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Religion
9:54 am
Sat July 6, 2013

Two Former Popes Can Thank New Pope For Sainthood

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

The Roman Catholic Church will soon have two new saints - two saintly popes: John XXIII and John Paul II.

Church watchers are pondering what the elevation of these two men says about the current pope, Francis, and his priorities. Those church watchers include John Allen, correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter. We called him yesterday.

John Allen, welcome.

JOHN ALLEN: Hello, there.

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Around the Nation
9:54 am
Sat July 6, 2013

Once The Fire's Out, Arizona's Firefighters Will Reflect

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

One week ago, the Yarnell Hill Fire covered only a few hundred acres, burning in dense brush 85 miles northwest of Phoenix. Then last Sunday, it exploded. Powerful winds and dry fuel propelled the fire across thousands of acres in a matter of hours, engulfing 19 elite firefighters who were trying to keep it from reaching the nearby town of Yarnell.

Nearly 700 firefighters stepped in to battle the blaze after that. A week later, the fire is nearly contained.

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Economy
9:54 am
Sat July 6, 2013

June Job Numbers Perk Up Optimists

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

The economy added 195,000 jobs in June. That was a surprise and a delight to both economists and Wall Street. But the unemployment rate was stuck at 7.6 percent.

NPR's Sonari Glinton reports that the economic recovery continues at a slow but steady pace.

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Research News
9:54 am
Sat July 6, 2013

Why You're Clapping: The Science Of Applause

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

We've all been to concerts and performances that bring us to our feet in wild applause.

(APPLAUSE)

WERTHEIMER: But what makes us clap more for some performances than others? You'd think it's obvious: the better the show, the more applause. Think again. New research at Uppsala University in Sweden has revealed that applause spreads through a crowd more like a contagion than a reaction to a performer. Researchers watched audience members respond to academic talks - talks even as dull as this one.

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Sports
9:54 am
Sat July 6, 2013

A Courtside Report From Wimbledon's Final Weekend

It's the final weekend of the Wimbledon tournament. Sabine Lisicki goes up against Marion Bartoli in the women's final on Saturday, and Andy Murray will take on Novak Djokavic on Sunday. Guest host Linda Wertheimer speaks with Howard Bryant of ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine.

Pop Culture
9:54 am
Sat July 6, 2013

Miranda July: From The Outboxes Of The Noteworthy

Performance artist Miranda July's new project, We Think Alone, blasts a set of random emails from some well-known names on intimate topics to anyone who signs up for them.
Courtesy the artist

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 1:16 pm

Filmmaker and artist Miranda July is blasting emails copied from the outboxes of some well-known names on intimate topics to anyone who signs up.

The project is called We Think Alone, and includes messages sent from a range of notable people (who agreed to participate in advance, of course). Those names include the NBA's all-time leading scorer Kareem Abdul Jabar, fashion-designing siblings Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte, and a Canadian-American theoretical physicist.

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Music Interviews
9:54 am
Sat July 6, 2013

George Benson Follows The Path Of His 'Unforgettable' Idol

George Benson's latest album, Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole, is a tribute to his hero.
Greg Allen Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 1:22 pm

You could say George Benson's latest album, Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole, was conceived decades ago. Benson was just a kid when he first mimicked Cole off the radio, singing his own version of "Mona Lisa" while accompanying himself on the ukulele. He even made a recording.

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The Two-Way
9:26 am
Sat July 6, 2013

'Horrific Attack' On School In Nigeria; Dozens Dead

Nigeria.
CIA World Factbook

There's very disturbing news from Nigeria:

"At least 29 pupils and a teacher have been killed in a pre-dawn attack by suspected Islamists on a school in northeastern Nigeria, reports say." (BBC News)

The BBC's Will Ross, reporting from Lagos, adds that "it sounds like a horrific attack." Survivors say the gunmen set fire to buildings. Some of the students were burned alive, he reports, while "others were shot as they tried to run away."

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Fresh Air Weekend
9:03 am
Sat July 6, 2013

Fresh Air Weekend: Questlove, Elisabeth Moss And 'Claire DeWitt'

In his new memoir, Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson describes his life in music — and how he mimicked beats at just 10 months old.
Danny Clinch Grand Central Publishing

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 11:54 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:

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The Two-Way
8:26 am
Sat July 6, 2013

If Snowden Tries To Get To Latin America, Cuba Could Be Key

Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, who spilled secrets about the NSA's surveillance programs, has been condemned by U.S. officials. But he's been praised by some people around the world. In Berlin this week, supporters carried his picture at a demonstration.
Ole Spata DPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 9:22 pm

Update at 9:22 p.m. ET. Snowden Reveals Documents On Brazil:

Amid requests and offers of asylum in Latin America, Edward Snowden has apparently released documents showing that the U.S. spied on millions of emails and phone calls of Brazilians. NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro tells our Newscast Desk the report, published in the Rio de Janeiro paper O Globo, was co-written by Glenn Greenwald, who has been covering the National Security Agency's programs.

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Arts + Life
8:25 am
Sat July 6, 2013

One Garden's Climate Struggle (And How To Save Yours)

Many of the flowers at Hillwood are doing well despite the ever-changing local climate.
Emily Files NPR

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 12:44 pm

At the Hillwood Estate gardens in Washington, D.C., the new norm is: "Expect the unexpected." So says volunteer coordinator Bill Johnson, who has worked on property belonging to the heiress of the Post cereal fortune for 30 years.

Like home gardeners, the horticulturalists and professional gardeners at Hillwood are confronting an unpredictable climate.

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Political Crisis In Egypt
8:21 am
Sat July 6, 2013

The U.S. Holds The Aid Card, Yet Egypt Still Trumps

Egyptian protesters celebrate in Tahrir Square on Wednesday. The United States has managed to alienate just about every political actor in Egypt.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 9:04 pm

The ouster of Mohammed Morsi puts the U.S. in an awkward position: By law, the administration is supposed to cut off aid to a country after a military coup, but Egypt's military has been a key to regional stability. As the administration considers its next steps, it's come under criticism from all sides in Egypt over how it's handling the situation.

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The Two-Way
7:44 am
Sat July 6, 2013

After Deadly Clashes, Cairo Is Calmer But Still Tense

A poster showing ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi was hanging on barbed wire outside the headquarters of the Republican Guard in Cairo on Saturday. On the other side, guards stood watch.
Khaled Elfiqi EPA/Landov

Originally published on Sun July 7, 2013 1:08 pm

(We most recently updated the top of this post at 2:05 p.m. ET.)

The death toll from clashes Friday and into early Saturday in Egypt now stands at 36, authorities say. That estimate, released just before 11 a.m. ET, was up from the 30 deaths that had been reported when the day began.

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Sports
6:24 am
Sat July 6, 2013

With Bullets Scarce, More Shooters Make Their Own

Since the Newtown school shooting in December, gun stores nationwide have had difficulty keeping ammunition, like these .223-caliber rifle bullets, in stock.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 9:05 pm

Gun stores around the country have had difficulty keeping up with demand for ammunition in recent months. Fears of government tightening of gun and ammunition controls have meant that retailers, from Wal-Mart to mom-and-pop gun shops, haven't been able to keep bullets on the shelves.

Cliff Poser's gun shop, Cliff's Guns, Safes and Reloading in Boise, Idaho, is one of them. Business has been so crazy lately that he has to keep a special stash of ammunition, just so customers who buy guns from him can also buy bullets.

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Middle East
6:15 am
Sat July 6, 2013

Egypt Remains On Edge After Deadly Clashes

Opponents of Egypt's Islamist ousted President Mohammed Morsi wave national flags as they celebrate in Tahrir Square on Friday.
Amr Nabil AP

Cairo's emblematic Tahrir Square and nearby approaches to the River Nile are largely empty and debris-strewn today and Egypt remains on edge after deadly clashes between supporters and opponents of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.

The two sides fought overnight street battles that left at least 30 dead across the increasingly divided country.

Ismalists are enraged at Morsi's overthrow by millions of protesters backed by the country's powerful military.

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Code Switch
4:48 am
Sat July 6, 2013

Remembering Birmingham's 'Dynamite Hill' Neighborhood

Three civil rights workers stand guard in front NAACP attorney Arthur Shores' house in Sept. 1963. The house was blasted by dynamite the night before.
AP

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 9:54 am

Long before the Civil Rights marches of 1963 thrust Birmingham, Ala. into the national spotlight, black families along one residential street were steadily chipping away at Jim Crow segregation laws — and paying a price for it. As part of our series looking back at the seminal events that changed the nation 50 years ago, NPR's Debbie Elliott paid a visit to Birmingham's Dynamite Hill.

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Health
4:26 am
Sat July 6, 2013

Growing The Latest In 16th-Century Medicine

The opium poppy is the most common source of opium and morphine.
New York Botanical Garden

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 6:37 pm

The Renaissance Garden at the New York Botanical Garden, a re-creation of a 16th-century medicinal garden, is so lush and colorful, it takes only a stroll through to absorb its good medicine.

The garden, part of a summer exhibit called Wild Medicine: Healing Plants Around the World, is a small-scale model of the Italian Renaissance Garden in Padua, Italy, Europe's first botanical garden.

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Parallels
4:23 am
Sat July 6, 2013

After A Rapid Rise, A Challenge To Political Islam

Egyptian soldiers stand guard outside the Republican Guard building in Cairo on Friday. Egyptian troops clashed with mostly Islamist protesters demanding the restoration of the ousted president, Mohammed Morsi.
Khalil Hamra AP

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 6:58 pm

The Arab uprisings of 2011 produced a clear set of winners — the Islamist parties that were well-organized and prepared to swiftly fill the political vacuum left by toppled autocrats.

But the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood now points to the possibility of a countertrend: the failure of Islamist groups to govern effectively and growing public discontent with their rule.

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Arts + Life
6:29 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

For Hannibal & Co., A Horrifying New Stage

Exorcistic, a rock parody inspired by a certain 1971 novel and the William Friedkin film made from it, showcases Merlin as a rapping priest inspired by Max von Sydow's Father Merrin. Above, the show poster for the musical's Los Angeles fringe production.
David Haverty Hollywood Fringe

Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 2:26 pm

What do a reanimated deviant surgeon, a cannibalistic serial killer and a demon-plagued, vomit-spattered priest have in common? They're all characters in camp stage musicals inspired by horror films — and they're all played by the same classically trained opera singer.

His name is Jesse Merlin, and he looks a little like a young, untanned George Hamilton. But he has a bass-baritone voice that would be perfect for Gilbert and Sullivan.

Since that's not what Hollywood's looking for, Merlin had to scare up roles elsewhere.

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