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Deceptive Cadence
6:59 am
Sat April 25, 2015

Roomful Of Teeth: A Vocal Group That's 'A Band, Not A Choir'

Roomful of Teeth's new album is Render, out April 28.
Nicholas Whitman Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat April 25, 2015 11:36 am

The vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth consists of eight classically trained singers incorporating Tuvan throat singing, Appalachian yodeling, operatic trills, rhythmic exhalations and whispered speech into music written by some of the most exciting young composers of the 21st century.

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Author Interviews
6:59 am
Sat April 25, 2015

'Save Us, Save Us': A Poem For The Migrants Lost At Sea

Originally published on Sat April 25, 2015 11:36 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Book Reviews
6:03 am
Sat April 25, 2015

Tiny Pages Reveal Big, Rodent-Related Worries In 'Devotion'

Courtesy of Riverhead Books

When it came in the mail, I thought it was a joke, this tiny little book. It was hardcover, the size of a pack of cigarettes and about as heavy in my palm as a bird. There was no jacket, just the name β€” Devotion: A Rat Story β€” and a rat, embossed in gold.

I read it in an hour, maybe a little lessβ€” it's just a hundred pages or so. An appetizer, I thought. A snack.

But two days later, I was still thinking about it. And I'm sure that it'll still be scratching around inside of my skull a week from now, like cold little rat claws scraping inside the walls.

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Author Interviews
4:27 am
Sat April 25, 2015

It's The Fuzz! Cat Detective Swipes A Claw At Crime In 'William'

Originally published on Mon April 27, 2015 2:32 pm

By Gouda β€” the Mona Cheesa is missing! And when that most famous work of art is discovered to have been taken from its frame in a Paris art museum, the world's foremost International Cat of Mystery, William, is called in on the case.

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Monkey See
4:21 am
Sat April 25, 2015

The Hard Work And Close Bonds Of Competitive College A Cappella

Voices In Your Head, from the University of Chicago, performs their competition set. In the front, you can see Kari Wei β€” she's the one with the pitch pipe around her neck.
Joe Martinez Photography

Originally published on Sat April 25, 2015 11:36 am

It's been many years since I did my three semesters of college a cappella, but it remains a genre of performance for which I have enormous affection. In 2012, the arrival of Pitch Perfect meant that suddenly, I knew a lot more people who even knew what a college a cappella was.

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Parallels
4:20 am
Sat April 25, 2015

Invisible For Generations, 'Hidden Armenians' Emerge In Turkey

Armenian Christian women pray at St. Giragos Church in southeastern Turkey. The restored church, reopened in 2011, is the largest Armenian church in the Middle East.
Sertac Kayar Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sat April 25, 2015 1:56 pm

A century after Ottoman forces massacred an estimated 1 to 1.5 million Armenian Christians, some of the remaining Armenian Turks are taking tentative steps out into the open. They survived because their ancestors were taken in by Muslim families and raised as Muslims.

Now, thanks in part to a somewhat more tolerant climate in Turkey, their descendants, known as "hidden Armenians," are coming out of hiding.

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It's All Politics
4:03 am
Sat April 25, 2015

Pop-Up Podcast: Same-Sex Marriage And The Supreme Court

A same-sex marriage supporter waves a rainbow flag in front of theSupreme Court in 2013.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Welcome to a special pop-up podcast from NPR's Washington Desk. As the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments Tuesday on whether same-sex marriage bans are constitutional, our correspondents give their take on the legal questions before the court and seismic shift in the culture and politics on this issue.

Gay marriage is now legal in 36 states. And by the end of this Supreme Court term in June, same-sex couples will either be able to wed in all 50 states, or gay marriage bans may be restored in many states where they've been struck down.

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The Two-Way
8:44 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

Jenner: 'For All Intents And Purposes, I Am A Woman'

From left, Bruce Jenner, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian attend FOX's "The X Factor" Season 2 Top 10 Live Performance Show on Nov. 21, 2012 in Hollywood, California.
Frank Micelotta AP

Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 10:49 pm

Bruce Jenner, a former world-renowned track and field athlete better known in recent years from the reality TV shows of his step-daughters, the Kardashian sisters, described a lifelong struggle with gender identity in an interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer on Friday night.

"For all intents and purposes, I am a woman," Jenner said. "I was not genetically born that way ... as of now I have all the male parts. As of now we're different, but we still identify as female."

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The Two-Way
6:08 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

#NPRreads: Rube Goldberg Machine's Dark Origins And Spalding Gray's Last Days

Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 6:51 pm

#NPRreads is a new feature we're testing out on Twitter and on The Two-Way. The premise is simple: Correspondents, editors and producers throughout our newsroom will share pieces that have kept them reading. They'll share tidbits on Twitter using the #NPRreads hashtag, and on occasion we'll share a longer take here on the blog.

This week, we bring you four reads:

From Ina Jaffe, a correspondent on NPR's National Desk:

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The Salt
6:08 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

PepsiCo Swaps Diet Drink's Aspartame For Other Artificial Sweeteners

Beginning in August, a newly formulated aspartame-free Diet Pepsi will hit the shelves, the company says.
PepsiCo

Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 11:16 pm

If you like the idea of zero or low-calorie sodas, but you're turned off by the artificial sweetener aspartame, you're not alone.

Sales of diet soda have fallen off significantly in the U.S. And when PepsiCo started asking consumers what they didn't like, aspartame was at the top of the list.

"It's literally the number-one complaint we've heard from diet-cola consumers as to why they're drinking less and less diet cola, " Seth Kaufman, a senior vice president for PepsiCo, tells The Salt.

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The Two-Way
6:06 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

A Most Indelible Ink: A Magazine Printed Using Blood

The magazine Audio Kultur printed this poster, which commemorates the 100th anniversary of the massacre of 1.5 million Armenians, using blood.
Audio Kultur

"Written in blood" is usually hyperbole. Not so in the case of the latest issue of a Lebanese music and culture magazine.

Audio Kultur used real blood to publish the magazine commemorating the 100th anniversary of the massacre of 1.5 million Armenians.

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Jazz Night In America: Wednesday Night Webcasts
6:05 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

The Bad Plus Joshua Redman At Detroit Jazz Festival

Reid Anderson, Joshua Redman, Dave King and Ethan Iverson.
David Jacobs Courtesy of the artist

Saxophonist Joshua Redman and the collaborative trio The Bad Plus both stand among the most celebrated, thoughtful and prominent jazz acts of the last couple decades. That, and their constrasting aesthetic sensibilities, made it at least news when they first got together in 2011. As it turns out, that collaboration bore lasting fruit: After a series of gigs last summer, they went into the studio with each others' tunes to record The Bad Plus Joshua Redman (say it out loud), to be released in late May.

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Jazz Night In America: Wednesday Night Webcasts
6:04 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

Kamasi Washington's 'The Epic' In Concert

Kamasi Washington.
Courtesy of the artist

Saxophonist and composer Kamasi Washington, 34, has been working on releasing his now three-CD, nearly three-hour, choir-and-strings-assisted album The Epic for the better part of five years now. Even longer, if you consider how long his 10-piece working band has known each other: Most of its members, known collectively as The Next Step or The West Coast Get Down, have known each other since at least high school decades ago in South Central Los Angeles, and in some instances well before that.

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Jazz Night In America: Wednesday Night Webcasts
6:02 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

Celebrating Joe Temperley In Concert

Joe Temperley and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.
Frank Stewart Jazz at Lincoln Center

For 25 years, the baritone saxophone chair of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra has been held by a one Joe Temperley. The Scottish musician, now 85, carries tons of credits to his C.V., especially with big bands: Thad Jones-Mel Lewis, Woody Herman, Buddy Rich, Clark Terry and β€” most notably β€” the Duke Ellington Orchestra.

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The Salt
6:01 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

These Animals Might Go Extinct Because No One Wants To Eat Them

Choctaw boar
The Livestock Conservancy

The Steller's sea cow, the passenger pigeon and the New Zealand moa all went extinct because people developed a taste for their meat.

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Jazz Night In America: Wednesday Night Webcasts
6:00 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

Vijay Iyer Trio At Metropolitan Museum Of Art

The Vijay Iyer trio.
Barbara Rigon Courtesy of the artist

The pianist and composer Vijay Iyer frames his new trio recording, Break Stuff, around the idea of musical breaks: "a break in music is still music: a span of time in which to act," he writes. Formally, he's referring to breakbeats and other musical breakdowns, but more generally, Iyer's trio exploits opportunities to rupture convention.

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Africa
5:18 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

Lawless Libya: The Jumping Off Point For Migrants Heading To Europe

Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 5:55 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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The Two-Way
4:35 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

Baltimore Police: Freddie Gray Should've Gotten Medical Help At Scene Of Arrest

Baltimore Police Department Commissioner Anthony Batts speaks about the investigation into Freddie Gray's death at a news conference on Friday in Baltimore.
Patrick Semansky AP

Police officials in Baltimore admitted that their officers should have provided medical attention immediately following the arrest of Freddie Gray.

Instead, Deputy Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said during a press conference, police officers put handcuffed Gray and put him in the back of a police van without ever buckling him in.

The van went on to make three different stops across town. At the first, Gray was shackeled, but at no point said Commissioner Anthony Batts was Gray ever buckled into the van.

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Hardcover Nonfiction Bestsellers
4:07 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Nonfiction, Week Of April 23, 2015

Originally published on

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Paperback Nonfiction Bestsellers
4:07 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

NPR Bestsellers: Paperback Nonfiction, Week Of April 23, 2015

Originally published on

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Parallels
4:06 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

Clearing The Tangled Path For Land Ownership In The West Bank

One of the first homes going up on land bought and sold as part of a Canadian-Palestinian investment firm's effort to properly register plots. Much land in the West Bank is not registered and has no title deed, creating problems for economic development.
Emily Harris NPR

Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 5:55 pm

High on a West Bank hilltop, the extended Dissi family gathered on a recent weekend for a day out in the Palestinian countryside.

Aunts, uncles and cousins came to see the half-built weekend home of Taysier Dissi, an electrician and father of three. The concrete-block shell, with windows set and stairs roughed in, is placed just right for the view.

This will be the family's getaway from their home in the cramped confines of Jerusalem's often tense Old City. Dissi paid about $30,000 for one-third of an acre here, bought from a Palestinian-Canadian company, UCI.

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It's All Politics
4:02 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

Young Trafficking Victim's Story On NPR Leads To Senator's Amendment

"I never thought that my story would have touched somebody so much that they went in front of Congress to present a bill," the young woman, whom NPR is not naming, said of Shaheen. "There's a lot of voices out there that can't tell her thank you."
Evie Stone NPR

Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 5:55 pm

Hearing the words of a 24-year-old victim of human trafficking β€” and her struggle to wipe away her conviction on prostitution charges β€” inspired New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen.

That young victim, who was featured in an NPR story in February, endured years of rapes and brutal assaults by pimps who forced her into prostitution.

"I'm not ever going to forget what I've done or what I've gone through. But at the same time, I don't want it thrown in my face every time I'm trying to seek employment," she said. "I don't want to have to explain myself every time."

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All Tech Considered
4:02 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

At The Heart Of A Watch, Tested By Time

The author, modeling her mother's watch.
Laura Sydell NPR

Originally published on Sat April 25, 2015 3:55 pm

When my mother passed away, I was by her side in a peaceful, sunny room at a hospice in South Florida. The sliding glass doors looked out to a flourishing garden filled with bougainvillea, rosebushes and carefully cultivated grasses. A block of sunlight, alive with swirling dust, hit the edge of my mother's bed where the tops of her small bony feet made a lump under the light cotton covers.

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Around the Nation
4:02 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

In Charlotte, N.C., Police Use Simulators To Engage Community Amid Distrust

Charlotte Police Chief Rodney Monroe answers questions from the group.
Lisa Wolf WFAE

Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 6:41 pm

Usually police simulators are tucked away in training academies. But in a Charlotte, N.C., middle school gym, a crowd of 100 people watches Capt. Rob Dance as he leads a teenager through a simulated traffic stop that goes bad.

The simulator lets out several loud bangs. Dance notices the teen is nervous, his hands are shaking.

"You shot 24 times," he tells the student. "Did you realize that?"

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U.S.
4:02 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

LGBT Activists Push States To Expand Anti-Discrimination Laws

Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 7:27 pm

Same-sex marriage is legal in most states but so is discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the areas of employment, housing and public accommodation.

Gay-rights activists say this creates a contradiction because in many states someone can legally marry a person of the same gender and then get fired for being gay. They are lobbying state legislatures to add LGBT people to anti-discrimination laws that already include things like race, age, religion and disability.

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U.S.
4:02 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

What's That Smell? The Beautiful Tree That's Causing Quite A Stink

Callery pear trees in Pittsburgh. The smell of the invasive trees has been compared to rotting fish and other stinky things.
Luke H. Gordon Flickr

Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 9:33 pm

It's springtime in Pittsburgh, and throughout the city, Callery pear trees are sprouting beautiful, white blossoms.

But that's just the problem. Simply put, these trees stink.

"This whole place smells like dead fish," says Sheila Titus. "I mean everywhere. Everywhere you see one of these trees with the white on them."

Titus has lived in her home in the now-hip neighborhood of Lawrenceville for 49 years. Two decades ago, her grandson and his 7th grade class planted a row of Callery pears across the street from her house.

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Health
4:02 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

HIV Outbreak In Indiana Grows With Nearly 140 Confirmed Cases

Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 5:55 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Movies
4:02 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

Native American Actors Walk Off Set of Adam Sandler Movie

Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 8:11 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Author Interviews
4:02 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

Don't Take His Stapler: 'Paper Clip' Author's Passion For Office Supplies

Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 5:55 pm

The percussive snap of a stapler. The crisp peeling of a Post-it note. The ruffling flip of an old Rolodex chock-full of cards. James Ward loves office supplies beyond reason β€” and he's written about the history of everything from the pencil to the glue stick in his new book, The Perfection of the Paper Clip.

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Movie Interviews
4:02 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

Marfa's Mexican-Americans Remember 'Giant' And Southwest Segregation

The 1956 film Giant was nominated for 10 Academy Awards and won a Best Director Oscar for George Stevens. Above, James Dean sits on set with Robert Marquez, left, and Joe Vasquez of Marfa, Texas.
Richard C. Miller, 1955

Originally published on Sat April 25, 2015 1:15 am

In 1956, the film Giant (based on the 1952 novel by Edna Ferber) took a piercing look at the Texas myth. It traced the rise of power from cattle ranchers to oil barons and examined the tensions between whites and Latinos. The film was nominated for 10 Academy Awards and won a best director Oscar for George Stevens.

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