Nation/World

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ARUN RATH, HOST:

A picture that crossed the wire, really struck us today. It shows a sea of American flags planted at the Boston Common.

It's stunning:

According to the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund, which plants the flags, it represents the 37,000 Massachusetts residents who have lost their lives in combat since the Revolutionary War.

Did you know the theme music to Jurassic Park has lyrics?

Well, according to Jeff Goldblum, who played "Dr. Ian Malcolm" in the film, here they are:

In Jurassic Park
Scary in the dark
I'm so scared that I'll be eaten.

At least that's what Goldblum said — or, rather, sang — at a recent performance of the jazz show he plays in Los Angeles almost every week. He's been playing there since the 1990s.

We've got some good news out of Arizona today: A wild fire that forced the evacuation of 200 residents is beginning to recede thanks to weather.

Reporter Gillian Ferris in Flagstaff tells our Newscast unit authorities will likely lift a pre-evacuation order for some residents tomorrow. Gillian filed this report:

"Cooler temperatures, higher humidity and scattered rain showers helped suppress activity last night on the Slide Fire, burning between Sedona and Flagstaff.

Exit polls show Petro Poroshenko will have a commanding victory in the first presidential elections held in Ukraine since the government was ousted in a popular uprising.

(This post was last updated at 2:17 p.m. ET.)

Under the cover of darkness and on the eve of Memorial Day, President Obama landed at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan for an unannounced visit with U.S. troops.

After a concert from country music star Brad Paisley, Obama spoke before a rally of about 3,000 American troops. Currently, there are 32,000 Americans currently serving in Afghanistan.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We're going to take a moment now to talk about a word - yep, one word. Maybe you use it all the time, or maybe you hear people use the word, and it drives you up the wall. I'm talking about the word literally.

Thailand's former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has been released by the military junta that now controls the country, The Wall Street Journal and CNN are reporting.

A day after a gunman went on a killing spree in the college town of Isla Vista, Calif., the community was trying to come to terms with the loss of the victims and the cold, deliberate manner in which the rampage was perpetrated.

The Santa Barbara Independent reports that as the sun went down on Saturday, students and faculty gathered on campus, holding candles and singing "Amazing Grace."

The former leader of Pavement, one of the most important bands of the 1990s, Stephen Malkmus has continued his enduring career with The Jicks. Malkmus and his more recent group have released six albums together, the most recent being Wig Out at Jagbags. He and The Jicks recently performed "Chartjunk" live in the studio at The Current in St. Paul, Minn.

Credits

Photo/Video: Nate Ryan; Audio: Michael DeMark

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

It is time now for a celebrity guessing game. Who is cute and smart, a smidge sarcastic, but not overly so, can save the day and never need to take credit for it? Need a hint?

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "STAR WARS")

MARTIN: We're talking about R2-D2, of course, the shorter, and I would argue more lovable, of the two droids from the Star Wars films. And I am apparently not alone.

Acclaimed writer Tom Robbins has a new book out, and it's as fantastical and philosophical as anything he's ever written — but this time he's made himself the main character. It's called Tibetan Peach Pie: A True Account of an Imaginative Life, and Robbins tells NPR's Rachel Martin that writing a memoir is like driving down a once-familiar road, "but there are potholes in it now, and some fast-food franchises sprung up along the way, and there's occasionally a blind curve that you might not remember. But it's still familiar," he says.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SERENATA GUAJIRA")

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We are raising the energy level a little bit this morning with cumbia, old-school cumbia. It's a track brought in by our friends at Alt.Latino, NPR Music's show about Latin music.

There's an old joke that if you play a country song in reverse, your dog runs home, your wife comes back to you, and your pickup truck starts running again — the point being, modern country music is usually filled with distinctly blue-collar, down-to-earth woes.

Doing The Laundry For Social Good

May 25, 2014

"For-profit, for good" is the mantra of a handful of startups trying to make Philadelphia a social enterprise hub. One of those companies is a bike-delivery laundry service that's now expanding.

Correspondent Peter Kenyon tells NPR's Rachel Martin that voting is brisk in Sunday's presidential election in Ukraine — except in the east, where pro-Russian separatists have shut down polls.

Should VA Secretary Shinseki Step Down?

May 25, 2014

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. This coming week, Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki is expected to update President Obama on a nationwide review on VA facilities. Many VA hospitals have been accused of covering up long wait times for veterans and cooking the books to hide these delays. Shinseki announced yesterday that some VA clinics would enhance their capacity and the administration would also make it easier for veterans to get more of their care from private facilities.

How To Rescue 20 Million Angry Bees

May 25, 2014

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Every year, millions of commercial honey bees hit the road headed to farms around the country to pollinate crops. Occasionally, there are mishaps like the one that took place this past week in Delaware when a tractor-trailer carrying hundreds of beehives tipped over on the highway.

In 2012, Bothaina Kamel became the first woman to run for president in Egypt. She didn't get enough signatures to get on the ballot, but her candidacy became a powerful symbol.

It wasn't just because she is a woman, but also because she stands for the kind of social change many Egyptians hoped would come after the revolution that removed President Hosni Mubarak from power.

Egyptians go to the polls this week, and the front-runner is Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi. His supporters say he'll bring order to the country, but others say Mohammed Morsi is still the legitimate president.

Shortages of basic foodstuffs have fueled months of protests against Venezuela's socialist government. Some food producers are smuggling food across the border to get higher prices.

Pope Francis visits Bethlehem on Sunday in the middle of a three-day trip to the Middle East. NPR's Rachel Martin talks to correspondent Emily Harris about the significance of the pope's visit.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We begin this hour in Isla Vista, Calif. The small college town near Santa Barbara continues to grieve this morning after a killing spree late Friday night. Authorities say 22-year-old Elliott Rodger apparently took his own life after killing six others and injuring 13. NPR's Hansi Lo Wang reports.

On-air challenge: The theme of today's puzzle is May. Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name in which the first word starts with MA and the second word ends with Y. Example: Alcoholic beverage made from fermented mash: Malt Whiskey

Last Week's Challenge: Name a famous actress of the past whose last name has two syllables. Reverse the syllables phonetically. The result will name an ailment. What is it?

Answer: Sarah Bernhardt — heart burn

Winner: David Hodges of Collingswood, N.J.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. And we take you now to southwestern Virginia, where a small struggling church is getting a second life thanks to a new pastor who's mixing old-time Appalachian culture with a new style of worship. Robbie Harris brings us the story of the Wild Goose Church in Floyd County, Va.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PACK UP YOUR SORROWS")

PASTOR EDWIN LACEY: (Singing) No use crying, talking to a stranger. Naming the sorrow you've seen.

It is so rare to find yourself at home in any book.

I mean, that's the soft sell, right? The promise, rarely fulfilled, of every story: That it will, for a moment or an hour, lift you effortlessly from where you are and deposit you somewhere completely elsewhere. Like dreaming. Like flying cross-country under the influence of pharmaceutical grade narcotics.

You start with difference, with mystery. Some things spiral, some become spheres, some branch, some don't. We know that inert atoms quicken, become bees, goats, clouds, then dissolve back into randomness. We look at these things, all these very, very different things, and we wonder, are they really different, or is every thing we see one thing, expressed differently? Does the universe have rules? How many? Could there be a single generating principle, a oneness?

The financial crisis of 2008 caused such an enormous upheaval that future historians will long be asking: Who caused it? Who fixed it? Could it have turned out better?

Recently, two key players looked back: Former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner wrote Stress Test, Reflections on Financial Crisis, and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren wrote A Fighting Chance.

The two reached opposite conclusions. Geithner believes the bank bailout proved its worth. Warren remains outraged that wealthy bankers have not been jailed.

Ukrainians began voting Sunday in a presidential election marred by violence and all but cancelled in eastern cities, where pro-Russian separatists have shut polling places and threatened election officials.

The election is being called the most important for Ukraine since the nation won independence from Moscow 23 years ago, Reuters reported.

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