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Paperback Fiction Bestsellers
11:03 am
Fri December 27, 2013

NPR Bestsellers: Paperback Fiction, Week Of December 26, 2013

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 1:45 pm

Dear Life, a collection by Nobel laureate Alice Munro, stays at No. 1 for the 10th straight week.

Hardcover Nonfiction Bestsellers
11:03 am
Fri December 27, 2013

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Nonfiction, Week Of December 26, 2013

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 1:44 pm

Charles Krauthammer's Things That Matter, at No. 3, features essays on sports, politics and culture.

Hardcover Fiction Bestsellers
11:03 am
Fri December 27, 2013

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Fiction, Week Of December 26, 2013

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 1:43 pm

At No. 2, John Grisham's Sycamore Row returns to the world of his first novel, A Time to Kill.

NPR Bestseller List
11:03 am
Fri December 27, 2013

NPR Bestsellers: Week Of December 26, 2013

The lists are compiled from weekly surveys of close to 500 independent bookstores nationwide.

Interviews
11:03 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Mel Brooks: 'I'm An EGOT; I Don't Need Any More'

Once vehemently opposed to the idea of being the subject of a documentary, Brooks had a change of heart. The result is an American Masters episode, Mel Brooks: Make a Noise.
WNET/American Masters

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 12:19 pm

This interview was originally broadcast on May 20, 2013.

Over the 60 years that Mel Brooks has been in the entertainment business, his name has become synonymous with comedy. He is the man who broke Broadway records for most Tony Award wins with The Producers (an adaptation of his own movie); who satirized Westerns and racism in Blazing Saddles; and who poked fun at monster movies with Young Frankenstein.

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The Two-Way
10:37 am
Fri December 27, 2013

PHOTO: Saturn's Holiday Closeup

Saturn, looking something like a hand-painted ornament, in a newly released image from NASA.
NASA.gov

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 12:00 pm

Just before Christmas, NASA released a photo of Saturn that we can't resist posting.

Here's how the space agency describes the image:

"The globe of Saturn, seen here in natural color, is reminiscent of a holiday ornament in this wide-angle view from NASA's Cassini spacecraft. The characteristic hexagonal shape of Saturn's northern jet stream, somewhat yellow here, is visible. At the pole lies a Saturnian version of a high-speed hurricane, eye and all. ...

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Music
10:29 am
Fri December 27, 2013

How A Hip-Hop Remix Helped Make 'Cruise' The Year's Biggest Country Hit

Florida Georgia Line was unsigned when it recorded the year's biggest country song, "Cruise."
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 1:19 pm

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Song Travels
10:08 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Stephen Holden On 'Song Travels'

New York Times critic Stephen Holden.
Courtesy of the artist

Writer and critic Stephen Holden has covered everything from film to cabaret for The New York Times, as well as for TV programs such as 60 Minutes and 20/20. While he'd hoped to become a pop singer in his adolescence, Holden later embraced poetry and was published in The New Yorker.

Music remained a passion for Holden and became a key subject of his writing. He covered the singer-songwriter explosion of the 1970s, and his 1980 satirical novel Triple Platinum was based on his experiences as a journalist and executive with RCA.

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JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater
10:06 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Wynton Marsalis: New Year's Eve On JazzSet

Wynton Marsalis performs during New Year's Eve 2011.
Fernando Leon Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 4:20 pm

This edition of JazzSet features a double helping of Wynton Marsalis celebrating New Year's Eve.

First, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra musicians play King Oliver and Jelly Roll Morton, merging "Dippermouth Blues" and "New Orleans Bump." Then, Marsalis invites Vince Giordano and members of his band, The Nighthawks, to play tunes made famous by Louis Armstrong in the Hot Fives and Sevens recordings.

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The Two-Way
10:02 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Indian Nationalist Leader Says Violence Shook Him To The Core

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who is the prime ministerial candidate of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, arrives at the party conference in New Delhi on Tuesday. Modi said Friday that the violence in Gujarat in 2002 shook him to the core.
AP

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 11:23 am

The chief minister of the Indian state of Gujarat is often spoken of as the country's next prime minister. But his critics accuse Narendra Modi of being responsible for a wave of anti-Muslim violence in his state in 2002. The accusation has stuck despite Modi being cleared of wrongdoing in the violence and despite his record as an efficient administrator.

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The Salt
9:57 am
Fri December 27, 2013

2013 Was The Year Bills To Criminalize Animal Cruelty Videos Failed

A Humane Society investigation of a Wyoming pig breeding facility to the introduction of an ag-gag bill in Wyoming, which eventually failed.
Courtesy of Humane Society of the U.S.

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 2:07 pm

The past year was a busy one for the animal welfare activists who've turned their hidden cameras on confinement facilities where huge numbers of food animals are raised.

Livestock producers — and the policymakers they influence — were just as busy trying to make it illegal for activists to enter these facilities undercover.

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The Two-Way
9:25 am
Fri December 27, 2013

The Price Is Wrong And You Know It: Do You Buy That Ticket?

Delta made a mistake, but says it will stand by some cut-rate fares.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 10:10 am

Headlines such as this come along every few months:

"Delta To Honor Extremely Cheap Mistake Fares."

The news, says The Associated Press, is that:

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Best Music Of 2013
9:20 am
Fri December 27, 2013

2013: The Year In Tiny Desk Concerts

Hayley Bartels NPR

For weeks now, we've been compiling lists of 2013's best music — favorite albums, favorite songs, individual staff members' personal Top 10 lists and so on.

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The Two-Way
8:01 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Okinawa Governor OKs Plan To Relocate U.S. Base

Okinawa Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima speaks Friday at a news conference in Naha, Japan, in which he announced his approval of landfill work for the relocation of the U.S. military's Futenma air base within his prefecture, walking back his pledge to move the base off Okinawa.
Kyodo /Landov

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 10:01 am

Okinawa's governor has approved a plan to relocate the U.S. Marine base on the Japanese island.

Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima's decision Friday is a reversal of his pledge to move the base off the Japanese island.

The project would involve land reclamation for a new base that would consolidate the U.S. presence on the island.

"We decided to approve the application for the landfill as we judged it contains all possible steps that could be taken at present to protect the environment," Nakaima said at a news conference in Naha, the prefectural capital.

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The Two-Way
7:59 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Three NATO Personnel Killed By Bombing In Afghanistan

An Afghan security officer runs toward the scene of Friday's bombing in Kabul. Three NATO personnel were killed and at least six Afghan civilians were wounded.
Omar Sobhani Reuters /Landov

A bomb explosion Friday in Kabul killed three members of the NATO coalition serving in Afghanistan and wounded at least six civilians, NPR's Sean Carberry reports from the Afghan capital.

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It's All Politics
7:19 am
Fri December 27, 2013

How Michael Bloomberg Became The Most Influential Mayor Of The Century (So Far)

Outgoing New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks during an August news conference after officially opening the new Hunter's Point South Waterfront Park in Queens.
John Minchillo AP

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 8:45 am

Money mattered in Michael Bloomberg's case.

The billionaire's personal fortune (ranked 10th in the nation by Fortune) allowed him to bankroll his three runs for New York City mayor, freeing him to hire people he believed were the best and the brightest, rather than friends of donors.

His philanthropy also backed up the experiments he ran at City Hall — and allowed him to encourage other mayors to take similar tacks.

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The Two-Way
7:08 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Power's Still Out For Many Across North And Into Canada

In Delton, Mich., broken branches and snapped limbs lie on the ground after this week's snow and ice storms. Many in the state are without power.
Chuck Miller MLive.com/Landov

This may make you shiver:

"It could be days before power is restored to swathes of the country after a ice storms plunged homes and businesses from Michigan to Maine and into Canada into darkness, utility officials say." (NBC News)

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The Two-Way
6:32 am
Fri December 27, 2013

VIDEO: Rescuers Are Drawing Near To Ship Stuck In Antarctic

Stuck in the ice: The MV Akademik Shokalskiy.
Chris Turney Australasian Antarctic Expedition

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 5:24 pm

Update at 6:15 p.m. ET. Chinese Icebreaker Gets Stuck:

The Chinese icebreaker Snow Dragon became stuck in the ice itself as it tried to reach the stranded vessel MV Akademik Shokalskiy.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority tweeted:

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Code Switch
6:03 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Journalists — Of Color! — To Watch In 2014

Fusion is gambling on Alicia Menendez, who has been a fixture on cable news but has never hosted a news show.
Wilfredo Lee AP

You can set your watch to it: If it's the end of the year, journalists are putting together their obligatory lists. And often when someone decides to cobble together a list of the "35 Blanks Under 35 To Watch For," the list is monochromatic. So it went with Politico's "10 Journalists to Watch in 2014," which boasted nary a single person of color.

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Around the Nation
5:51 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Cops Hand Out Lottery Tickets Along with Citations

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 7:06 am

Along with the usual traffic citations, police in Melbourne, Fla., gave out scratch-off lottery tickets. The cops themselves paid for them — in the spirit of the season, they said. No word of any big winners, just yet.

Around the Nation
5:47 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Deer Wanders Into Pa. Sporting Goods Store

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 7:06 am

Transcript

DON GONYEA, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Don Gonyea.

Sporting goods stores carry gear for hunters but they don't usually supply the game. Yesterday though a deer wandered into Dick's Sporting Goods in Spring Township, Pennsylvania, the hapless creature promptly slipped on the floor. The customers, evidently still in the Christmas spirit, escorted the animal out the door. But it's still hunting season, the deer may not be out of the woods yet. Is this a "Farside" cartoon?

It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

The Two-Way
5:41 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Bomb Blast In Beirut Kills Former Ambassador To U.S.

Some of the destruction at the scene of Friday's car bombing in Beirut.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 7:23 am

An explosion in Beirut on Friday killed at least six people, including a former Lebanese ambassador to the U.S. who was a leader of the Western-backed coalition that opposes the militant group Hezbollah.

More than 70 other people were injured by the car bomb, authorities say.

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Movies
4:29 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Voting For Academy Award Nominations Begins Friday

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 7:06 am

Transcript

DON GONYEA, HOST:

Oscar voters can start agonizing over their ballots this morning. It's the first day of voting and this year they've a lot to choose from.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "GRAVITY")

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Explorer, this is Houston.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Go ahead, Houston.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Mission abort. Repeat: mission abort.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "12 YEARS A SLAVE")

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: I will not fall into the spell. I will offer up my talents to Master Ford. I will keep myself hardy till freedom is opportune.

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Sports
4:29 am
Fri December 27, 2013

NBA Trailblazers Continue Their Surprising Season

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 7:06 am

Transcript

DON GONYEA, HOST:

A third of the NBA season is complete and the Portland Trailblazers are on a surprising run. Last night they beat the L. A. Clippers 116 - 112 in overtime. Portland has the league's best record - 24 wins, five losses. Now the tepid pre-season forecasts are turning into talk of how far the Blazers can go in the post-season. NPR's Tom Goldman reports.

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Business
4:29 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Cars Are Next Frontier For Sharing Services

Kevin Petrovic, 19, and his business partner, who's also 19, raised about $6 million from venture capitalists in Silicon Valley to launch FlightCar. The company is trying to make its mark with car-sharing for travelers.
Chris Arnold NPR

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 8:57 am

Following the popularity of companies like Airbnb, which rent out a client's house or apartment to people visiting the area, more companies are trying the idea with cars. Companies like Uber help find someone to drive you around like a taxi. Another will let you rent out your car like a Zipcar while you're at work.

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Politics
4:29 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Obama's Position On Free Trade Marks Subtle Evolution

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 7:06 am

Two decades after NAFTA created a giant North American free trade zone, the U.S. is negotiating more big trade deals that would span the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. President Obama has embraced the potential agreements as a way to improve the U.S. economy.

StoryCorps
2:27 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Recalling His Inspiration, A Neurosurgeon Thanks A Teacher

After a patient told neurosurgeon Lee Buono to thank the teacher who inspired him, he called up Al Siedlecki.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 7:06 am

This story originally aired on Weekend Edition on Sept. 25, 2011.

As a middle-school student in the 1980s, Lee Buono stayed after school one day to remove the brain and spinal cord from a frog. He did such a good job that his science teacher told him he might become a neurosurgeon someday.

That's exactly what Buono did.

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Shots - Health News
2:25 am
Fri December 27, 2013

The Number 6 Says It All About The HealthCare.gov Rollout

iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 7:08 am

When it comes to health care, the rollout of the Affordable Care Act was supposed to be measured in the millions. That's how many people were expected to sign up for insurance to begin on Jan. 1.

But for both supporters and opponents of the law, there's one number that sticks out above all others. Six. That's how many people actually managed to enroll through the federal HealthCare.gov website the first day it opened, Oct. 1.

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Parallels
2:25 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Facing Big Changes, Anxious Afghans Hope For The Best In 2014

Women walk along on the street in Kabul, Afghanistan, last week. The country faces many changes next year, including a presidential election and the withdrawal of U.S. combat forces. There are also concerns that advances made by women over the past decade could be in jeopardy.
Rahmat Gul AP

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 8:27 am

To many Afghans, 2014 is more than a year — it's a sword of Damocles hanging over the fragile nation. It's the year the country will elect a successor to President Hamid Karzai and the U.S.-led military mission will end. Many fear that will open the door to chaos.

But on a chilly winter day in Kabul, it's still business as usual in the city center.

In a stationary market, you can still buy calendars for this year — the year 1392. Afghanistan uses the Persian solar calendar, and in March the year 1393 begins.

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National Security
2:24 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Marines: Most Female Recruits Don't Meet New Pullup Standard

Female Marine recruits train on the rifle range during boot camp at Parris Island, S.C., on Feb. 25. The Marine Corps said it has postponed new physical standards that would require women to do three pullups, noting that many female recruits were not yet able to do so.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 7:06 am

Starting Jan. 1, every woman in the Marines Corps was supposed to meet a new physical standard by performing three pullups. But that has been put off.

The Marine Corps announced it quietly. There was no news conference — just a notice on its social media sites and an item on its own TV show, The Corps Report.

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