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First Listen
10:02 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

First Listen: Eric Church, 'The Outsiders'

Eric Church's new album, The Outsiders, comes out Feb. 11.
John Peets Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 9:15 pm

Eric Church was surely aware that he was cribbing from one of America's most beloved young-adult novels when he called his fourth full-length album The Outsiders. The title song opens the record with lines that could have been ripped from the jacket copy of S.E. Hinton's classic heartland/gangland story: "They're the in-crowd, we're the other ones / It's a different kind of cloth that we're cut from." Electric power chords crest and crash as Church howls out declarations in a voice that's part preacher, part rapper, part metalhead and all alpha dog.

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First Listen
10:02 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

First Listen: Thumpers, 'Galore'

Thumpers' new album, Galore, comes out Feb. 11.
Oliver Smith Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 10:18 am

Galore, the first album by the London duo Thumpers, is rooted resolutely in the first-person plural: Temperamentally as well as lyrically, it reaches out as a piecemeal missive both to and from you and me and everyone we know, assembling a steadfast vision of the whole world as a sprawling family in a tiny neighborhood. These are songs whose collective narrative engine is a belief in the power of a passionate few to forge meaningful connections, to keep life's ills at bay or, as "Unkinder (A Tougher Love)" would have it, to move the earth.

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First Listen
10:02 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

First Listen: Cibo Matto, 'Hotel Valentine'

Cibo Matto's new album, Hotel Valentine, comes out Feb. 14.
Sean Lennon Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 12:52 pm

For many bands who return after long hiatuses, the absences melt away quickly. My Bloody Valentine, gone 22 years, put out an album last year that jumped directly from the sound of 1991's Loveless.

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First Listen
10:02 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

First Listen: Tinariwen, 'Emmaar'

Tinariwen's new album, Emmaar, comes out Feb. 11.
Marie Planeille Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 10:16 am

How do you build on the reputation that has made your band the most visible ambassador of an entire people? For its seventh international album, Emmaar, Tinariwen has some striking ideas that were born out of both creativity and absolute necessity.

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First Listen
10:02 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

First Listen: Temples, 'Sun Structures'

Temples' new album, Sunstructures, is out Feb. 11.
Ed Miles Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 10:15 am

It makes cosmic sense that Sun Structures, the debut album from Temples, arrives at the height of the current nostalgia wave associated with the 50th anniversary of Beatlemania and the British Invasion.

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First Listen
10:02 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

First Listen: Hurray For The Riff Raff, 'Small Town Heroes'

Hurray for the Riff Raff's new album, Small Town Heroes, comes out Feb. 11.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 2:29 pm

New Orleans is a tricky place to put into song. To a degree matched only by California and New York City, the Big Easy makes and is made by the American geographical zeitgeist, and has captured the imaginations of songwriters since its founding. It seems massively daunting, if not impossible, to tell a story about Storyville that hasn't been told before.

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Remembrances
6:06 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

Philip Seymour Hoffman: An 'Uncanny' Actor Of Stage And Screen

Hoffman (left) and Eddie Marsan, in a scene from the film God's Pocket, released in January.
Lance Acord AP

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 1:53 pm

Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead on Sunday in his Manhattan apartment. He was 46.

Hoffman was steeped in his profession — in film, on stage, in the spotlight and behind the scenes.

In 2005, he won the Oscar for best actor for his portrayal of Truman Capote. The movie focuses on Capote's interviews with two murderers on death row for his nonfiction novel In Cold Blood.

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Economy
5:44 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

Obama's State Of The Union And Your Economic Reality

President Barack Obama looks at a crank shaft as he tours General Electric's Waukesha Gas Engines facility on Thursday in Waukesha, Wis. as part of a four-stop tour he is making to expand on themes from his State of the Union address, including the economy.
AP

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 6:20 am

In his State of the Union speech Tuesday, President Obama stepped up to a podium before Congress and the country and declared that the state of our union was strong.

"Here are the results of your efforts: The lowest unemployment rate in over five years; a rebounding housing market; a manufacturing sector that's adding jobs for the first time since the 1990s," the president said.

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Around the Nation
5:42 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

Following Oil Boom In N. Dakota: A Cultural Blooming?

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 1:25 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.

This week, NPR has been reporting on the effects of the fracking boom in the area known as the Bakken. Williston, North Dakota, offers a haven for a new working class. Tens of thousands of newcomers have flocked to the oil field over the past five years. The region is flush with high-paying, low-scaled work. It's bringing a lot of economic development, and some are hoping it can bring cultural development too. Montana Public Radio's Dan Boyce has the story.

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Author Interviews
5:42 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

'Unnecessary Woman' Lives On The Margins, Enveloped In Books

Trinette Reed iStockphoto

Aaliyah lives in the heart of Lebanon's capital, but she is cut off from parties, war and family.

The title character of Rabih Alameddine's new novel spends her days alone in her Beirut apartment. She translates her favorite books into Arabic, and her manuscripts pile up, unsold. At 72, the former bookstore employee is long divorced without any children.

"She fell in love with books," Alameddine says. "So this is a woman who, whether it is by choice or by circumstance, has been forced into the margins of society."

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Music News
5:42 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

Duke Ellington's Lost Opera, Forever A Work In Progress

Karen Marie Richardson (right) plays the title role in the Long Beach Opera's staging of Queenie Pie, the jazz opera Duke Ellington left unfinished when he died in 1974.
Bryan Frank Long Beach Opera

Duke Ellington added more than 3,000 songs to the American music vault before his death in 1974. He also started composing what he hoped would be a great American street opera — which composers have spent 40 years adapting, trying to figure out what the Duke wanted for his unfinished opus.

But before you imagine soothing arias or boisterous trills and vibrato, let me stop you: Ellington's opera is very much a work of jazz.

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Shots - Health News
4:45 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

Abortions Reportedly Drop To Lowest Rate Since 1970s

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 10:39 am

Abortions in the U.S. resumed their downward trend between 2008 and 2011, according to a new study. But its authors say the recent surge of state laws intended to restrict the procedure is likely not the reason.

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Around the Nation
4:20 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

The Brutal Business Of Heroin Brings Wave Of Overdoses In Pa.

Originally published on Sun February 2, 2014 5:42 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Drug-related deaths are scarring families and communities across the country. The area around Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has been hit especially hard. Twenty-two people have died there in less than two weeks, the latest in a wave of heroin overdoses. Police in Western Pennsylvania are blaming the deaths on an especially potent form of the street drug. After testing, they determined the heroin had been mixed with a prescription painkiller known as Fentanyl.

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Movies
4:18 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

A Century Ago Today, Chaplin Made His Film Debut — In A Dud

Silent-film icon Charlie Chaplin, in character as the Little Tramp, takes aim with his walking stick circa 1925.
Edward Gooch Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 2, 2014 5:42 pm

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The Edge
4:17 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

After Decade-Long Fight, Ski Jumper Lindsey Van Is 'Ready To Fly'

Lindsey Van at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships last year, in Val di Fiemme, Italy.
Mike Hewitt Getty Images

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

For more than a decade, ski jumper Lindsey Van dreamed of making the U.S. Olympic team, but one thing held her back: Female ski jumpers weren't allowed to compete. Until this year.

This month, the 29-year-old from Park City, Utah, will be one of the athletes competing at the Olympics on the U.S. women's ski jumping team. For Van, that competition marks the end of a very long road.

"Honestly, I don't really have words for it," she said at a press conference announcing the team. "I'm just completely overwhelmed and happy to be representing my sport."

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The Salt
3:10 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

Marijuana-Laced Treats Leave Colorado Jonesing For Food-Safety Rules

Truffles are among the many foods infused with THC – the chemical in marijuana that gives you a high — already for sale in Colorado.
Luke Runyon/KUNC/Harvest Public Media

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 11:00 am

Where there's pot, there's pot brownies. But how do you make sure those high-inducing sweets are safe to eat?

Colorado regulators are wrestling with that question now that the state has legalized recreational marijuana. From sodas and truffles to granola bars and butter, food products infused with THC – the chemical in marijuana that gives you a high — are already for sale.

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The Two-Way
1:45 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

Philip Seymour Hoffman, Oscar-Winner, Found Dead At 46

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 6:51 am

Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, who won a best actor Oscar for the title role in the 2005 film Capote, was found dead in his Manhattan apartment at the age of 46.

A New York Police Department spokesman tells NPR that authorities are "investigating Hoffman's death as a possible drug overdose."

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Parallels
12:05 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

Race Toward Afghan Election Starts, With Skepticism In The Lead

A campaign banner is posted in Kabul, Afghanistan, for presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah on Sunday.
Omar Sobhani Reuters/Landov

With the campaign for Afghanistan's April 5 presidential election officially underway, three questions are commonly asked around Kabul: Do you think the presidential election will be held on April 5? Will the election be held at all this year? Who do you think will win?

Right now, 11 men are vying to succeed President Hamid Karzai, who is term-limited. If the election goes well, it would mark the first peaceful, democratic transfer of power in Afghanistan's history.

The Issue Of Timing

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Shots - Health News
11:55 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Poll: Support For High School Football, Despite Concussion Risks

Most Americans are aware that football carries a risk of concussions. An NPR poll found a large proportion of people believe safety improvements are needed for football to remain a high school sport.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 1:26 pm

Making sure that children are active often means getting them interested in sports. But parents have to weigh the health risks of those sports, including hits that can cause concussions.

Concussions are brain injuries. Most people, including kids, recover from a concussion. But concussions, particularly repeated ones, can lead to serious, lasting health problems.

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The Two-Way
11:45 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Ukraine Protests Set To Widen As President Ends Sick Leave

Opposition supporters take part in a rally in Kiev's Independence Square, the epicenter of the country's current unrest, in Ukraine, on Sunday.
Sergei Chuzavkov AP

Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych says he will return to work on Monday after a brief sick leave, likely setting the stage for a new round of anti-government unrest.

As many as 30,000 protesters gathered in the capital, Kiev, on Sunday, renewing calls for Yanukovych to step down.

The president had announced his sick leave on Thursday, prompting concern that, as The Associated Press writes, "he may have been taking himself out of action in preparation for declaring a state of emergency."

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It's All Politics
11:43 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Super Bowl XLVIII: A Political Guide

New York and national politicians join the NFL Super Bowl host committee in New York's Times Square Saturday. When it comes to political contributions, the owners of Sunday's Super Bowl contenders are plenty active.
Christopher Gregory Getty Images

Pro football prognosticators are divided over who's the favorite to win Sunday's Super Bowl. Some give the edge to Peyton Manning and the high-flying Denver Broncos. Others believe the stifling Seattle Seahawks defense will carry them to victory.

Here at the It's All Politics blog, we can't help with any game-day analysis or offer any insights into how the two teams match up against each other.

But we can tell you a little about the politics surrounding each team.

The Denver Broncos

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The Salt
10:49 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Sap Discovery Could Turn Syrup-Making Upside Down

Buckets collect sap on maple trees in Vermont. A new discovery means that sap doesn't have to be collected from mature trees out in the wild.
Toby Talbot AP

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 11:51 am

Last year researchers at the University of Vermont announced something that could change the way we think about Vermont — or at least how it produces its famous maple syrup.

The time-honored method calls for inserting a tap near the bottom of a tall, mature maple tree. At the end of February, the tree thaws, and voila: Sap starts flowing out the spigot at the bottom.

But in 2010, these researchers were testing ways to gather sap from mature trees when they noticed something unusual.

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The Two-Way
9:08 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Christie's Office Blasts Latest Bridgegate Accusations

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie waves to guests as he attends the Super Bowl Hand-Off Ceremony in New York on Saturday.
Eduardo Munoz Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun February 2, 2014 11:17 am

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's political team is going on the offensive against charges that he knew more than he admits about a plan to use lane closures on the George Washington Bridge as part of a political vendetta.

In an email to donors and journalists headlined "5 Things You Should Know about the Bombshell That's Not a Bombshell," on Saturday, political aides to the governor pushed back on accusations by David Wildstein, a former Port Authority official who oversaw the lane closures.

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Business
8:53 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Should Uber Be Responsible For Driver Recklessness?

The transportation app Uber matches ride-seekers with drivers. Drivers must keep checking their phones to catch customers, and critics say that may have dangerous consequences on the road. Is Uber responsible for the risk?
Lucy Nicholson Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 10:04 am

A man named Syed Muzaffar drove for Uber, the San Francisco-based company that makes money selling car rides. He lives in a suburb of San Francisco and on New Year's Eve, he says, he was in the city for the sole purpose of picking up partygoers who needed a ride.

His night ended early and tragically, around 8 p.m., when he turned a corner and hit a family in a crosswalk.

"The mother sustained facial fractures," says Police Sgt. Eric Mahoney, who is investigating the case. "The 4-year-old boy suffered abrasions on his face, and the 6-year-old girl was fatally injured."

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The Sunday Conversation
8:17 am
Sun February 2, 2014

There's 'More To Life Than Sports': Lineman On Leaving NFL

John Moffitt, #74, protects Seattle Quarterback Charlie Whitehurst in a 2011 game versus the Cincinnati Bengals.
Otto Greule Jr Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 3:35 am

Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.

John Moffitt started playing football when he was 8 years old, and made it all the way to the top of the game. He played offensive lineman for the Seattle Seahawks for two seasons, then got traded to another powerhouse team, the Denver Broncos.

Incidentally, those two teams are playing in Super Bowl XLVIII, but Moffitt won't be on the field; he quit midway through this season.

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Middle East
8:01 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Ancient Syrian City A Wasteland Of Modern Violence

Originally published on Sun February 2, 2014 1:17 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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

Talks in Geneva have ended without any concrete action on Syria. In fact, even without a concrete promise from the Assad government that it will show up for another round of talks next week. The two sides had lengthy discussions about sending aid into the Syrian city of Homs, Syria's third-largest city. But they couldn't agree on passage for an aid convoy. And that means hundreds are still stranded without food or medicine.

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Strange News
8:01 am
Sun February 2, 2014

After Crushing Bad Luck, A Free Bungee Jump

Originally published on Sun February 2, 2014 1:17 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Asia
8:01 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Violence Gives Way To Calmer Thai Elections

Originally published on Sun February 2, 2014 1:17 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. Voters went to the polls in Thailand today in a snap election called by the ruling party. The elections seem to have gone off fairly peacefully, but they were proceeded by violent clashes between government supporters, known as Red Shirts, and protesters backing the opposition. Last night, at least seven people were injured in Bangkok by gunfire and grenades. Reporter Michael Sullivan is with us now from Bangkok to tell us more. Hi, Michael.

MICHAEL SULLIVAN: Hi, Rachel.

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Energy
8:01 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Oil Train Derailments Spur Calls For Safety Measures

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 1:24 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Politics
8:01 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Why A Do-Nothing Immigration Strategy Might Work For GOP

Originally published on Sun February 2, 2014 1:17 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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