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Parallels
9:22 am
Sat September 5, 2015

As ISIS Destroys Artifacts, Could Some Antiquities Have Been Saved?

The Temple of Bel in Palmyra had already sustained some damage from artillery shells in March 2014, when these columns in the temple courtyard were photographed. The ancient temple stood at a cultural crossroads, showing influences from Greco-Roman and Persian traditions, and was one of Syria's most famous archaeological sites. It was destroyed late in August of 2015.
Joseph Eid AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 5, 2015 9:23 am

The so-called Islamic State continues to wreak a human toll in the Middle East. And in addition to that suffering, the militant organization continues its assault on Syria's cultural heritage.

This week, militants blew up three tombs in the ancient city of Palmyra, and reduced the Greco-Roman Temple of Bel to rubble.

At the same time, ISIS also profits by selling small antiquities on the black market.

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Author Interviews
5:27 am
Sat September 5, 2015

Salman Rushdie: These Days, 'Everyone Is Upset All The Time'

Salman Rushdie is the author of 12 novels, including Midnight's Children and The Satanic Verses. Rushdie was once the subject of death threats; now, when asked if he can move about freely Rushdie responds: "You have to stop asking me. ... It's been like 16 years since it's been OK."
Ben Pruchnie Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 5, 2015 9:23 am

Salman Rushdie's new novel, Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights, seems to transpose the Arabian Nights of long ago to modern-day New York City. A thunderstorm overturns the city and upsets the laws of the universe with myth and magic.

The jinn have come back after an 800-year exile, and they create a world in which a down-to-earth gardener walks on air, a spurned wife shoots lightning from her fingertips and a graphic novelist's character turns to flesh. The world is in the grip of a long-term struggle between fear-instilled superstition and unmagical reason.

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NPR Story
11:14 pm
Fri September 4, 2015

For Family Of Drowned Syrian Boy, 'There Was No Other Hope,' Uncle Says

Abdullah Kurdi, holds the body of his 3-year-old son, Aylan Kurdi, during the burial of the boy, his brother Friday and his mother at a funeral in Kobane, Syria.
Dicle News Agency EPA/Landov

Originally published on Sat September 5, 2015 12:23 am

Seeing no other options to help get her brother Abdullah's family out of Syria and to safety, Teema Kurdi sent him money to get them onto a smuggler's boat that would take them to Greece.

"We actually would say we encouraged them to go, because his brother made it, and there was no other hope," he told NPR's Rachel Martin in an emotional interview. "We don't see the war ending in Syria; life in Turkey is hopeless."

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Movie Interviews
5:12 am
Fri September 4, 2015

For 3 Climbers, Summiting Meru Was An 'Irresistible' Challenge

The peak of Meru has eluded some of the greatest climbers in the world. The Shark's Fin --€” a sheer wall of granite --€” is the central pillar in the formation.
Jimmy Chin

Originally published on Fri September 4, 2015 8:20 am

In 2008, Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin and Renan Ozturk attempted to summit Meru, a 21,000-foot mountain in the Garhwal Himalayas in northern India. Some of the greatest climbers in the world have tried and failed to reach its peak — a sheer granite wall known as the Shark's Fin.

"The Shark's Fin to a climber is really irresistible," Chin explains to NPR's David Greene. "What really makes it challenging is that you have this kind of big wall on top of basically 4,000 feet of alpine climbing."

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Music Interviews
6:28 pm
Wed September 2, 2015

'Slow Down And Be There': Lizz Wright On Singing To The Present

Lizz Wright's latest album is called Freedom & Surrender.
Jesse Kitt Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed September 2, 2015 7:05 pm

Soul singer Lizz Wright is starting over. Her new album, Freedom & Surrender, comes after a tough few years, during which she left behind a failed marriage and her own expectations about starting a family. And yet, she found a creative spark in that loss, along with a new kind of voice.

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Animals
6:44 pm
Sun August 30, 2015

WATCH: Octopuses Appear To Take Up Arms As Submarine Warfare Escalates

Two octopuses going at it — or, as marine biologist Peter Godfrey-Smith might put it, engaging in a bit of "ornery" behavior.
Peter Godfrey-Smith (CUNY and University of Sydney), David Scheel (Alaska Pacific University), Stefan Linquist (University of Guelph) and Matthew Lawrence.

Originally published on Thu September 3, 2015 3:25 pm

There may be an octopus arms race underway. And that's not even a joke about tentacles: Octopuses are actually fighting, and potentially using weapons.

The creatures are hardly team players under the best of circumstances.

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Author Interviews
6:41 pm
Sun August 30, 2015

The Glimmering Sheen Of A Wide World Seen From Inside A Bubble

Ariel Zambelich NPR

Teenagers often feel bound by their parents' rules, and many young people feel isolated at some point, separated from the rest of the world.

But what would life be like for a young woman who was literally isolated — and bound by rules designed to save her life?

It's a question that author Nicola Yoon explores in her new novel for young adults, Everything, Everything. For 18 years, her lead character, Madeleine, has been kept inside a sterile house, interacting only with her mother and her nurse.

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Animals
5:34 pm
Sun August 30, 2015

Small Shocks Help Enormous Birds Learn To Avoid Power Lines

California condors have enormous wingspans. That's fine in the wilderness, but when a bird of this size encounters a power line, the results can be fatal. The San Diego Zoo Safari Park has a program to help train birds to avoid the hazard.
Jon Myatt U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Flickr

The California condor is big. In fact, it's the largest flying bird in North America with a wingspan of 9 1/2 feet.

Michael Mace, curator of birds for the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, tells NPR's Arun Rath that the condor "is like the 747 compared to a Cessna if you look at it proportionally with other species like eagles and turkey vultures."

Mace works in a condor power line aversion training program at the zoo. It was developed to address the condors' unfortunate run-ins with power lines.

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History
8:24 am
Sun August 30, 2015

A Young Woman Goes 'Underground In Berlin' To Escape The Holocaust

Marie Jalowicz Simon survived the Holocaust by hiding with friends and strangers in Berlin.
From the private collection of Hermann Simon

Originally published on Sun August 30, 2015 3:54 pm

A lot of books come across our desks here at Weekend Edition. One caught our eye recently, because of the unusual way it came to be published. The title sums up the story — Underground in Berlin: A Young Woman's Extraordinary Tale of Survival in the Heart of Nazi Germany.

That remarkable tale came to light thanks to a request by her son, historian Hermann Simon. "I once put a tape recorder and said to her, 'You always wanted to tell me the story of your life. Well, go ahead.' "

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Goats and Soda
7:03 am
Sun August 30, 2015

What's Better For Afghanistan's Future: Buddha Tours Or A Copper Mine?

By the time archaeologists uncovered this statue of the Buddha at Mes Aynak, its head was gone — likely broken off by looters.
© Simon Norfolk/National Geographic

Originally published on Mon August 31, 2015 2:48 pm

About an hour's drive south of Kabul, there's a vast Buddhist archaeological site dating back at least 1,500 years. It happens to be sitting on top of one of the biggest untapped copper deposits in the world, potentially worth billions of dollars.

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Movie Interviews
5:16 am
Sun August 30, 2015

German Filmmaker Wim Wenders Sums Up His Work In One Word

German director Wim Wenders poses with his Honorary Golden Bear Award for lifetime achievement at the Berlin International Film Festival in February.
John Macdougall AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun August 30, 2015 11:38 am

It's been a big year for German filmmaker Wim Wenders: He received a lifetime achievement award at this year's Berlin International Film Festival, the Museum of Modern Art had a retrospective of his work and his latest Oscar-nominated documentary, The Salt of the Earth, came out in March.

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Research News
6:37 pm
Sat August 29, 2015

Shooters Quicker To Pull Trigger When Target Is Black, Study Finds

Shown a realistic human target — not just a silhouette like this one — shooters were more likely to pull the trigger if the target was black, according to an analysis of 42 studies. "Even if you think that you're not prejudiced," says researcher Yara Mekawi, "that doesn't necessarily mean that that's true in terms of split-second decisions that you might make in the real world."
Joshua Lott Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 3, 2015 10:33 am

Are most people more likely to pull the trigger of a gun if the person they're shooting at is black?

A new meta-analysis set out to answer that question. Yara Mekawi of the University of Illinois and her co-author, Konrad Bresin, drew together findings from 42 different studies on trigger bias to examine whether race affects how likely a target is to be shot.

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Poetry
5:11 pm
Sat August 29, 2015

For Carl Phillips, Poetry Is Experience Transformed — Not Transcribed

Taking chances can sometimes lead to great art. But award-winning poet Carl Phillips says there's a risk to, well, taking risks.

"I think there has to be a place for risk and for restlessness in any kind of fully lived life, and especially I think for an artist," he tells NPR's Arun Rath. "I think it's the only way that imagination gets stimulated and continues — but I think it can easily go unchecked."

His latest work, Reconnaissance, looks for the balance between restlessness and stability — and between the raw and the refined, the omnicient and the intimate.

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Music Interviews
5:11 pm
Sat August 29, 2015

Nathaniel Rateliff, Honky-Tonk Soul Man, Stumbles Into A Hit

Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats.
Malia James Courtesy of the artist

There's a song out there right now that's catching a lot of people off guard. "S.O.B" sounds kind of familiar, maybe like a revived oldie, but it's not: It's fresh off the new self-titled album from the Denver ensemble Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats.

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Author Interviews
8:05 am
Sat August 29, 2015

Ursula K. Le Guin Steers Her Craft Into A New Century

Originally published on Sat August 29, 2015 10:37 am

Ursula Le Guin has brought mainstream recognition to science fiction in a successful career that has endured for sixty years, with books that include The Left Hand of Darkness, Lavinia, and the Earthsea series for young readers.

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Politics
5:14 am
Sat August 29, 2015

Sam Clovis: I Trust Trump To Go To Washington And Change Things

After working for Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry, Sam Clovis this week decided to switch sides and be rival Donald Trump's national campaign co-chairman. Shown here in 2014, Clovis ran for a U.S. Senate seat from Iowa.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Sat August 29, 2015 11:16 am

Donald Trump's Republican presidential campaign continues to lead in the polls, and this week Trump hired Sam Clovis to be his national campaign co-chairman. A week ago, Clovis worked for Republican rival Rick Perry. Clovis, a former radio talk show host and college professor, is an Iowan who has run for state treasurer and the U.S. Senate there. He Talked to NPR's Scott Simon from Sioux City, Iowa.

To hear the full conversation, click the audio link above.


Interview Highlights

On why he left Perry to work for Trump

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Music Interviews
5:07 pm
Thu August 27, 2015

'It's Fun To Get A Little Deeper': Carly Rae Jepsen Walks The Pop-Star Tightrope

Three years ago, Carly Rae Jepsen dominated the summer with a hit no one saw coming. Her new album is called Emotion.
Matthew Welch Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri August 28, 2015 6:31 pm

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Sports
5:42 pm
Wed August 26, 2015

From Quiet Kid To Trash-Talking Titan: Ronda Rousey's Year Speaks For Itself

Ronda Rousey celebrates her most recent Ultimate Fighting Championship win on Aug. 1, shortly after knocking out Bethe Correia in just over half a minute.
Ricardo Moraes Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed August 26, 2015 6:44 pm

Clock yourself the next time you tie your shoes. Chances are, in the time it took you to get those shoes laced up, Ronda Rousey would have knocked out her opponent in a typical mixed martial arts match.

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First Reads
7:03 am
Wed August 26, 2015

Exclusive First Read: 'The Shepherd's Crown' By Terry Pratchett

Originally published on Wed August 26, 2015 8:33 am

The late Terry Pratchett wrote more than 40 books about the Discworld, a magical flat land borne through space on the backs of four elephants and a giant cosmic turtle. The Discworld is full of memorable characters: Werewolf constables, cunning rulers, snooty vampires, con men, trolls and dwarves and mystery-sausage sellers. But the most memorable of all are the witches — not green-skinned and cackling, but tough, practical women who use "headology" rather than spellcasting, and whose mission is to help people "when life is on the edge."

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Economy
5:52 pm
Mon August 24, 2015

Don't Panic About Stocks. It's Not 2008 All Over Again, Economist Says

Traders signal offers Monday in the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index options pit at the Chicago Board Options Exchange. Major market indexes tumbled around the world amid worries about China's slowing economy.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 25, 2015 5:27 am

The big price drops on Wall Street in recent days have had many people worried. We asked people on social media to send us some questions about the stock market volatility and we turned to economist Austan Goolsbee for answers.

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Parallels
2:07 pm
Mon August 24, 2015

Your Questions Answered About Europe's Migrant Crisis

A clothing store in Izmir, Turkey, now specializes in life vests for migrants crossing the Aegean Sea to Greece. They carry children's and adults' sizes.
Ari Shapiro NPR

Originally published on Mon August 24, 2015 5:03 pm

There are more refugees in Europe today than at any other time since World War II. As record numbers of people flee violence in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as conflicts across North Africa, the most popular route to Europe is across the Aegean Sea to Greece.

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Author Interviews
5:09 am
Mon August 24, 2015

In New Memoir, Maria Tells Us How She Got, How She Got To 'Sesame Street'

Manzano, shown above with Rosita — a bilingual Muppet from Mexico — recently announced that she will be retiring from Sesame Street after 44 years.
Richard Termine Sesame Workshop

Originally published on Mon August 24, 2015 1:30 pm

Since 1971 Sonia Manzano has been one of the lucky residents of Sesame Street. As Maria, she guided Big Bird, Elmo and the rest of the gang through life lessons large and small. After 44 years, Manzano recently announced her retirement, but her dedication to help kids continues.

Manzano's new memoir Becoming Maria is a poignant and difficult book meant for teens and adults. In it, she tells her own story of growing up in a Puerto Rican family in the South Bronx in the '50s and '60s. There was love, but also violence brought on by her father's drinking.

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Author Interviews
6:25 pm
Sun August 23, 2015

Do America's Military Bases Abroad Help Or Hinder Global Security?

U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors are seen parked at Kadena Air Base on the island of Okinawa in Japan. The U.S. military established a presence on Okinawa during World War II.
Yoshikazu Tsuno AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 25, 2015 9:47 am

The U.S. has around 800 military bases outside of the nation's borders. They're home to hundreds of thousands of troops and family members, and, in many cases, they're a cause of controversy.

David Vine, an associate professor of anthropology at American University, argues that we've become too dependent on such overseas bases — and that many of them cause serious opposition abroad. He lays out his thinking in his new book, Base Nation: How the U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World.

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Television
5:53 pm
Sun August 23, 2015

In 'Walking Dead' Spin-Off, Expect To Get An Apocalyptic Education

Fear The Walking Dead follows high school English teacher Travis Manawa (Cliff Curtis) and guidance counselor Madison Clark (Kim Dickens) as they deal with the fallout of a mysterious outbreak.
Justin Lubin AMC

When Fear the Walking Dead premiers Sunday night on AMC, don't expect to see Sheriff Grimes. There's no Daryl, either. In fact, the streets aren't even overrun yet with those dirty, hungry hoards of the undead that viewers know so well.

Still, something weird is happening — and it's happening in LA, not Atlanta, this time around. Fear, a prequel to the hit show The Walking Dead, swaps the post-apocalyptic Deep South for the West Coast, where that apocalypse still has yet to happen (or is just getting underway).

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Health
9:23 am
Sun August 23, 2015

Ravages Of Heroin Addiction Haunt Friends, Families And Whole Towns

A water tower in Marion, Ohio. The city has been gripped by heroin addition.
Maddie McGarvey for NPR

Originally published on Sun August 23, 2015 10:47 am

Marion, Ohio, just north of Columbus, used to be an idyllic place to grow up.

Kelly Clixby and Beth Carey remember what it was like a generation ago, when they were young.

"I lived across the street from one of the big parks here," Clixby says. "We would rip n' run all day and all night and come in when the street lights were on."

"It was just a nice place to live," Carey says.

Today, Marion is different. It's grappling with a full-blown heroin epidemic, one that derailed Kelly Clixby's life and killed Beth Carey's twin sister.

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Environment
8:10 am
Sun August 23, 2015

Ben Lecomte Swam Across The Atlantic; Next He Tries The Pacific

French marathon swimmer Benoit Lecomte (left) prepares to jump into the Potomac River in Washington, D.C., in 2002. In 1998, Lecomte swam across the Atlantic Ocean.
Manny Ceneta AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun August 23, 2015 8:45 pm

In 1998, Ben Lecomte swam across the Atlantic Ocean. The 47-year-old athlete is preparing for another historic plunge: swimming across the ocean on the other side of the country.

At the end of September, Lecomte plans to take off from a Tokyo beach and spend the next six months making his way some 5,500 miles across the Pacific Ocean to San Francisco.

He'll swim for eight hours a day, then board a support boat to eat and sleep. The next day he'll jump back in the water at the exact same spot.

To hear the full conversation, click the audio link above.

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NPR Story
7:38 pm
Sat August 22, 2015

Bugs Leave As Quickly As They Swarmed In Days Before Burning Man

A bicycle rider makes it through a dense sandstorm during the Burning Man Festival in 2000. Hail, wind and dust storms are regular occurrences at the festival — and for a while, there were fears that this year's celebration would also include an infestation of bugs.
Hector Mata AFP/Getty Images

Thousands of people are set to descend on the Black Rock Desert of Nevada for the annual Burning Man Festival, starting August 30. But before their arrival, the campgrounds were visited by another group of guests: bugs.

John Curley is a photographer and blogger for the Burning Man website. He says he first noticed the bugs at a gas station near Black Rock.

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Around the Nation
5:27 pm
Sat August 22, 2015

U.S. Compensates Marine Exposed To Toxic Chemicals In '80s

Lt. Col. Kris Roberts served as a facilities maintenance officer at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Okinawa, Japan in the 1980s.
Courtesy of Lt. Col. Kris Roberts

Originally published on Sat August 22, 2015 7:03 pm

The horror of Agent Orange and its effects on Vietnam war veterans and Vietnamese citizens is well-documented.

But many U.S. veterans who never fought in that war say they, too, handled toxic chemicals at military bases around the world, suffering the same health consequences. Retired Lt. Col. Kris Roberts is among them.

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Law
5:03 pm
Sat August 22, 2015

Off The Streets And Onto The Syllabus: The Freddie Gray Course

A mural dedicated to Freddie Gray remains in the Sandtown neighborhood of Baltimore where he was arrested in May of this year. Gray's later death in custody sparked days of unrest in the city — and, now, has inspired a course at the University of Maryland law school.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 22, 2015 7:03 pm

It's been less than six months since Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old African-American man, died after sustaining severe injuries in police custody. At the time, Gray's death set off days of demonstrations in Baltimore — as well as rioting and criminal charges against six police officers. Those officers have all pleaded not guilty.

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Author Interviews
9:32 am
Sat August 22, 2015

In WWII, Millions Of Indians Fought For A Britain They Abhored

Originally published on Tue August 25, 2015 4:30 pm

We often hear the story of the Second World War through the experiences of American and British soldiers pitted in battle against Germany and Japan.

But the largest volunteer force in the world then was the Indian Army: More than 2 million Indian men fought for Britain, even as Indian citizens struggled to be free of the British Empire.

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