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The Record
10:12 pm
Sun August 5, 2012

Chavela Vargas, Legendary Ranchera Singer, Dies

Chavela Vargas performing in Buenos Aires in 2004.
STR/AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 7:23 pm

A legend of Latin American song has died. Chavela Vargas was a cultural icon across the Spanish-speaking world, with a voice that redefined notions of beauty and an attitude that brashly bent gender roles. Vargas died Sunday; she was 93.

She was born Isabel Vargas Lizano in Costa Rica, but audiences knew her as Chavela, a hard-partying, rabble-rousing, fiery singer who adopted Mexico as her homeland and began singing on the streets in her early teens.

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Space
5:55 pm
Sun August 5, 2012

Life On Mars? Try One Of Saturn's Moons Instead

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 6:46 pm

One of the things the Mars rover will look for is organic molecules that could at least indicate whether there was once life on the Red Planet. But if searching for life in outer space is the goal, many scientists now say we might have better luck elsewhere — specifically one of Saturn's moons, Enceladus.

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Election 2012
5:17 pm
Sun August 5, 2012

Could 2012 Be The Year Of The Asian Voter?

Mitt Romney and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell were featured on the front page of a Chinese-language newspaper following a visit to the Northern Virginia's Asian-American community in June. Such engagements with the Asian community helped McDonnell win his current office.
Courtesy of Peter Su

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 5:33 pm

There's a man in Virginia who could quite possibly hold the key to a Mitt Romney victory in November.

His name? Peter Su.

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Space
4:33 pm
Sun August 5, 2012

Waiting For A Sign: Mars Rover To Land On Its Own

An artist's concept of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft depicts the final minute before the rover, Curiosity, touches down on the surface of Mars.
NASA/JPL-Caltech

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 11:49 pm

If all goes according to plan, the Mars Science Laboratory, nicknamed Curiosity, will land gently on Mars at 10:31 PDT Sunday night. The rover's entry, descent and landing will last for a total of seven minutes. During that time, the rover must slow down from 13,000 mph to a dead-stop touchdown on the surface of Mars.

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Music Interviews
4:17 pm
Sun August 5, 2012

Billy Edd Wheeler: 'I Can't Rock Anymore, But I Can Still Roll'

At his peak in the 1960s, Billy Edd Wheeler was writing songs for the likes of Johnny Cash, Neil Young, Elvis Presley and Hazel Dickens.
GAB Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 7:34 am

Even if you've never heard of Billy Edd Wheeler, you might recognize "Jackson," a song he wrote with the help of songwriting heavyweights Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller back in 1963. It was a Top 20 pop hit for Lee Hazelwood and Nancy Sinatra in 1967, and got to No. 2 on the country charts that same year in a version by Johnny Cash and June Carter.

" 'Jackson' is a fun song," Wheeler says. "It's been my most famous and most lucrative song. It helped build our house."

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The Record
4:16 pm
Sun August 5, 2012

On Bob Dylan And Jonah Lehrer, Two Fabulists

Bob Dylan at a press conference at the Savoy Hotel in London in 1966.
Fiona Adams Redferns/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 7:24 pm

Yesterday my husband and I had the same thought at the same time. It's not an uncommon occurrence for two writers who've spent decades arguing and enthusing about pop music. I mention it, in part, to stave off accusations that I'm plagiarizing from a nearby source, but also because I think what we reflected upon in light of the writer Jonah Lehrer's fatal mistake was probably in the minds of many music obsessives.

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The Torch
3:36 pm
Sun August 5, 2012

Usain Bolt Will Defend His Title As 'World's Fastest Man'

Jamaica's Usain Bolt celebrates after winning the men's 100m final at the London Games on Sunday.
Christophe Simon AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 11:31 am

Usain Bolt is still the "world's fastest man."

The Jamaican sprinter has won the men's 100-meter race in an Olympic record time of 9.63 seconds. Just after 4:50 p.m. ET, he successfully defended the gold medal he won four years ago in Beijing.

Jamaica's Yohan Blake came in second today, giving him the silver medal. American Justin Gatlin was third, meaning he gets the bronze.

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Deceptive Cadence
3:30 pm
Sun August 5, 2012

Headbanging Bruckner And Debussy In Black And White: New Classical Albums

The young pianist Inon Barnatan plays Debussy and Ravel with striking assurance.
Avie Records

Originally published on Tue August 7, 2012 5:14 pm

Some people are intimidated by the vastness of classical music. And while the prospect of more than 1,000 years of hits to consider may be daunting, just think instead of how many musical journeys of discovery can be made.

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Movies I've Seen A Million Times
2:14 pm
Sun August 5, 2012

The Movie Jay Chandrasekhar's 'Seen A Million Times'

Harry Shearer (left), Christopher Guest (center) and Michael McKean play the British band Spinal Tap, created for Rob Reiner's 1984 mock rockumentary This Is Spinal Tap.
MGM Home Entertainment AP

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 6:46 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.

For writer-director Jay Chandrasekhar, whose credits include Super Troopers, Beerfest and The Babymakers, which opened in theaters this weekend, the movie he could watch a million times is Rob Reiner's This Is Spinal Tap. "The accents are flawless, the music is really good," Chandrasekhar says.

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Author Interviews
1:53 pm
Sun August 5, 2012

A Story Of Ancient Power In 'The Rise of Rome'

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 4:11 pm

Over the past decade, there's been a revival in popular histories of ancient Rome; not the academic tomes once reserved for specialists and students, but books and movies designed for the rest of us.

Anthony Everitt has written three biographies about some of the major players in ancient Rome: Cicero, Augustus and Hadrian, all full of intrigue and treachery.

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The Torch
12:18 pm
Sun August 5, 2012

Oscar Pistorius, The 'Blade Runner,' Faces Another Huge Challenge

Oscar Pistorius of South Africa leaving the starting blocks in Saturday's round 1 of the men's 400-meters race.
Michael Steele Getty Images

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 3:58 pm

South Africa's Oscar Pistorius, the "Blade Runner" who has has artificial legs below the knees but overcame that challenge to become a world class runner, will not be in the finals of the men's 400-meters.

The results of Heat 2 in the semifinals were posted at 3:55 p.m. ET. Pistorius finished last out of eight competitors, nearly two seconds behind winner James Kirani of Grenada.

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The Torch
11:27 am
Sun August 5, 2012

Big Win For Britain: Murray Takes Men's Tennis Title

Gold for queen and country: Great Britain's Andy Murray celebrates after his win.
Leon Neal AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 5:58 pm

One month after his hopes were dashed on the same famous court at Wimbledon, Scotland's Andy Murray just won the men's tennis title at the London Olympics in front of a joyous home crowd.

He did it by defeating the same man who beat him at Wimbledon in July.

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The Torch
10:41 am
Sun August 5, 2012

Badminton Federation 'Looking Forward' In Response To Scandel

South Korea's Kim Min Jung (left) and Ha Jung Eun were among the players disqualified for not trying hard enough.
Adek Berry AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 11:15 am

On this final day of badminton at the London Olympics, leaders of the Badminton World Federation (BWF) were vague about how they will respond to a match-throwing scandal at the games.

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The Torch
9:48 am
Sun August 5, 2012

Even A 'No' Is An Olympic Moment When It's Said By Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps and the special award he received Saturday night to mark his Olympic achievements.
Al Bello Getty Images

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 11:38 am

An only-at-the-Olympics tale:

As Michael Phelps left a news conference at the Olympic Aquatic Center on Saturday, a photographer rushed up and asked, "Can I get one more photo?"

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The Torch
9:19 am
Sun August 5, 2012

Britain's Wiggins Starts A Row By Arguing For Bike Helmets

Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain before a road race on Day 1 of the Olympics.
Bryn Lennon Getty Images

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 4:00 pm

On the same day cyclist Bradley Wiggins became Great Britain's most-decorated Olympian, Daniel Harris, a 28-year-old cycling enthusiast, was killed when he was struck by a bus at an intersection outside Olympic Park.

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The Torch
9:02 am
Sun August 5, 2012

Williams Sisters Take Title In Doubles Tennis

Venus (left) and Serena Williams celebrate after winning the women's doubles gold medal match today.
Luis Acosta AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 9:24 am

As The Guardian just reported:

"Here is perhaps the least surprising outcome of the Games: the awesome Williams sisters have secured the women's doubles for the United States, disposing of the Czech pair Hlavackova and Hradecka 6-4, 6-4. And Serena crowns a dominant display with a delightful twirl of celebration after plundering the gold medal point."

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The Torch
8:39 am
Sun August 5, 2012

Gold For Ethiopia's Gelana In Women's Marathon

Women marathoners raced past Big Ben.
Daniel Garcia AFP/Getty Images

In what looks to be a new Olympics record, Tiki Gelana of Ethiopia just won the women's marathon in a time of 2:23.07.

Kenya's Priscah Jeptoo was second and Russia's Tatyana Petrova Arkhipova finished third.

As The Guardian notes, Gelana's "uncle Gezahegne Abera won men's marathon gold in Sydney 12 years ago."

Mary Keitany of Kenya, one of the pre-race favorites, came in fourth.

The previous women's Olympics record was 2:23.14.

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The Torch
8:18 am
Sun August 5, 2012

Let's Catch Up: 'Super Saturday' For Brits; 'World's Fastest Man' Coming Up

Jessica Ennis of Great Britain  celebrates after winning gold Saturday in the heptathlon on Day 8 of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Pascal Le Segretain Getty Images

Good morning.

While Bill takes a much-deserved mid-Olympics day off, we'll aim to keep up with what's going on in London.

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Sports
7:34 am
Sun August 5, 2012

British Elbow Into An Exclusive Medals Podium

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

There is still a week to go at the Olympics, but it's a good bet that after all the drama ends, Britons will look back on last night as the moment the Games turned in their favor - maybe not in the overall medal count but the host country got a huge psychological lift as Team Great Britain snagged three track and field gold medals on the Games' biggest stage. NPR's Tom Goldman reports.

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Sports
7:34 am
Sun August 5, 2012

Runner With Artificial Legs Sprints Past Barrier

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And if there weren't enough excitement at the Olympics, another kind of record was made yesterday at the Olympic Stadium. A double amputee with artificial legs raced for the first time ever in the Olympics. South African Oscar Pistorious qualified for the semifinals tonight in the 400-meter sprint.

NPR's Howard Berkes reports from London.

HOWARD BERKES, BYLINE: The first heat of the Olympic 400 sounded like any other race.

(SOUNDBITE OF STARTING GUN)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: From the inside...

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