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World
3:34 pm
Sun April 1, 2012

Do Israeli-Azeri Ties Portend Conflict With Iran?

A secret agreement came to light this week between the Israel and the Central Asian nation of Azerbaijan: The Azeri government has granted Israelis access to eight air bases, located just a couple hundred miles north of Israel's foe Iran.

Allowing Israeli fighter jets and bombers to land and refuel so close to Iran raises questions: Could this mean Israel and Iran are one step closer to war? Or are Azerbaijan and Israel just looking to strengthen their relationship?

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Middle East
3:00 pm
Sun April 1, 2012

Coalition Moves To Fund Rebels In Syria

An international coalition supporting the Syrian opposition announced new aid today, including a multimillion dollar fund for opposition fighters. The support for the opposition comes just as Damascus rejected a call to withdraw its troops and begin a cease-fire. NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Istanbul.

Africa
3:00 pm
Sun April 1, 2012

Mali Rebellion Fighting On Two Fronts

There's a separatist rebellion raging in the desert north of Mali, and the junta leaders, who seized power last week, have the double task of grappling with the insurgency while fending off global condemnation of their coup. From the capital, Bamako, NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reports this includes the threat of crippling sanctions by Mali's West African neighbors.

Analysis
3:00 pm
Sun April 1, 2012

Race, Politics And The Trayvon Martin Case

Originally published on Sun April 1, 2012 5:11 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

Joining me now is Corey Dade. He's a national correspondent for NPR digital news. He's been writing a lot about the Trayvon Martin case, and he's also interviewed Trayvon's parents. Also with us is legal scholar and attorney Michelle Alexander who recently published a book called "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness." Corey, welcome to the program.

COREY DADE, BYLINE: Thank you, Guy.

RAZ: And, Michelle Alexander, welcome to the program.

MICHELLE ALEXANDER: Thanks for having me.

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Asia
8:00 am
Sun April 1, 2012

Myanmar Party Says Dissident Leader Wins Election

Supporters of the opposition National League for Democracy celebrate their victory in parliamentary elections outside the party headquarters in Yangon, Myanmar, on Sunday. The results could help to consolidate support for political reforms and herald the end of foreign sanctions on the country.
Paula Bronstein Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 10:33 pm

Supporters of the main opposition party in Myanmar, also known as Burma, filled the streets of the capital, celebrating Sunday a projected victory in closely watched parliamentary by-elections, as the party announced that its leader, Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, won a seat in the country's parliament for the first time.

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The Two-Way
7:59 am
Sun April 1, 2012

NPR Source: Tweets Will Shrink To 133 Characters

Twitter logo.
Twitter

Happy April Fools' Day!

Rest easy, that headline was just a joke. You still have 140 characters to compose a tweet. Believe it or not: The productivity of the newsroom took a hit to come up with that fake headline. A whole host of people across NPR contributed a bunch of ideas. These were our 20 runners-up:

-- NPR Blogger Wins Mega-Millions Jackpot

-- Ford: All New Cars Will Have Air Bags For Cats and Dogs

-- Citing Safety Risks, 30 States Outlaw 'Driveway Moments'

-- More Teens 'Going Amish,' Shunning Technology

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Latin America
7:57 am
Sun April 1, 2012

Argentine War Hero's Ties To Torture Uncovered

Capt. Pedro Giachino is considered a hero by some for having given his life in the Falkland Islands invasion. Human rights groups, however, say he was a henchman of Argentina's brutal military dictatorship.
Silvina Frydlewsky For NPR

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 10:33 pm

In Argentina, Capt. Pedro Giachino has long been remembered as a hero. He was the first to die in his country's failed invasion of the Falkland Islands, which took place 30 years ago on Monday.

Recently, though, human rights groups discovered that the iconic figure of sacrifice in the war with Britain had been a henchman in Argentina's brutal military dictatorship.

Carlos Diaz, a leading human rights activist in the city of Mar del Plata, walks gingerly into the city council, a dimly lighted chamber that is a sort of microcosm of Argentina's once-violent past.

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Sports
7:09 am
Sun April 1, 2012

Kentucky To Face Kansas In NCAA Title Game

Kansas' Thomas Robinson (0) fights for a rebound with Ohio State's Deshaun Thomas (1) during the second half of an NCAA Final Four semifinal college basketball tournament game Saturday in New Orleans.
Chris Steppig AP

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 10:33 pm

The national championship game in men's college basketball is set. The Jayhawks beat Ohio State in a close one and Kentucky got past Louisville.

At the nine-minutes-to-go mark in games one through four of Kentucky's romp through the NCAA tournament, the Wildcats have had leads of 13, 11, 18 and 30 points. So it was significant that the Louisville Cardinals actually found themselves tied with Kentucky at that nine-minute juncture.

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Sports
6:23 am
Sun April 1, 2012

Finally, The Payoff In Women's NCAA Basketball

Notre Dame guard Skylar Diggins goes up during the second round of NCAA women's tournament basketball in a game against California.
Charles Rex Arbogast AP

The NCAA Division 1 women's tournament gets criticized for not having enough true March Madness moments, when the Davids rise up and beat the Goliaths in nerve-jangling upsets. Such is the power structure in the women's game, with largely untouchable elite teams.

The payoff comes when all those elite teams gather, as they have in Denver, in such a show of force and talent that a fan tends not to miss the little guys.

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Around the Nation
10:06 pm
Sat March 31, 2012

Vermont Town Struggles To Keep Bookmobiles Alive

The broken-down Cobleigh Public Library bookmobile sits idle at a storage facility in Lyndonville, Vt. Supporters are raising money to put it back on the road.
Herb Swanson

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 10:33 pm

Across America, libraries used to reach out to readers by sending bookmobiles into school parking lots, street corners and rural byways. Now, those rolling reading rooms are becoming scarce — too costly and outmoded, some say.

One town in northern New England just lost its bookmobile. The Cobleigh Public Library in Lyndonville, Vt., had managed to keep its van rolling until about a month ago, when it died.

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The Impact of War
9:17 pm
Sat March 31, 2012

Home Front: Soldiers Become Civilians Again

Briefings are part of the demobilization process that the 182nd Infantry Regiment must go through at Camp Atterbury in Columbus, Ind.
Tom Dreisbach NPR

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 10:33 pm

We first met the soldiers of the 182nd Infantry Regiment of the Army National Guard about a week ago, on an airport tarmac. They had just landed in the United States after wrapping up a yearlong deployment to Afghanistan.

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Shots - Health Blog
6:50 pm
Sat March 31, 2012

Babies Take Longer To Come Out Than They Did In Grandma's Day

Fifty years ago, the typical first-time mother in the U.S. took about four hours to give birth. These days, women labor about 6 1/2 hours.
Carsten/Three Lions Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 31, 2012 6:51 pm

The typical first-time mother takes 6 1/2 hours to give birth these days. Her counterpart 50 years ago labored for barely four hours.

That's the striking conclusion of a new federal study that compared nearly 140,000 births from two time periods.

One big implication: Today's obstetricians may be rushing to do cesarean sections too soon because they're using an out-of-date yardstick for how long a "normal" labor should take.

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Author Interviews
5:40 pm
Sat March 31, 2012

Fight For Klimt Portrait A Fight To Reclaim History

Originally published on Sat March 31, 2012 5:43 pm

In Germany, a federal court has ruled that the German Historical Museum in Berlin must return a rare collection of handcrafted posters to the son of the original owner. The posters were seized by the Nazis from a Jewish art collector in the 1930s.

The case is one of dozens in recent years in which art stolen by the Nazis from Jews has been returned to descendants.

The most famous case involved Gustav Klimt's masterpiece, the Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer. The golden, shimmering painting of the high society hostess became known as Austria's Mona Lisa.

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Judging The Health Care Law
5:16 pm
Sat March 31, 2012

The Individual Mandate's Growth In Unpopularity

Protesters chant and hold a copy of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution in front of Supreme Court in Washington as the court concluded three days of hearing arguments on the constitutionality of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Sat March 31, 2012 7:08 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments this week over key aspects of President Obama's health care law, including the expansion of Medicaid and whether the court even had the right to hear the case. But the core of the challenge mounted against the Affordable Care Act hinges upon its individual mandate, which requires almost every American to have or buy health insurance.

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Politics
3:00 pm
Sat March 31, 2012

In 1993, Republicans Proposed A Mandate First

Originally published on Sat March 31, 2012 5:43 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.

Before the break, we mentioned the individual mandate in health care. Now, not so long ago, most Democrats hated the idea, and most of its support came from Republicans. And it started with President Bill Clinton's attempt to reform the health care system back in 1993. He came to Capitol Hill to address Congress.

PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: This health care system of ours is badly broken, and it is time to fix it.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

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Around the Nation
3:00 pm
Sat March 31, 2012

Tribe Sues To Keep Reservation Free Of Booze

The sale or possession of liquor is strictly forbidden by the tribal government of the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. But there is a tiny town just over the border in Nebraska that does sell alcohol, in massive quantities, and mostly to tribal residents.

And now a longstanding battle over beer sales has spilled into federal court.

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Arts & Life
3:00 pm
Sat March 31, 2012

Three-Minute Fiction: Round 8 Submissions Closed

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF CLOCK TICKING)

GUY RAZ, HOST:

More than 6,000 stories came in this round of Three-Minute Fiction - 6000. Amazing. The challenge this time, the story had to begin with the sentence: She closed the book, placed it on the table and finally decided to walk through the door. It's going to take us several weeks to read through those stories and find a winner, but for now, here are a few samples of what some of you did with that sentence.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Music Interviews
2:22 pm
Sat March 31, 2012

The Passionate, Turbulent Life Of James Brown

Gotham Books

Originally published on Sun April 1, 2012 6:48 pm

James Brown used to tell people that even being stillborn as a child couldn't stop him. He rose to the highest heights in the music industry and stayed there longer than most. But in the end he succumbed to atrocious financial planning, a drug habit and a violent temper.

RJ Smith, author of the new biography The One: The Life and Music of James Brown, tells NPR's Guy Raz that Brown believed he was indestructible.

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Music Interviews
1:48 pm
Sat March 31, 2012

Noel Gallagher: Flying High After Oasis

Noel Gallagher's first solo album, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, came out in October.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat March 31, 2012 5:43 pm

When the song "Wonderwall" hit the airwaves in 1995, Oasis was arguably the biggest rock band in the world. At the heart of the group were two combustible figures: Noel Gallagher, the main songwriter, and his brother Liam, the main singer. With their fiery tempers and frequent public outbursts, the two were on the covers of the tabloids as often as the top of the charts.

Oasis burned out quite suddenly a few years ago, with a now-famous meltdown backstage before a show in Paris.

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Simon Says
9:26 am
Sat March 31, 2012

Beef, Tarantula And Gout: Food Critics Suffer, Too

Food professionals will tell you: Eating asks a lot of your body.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat March 31, 2012 2:26 pm

Burp!

'Scuse me, but is someone trying to kill off food critics?

What about themselves?

Frank Bruni, the former restaurant critic of The New York Times, now an op-ed columnist, has revealed that he has gout.

Gout is a painful inflammation of the joints that's been called the King's Disease because it's historically associated with the kind of gluttony only kings could afford: profuse servings of beef, lobster, goose liver and strong drink.

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