Author Interviews
4:33 am
Sat July 7, 2012

'After Murder': Learning To Live After You've Killed

Jesse Reed was convicted of first-degree murder in 1985. He was sentenced to 27 years to life. Now on parole, Reed counsels incarcerated young men through a program run by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Elisabeth Fall Life After Murder

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 6:57 am

Can a murderer ever be redeemed? That's the question journalist Nancy Mullane takes on in her new book, Life After Murder: Five Men in Search of Redemption. Over the past few years, Mullane has made dozens of trips to California's San Quentin prison to interview men locked up for committing the most heinous crimes.

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Europe
4:27 am
Sat July 7, 2012

'Super Mario' Challenges The Idea Of Who's An Italian

Italian forward Mario Balotelli celebrates after scoring the second goal during Italy's Euro 2012 football championships semifinal match against Germany, June 28, at the National Stadium in Warsaw.
Francisco Leong AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 5:33 pm

The Euro 2012 soccer championship ended last weekend with Spain's defeat of Italy. But many sportswriters singled out the second-place team as the tournament's unexpected surprise.

The star of Team Italy is the Sicilian-born son of Ghanaian immigrants, raised by an Italian adoptive family — and now Mario Balotelli is changing the notion itself of what constitutes Italian-ness.

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U.S.
4:09 am
Sat July 7, 2012

Gridlock: Storms, Blackouts Expose Power Problems

A power pole is bent after severe storms hit the Bemidji, Minn., area on Tuesday, knocking down thousands of trees and causing extensive damage to utility lines. Thousands of customers were left without power.
Monte Draper AP

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 1:19 pm

As hundreds of thousands swelter without power a week after a violent storm pummeled the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic, energy experts say the future will look even worse if the nation's aging, congested electrical grid isn't upgraded.

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U.S.
4:08 am
Sat July 7, 2012

How One Drought Changed Texas Agriculture Forever

Siblings Charles Hagood and Nancy Hagood Nunns grew up in Junction, Texas, in the 1950s. Charles says the drought drove ranchers to find other types of work.
Michael O'Brien Michael O'Brien

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 1:40 pm

In Texas, there is still the drought against which all other droughts are measured: the seven-year dry spell in the 1950s. It was so devastating that agriculture losses exceeded those of the Dust Bowl years, and so momentous that it kicked off the modern era of water planning in Texas.

From 1950 to 1957, the sky dried up and the rain refused to fall. Every day, Texans scanned the pale-blue heavens for rainclouds, but year after year they never came.

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The Two-Way
2:02 am
Sat July 7, 2012

U.S. Gives Afghanistan New Ally Status As Part Of 2014 Transition

In Kabul, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announces that Afghanistan is now a "major non-NATO ally" alongside Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
Sean Carberry for NPR

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 6:11 am

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made an unannounced visit to Afghanistan this morning, and she brought along some news. The country has officially been designated a "major non-NATO ally" of the U.S., which will facilitate defense and security cooperation between the countries even after the U.S. withdraws combat troops in 2014.

In an emailed press release, the State Department says the status "qualifies a country for certain privileges supporting defense and security cooperation but does not entail any security commitment to that country."

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Author Interviews
12:03 am
Sat July 7, 2012

Remembering George Szell, Powerhouse Conductor

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 3:42 pm

Michael Charry was the "sorcerer's apprentice" to celebrated 20th-century conductor George Szell. For the last decade of Szell's tenure at the Cleveland Orchestra, Charry was an assistant conductor.

Now, Charry has captured the power of Szell's artistry — as well as his tempestuous personality — in a new biography called George Szell: A Life of Music.

Charry vividly recalls Szell testing him on how many notes he could find in a chord when he first auditioned for the job.

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Movies
3:29 pm
Fri July 6, 2012

Sarah Polley: A Long Look At What We Feel Is Missing

Seth Rogen and Michelle Williams as a husband and wife whose marriage becomes strained in Take This Waltz, the latest film from Canadian director Sarah Polley.
Magnolia Pictures

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 2:46 pm

Sarah Polley started acting when she was 4, in her native Canada. She earned critical acclaim for her performance as a teenage girl injured in a school bus crash in Atom Egoyan's film The Sweet Hereafter.

Polley made her debut as a director with the subtle and devastating film Away from Her — a portrait of a marriage later in life, as the wife (Julie Christie) is pulled away by Alzheimer's disease.

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Religion
3:29 pm
Fri July 6, 2012

Evangelicals Fight Over Therapy To 'Cure' Gays

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 2:46 pm

Supporters call it "conversion therapy." Critics call it "praying away the gay." Whatever name you use, it's creating a ruckus in Christian circles about whether a person can change his or her sexual orientation. And now the largest "ex-gay ministry" is rejecting the approach.

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Music Interviews
3:12 pm
Fri July 6, 2012

16 Musical Odes To Very Strange Animals

Illustrator Jelmer Noordeman's rendering of a real-life creature: the venomous, nocturnal solenodon.
Jelmer Noordeman

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 11:21 am

CD sleeves usually feature pictures of the musicians, the text of lyrics and copious thanks.

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The Salt
3:04 pm
Fri July 6, 2012

Finding Food (Even Filet Mignon) During A Week Without Power

It has been about a week since a gigantic wind storm tore through the Mid-Atlantic, leaving millions without electricity in its tattered wake. By now much of the debris has been cleared, but Reuters reports that 500,000 Americans are still without power, which of course is keeping many people out of their kitchens.

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