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3:14 am
Mon June 8, 2015

Amid Violence In Baghdad, A Musician Creates A One-Man Vigil

Karim Wasfi, conductor of the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra, at his home in Baghdad, has been playing his cello at the sites of explosive attacks in Baghdad.
Ahmed Qusay for NPR

Originally published on Mon June 8, 2015 11:29 am

The roar of a car bomb has been the prelude to Karim Wasfi's performances of late.

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Author Interviews
5:31 pm
Sun June 7, 2015

In Debut Novel, Air Force Officer Questions How We Honor Our Veterans

Lydia Thompson NPR

Originally published on Sun June 7, 2015 6:21 pm

Why do we honor combat veterans? In his new novel, Air Force officer Jesse Goolsby asks that question through the stories of three veterans, their experiences in war and their lives back at home.

I'd Walk with My Friends If I Could Find Them is grounded in the wars of the last 15 years, but Goolsby points out the action takes place as much in the private lives the men lead in America as it does on the battlefield.

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All Tech Considered
5:28 pm
Sun June 7, 2015

What Makes Algorithms Go Awry?

By clicking "Like" and commenting on Facebook posts, users signal the social network's algorithm that they care about something. That in turn helps influence what they see later. Algorithms like that happen all over the web — and the programs can reflect human biases.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed June 10, 2015 2:23 pm

Like it or not, much of what we encounter online is mediated by computer-run algorithms — complex formulas that help determine our Facebook feeds, Netflix recommendations, Spotify playlists or Google ads.

But algorithms, like humans, can make mistakes. Last month, users found the photo-sharing site Flickr's new image-recognition technology was labeling dark-skinned people as "apes" and auto-tagging photos of Nazi concentration camps as "jungle gym" and "sport."

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Code Switch
3:44 am
Fri June 5, 2015

Former Baltimore Mayor: City Must Confront The 'Rot Beneath The Glitter'

Kurt Schmoke, former mayor of Baltimore, is now the president of the University of Baltimore.
Courtesy of the University of Baltimore

Originally published on Fri June 5, 2015 7:58 am

It's the end of a tough week in Baltimore. Tensions continue in the Freddie Gray case. And now the murder rate has spiked to a 40-year high. One man who understands well what the city is going through is Kurt Schmoke. He's a native son and was elected as Baltimore's first black mayor in 1987. He served three terms, grappling with high unemployment, poor schools and violent crime.

Now the president of the University of Baltimore, Schmoke shares his memories of the city and his thoughts about moving it forward with Morning Edition.

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Music Interviews
5:11 pm
Thu June 4, 2015

Telling Brian Wilson's Fractured Life Story On Film

Paul Dano (center) co-stars in Love & Mercy as Brian Wilson in the 1960s heyday of The Beach Boys.
Francois Duhamel Roadside Attractions

Originally published on Thu June 4, 2015 8:50 pm

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National Security
5:59 pm
Wed June 3, 2015

Gen. Martin Dempsey On Iraq: A Fight That Will Take 'Multiple Years'

Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey speaks during the graduation ceremony at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., on May 23. In an interview with NPR, he says he's not surprised by the slow going against the Islamic State, predicting it will be a "long campaign."
Mike Groll AP

Originally published on Thu June 4, 2015 12:42 am

Gen. Martin Dempsey has spent more than a decade dealing with Iraq, and as his tenure as chairman of the Joint Chiefs winds down, he sees a conflict that will long outlast his time in uniform.

Dempsey helped train the Iraqi military from 2005 to 2007 in what he describes as a "debacle" in the early stages. He saw the rapid rise of the self-described Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL. And now he oversees the U.S.-led bombing campaign against the extremist group in both Iraq and Syria.

And he has no illusions it will be quick or easy.

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Music Interviews
5:59 pm
Wed June 3, 2015

Mumford & Sons On Plugging In And Turning Up

Mumford & Sons' electrified new album is called Wilder Mind.
Ty Johnson Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu June 4, 2015 7:07 pm

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The Salt
3:41 am
Tue June 2, 2015

A Tome For Peruvian Food, By Its Most Acclaimed Ambassador

Mixed ceviche from Peru: The Cookbook.
Courtesy of Phaidon Press

Originally published on Tue June 2, 2015 2:42 pm

Maybe you've noticed a dish that keeps popping up in more restaurants across the U.S.

Peru is one of the countries that lays claim to ceviche, which is made of raw fish and chilies, cured in lime juice.

So how do you know you're tasting a perfect ceviche?

"In the first bite, you want to find a strong citrus flavor balanced with the fish, and a little bit spicy, but a fresh spicy given by a fresh chili," says chef Gaston Acurio.

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Author Interviews
5:35 pm
Sun May 31, 2015

Rich Housewives Go Under The Microscope In 'Primates Of Park Avenue'

Emily Bogle NPR

Originally published on Thu June 4, 2015 12:13 pm

On the hunt from a good public school for her son, Wednesday Martin moved from her old home in downtown Manhattan to a new one just a few miles north. The spots were no more than a short cab ride away from one another, yet she soon found they were galaxies apart in personality.

For one thing, the moms around her looked entirely different.

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Author Interviews
5:09 pm
Sat May 30, 2015

'Like An Avalanche': Otis Redding's Unstoppable Crossover

Author Mark Ribowsky describes Otis Redding as "bigger than the music he sang, because of how he sang and interpreted it during the most traumatic, metamorphic decade in history."
Volt Records / Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Sat May 30, 2015 6:07 pm

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Movie Interviews
5:05 pm
Sat May 30, 2015

Fact-Checking 'San Andreas': Are Earthquake Swarms For Real?

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Carla Gugino star in the action thriller San Andreas.
Jasin Boland Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Originally published on Mon June 1, 2015 1:11 am

The new movie San Andreas, starring Dwayne Johnson (better known as The Rock), is about a California earthquake so powerful that it destroys Los Angeles and San Francisco, and people can feel it all the way over on the East Coast.

Could this really happen? And can earthquakes ever be predicted, as one scientist (played by Paul Giamatti) succeeds in doing in this movie? We did some fact-checking with seismologist Lucile Jones of the U.S. Geological Survey.

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Music Interviews
5:05 pm
Sat May 30, 2015

When Nora Jane Struthers' Identity Was Stolen, She Created A New One

Nora Jane Struthers' new album is titled Wake.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat May 30, 2015 6:07 pm

Nora Jane Struthers may never have become a singer-songwriter if her identity hadn't been stolen. Rebuilding her life allowed her to take a risk and do something she'd wanted to for years. It paid off: She has a new album out titled Wake.

Her story begins at a charter school in Brooklyn where Struthers worked as an English teacher.

"I started teaching sophomores and moved to teaching seniors in my last year," Struthers says. "I loved it."

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Iraq
8:47 am
Sat May 30, 2015

Thousands Who Run, Few Who Fight: A Journalist On Ramadi's Fall

Iraqi anti-terrorism forces patrol in central Ramadi, Iraq, on April 18. A month later, the city fell to the self-declared Iraqi State. Ayman Oghanna, a journalist who was embedded with Iraqi Special Forces in the city, says the Special Forces are capable precision fighters — but are being asked to fill the role of an entire military.
AP

Originally published on Sun May 31, 2015 7:58 am

More than a week ago, the Iraqi city of Ramadi, in Anbar province, was taken by the self-declared Islamic State.

The fall of that key city wasn't just a setback for Iraq: It was also a blow to the current U.S. strategy of trying to contain ISIS through air strikes.

Iraqi soldiers and Shiite militias allied with the Iraqi government continue to move against ISIS in Anbar Province. The battles bring back American memories. Some of the fiercest fighting in the Iraq War ocurred there, and many Americans died trying to win back the city of Ramadi from Sunni insurgents.

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All Tech Considered
3:28 pm
Tue May 26, 2015

Got A Voice For Radio? The Algorithm Speaks

iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed May 27, 2015 9:46 am

Nearly a thousand of you heeded our call on All Tech Considered to submit a voice sample. The idea: Let a computer algorithm decide if you have a voice for radio.

Now, we've got the results.

Actor Wilbur Fitzgerald rated highly (surprise, surprise):

But most of you who responded are not actors. And it turns out, you don't need professional training to impress man or machine.

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Arts + Life
6:10 pm
Sun May 24, 2015

Post-Ron Swanson, Nick Offerman Has The 'Gumption' To Be Himself

Courtesy of Dutton

Originally published on Tue May 26, 2015 10:46 am

TV recently lost its manliest man — a small-town government employee named Ron Swanson. Actor Nick Offerman's run on NBC's Parks and Recreation ended when the show went off the air in February. He's since shaved his mustache and gotten back to his normal self.

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Interviews
5:18 pm
Sun May 24, 2015

'It's For You To Know That You Forgive,' Says Holocaust Survivor

Auschwitz survivor Eva Kor sits in a courtroom in Lueneburg, northern Germany, on April 21, 2015. She testified at the trial of 93-year-old former Auschwitz guard Oskar Groening.
Julian Stratenschulte AP

Originally published on Sun May 24, 2015 6:54 pm

Around this time 70 years ago, following the liberation of Nazi concentration camps in Europe, the world was coming to grips with the scale of the holocaust, and how to deal with crimes so horrendous, they're almost incomprehensible.

That process is still ongoing.

Right now in Germany, a 93-year-old former Nazi who served at Auschwitz is on trial. Holocaust survivor Eva Kor flew to Germany to testify about her experience in the camp.

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Author Interviews
9:48 pm
Sat May 23, 2015

What If The Drought Doesn't End? 'The Water Knife' Is One Possibility

Ariel Zambelich NPR

What if the devastating drought in the western U.S. doesn't end? A few years ago, the science fiction writer Paolo Bacigalupi started exploring what could happen.

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Movie Interviews
6:01 pm
Sat May 23, 2015

'Sunshine Superman': A Love Story Against The Backdrop of BASE Jumping

Jean and Carl Boenish in jump down a ledge towards camera.
Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

Originally published on Tue May 26, 2015 5:40 pm

Two climbers died May 16 as they attempted a wing suit flight in Yosemite National Park. Dean Potter and Graham Hunt were BASE jumping, a sport that involves parachuting from a fixed structure.

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Television
6:01 pm
Sat May 23, 2015

Alfonso Ribeiro Wants To Let 'Funniest Home Videos' Shine

Alfonso Ribeiro, best known as Carlton Banks from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air will host America's Funniest Home Videos for its 26th season starting in the fall.
Sam Diephuis

Originally published on Sat May 23, 2015 9:49 pm

America's Funniest Home Videos has a new host.

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Iraq
9:29 am
Sat May 23, 2015

Robert Gates: Obama Should Step Up Military Assistance To Iraq

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates at the Boy Scouts of America's annual meeting in 2014. "There's no certainty about any of this," he says of the situation in Iraq.
Mark Zaleski AP

Originally published on Sat May 23, 2015 9:48 pm

The self-declared Islamic State gained a real grip on Iraq and Syria this week, capturing the cities of Ramadi and parts of Mosul in Iraq, and the ancient town Palmyra, Syria.

Most recently, ISIS has claimed credit for a suicide bomb attack inside Saudi Arabia on a Shiite mosque during Friday prayers. That attack killed at least 19 and could represent a significant escalation of the extremist group's operations in the kingdom.

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