Around the Nation
4:00 am
Sat June 16, 2012

Even 'The Star-Spangled Banner' Had A First Draft

"The Star-Spangled Banner" handwritten manuscript by Francis Scott Key, 1814.
Special Collections Department Maryland Historical Society

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 12:22 pm

Monday is the 200th anniversary of the start of the War of 1812. Americans may not know much about that war, but they do know a song the war inspired: "The Star-Spangled Banner." The first scratches of those phrases are on display at the Maryland Historical Society in Baltimore.

The original quill-and-ink manuscript was written by Francis Scott Key. He wrote the lyrics while being held aboard a British ship. Trying to work out a prisoner release, he watched the bombardment of Fort McHenry — the rocket's red glare, bombs bursting in air.

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Around the Nation
3:57 am
Sat June 16, 2012

Is Deportation Freeze A 'Big Relief' Or 'Cynical Ploy'?

Myisha Areloano, Adrian James, Jahel Campos, David Vuenrostro and Antonio Cabrera camp outside President Obama's campaign headquarters in Culver City, Calif., on Friday to protest his immigration policies.
Grant Hindsley AP

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 5:53 pm

At the University of California, Los Angeles, Labor Center in downtown L.A., more than 100 student leaders from around the country hugged and cheered as President Obama delivered his immigration announcement Friday.

Obama outlined a new policy to temporarily stop deporting some young illegal immigrants and make them eligible for work permits.

Diego Sanchez was born in Argentina and brought to Miami 12 years ago. He's working on getting his MBA. He welcomed the president's announcement.

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Around the Nation
3:55 am
Sat June 16, 2012

Daredevil High-Wired For Success Over Niagara Falls

Nik Wallenda crosses over Niagara Falls on a tightrope on Friday. He became the first person to cross directly over the falls from the U.S. into Canada.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 12:22 pm

Daredevil Nik Wallenda became the first person to walk directly over Niagara Falls on Friday night. More than 100,000 people crowded onto the U.S.-Canadian border to watch him inch along a tightrope.

Wallenda's wire weighed seven tons and took hours to string across the falls with a helicopter. Crews held it in place with two construction cranes.

Wallenda is part of the famous "Flying Wallendas" circus family. Over seven generations, they've pulled off daring stunts all over the world.

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Music Interviews
5:52 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

Glen Hansard: The Best Songs Come 'As A Gift'

Glen Hansard's new album, his first proper solo release, is titled Rhythm and Repose.
Heidi Rose

Originally published on Mon June 18, 2012 7:59 am

Glen Hansard began singing on the streets of Dublin when he was just 13. Now, in his early 40s, it's almost hard to count his honors. Once, the musical featuring his songs, just won eight Tony Awards.

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Annoying Music
5:48 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

The Most Annoying Songs Of The Summer (So Far)

No one ever said summer music had to be fun.
Ryan Lane iStockPhoto.com

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 12:22 pm

NPR Music has already put together a list of 50 of our favorite songs to help you celebrate the summer. On it, you'll find cheery synth-pop singles, smooth R&B ballads, thumping club bangers and fist-pumping rock anthems.

Missing, however, are those "deep cuts" that lend themselves to a detached, ironic, slightly campy appreciation — the songs that are so bad they're good.

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The Two-Way
4:51 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

Tonight, Wallenda Will Attempt High-Wire Walk Over Niagara Falls

Nik Wallenda looks at the tightrope cable in Niagara Falls, Canada on Wednesday.
David Duprey AP

Originally published on Mon June 18, 2012 8:34 am

Nik Wallenda has successfully walked across Niagara Falls on a 2-inch-wide cable. As if there wasn't enough drama, he added a bit of last-minute mystery to his audacious attempt.

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Pop Culture
4:25 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

Beauty At The Beach Takes A Retro Turn

A trio at the beach, clad in state-of-the-art (in 1948) suits.
Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 8:18 pm

With summer looming, it's time to prep for your vacation (or, for many in these financially tight times, "staycation"). The good news? A trip to the beach or the pool. The bad news? You need a swimsuit.

But the fitting-room-phobic can take heart in a trend that's seized the swimsuit industry lately. It's a retro look that includes high-waisted bikini bottoms, ruffles, halters and more.

Retro Trend Echoes A Glamorous Time

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Election 2012
4:25 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

City Slickers Romney And Obama Woo Rural Voters

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, wave from a campaign bus on Friday at Scamman Farm in Stratham, N.H.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 5:24 pm

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was in New Hampshire on Friday, back at the farm where he launched his presidential campaign one year ago.

"In the days ahead, we'll be traveling on what are often called the backroads of America," he said. "But I think our tour is going to take us along what I'll call the backbone of America."

It was the first stop on a five-day bus tour that will take him to small towns. The former Massachusetts governor's campaign is calling it the "Every Town Counts" tour.

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It's All Politics
4:10 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

President Obama's Immigration Shift Could Bolster Latino Support In November

Supporters of President Obama's announcement on immigration policy rally outside the White House Friday.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 2:00 pm

President Obama's decision to stop deporting young, otherwise law-abiding illegal immigrants could help rebuild his support among electorally important Latinos after 18 months of futile efforts, some activists said Friday.

"There is overwhelming support for the protection of these children, as there is in the rest of the country. I think this could have an energizing effect on Latino voters," says Clarissa Martinez del Castro, director of immigration and national campaigns for National Council of La Raza.

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The Two-Way
3:42 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

U.S. Acknowledges Military Action In Yemen And Somalia

Drone strikes against members of al-Qaida in Yemen and Somalia have been widely reported. But for the first time, the White House has publicly acknowledged these operations.

The administration said the U.S. had taken "direct action" in both countries in a six-month report on U.S. combat operations required by the War Powers Resolution.

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