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5:20pm

Wed March 25, 2015
The Salt

Heinz And Kraft: Before They Were Food Giants, They Were Men

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 8:00 pm

Henry J. Heinz
Library of Congress

Heinz and Kraft.

When we hear those names we think ketchup and Velveeta, right?

But before they were products and companies that will merge to become a giant with $28 billion in revenue, Heinz and Kraft were men.

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5:22pm

Tue March 24, 2015
It's All Politics

Lessons In Moving Forward On Race From A 40-Year Mayor

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 12:40 pm

"It's an intense job, you give it all, everyday, and I just don't want to get into another term where I say 'Gee, it would be nice to take it a little bit easier,'" Mayor Joe Riley says.
Richard Ellis Getty Images

It might not sound newsworthy that Charleston, S.C., is getting a new mayor next year. But the last time the city elected a new mayor was 40 years ago, in December 1975.

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6:58pm

Mon March 23, 2015
Author Interviews

'Cheated' Out Of An Education: Book Replays UNC's Student-Athlete Scandal

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 10:47 am

UNC basketball fans storm the court after a win over Duke in 2014.
Grant Halverson Getty Images

March Madness is college basketball's annual shining moment, and few schools have shone as bright or as long as the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. The Tar Heels have been in 18 Final Fours and won the national championship five times, most recently in 2009.

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6:15pm

Sun March 22, 2015
U.S.

Understanding Skid Row's Tensions After A Fatal Police Shooting

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 6:32 pm

Many of LA's Skid Row residents live in makeshift tents.
Kelly McEvers

Skid Row, in downtown Los Angeles, has long been known for its high concentration of homeless, drug- or alcohol-addicted and mentally ill residents. They live on the streets, in boxes and tents or in subsidized one-room apartments.

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6:15pm

Sun March 22, 2015
SXSW Music Festival

From Kate Tempest To Torres, Female Artists Shone At SXSW

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 8:16 pm

The crowd was all smiles during NPR Music's showcase at this year's South By Southwest music festival. We can't send you back in time to hear the shows, but you can listen to some of Bob Boilen's favorite performers from the festival.
Adam Kissick for NPR

6:02pm

Sat March 21, 2015
Author Interviews

Thanks To Chance (And Craigslist), A Writer Becomes A Carpenter

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 8:57 pm

131Pixfoto iStockphoto.com

Nina MacLaughlin always knew she wanted to be a writer. She studied English and classics in college, and after graduation, she landed a great job with Boston's weekly alternative newspaper, the Boston Phoenix.

But after a few years of editing the newspaper's website, the drudgery began to hit her. It involved so much clicking, she says, and so many empty hours scrolling through the Internet. It didn't feel like how she wanted to spend her life.

And then came the low point: web producing a "listicle" of the world's "100 Unsexiest Men."

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5:58pm

Sat March 21, 2015
World

After Students Went To Wage Jihad, Teacher Highlights Youth Radicalization

Originally published on Sat March 21, 2015 7:41 pm

Lamya Kaddor teaches Islamic studies in Germany. She's written a new book, Zum Toeten Bereit (Ready To Kill), about the experience of having five former students flee to Syria to join jihadist groups.
Andre Zelck Courtesy of Piper Verlag GmbH

Lamya Kaddor, a German-Syrian religious studies teacher and expert on Islam, was horrified to learn in 2013 that five of her former students had departed Germany to join jihadist groups in Syria.

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5:33pm

Sat March 21, 2015
Music

'We Wanted To Entertain': Jon Spencer On 25 Years In New York

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 8:21 pm

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion.
Courtesy of the artist

The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion's new album, Freedom Tower: No Wave Dance Party 2015, is all about New York City. As leader Jon Spencer explains, it was time to pay homage to the city the band has called home for almost 25 years, even though his love for the place is complicated.

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7:49am

Sat March 21, 2015
Around the Nation

The Definitive Road Trip? It's Data-Driven

Originally published on Sat March 21, 2015 10:56 am

Randy Olson's algorithm devised the optimal driving route to 50 tourist spots in the Lower 48 states.
Randy Olson

Spring is here, and a number of families are plotting road trips for school break.

Randy Olson, a Ph.D. candidate at Michigan State University and a self-proclaimed "data tinkerer," believes he's devised a route that could allow a family to hit a landmark in each of the Lower 48 states, from Grand Canyon in Arizona to the Gateway Arch in St. Louis to the Statue of Liberty in New York, in just nine days of driving.

"About 9.33 days, if you drove non-stop," Olson clarifies.

That means no time sleeping or using the restroom — and no bad traffic.

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5:29am

Sat March 21, 2015
Goats and Soda

A Year Of Ebola: Memorable Moments From Our Reporters' Notebooks

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 2:43 pm

Twins Watta and Fatta Balyon pose outside the home of their guardian Mamuedeh Kanneh in Barkedu, a village in Liberia.
John W. Poole NPR

It started in December 2013. A 2-year-old boy in Guinea was running a fever. He was vomiting. There was blood in his stool.

He was most likely "patient zero" — the first case in the Ebola outbreak that swept across West Africa.

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6:40pm

Fri March 20, 2015
Music

'Still The King': A Tribute To An Icon Of Western Swing

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 8:20 pm

Ray Benson (center) and his band, the Grammy-winning country outfit Asleep at the Wheel, have long been stewards of the sound co-pioneered by Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys.
Lisa Pollard Courtesy of the artist

"The essence of the Bob Wills sound, and the reason he picked and did what he did, is that it was dance music — period."

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9:20am

Fri March 20, 2015
Code Switch

'A Proud Walk': 3 Voices On The March From Selma To Montgomery

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 4:39 pm

Demonstrators of different races and religions from across the country united to take part in the historic march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., 50 years ago.
AP

Fifty years ago, civil rights protesters began their successful march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., two weeks after a crackdown by police at the Edmund Pettus Bridge on Bloody Sunday. NPR talked with three people from different parts of the country, of different races and religions, who answered the call from Martin Luther King Jr. to join the marchers.

Todd Endo:

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11:54am

Wed March 18, 2015
Intelligence Squared U.S.

Debate: Should The U.S. Adopt The 'Right To Be Forgotten' Online?

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 7:21 pm

Jonathan Zittrain, co-founder of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, says the right to be forgotten online is "a very bad solution to a real problem."
Samuel Lahoz Intelligence Squared U.S.

People don't always like what they see when they Google themselves. Sometimes they have posted things they later regret — like unflattering or compromising photos or comments. And it can be maddening when third parties have published personal or inaccurate material about you online.

In Europe, residents can ask corporations like Google to delete those unflattering posts, photos and other online material from online search results. And under the right circumstances, those entities must comply.

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5:36pm

Mon March 16, 2015
Fine Art

In Detroit's Rivera And Kahlo Exhibit, A Portrait Of A Resilient City

Originally published on Mon March 16, 2015 8:01 pm

A detail from the north wall of Diego Rivera's Detroit Industry murals shows workers on the automobile assembly line. After Detroit declared bankruptcy, the murals were at risk of being sold. Click here for a larger view.
Detroit Institute of Arts

This weekend, visitors to the Detroit Institute of Arts buzzed with excitement over a new exhibit — it was a big moment for the once-troubled museum. The DIA spent much of the last two years under threat as its owner, the city of Detroit, looked for ways to emerge from bankruptcy.

Finally, in November, a "grand bargain" was struck. Foundations, private donors and the state of Michigan together raised more than $800 million to help rescue public employee pensions. In return, ownership of the DIA was transferred to a trust — thereby securing its future.

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7:31pm

Sun March 15, 2015
National Security

An 'Upstream' Battle As Wikimedia Challenges NSA Surveillance

Originally published on Mon March 16, 2015 7:52 am

The lawsuit by Wikimedia and other plaintiffs challenges the National Security Agency's use of upstream surveillance, which collects the content of communications, instead of just the metadata.
Patrick Semansky AP

Earlier this week, Wikimedia, the parent company of Wikipedia, filed a lawsuit against the National Security Agency, saying that the NSA's use of "upstream" mass surveillance violates the First and Fourth Amendments.

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6:36pm

Sat March 14, 2015
U.S.

When Police Are Given Body Cameras, Do They Use Them?

Originally published on Mon March 16, 2015 6:55 am

Body cameras, like this one shown at a 2014 press conference in Washington, D.C., are small enough to be clipped to an officer's chest. Washington and Denver are among U.S. cities trying the cameras.
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI AFP/Getty Images

Back in December, following the fatal shooting of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., President Obama called for $75 million in funding for 50,000 body cameras to be used by police around the United States. The cameras record police activity, and their use is intended to boost accountability.

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5:19pm

Sat March 14, 2015
Movies

People With Disabilities, On Screen And Sans Clichés

Originally published on Sat March 14, 2015 10:43 pm

From left, Bastian Wurbs (as Titus), Joel Basman (as Valentin) and Nikki Rappl (as Lukas) star in Keep Rollin', a coming-of-age drama featured in the seventh annual Reelabilities film festival.
Courtesy of EastWest Film Distribution

5:03pm

Tue March 10, 2015
The Salt

Tea Tuesdays: The Scottish Spy Who Stole China's Tea Empire

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 11:44 am

Robert Fortune was a 19th-century Scottish botanist who helped the East India Trading Company swipe the secrets of tea production from China.
Apic/Getty Images

Editor's Note: A version of this story originally ran in March 2010.

In the mid-19th century, Britain was an almost unchallenged empire. It controlled about a fifth of the world's surface, and yet its weakness had everything to do with tiny leaves soaked in hot water: tea. By 1800, it was easily the most popular drink among Britons.

The problem? All the tea in the world came from China, and Britain couldn't control the quality or the price. So around 1850, a group of British businessmen set out to create a tea industry in a place they did control: India.

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4:19am

Tue March 10, 2015
Latin America

Explorers Discover Ancient Lost City In Honduran Jungle

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 1:43 pm

A view of part of the vast Mosquitia jungle in Honduras. A team of explorers, guided by scans made from airplanes, recently discovered an important ancient city in the region.
Courtesy of UTL Productions

For almost a century, explorers have searched the jungles of Honduras for a legendary lost city known as the White City, or the City of the Monkey God.

A team of explorers — including archaeologists and a documentary filmmaker — have just returned from an expedition in person, after using a new technology to search for evidence of ruins by plane.

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5:24pm

Mon March 9, 2015
Author Interviews

Forget Big Sky And Cowboys: 'Crow Fair' Is Set In An Unidealized Montana

Originally published on Mon March 9, 2015 8:07 pm

Emily Jan NPR

"I think there's only one interesting story ... and that's struggle," says writer Thomas McGuane. Loners, outcasts and malcontents fill the pages of McGuane's latest book — a collection of short stories titled Crow Fair. There's a divorced dad who takes his young son out for an ill-fated day of ice fishing; A restless cattle breeder who takes a gamble on a more lucrative and dangerous line of works; A guy who abandons his blind grandmother by the side of a river to go get drunk, and chase after a corpse he's spotted floating by.

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6:27pm

Sun March 8, 2015
Author Interviews

Author Explores The Ripple Effects Of A Kidnapping In Mexico

Originally published on Mon March 9, 2015 9:52 am

Emily Jan NPR

Antonio Ruiz-Camacho's new book Barefoot Dogs is billed as a collection of short stories, but it could easily be called a novel. Each piece provides a perspective on one horrific event: the abduction of the patriarch of a wealthy Mexican family by a drug gang.

Throughout the book, readers see how this affects children, grandchildren, mistresses and others, as the tragedy follows the family through exile in the United States and Europe

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3:44am

Thu March 5, 2015
Parallels

Boris Nemtsov: 'He Directed His Words Against Putin Himself'

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 10:11 am

Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, who was shot dead last Friday, was one of the most outspoken critics of President Vladimir Putin. No arrests have been made in his killing.
Ivan Sekretarev AP

Boris Nemtsov was just 37 when Russian President Boris Yeltsin named him deputy prime minister in 1997. Trained as a physicist, Nemtsov symbolized a new generation of young leaders who rose to power in the chaotic aftermath of the Soviet breakup.

But after Vladimir Putin became president, Nemtsov joined the liberal opposition and became an outspoken critic. He was arrested on several occasions, but continued his attacks on the Russian leader.

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4:03am

Tue March 3, 2015
Shots - Health News

What Shapes Health? Webcast Explores Social And Economic Factors

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 12:14 pm

Mitchell Funk/Getty Images/Harvard

Health is more than the sum of its parts. Sometimes in surprising ways, factors such as childhood experiences, housing conditions, poor diets and health care access drive who ends up sick — and who does not.

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4:02am

Mon March 2, 2015
Goats and Soda

Liberia's President: Ebola Re-Energized Her Downtrodden Country

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 9:55 am

Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, photographed in Washington, D.C., on February 26.
Ariel Zambelich NPR

There's a lot to celebrate in Liberia: The number of new Ebola cases have been declining, kids are going back to school and life is returning to some semblance of normalcy.

Last year, Ebola struck the country and since then, it has killed more than 4,000 Liberians. But among the three hardest-hit countries in West Africa, Liberia has been the fastest at containing the outbreak. Just last week, the region reported 99 new cases of Ebola. Only one of those came out of Liberia.

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6:05pm

Sun March 1, 2015
Movie Interviews

A Most Vibrant Year For Cinematographer Bradford Young

Originally published on Sun March 1, 2015 6:07 pm

In Selma, director of photography Bradford Young wanted the camera to feel like a participant. "It was just about never retreating, always staying dangerously close to Martin Luther King," he says.
Atsushi Nishijima Paramount Pictures

Just two months into 2015, cinematographer Bradford Young is already having a big year.

Two acclaimed movies, Selma and A Most Violent Year, bear his name as Director of Photography.

"It's an interesting time," he laughs.

He sat down for a chat with NPR's Arun Rath, who started by asking about the striking depictions of violence in Selma.

"You have to be very delicate," Young says, "because as much as film has the ability to raise humanity, it also has the ability to put us down."

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5:29pm

Sun March 1, 2015
Around the Nation

A Standout Student, A Star At Goldman Sachs — And Undocumented

Originally published on Sun March 1, 2015 7:58 pm

Julissa Arce's tourist visa expired when she was 14. She excelled in high school, college and at Goldman Sachs for years before she finally became a U.S. citizen.
Morrigan McCarthy for ELLE.com Courtesy Julissa Arce

Julissa Arce was born in Mexico, and came to the United States on a tourist visa when she was 11. It expired a few years later — but Arce didn't leave. Instead, she excelled in high school and college, then secured a job at Goldman Sachs. Her ascent was dramatic: she rose quickly from analyst to associate to vice president.

But Arce was scared to go to work every day, worried that her undocumented status would be uncovered and she'd be escorted out.

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5:53pm

Sat February 28, 2015
Code Switch

Diversity Sells — But Hollywood Remains Overwhelmingly White, Male

Originally published on Sat February 28, 2015 6:39 pm

Gina Rodriguez stars alongside Justin Baldoni in The CW's Jane the Virgin.
Danny Feld The CW

If you want an accurate picture of ethnic and gender diversity in the United States, don't look to Hollywood.

That's the conclusion of the "2015 Hollywood Diversity Report" conducted by the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA.

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3:36am

Fri February 27, 2015
StoryCorps

Obama To Ambitious Teen: 'You Have This Strength Inside Yourself'

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 11:01 am

President Barack Obama participates in a "My Brother's Keeper" StoryCorps interview with Noah McQueen in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Feb. 20.
Chuck Kennedy The White House

Noah McQueen is part of "My Brother's Keeper," a White House program aimed at young men of color.

His teen years have been rough, and include several arrests and a short period of incarceration. But last week, he was at the White House. The 18-year-old sat down for a StoryCorps interview with President Obama, who wanted to know more about Noah's life.

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3:35am

Fri February 27, 2015
Goats and Soda

Go Behind The Scenes With The Producer Who Made 'Life After Death'

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 8:54 pm

Twins Watta and Fatta Balyon pose for a picture outside their guardian Mamuedeh Kanneh's house.
John W. Poole NPR

They hired a car and drove for 10 hours over the most rutted dirt roads you can imagine, dodging motorbikes, pedestrians and overloaded cars all the way.

It was December. NPR producers John Poole and Sami Yenigun had come to see what happens to a village after Ebola has struck.

Barkedu, in Liberia, is a beautiful place, green and forested. Tall hills start to rise near its border with Guinea. Cows and chickens roam around the village, which is built along the Lofa River. A small stream runs through Barkedu, where people bath and wash their clothes.

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6:11pm

Mon February 23, 2015
Author Interviews

'After Birth' Author On 'Mommy Wars': 'It Doesn't Have To Be This Way'

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 6:40 pm

After Birth by Elisa Albert
Emily Jan NPR

Writer Elisa Albert believes that the so-called "Mommy Wars" have gone on long enough — they are both a distraction and a cop-out, she says. "It's a way of avoiding the actual issues, which is: Women don't have enough support for any of the choices that we make," Albert tells NPR's Kelly McEvers. "We are pitted against each other and ultimately, then, are pitted against ourselves. And everybody is unhappy, and everybody feels judged. It doesn't have to be this way."

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