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Music Reviews
3:21 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

Baloji: Finding A Home In His Music

Baloji's new album, Kinshasa Succursale, was released in the U.S. on March 6.
Nicolas Karakatsanis

Rapper Baloji was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo but raised in Belgium. He's built a reputation for incorporating Congolese music into his mix, though he mostly raps in French, his deep voice full of cocky brashness. You can catch his vibe without translation, but it's worth reading the liner notes to get his messages, as well. Baloji raps with brazen ease about the indignities of life as an African in Belgium, but also the tragic, bloody history of his homeland on his second album, Kinshasa Succursale.

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Politics
3:00 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

Former Sen. Specter Turns To Stand-Up

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Some former members of Congress run for president. Others shift gears to stand-up comedy. Take former Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter, please.

ARLEN SPECTER: So, I've been in the Senate for 30 years practicing comedy.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Interviews
3:00 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

Supporter, Opponent Of Health Law Weigh In

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Well, now two prominent lawyers on opposite sides of this issue. John Suthers is the attorney general of Colorado. He's a Republican. He's one of the 26 state attorneys general who brought suit against the Affordable Care Act and he's been inside the court this week listening to the arguments. Welcome to the program.

JOHN SUTHERS: Glad to be with you.

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Music Interviews
2:56 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

Dry The River: Songs Of Cardiac Anatomy

A veteran of punk bands, Dry the River's Peter Liddle (center) began playing acoustic guitar to keep quiet as a med student.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 3:43 pm

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Interviews
3:00 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Stella And Stanley Shouting Contest

Originally published on Mon March 26, 2012 6:35 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

A shout out now for the winner of this year's annual Stanley and Stella Shouting Contest.

NICOLE MARTIN: Stanley.

SIEGEL: That is Nicole Martin, who won first place with that vigorous shout to an actor on a New Orleans balcony portraying Stanley Kowalski, the character from "A Street Car Named Desire." Bryan Buckles won second place.

BRYAN BUCKLES: Stella.

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Around the Nation
3:00 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Protesters Demand Charges In Trayvon Martin Case

Originally published on Mon March 26, 2012 6:35 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

Today marks one month since Trayvon Martin, an African-America teenager was killed in Sanford, Florida. The shooter was a neighborhood watch volunteer. People in Sanford and in cities across the country are taking part in rallies today, calling on authorities to arrest the shooter.

NPR's Greg Allen reports that while emotions run high, the facts of Martin's death remain murky.

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Law
3:00 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Amicus Briefs Examined

The Supreme Court has received more than 100 amicus briefs in the health care cases. Melissa Block and Robert Siegel explain what they are, what's involved and what impact they have.

Three Books...
7:00 am
Mon March 26, 2012

Love Isn't All You Need: 3 Relationship Building Reads

A couple holds hands.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu March 29, 2012 8:09 pm

Spring is here — the season of flowers and birds, with love and marriage in the very air we breathe. People pair up, brimming with optimism, and vowing to be fair and generous mates.

But when couples stay together over time — throughout all of the seasons — we're reminded that real life is messy and complicated. Even the best relationships will get stuck in anger and distance. In short, couples need all the help they can get. To this end, I recommend the following three books.

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Health Care
3:00 pm
Sun March 25, 2012

Obama's Health Care Law: Past, Present And Future

Tomorrow morning the Supreme Court begins a three-may marathon of oral arguments challenging President Obama's landmark health care law, the Affordable Care Act. Weekends on All Things Considered guest host Laura Sullivan previews the arguments with NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg. She also speaks to Mark Gross, owner of a professional line standing service, who is poised to have a lucrative week, and Jeff Rother of the National Coalition on Health Care walks us back through health reform's tempestuous path to the Supreme Court.

Arts & Life
3:00 pm
Sun March 25, 2012

Three-Minute Fiction: Round 8 Deadline

Originally published on Sun March 25, 2012 5:37 pm

Author Luis Alberto Urrea reminds listeners that the deadline for Round 8 of Three-Minute Fiction is tonight, Sunday, March 25, at 11:59 p.m. ET. All submissions must be received by then to be considered a valid entry in the contest. The story must begin with the sentence: "She closed the book, placed it on the table, and finally decided to walk through the door". As always, the story must be 600 words or less. To submit a story, go to npr.org/threeminutefiction.

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Around the Nation
3:00 pm
Sun March 25, 2012

Was Promise Of Pet Care After The Rapture A Hoax?

Originally published on Sun March 25, 2012 5:06 pm

Transcript

LAURA SULLIVAN, HOST:

An update now on a story we first told you about last spring. Bart Centre of New Hampshire claimed he was running a pet rescue business for animals in case they were left behind by owners during the rapture, or the end of times, as some Christians believe.

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Author Interviews
2:06 pm
Sun March 25, 2012

Teddy Roosevelt's 'Doomed' War On New York Vice

The Bowery, under the shadow of the elevated train tracks in New York City, bustled at night with colored lights and cane-swirling barkers, in places such as the Lyceum Concert Garden.
E. Idell Zeisloft Courtesy Doubleday

New York in the gilded age was a city of epic contrasts. Top-hatted swells in glossy carriages promenaded uptown, while just a few blocks south, poverty, crime and overcrowding were the order of the day.

And vice, let's not forget vice. New York was what was called a "wide-open" town, with gambling, prostitution and liquor available on almost every corner. The cops and the Democratic machine politicians of Tammany Hall mostly looked the other way — when they weren't actively involved.

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Music Interviews
10:07 am
Sun March 25, 2012

Lost In The Trees: A Golden Memorial Of Orchestral Folk

A Church That Fits Our Needs is Lost In The Trees' second album, a tribute to the late mother of frontman Ari Picker (second from left).
Annalee Harkins Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon March 26, 2012 8:51 am

The newest album from the folk outfit Lost in the Trees is a very personal one. Ari Picker, the creative force behind the band, began writing the songs for A Church That Fits Our Needs after the death of his mother, Karen Shelton. She was an artist herself, one who struggled with mental illness throughout her life. In 2008, she killed herself.

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U.S.
8:32 pm
Sat March 24, 2012

Former VP Cheney Undergoes Heart Transplant

Originally published on Sat March 24, 2012 11:32 pm

Dick Cheney, 71, was in a Virginia hospital following a heart transplant Saturday. Host Laura Sullivan talks with NPR's Rob Stein about the former vice president's health.

Books
5:08 pm
Sat March 24, 2012

Three-Minute Fiction: The Deadline Approaches

In Round 8 of our Three-Minute Fiction contest, listeners were given this challenge: Begin a story with this sentence: "She closed the book, placed it on the table, and finally decided to walk through the door." And, as always, the story must be 600 words or less. The deadline is 11:59 p.m. ET Sunday.

Presidential Race
4:57 pm
Sat March 24, 2012

Dissecting Santorum's Ominous 'Obamaville' Ad

Originally published on Sat March 24, 2012 11:32 pm

Transcript

LAURA SULLIVAN, HOST:

A new online ad from Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum sketches out a dire threat.

(SOUNDBITE OF POLITICAL AD)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Imagine a small American town two years from now if Obama is re-elected. The wait to see a doctor is ever increasing. Gas prices through the roof, and the freedom of religion under attack.

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Movies
3:44 pm
Sat March 24, 2012

From Page To Screen: Hollywood Targets YA Fiction

Jennifer Lawrence stars as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games, adapted from Suzanne Collins' bestselling novel trilogy.
Lionsgate

Originally published on Sat March 24, 2012 11:32 pm

Sixteen-year-old Katniss is an accomplished archer in Suzanne Collins' young adult trilogy, The Hunger Games, so it should be no surprise that in her film incarnation, she's hit the box office bulls-eye. This dystopian wonder (for those who've been living in a cave of late, The Hunger Games is a thriller about a totalitarian society that forces teens to participate in a televised fight to the death) appears poised to join the Harry Potter and Twilight movies in the top echelon of teen-oriented page-to-screen blockbusters.

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Music Interviews
8:12 am
Sat March 24, 2012

Melanie Fiona: A Grammy Winner Gets Personal

Melanie Fiona's new album is titled The MF Life.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun March 25, 2012 11:43 am

The MF Life is the second album by R&B singer Melanie Fiona, released this past week. The two-time Grammy winner says the title has sparked a lot of discussion.

"It gets people talking to each other," Fiona says. "I wanted it to be a collection of music and songs that make people think about the things that we actually go through and feel, and to acknowledge that — to know that there's someone out there singing their story, as well."

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Planet Money
4:08 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

Trying To Save A Broke City

David Unkovic makes his case.
Christine Baker The Patriot-News

This is the second of two stories we're doing today about Harrisburg. Read the first story here.

Harrisburg is broke.

The Pennsylvania city is deep in debt. It's still spending more than it takes in. And, as David Unkovic described it to me last week, there's a cash-flow problem.

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Monkey See
3:00 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

Niecy Nash Puts Her Blended Family In The Reality Spotlight

Niecy Nash is the star of the new family "docu-sitcom," Leave It To Niecy, on TLC.
Robert Ector TLC

If you know the actress and comedian Niecy Nash, you're probably either excited about her new reality show, Leave It To Niecy, or you're cringing just thinking about it. Nash does not do things halfway. Her new show starts Sunday, and it's intended to be something like a real-life Modern Family.

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Law
6:03 pm
Thu March 22, 2012

Canadian Asked For Death, But Now Wants Life

Ronald Allen Smith is the only Canadian on death row in the United States. Since Canada has abolished the death penalty, Canadians have been advocating for clemency for Smith.
Courtesy of Montana State Prison

The only Canadian on death row in the United States is in the Montana State Prison, about an hour and a half southeast of Missoula. After almost three decades, he is asking the governor of Montana for mercy. The request for clemency is the last chance Alberta native Ronald Allen Smith has of avoiding execution.

"I've been here for 29 years," says Smith, who has spent more of his life inside the state's maximum security block than he has spent outside of it. He has tried to think about his crime as little as possible.

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Shots - Health Blog
5:56 pm
Thu March 22, 2012

Answers To Your Questions About The Health Care Overhaul Law

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu March 22, 2012 6:05 pm

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — the health care overhaul law that President Obama championed and Republicans rejected — turns two on Friday.

The law is headed to the Supreme Court on Monday, where the Justices begin hearing three days of arguments about the constitutionality of the law. Ahead of the big day, we asked for questions from our audiences online and on air. Here's a sampling of questions, edited for clarity and length, and the answers.

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Movie Reviews
5:30 pm
Thu March 22, 2012

'Hunger Games': Mortal Combat As Appointment TV

Are You Not Entertained? TV host Caesar Flickerman (Stanley Tucci) takes the celebrity interview to new lows when chatting up the young combatants in the to-the-death Hunger Games — including Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence).
Lionsgate

Hungry for a good dystopia? Well, as you may be gathering from reports of the millions of tickets sold before prints were even shipped to theaters, author Suzanne Collins has a feast for you in the first movie installment of her young-adult trilogy The Hunger Games.

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Politics
3:00 pm
Thu March 22, 2012

After House, Senate Pushes JOBS Act Through

Originally published on Thu March 22, 2012 6:05 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

There was a bipartisan spirit on Capitol Hill today. The U.S. Senate voted to approve two major bills and a number of judges. One of those bills was the JOBS Act. The bill seeks to streamline regulations and make it easier for smaller companies to raise money and go public. The idea being that it will encourage job growth. The bill passed by an overwhelming majority.

But as NPR's Sonari Glinton reports, bipartisanship isn't always pretty.

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Digital Life
3:00 pm
Thu March 22, 2012

'Pinterest' Wades In Murky Copyright Waters

Originally published on Thu March 22, 2012 6:05 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

These days, a darling of the tech and business world is Pinterest. It's a virtual scrapbooking site that allows users to organize photos, recipes, images they like and pin them to an online bulletin board. Nearly 18 million users logged in to the site last month alone. So when Kirsten Kowalski wrote a blog post wondering whether Pinterest users risk violating copyright laws, it went viral. Kowalski is a lawyer and photographer and Pinterest user herself.

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Europe
7:57 pm
Wed March 21, 2012

French Police Fight For Presumed Killer's Surrender

Originally published on Thu March 22, 2012 8:37 am

French police have been trying to get a suspected gunman to surrender, after he apparently changed his mind about turning himself in. The 24-year-old has confessed to killing the Jewish children and the paratrooper in Toulouse. Explosions have been reported near the apartment. NPR's Eleanor Beardsley tells host Robert Siegel the latest developments.

Law
5:02 pm
Wed March 21, 2012

High Court Throws Out 'Bad Lawyer' Convictions

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, shown on Capitol Hill in April 2011, wrote the court's ruling Wednesday that for the most part, plea bargaining determines "who goes to jail and for how long. It is not some adjunct to the criminal justice system. It is the criminal justice system."
Evan Vucci AP

For the first time, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that defendants have a constitutional right to effective assistance of counsel in plea bargains. In a 5-4 decision Wednesday, the court went further, declaring that when a lawyer acts unethically or gives clearly wrong advice, the defendant may be entitled to a second chance at accepting a plea offer.

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The Record
4:00 pm
Wed March 21, 2012

Reggae In The U.K.: A Steady Force

Music For 'Disenfranchised Working-Class Youth': The British reggae band Steel Pulse formed in Birmingham in 1975. Mykaell Riley is third from the left.
Echoes/Redfern Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 21, 2012 8:44 pm

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Book Reviews
3:00 pm
Wed March 21, 2012

Review: 'Hope: A Tragedy'

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. Now, a review of the latest book by Shalom Auslander. It's a novel that incorporates a bizarre representation of one of history's most tragic heroines. Our reviewer, Alan Cheuse, says the book is surprising and infuriating.

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Law
6:14 pm
Tue March 20, 2012

Supreme Court Considers Life Sentences For Juveniles

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Tuesday in two cases that ask whether it is constitutional to sentence juveniles to life in prison without parole.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday in two murder cases testing whether it is unconstitutionally cruel and unusual punishment to sentence a 14-year-old to life in prison without the possibility of parole. There are currently 79 people serving such life terms for crimes committed when they were 14 or younger.

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