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Author Interviews
6:19 am
Sat May 12, 2012

'In One Person': A Tangled Gender-Bender

Simon & Schuster

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 9:25 am

The star of John Irving's new novel, In One Person, is Billy Abbott. Billy is a character at the mercy of his own teenage crushes, which are visited upon by a whole repertory company of gender-bending characters.

It's a repertory company in the most literal sense, too. Billy spends many days backstage at the local theater — where gender can also fluctuate and where his family members are regulars.

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Presidential Race
6:18 am
Sat May 12, 2012

Iowa On Same-Sex Marriage: It's Complicated

Iowans attend a marriage rally sponsored by The Family Leader on Tuesday at the Statehouse in Des Moines. The head of the organization says President Obama's endorsement of gay marriage could cost him the election.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 9:17 pm

Immediately after President Obama announced his support this week for same-sex marriage, attention turned to politics. The outcome of this year's election will be determined by a handful of states — one of them is Iowa, where the politics of same-sex marriage are complicated.

Same-sex marriage is legal here, but three of the state Supreme Court justices upholding that 2009 decision were removed from office by voters a year later.

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Afghanistan
5:03 am
Sat May 12, 2012

U.S. Military Mission: Pushing Afghans To Take Lead

In Afghanistan, American troops are pushing Afghans to take charge.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:48 am

The American military has two main jobs now in Afghanistan: sweeping the remaining Taliban from safe havens and getting Afghan security forces to take charge in the fight.

On a recent day, the Afghan National Army, or ANA, is to be out front on a joint Afghan-U.S. patrol in the countryside outside Kandahar in southern Afghanistan. It may seem like a small thing, but it's actually a big deal.

Sgt. Matthew McMurray lets his platoon know.

"ANA is going to lead, too. If they don't want to lead, just stop and make them walk ahead of you," he says.

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Fresh Air Weekend
4:38 am
Sat May 12, 2012

Fresh Air Weekend: Lena Dunham, Gretchen Reynolds

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 11:22 am

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

Lena Dunham Addresses Criticism Aimed At 'Girls': The creator and star of HBO's new series Girls addresses the growing backlash against the show, which follows four 20-somethings as they navigate the ups and downs of life in New York City.

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Deceptive Cadence
4:03 am
Sat May 12, 2012

Roman Totenberg: A Musical Life Remembered

At 101, Roman Totenberg was teaching students up to the very end of his life.
Suzanne Kreiter The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 4:54 pm

[Roman Totenberg was a child prodigy who became a violin virtuoso, as well as a master teacher who passed along his command of craft and his love of music — and life — to thousands. He was also the man you wanted to sit next to at the table because he was so funny. Totenberg died this week at the age of 101, surrounded by loving family, friends and students. We asked his daughter, Nina Totenberg, for this remembrance. — Scott Simon]

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Business
6:52 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

What Caused JPMorgan's Loss Of $2 Billion?

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 7:35 pm

Audie Cornish speaks with Gregory Zuckerman about one of the men behind JPMorgan Chase's $2 billion loss. He's a special writer for The Wall Street Journal and author of The Greatest Trade Ever.

World Cafe
6:37 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

The Ting Tings On World Cafe

Courtesy of the artist

When The Ting Tings exploded onto the pop scene in 2007, their grunge-chic style and sound were destined for success. Now, five years after the debut of their hit single "That's Not My Name/Great DJ" and four years after their first full length, We Started Nothing, The Ting Tings are back.

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The Two-Way
6:23 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

A Helpful Reminder: This Sunday Is Mother's Day

Call your mom. Buy her a present. Give her a big hug and kiss. (And don't forget the mother of your children.)

To all our mom readers, Happy Mother's Day!

We'll leave you with a link to a great piece from Bloomberg, which takes us back to the somber beginnings of the holiday. Bloomberg writes in part:

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Mitt Romney
6:16 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

Romney Shifts Gears On Auto Industry Bailout

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney arrives for a town hall-style meeting at Stamco Industries, a truck parts supplier, in Euclid, Ohio, on Monday.
Jae C. Hong AP

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 6:52 pm

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Mountain Stage
5:56 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

Randall Bramblett On Mountain Stage

Randall Bramblett.
Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 10:00 am

Randall Bramblett makes his second appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live on the campus of the University of Georgia in Athens. Bramblett does many things well, both in this concert and on his albums.

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The Two-Way
5:48 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

William Balfour Found Guilty In Murder Of Jennifer Hudson's Family

William Balfour.
HO AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 5:56 pm

A jury has found William Balfour guilty of killing three members of Grammy-award winning singer Jennifer Hudson's family.

Balfour, Hudson's ex-brother in law, was found guilty on all three counts of first-degree murder for the 2008 shooting deaths of Hudson's mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew. The Chicago Sun-Times adds that he was also convicted of "home invasion, aggravated kidnapping, residential burglary and possession of a stolen motor vehicle."

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All Songs Considered Blog
5:43 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

Song Premiere: Neil Young Sets 'Americana' On Fire

Americana's cover art.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 5:43 pm

You've never heard "She'll Be Coming Round the Mountain" quite like this. For their first album together in nine years, Neil Young and Crazy Horse have taken classic American folk music and reinvigorated these songs with muscle, radiance and a whole lot of electric guitar. Some songs from the 19th century include "Oh Susanna" (no banjo here) and "Tom Dula" (you may know it better as "Tom Dooley").

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Sports
5:14 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

Red Sox Slump Threatens Home Sellout Streak

Boston Red Sox left fielder Cody Ross looks down during a seven-run third inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park on May 5. The Red Sox trail their division, losing 11 of their last 12 home games.
Jim Rogash Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 6:52 pm

It was supposed to be a banner season at Fenway Park — the ballpark's 100th anniversary. But the Boston Red Sox are stuck in the basement of their division, having lost 11 of their last 12 home games.

It's putting Major League Baseball's record sellout streak in jeopardy. Ever since 2003, the Sox have sold out Fenway Park for every game — 727 consecutive games.

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Election 2012
5:14 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

For Evangelicals, Romney Is The Lesser Of Two Evils

Experts say that in order to win this year's election, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will not just have to satisfy evangelicals — he will have to thrill them.
Charles Krupa AP

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 6:52 pm

On Saturday, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will deliver the commencement address at Liberty University, the nation's largest evangelical university. The speech will be attended by nearly 35,000 people, and it will give him a chance to win over a huge constituency that, up until recently, has been lukewarm about his campaign.

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It's All Politics
4:42 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

On Citizenship Question, Bachmann Not So Neutral

Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann and her husband, Marcus, recite the Pledge of Allegiance before announcing her candidacy for president last June in Waterloo, Iowa.
Steve Pope Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 5:24 pm

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The Two-Way
4:36 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

Carroll Shelby, Race Driver And Designer Of The Shelby Cobra, Dies

Actor Steve McQueen, left, and racer Carroll Shelby stand by McQueen's Ford-Cobra roadster, June 28, 1963, in Los Angeles.
Dick Stroebel AP

Carroll Shelby was a race car driver; he was a racing team owner, a chili entrepreneur. He survived a liver transplant and a heart transplant. But perhaps the thing that most people will remember him for is his automotive creations, especially the Shelby Cobra.

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Europe
4:15 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

Who Needs Marriage? Not France's New President

French President-elect Francois Hollande waves to supporters with his companion, Valerie Trierweiler, as he celebrates his election victory in Bastille Square in Paris, May 6. Hollande and Trierweiler will be the first unmarried couple to move into the French presidential palace.
Francois Mori AP

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 2:42 am

The French are known for being more tolerant than Americans about their politicians' private lives. One former French president even fathered a child with a mistress while in office.

But every French leader in history has been married — until now.

Next week, after Socialist Francois Hollande is sworn into office, he and his longtime companion, journalist Valerie Trierweiler, will become the first unmarried couple to move into the Elysee presidential palace.

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Business
4:15 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

Big Losing Bet Tarnishes Wall Street Titan JPMorgan

JPMorgan Chase Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon cited "many errors, sloppiness and bad judgment" in announcing a $2 billion loss due to a hedging strategy.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 6:52 pm

JPMorgan Chase is licking its wounds after announcing that it lost at least $2 billion in a hedging strategy that went terribly wrong. The announcement late Thursday sent the bank's shares tumbling more than 9 percent on Friday.

Meanwhile, regulators on both sides of the Atlantic have begun looking into what happened. And there were calls Friday for tighter restrictions on the kind of trades the bank engaged in.

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Middle East
4:15 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

Egyptian Families Finding New Interest In Politics

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 7:34 pm

The first truly competitive presidential election in Egypt's history is just two weeks away. The campaign has sparked lively interest around the country, as the candidates appear at campaign rallies and on televised talk shows. The election is also the major topic of conversation in many Egyptian living rooms.

The Two-Way
3:47 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

In Greece, Third Bid For Coalition Government Fails

Greece's radical leftist party Syriza chief Alexis Tsipras (L) shakes hands with Socialists leader Evangelos Venizelos before their meeting at the Greek parliament in Athens on Friday. Venizelos admitted that he had failed in a last-ditch bid to form a government after Syriza key leftist party ruled out joining a pro-austerity coalition.
Louisa Gouliamaki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 4:12 pm

Evangelos Venizelos was the third politician mandated by the Greek president to form a coalition government.

Today, reports the BBC, after meeting with the leaders of different parties, Venizelos emerged empty-handed.

"I am going to inform the president of the republic tomorrow and I hope that, during the meeting with Carolos Papoulias, each party will assume its responsibilities," Venizelos told the BBC.

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