision to tap Lew, who previously served as budget director in the Obama and Clinton administration, broke Wednesday.

"Jack has my complete trust," Obama said.

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Food
2:11 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Moroccans Celebrate A Bountiful Year For Date Harvest

A Moroccan date harvester sorts his yield, which was well above average this year.
Jeff Koehler for NPR

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 5:38 pm

In the heart of the Moroccan oasis and palm grove of Skoura, west of Marrakesh, yellow and reddish dates dangled heavily from branches high above us. It's going to be a good year, a man harvesting dates said, offering me a handful of fresh, still-yellow fruit cut from the tree just moments before.

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The Two-Way
1:50 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

More Than 300 College Presidents Push For Changes In Gun Laws

President Elizabeth Kiss, Agnes Scott College (Courtesy of Agnes Scott College, copyright 2012)
Caroline Joe Courtesy of Agnes Scott College, copyright 2012

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 3:24 pm

As Vice President Joe Biden meets today with the NRA and other organizations, another group of American leaders is speaking out on the issue of gun safety.

More than 300 college and university presidents have signed an open letter to American lawmakers, urging immediate action to curb gun violence and reform gun safety laws.

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Afghanistan
1:48 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Small Strike Against Corruption: Afghan Governors Chosen On Merit

Deputy provincial governors and district governors selected under a new merit-based program are sworn in Tuesday in Kabul. The development is part of an effort to address rampant corruption in Afghanistan.
Sean Carberry NPR

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 6:26 pm

Regularly ranked as one of the most corrupt countries in the world, Afghanistan has implemented what for it is a novel new program: selecting provincial and district officials on the basis of their skills, rather than connections.

By all accounts, Afghanistan's corruption is endemic at all levels of government. It's hoped the new effort will begin to curb graft, patronage and nepotism in the country's 34 provinces and roughly 360 districts.

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The Two-Way
1:38 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Reports: Two Hurt, One Suspect In Custody After Shooting At Calif. School

An area is cordoned off outside Taft Union High School in Taft, Calif., Thursday. Authorities said a student was shot and wounded and another student was taken into custody.
Doug Keeler AP

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 6:33 pm

There was a shooting incident at a high school in Taft, Calif., this morning. Now that many reports have come in from the scene, it appears that two people were injured and a shooter has been taken into custody.

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It's All Politics
1:28 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

What 'Lincoln' Says About Today's Congress

Daniel Day-Lewis takes on one of America's most famous presidents in Lincoln.
David James DreamWorks

Lincoln may not be a political film for the ages, but it's certainly a movie that speaks to our own time.

Although the movie centers on the abolition of slavery, Lincoln taps into one of the deepest desires of our historical moment — the desire for politicians in Washington to get their acts together and compromise to succeed in passing major legislation.

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