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Law
7:00 am
Sun February 9, 2014

New Criminal Sentencing Efforts Aim To Reduce Prison Crowding

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 10:44 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

The Obama administration is now urging some criminals in U.S. prisons to plead for clemency. Many of these prisoners were sentenced under tough drug laws from the days of the crack epidemic. And now, the Justice Department says that low level, non-violent drug offenders should ask for early release. The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, meanwhile, is pushing a bill that advocates are calling the biggest sentencing reform in decades.

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Middle East
7:00 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Al-Qaida Steps In To Step Out Of Syria

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 10:44 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Middle East
7:00 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Aid Workers Continue Efforts To Reach Besieged Syrian City

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 10:44 am

Humanitarian workers continue to try to evacuate civilians from the besieged Syrian city of Homs as negotiators in Geneva prepare for the next round of peace talks. NPR's Rachel Martin gets the latest from reporter Alice Fordham in Geneva.

The Edge
6:53 am
Sun February 9, 2014

U.S. Sweeps Slopestyle Snowboarding With Women's Gold

Jamie Anderson of the United States, center, celebrates with silver medalist Enni Rukajarvi of Finland, left, and bronze medalist Jenny Jones of Britain, after Anderson won the women's snowboard slopestyle final at the 2014 Winter Olympics, on Sunday.
Sergei Grits AP

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 11:06 am

Jamie Anderson's win in the slopestyle snowboarding competition has given the U.S. a sweep of the event following Saturday's win by Sage Kotsenburg.

Anderson's near-flawless run clinched the women's gold.

The Associated Press reports:

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You Must Read This
6:02 am
Sun February 9, 2014

From Muse To Outcast, A Woman Comes Of Age In 'Widow Basquiat'

Rebecca Walker's previous work includes the memoirs Black, White & Jewish and Baby Love. Adé: A Love Story is her first novel.
Amanda Marsalis Courtesy of Little A / New Harvest

Much has been written about Jean-Michel Basquiat, the childlike savant and startlingly brilliant neo-expressionist who went down in a ball of heroin, cocaine and rage before his prime — before he could see his paintings sell at Christie's for $49 million, before he was compared to Picasso and de Kooning. Since his death in 1988, he has been immortalized in countless museum catalogues and even more Ph.D theses, and rendered larger than life on the silver screen by none other than the king of the eighties art world himself, Julian Schnabel.

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A Blog Supreme
5:02 am
Sun February 9, 2014

'When The Bus For The Record Label Comes By': Behind Hot Tone Music

Camille Thurman (left), Mimi Jones (center) and Shirazette Tinnin all released new albums this week on Hot Tone Music, Jones' record imprint.
Courtesy of the artist

This past week, the bassist and vocalist Mimi Jones released three albums at once. They weren't all her music, but they were her work: As the founder and producer of the record label Hot Tone Music, she brought all three albums to fruition.

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Parallels
4:47 am
Sun February 9, 2014

The World's Most Optimistic Law: Banning Graffiti In Karachi

A man walks past one of the many graffiti-covered walls in Karachi, Pakistan, on Dec. 27, 2013. Provincial lawmakers have voted to ban graffiti, but few expect the measure to be enforced.
Athar Hussain Reuters /Landov

If there was a competition to find the world's Most Optimistic Law, then here's a promising contender.

A law has just been introduced in Pakistan that bans people from scrawling graffiti on the walls of Karachi, a vast, chaotic port city on the shores of the Arabian Sea.

It is impossible to drive through Karachi without being struck by the manner in which the city's walls yell at the passersby.

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Parallels
4:45 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Turning A Million Cubic Yards Of Post-Typhoon Trash Into Jobs

Locals working for a UNDP cash-for-work program clear debris in one of the neighborhoods worst affected by the typhoon that hit Tacloban, Philippines, last November. Tim Walsh runs the program, which he hopes will help keep the local economy going.
RV Mitra/UNDP Flickr

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 10:44 am

In an open dump, in a village outside of Tacloban in the central Philippines, we're sloshing through rainwater and leachate — that's the goo that comes out of rotting trash — while Tim Walsh surveys the site.

"Just walk on the dry bit," he says. "I've got used to the smell over the years and you get immune to it. But for most people the smell of decaying rubbish is not really very pleasant."

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The Edge
4:56 pm
Sat February 8, 2014

Sochi Games Expose Indian Corruption And Redemption

Independent Olympic participant Shiva Keshavan makes a run during the men's luge training session ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at the Sanki Sliding Center on Wednesday in Sochi, Russia.
Al Bello Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 6:11 am

It's one of the most dangerous sports at the Olympic Games. And when Indian slider Shiva Keshavan crashed from his sled during a training run at the luge track Friday, his miraculous recovery went viral.

Flying through icy curves feet first, Keshavan thundered down the frozen tunnel, the scraping blades or "steels" of his small sled sounding like a runaway train.

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The Record
4:42 pm
Sat February 8, 2014

Rap From Memphis: The Outtakes

The Pyramid Sports Arena in Memphis in 1998.
Visions of America/UIG via Getty Images

During the reporting of our story about the legacy of Comin' Out Hard in Memphis rap, we spent time in the city with MJG, Young Dolph and Drumma Boy. We met Yo Gotti in New York and got Eightball in a studio in Atlanta. We didn't have enough time to talk to everybody who's made Memphis rap what it is, like Gangsta Boo, or DJ Paul, Juicy J, Project Pat, or even Gangsta Pat.

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Digital Life
4:42 pm
Sat February 8, 2014

Dr. Wikipedia: The 'Double-Edged Sword' Of Crowdsourced Medicine

giulia.forsythe Flickr

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 12:17 pm

Wikipedia has become a go-to source for definitions, celebrity facts, and now, medical information. A study by the IMS Health Institute published in January names Wikipedia as the "single leading source" of health care information for both patients and health care professionals.

Unfortunately, some of that information is wrong.

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Arts & Life
4:09 pm
Sat February 8, 2014

People, Language And Controversy In The Headlines

Originally published on Sat February 8, 2014 5:34 pm

Writer and comedian Hari Kondabolu speaks with NPR's Arun Rath about India being excluded from the Olympics, a controversial Coke commercial, and comments from Sen. Pat Roberts from Kansas during the confirmation hearings for surgeon general nominee Dr. Vivek Murthy.

Books
4:09 pm
Sat February 8, 2014

Lessons On Addiction And Escaping The 'Death Grip From Satan'

Originally published on Sat February 8, 2014 5:34 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.

Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died last weekend from an apparent heroin overdose. Since then, many of his fans have been trying to make sense of it. Slate senior editor Emily Bazelon turned to the work of a journalist who investigated his own effort to escape what he calls the death grip from Satan. Bazelon recommends David Carr's "The Night of the Gun."

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Author Interviews
4:09 pm
Sat February 8, 2014

In 'Poetry,' The Story Of An African-American Military Family

Courtesy of Penguin Group

Originally published on Sat February 8, 2014 5:34 pm

Marilyn Nelson is one of America's most celebrated poets. She is a three-time finalist for the National Book Award, winner of the Newbery and Printz and Coretta Scott King awards. Many of her most famous collections are for children.

Her latest work, How I Discovered Poetry, is a memoir about her own childhood. It's a series of 50 poems about growing up, traveling all over America in the 1950s to follow her father's job in the Air Force. Each of the poems is identified with a place and a date.

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The New And The Next
4:09 pm
Sat February 8, 2014

Blowing Away The Limits Of Convention

Courtesy Ozy.com

Originally published on Sat February 8, 2014 5:34 pm

The online magazine Ozy covers people, places and trends on the horizon. Co-founder Carlos Watson joins All Things Considered regularly to tell us about the site's latest feature stories.

This week, Watson talks with host Arun Rath about a Tunisian inventor with a new design for wind turbines and why HBO's True Detective is so "seductive." They also discuss how Square, a device that enables smartphones and tablets to easily process credit cards, is changing the way people tip.

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Deceptive Cadence
4:09 pm
Sat February 8, 2014

'Philomena' And The Power Of A Quiet Film Score

Judi Dench and Steve Coogan in the film Philomena.
Alex Bailey Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 4:53 pm

In the 1950s, Philomena Lee was a naive Irish teenager who got pregnant, gave birth in a convent, and was forced by the nuns to sign away her parental rights. The 2013 film Philomena is based on what happened five decades later, when Lee went looking for her son with the help of a journalist. Directed by Stephen Frears and starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, Philomena is up for several Academy Awards, including one in an unlikely category.

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Education
4:09 pm
Sat February 8, 2014

Tennessee Weighs The Cost Of A Free College Education

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam delivers his State of the State address to a joint session of the General Assembly on Monday in Nashville, Tenn. In the speech, he proposed spending the state's lottery money on free community college education for those in need.
Mark Zaleski AP

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 10:45 am

Pretty soon, going to community college in Tennessee may become absolutely free. Republican Gov. Bill Haslam unveiled the proposal in his annual State of the State address this week.

Haslam is trying to lift Tennessee's ranking as one of the least-educated states. Less than a third of residents have even a two-year degree. But a community college free-for-all has been tried elsewhere, though not sustained, and there's always a nagging question.

"So I know you're wondering," Haslam said. "How do we pay for this?"

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Law
4:09 pm
Sat February 8, 2014

Justice Department Extends New Privileges To Gay Marriages

Originally published on Sat February 8, 2014 5:34 pm

Attorney General Eric Holder has directed the Justice Department to give same-sex married couples "full and equal recognition." This means they will now have spousal privileges in federal courts. NPR's Arun Rath speaks with justice correspondent Carrie Johnson about the policy shift and what it means for same-sex couples.

The Two-Way
2:43 pm
Sat February 8, 2014

Iran: Warships Will Steam Close To U.S. Waters As 'A Message'

Iranian Navy destroyer Shahid Naqdi is pictured at Port Sudan, in October 2012.
Mohmed Nureldin Abdallah Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sat February 8, 2014 3:35 pm

An admiral of Iran's Northern Navy Fleet said warships under his command have been dispatched to skirt U.S. maritime borders for the first time, in tit-for-tat move aimed at protesting the U.S. naval presence in the Persian Gulf.

Afshin Rezayee Haddad was quoted Saturday by the semi-official Fars News Agency as saying the deployment of the vessels, the number and type which he did not reveal, "has a message."

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All Tech Considered
12:41 pm
Sat February 8, 2014

Broken Age's Adventure Started Long Before Pressing Start

Vella (left) and Shay (right) are the main characters of Broken Age: Act I, a game funded through Kickstarter.
Double Fine Productions

Originally published on Sat February 8, 2014 4:46 pm

The new adventure game Broken Age: Act I is groundbreaking.

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The Two-Way
12:15 pm
Sat February 8, 2014

Syrian Humanitarian Convoy Reportedly Attacked

Aid workers trying to deliver humanitarian supplies to the besieged, rebel-held district of Homs, were wounded on Saturday after reportedly coming under fire from "armed terrorist groups," the label authorities give to rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad.

Four Syrian Arab Red Crescent workers were hurt in the reported attack, according to Syrian state television. Opposition groups did not immediately respond to the allegations.

As NPR's Alice Fordham reports, it's the latest sign that a hard-won ceasefire is fraying.

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Fresh Air Weekend
11:38 am
Sat February 8, 2014

Fresh Air Weekend: Tim Gunn, 'Borgen' And The Parenting Paradox

"The term 'vegan leather' makes me think that you peeled a carrot and took the skin and made a jacket out of it," says Tim Gunn, pictured above at the Under the Gunn finale fashion show.
Alberto E. Rodriguez Getty Images

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
11:18 am
Sat February 8, 2014

Holder Orders Equal Treatment For Married Same-Sex Couples

John Lewis (left) and Stuart Gaffney embrace outside San Francisco's City Hall shortly before the U.S. Supreme Court ruling cleared the way for same-sex marriage in California in June.
Noah Berger AP

Originally published on Sat February 8, 2014 1:04 pm

Attorney General Eric Holder has for the first time directed Justice Department employees to give same-sex married couples "full and equal recognition, to the greatest extent under the law," a move with far-ranging consequences for how such couples are treated in federal courtrooms and proceedings.

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Music News
11:05 am
Sat February 8, 2014

A Male Singer Shines In A Woman's World

Portuguese singer António Zambujo occupies a distinct place in the world of fado, a musical style better known for its female stars.
Rita Carmo

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The Two-Way
10:35 am
Sat February 8, 2014

French Court Orders Google To Display Notice On Its Search Page

A screenshot of the Google.fr homepage, displaying the court-ordered message.
Google

Originally published on Sat February 8, 2014 11:36 am

A court in France has ordered a most public shaming for Google, telling the Internet giant it must display a notice on its French search page acknowledging it's been fined over how it tracked and stored user information.

The $200,000 fine was imposed in January by the French National Commission for Computing and Civil Liberties (CNIL) for violating consumer privacy.

According to Google Translate, the above notice reads:

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Tiny Desk Concerts
10:14 am
Sat February 8, 2014

Fanfare Ciocarlia: Tiny Desk Concert

Fanfare Ciocarlia performs at a Tiny Desk Concert in January 2014.
Jim Tuttle Jim Tuttle/NPR

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 9:13 am

Truth be told, I was scared. We've stuffed a lot of musicians behind the Tiny Desk, but when I saw Fanfare Ciocarlia (pronounced "fan-FAR-eh cho-car-LEE-ah") at Globalfest the week before the band arrived at NPR, I couldn't fathom how we'd corral these 12 musicians and their various assorted horns and drums into that truly tiny space.

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The Edge
10:04 am
Sat February 8, 2014

Is Early Sochi Criticism Par For The Course?

A technical glitch kept one of the massive Olympic rings looming over the stadium dark during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, on Friday.
David J. Phillip AP

Originally published on Sat February 8, 2014 11:27 am

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Opinion
9:47 am
Sat February 8, 2014

Forego The Faux Snow: The Games Could Use A Permanent Home

China's National Stadium, right, and National Aquatics Center, cost half a billion dollars to build and struggle to attract visitors.
Greg Baker AP

Originally published on Sat February 8, 2014 1:43 pm

The Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, are certifiably the most expensive and allegedly staggeringly corrupt.

Upwards of $50 billion has been spent to turn a place that's been best known as a Black Sea beach resort, where rich Russians could warm themselves under palm trees during long Moscow winters, into a winter sports capital with ski slopes and bobsled runs.

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The Two-Way
9:22 am
Sat February 8, 2014

Panama Canal Expansion Suspended Over Cost-Overrun Dispute

The stalled expansion project of the Panama Canal in Panama City on Thursday.
Mauricio Valenzuela Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Sat February 8, 2014 11:44 am

A Spanish-led consortium charged with a multibillion-dollar expansion of the Panama Canal lock system has halted work after a disagreement over massive cost overruns in the project.

The BBC says the consortium, known as Grupo Unido por el Canal (GUPC), announced that work had been stopped because it's owed $1.6 billion for a project to build a third set of locks designed to handle bigger ships than can currently fit through the canal. The original price tag was set at $3.2 billion.

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History
9:16 am
Sat February 8, 2014

Memento Of A Lost Childhood: Anne Frank's Marbles

Originally published on Sat February 8, 2014 11:05 am

Before her family went into hiding, Anne Frank gave away some of her toys to her neighbor, Toosje Kupers. The gift included a set of marbles, now on display at at an art gallery in Rotterdam. NPR's Scott Simon takes a moment to note the childhood gift.

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