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5:50 am
Sun November 13, 2011

How Berlusconi Created A Country In His Own Image

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi acknowledges applause before leaving parliament's lower chamber in Rome on Saturday. Berlusconi resigned after the lower chamber passed an austerity package.
Filippo Monteforte AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:15 am

With a party anthem called "Thank God for Silvio," humility is not a Silvio Berlusconi virtue. "I am by far the best prime minister Italy ever had," he said in 2009.

Berlusconi's resignation Saturday marks the end of a political career that tainted Italy's international image and helped bring Europe's third-largest economy to the brink of bankruptcy.

He survived tales of "bunga-bunga" orgies and more than 30 prosecutions for corruption, tax fraud and paying for sex with a minor.

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The Salt
5:28 am
Sun November 13, 2011

A Food Sculptor On Her Passion: 'The Cheese Found Me'

Sarah Kaufmann has been carving cheese professionally for three years.
Melissa Forsyth NPR

Michelangelo used marble. Sarah Kaufmann uses cheese.

What drew this sculptor to her material? A strong affinity for tangy cheddar or the fact that she hails from the proudest cheese state in the nation, Wisconsin?

No, as Kaufmann tells The Salt, "The cheese found me."

What's more, she says, "it's much more delightful than working with wood or stone. You can snack while you work."

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Politics
3:18 am
Sun November 13, 2011

Senate Democrats Challenge Defense Of Marriage Act

What Congress does, sometimes it later tries to undo. That's what happened a few days ago, when the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a measure repealing the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA.

Under DOMA, the federal government is bound to recognize only those marriages between a man and a woman. When the law passed 15 years ago, not one state recognized same-sex marriage. Six do so now, as well as the District of Columbia. But the effort to overturn DOMA faces stiff resistance from congressional Republicans.

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Hard Times: A Journey Across America
3:17 am
Sun November 13, 2011

Big Sky Country Has Lots Of Room For Optimism

Billings, Mont., has a diverse economic base, as evidenced by the confluence of stockyards, oil refineries and natural beauty. The unemployment rate for Billings' Yellowstone County was 5.3 percent in September, far lower than the national average.
Richard Gonzales NPR

Part of a monthlong series

In Billings, Mont., the land of the "Big Sky," there aren't many clouds. A city of about 100,000 people between Denver and Calgary, Billings is weathering the economic storm better than many other communities in this country.

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Crisis In The Housing Market
10:14 pm
Sat November 12, 2011

Would-Be Sellers Become Reluctant Landlords

Many homeowners find they can't sell their homes so instead they reluctantly become landlords.
courtneyk iStockphoto.com

In this sagging economy, homes can sit on the market for weeks or months. So, would-be sellers often move on, and instead of handing the keys over to new owners, they hand them to tenants. Sometimes that goes well — sometimes not.

"This is the new reality," says Chicago Realtor Frank Maguire. "Our market is, you might sell your home or you might not. There's a whole world of people who are unintentional landlords."

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Education
4:08 pm
Sat November 12, 2011

Educated And Jobless: What's Next For Millenials?

A man dressed as John Lennon holds a sign at the "Move Your Money" protest in Los Angeles. He and others protested bank fees and pushed for "good jobs," a common theme at protests seen nationwide as part of the Occupy Wall Street movement and the growing frustration among the Millenial generation.
David McNew Getty Images

The Occupy Wall Street protests in several cities around the country have turned a spotlight on the growing frustration among the millennial generation, a group that has suffered crushing student loan debt and high rates of unemployment.

Lindey Loftin is part of that generation, but the 27-year-old is not unemployed. In fact, she says she loves her job, is well paid and has no college loan debt. Her employer actually paid for a portion of her education.

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Three-Minute Fiction
3:30 pm
Sat November 12, 2011

Three-Minute Fiction: The Round 7 Winner Is ...

iStockphoto.com

Round 7 of our Three-Minute Fiction contest attracted more than 3,000 story submissions. Tasked with writing an original short story that can be read in about three minutes, contestants had to include one character arriving to town and one character leaving town.

The judge for this round, writer Danielle Evans, has picked her favorite.

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Author Interviews
3:17 pm
Sat November 12, 2011

Opposition To Nazis Binds French Women In 'Train'

HarperCollins Publishers

The Nazis marched into Paris in the early hours of June 14, 1940, leaving the French shocked at how quickly their country had fallen. Most of the populace watched and waited as swastikas went up on Parisian boulevards — but not everyone.

Journalist Caroline Moorehead's latest book, A Train in Winter: An Extraordinary Story of Women, Friendship, and Resistance in Occupied France, chronicles what happened to 230 women from all over the country who did not accept the occupation quietly.

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Sports
1:00 pm
Sat November 12, 2011

Penn State Loses First Game In Post-Paterno Era

Today marks the first day that Penn State's football team played a game without legendary head coach Joe Paterno since 1950. The long-time coach was fired earlier this week as a result of a university scandal involving Paterno's former assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky who has been charged with 40 counts of sex crimes against young boys. NPR's Jeff Brady reports from Penn State on student and fan reaction after a bitter loss to 19th ranked Nebraska.

Analysis
1:00 pm
Sat November 12, 2011

Week In News: Obama's Health Law Constitutional

This week D.C. Court of Appeals agreed with the White House that the health care law does not violate the Constitution. The court's senior judge, a respected conservative voice, wrote the majority opinion. Weekends on All Things Considered guest host Jacki Lyden speaks with James Fallows of The Atlantic about this story and others from the past week.

The Two-Way
12:33 pm
Sat November 12, 2011

Arab League Votes To Suspend Syria

Protesters burn portraits of Syrian President Bashar Assad during a demonstration outside the Arab League headquarters in Cairo.
Khaled Desouki AFP/Getty Images

The Arab League voted today to suspend Syria's membership over its failure to stop a violent crackdown on anti-regime protesters. The move will increase the international pressure on President Bashar Assad.

The League said the suspension will remain in place until the Syrian government implements an Arab deal to end the violence, and called for sanctions and transition talks with the opposition.

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Music Interviews
10:50 am
Sat November 12, 2011

My Brightest Diamond: Home Is Where The Art Is

My Brightest Diamond is the indie-pop project of classically trained singer and composer Shara Worden.
Danny Renshaw Courtesy of the artist

There's no mistaking the protagonist of "Be Brave," a song from the new My Brightest Diamond album, All Things Will Unwind. Shara Worden, the group's classically trained singer, songwriter, and main creative force, makes it clear in the refrain: "Shara, now get to work/Shara, this is going to hurt."

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The Two-Way
9:30 am
Sat November 12, 2011

Mood Is 'Subdued' At Penn State As Game Time Nears

The stands were blue at Penn State University this afternoon, as students and fans of the school's football team showed their symbolic support for victims of child sexual abuse.

Most of the more than 107,000 spectators at the game against Nebraska were wearing blue and many gave money to organizations that battle sexual abuse — their way of responding to the allegations that a former assistant football coach at the school abused young boys for more than a decade, sometimes on campus.

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NPR Story
8:20 am
Sat November 12, 2011

MLB's Wilson Ramos Rescued In Venezuela

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, host: This WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer. In Venezuela, officials have announced a dramatic end to the high-profile kidnapping of Major League Baseball catcher Wilson Ramos. Police commandos swooped in on a remote mountainous hideaway and rescued him. This was the sound at the Ramos home in Valencia, Valenzuela, when he returned there late last night.

(SOUNDBITE OF SIREN AND CHEERING)

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Around the Nation
6:46 am
Sat November 12, 2011

Pigeon Racers Share A Passion Despite The Crap

Racing pigeons are bred to be stronger, smarter and have better endurance than normal pigeons.
Patrick Skahill

Each weekend, Bill Desmarais ships his birds off on a truck and somehow, they find their way home. In his backyard in Massachusetts recently, he welcomed home birds from a race that started 250 miles away in Verona, N.Y.

Pigeons have fascinated people for centuries. Charles Darwin, Pablo Picasso and Walt Disney all kept the birds. Today, thousands — including Mike Tyson — are flocking to the sport of pigeon racing.

Racing pigeons aren't like the pigeons you see in a park. They're stronger, bred for endurance and brains. Some are worth thousands of dollars.

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Commentary
6:12 am
Sat November 12, 2011

American Bluegrass, Imported By A Czech Band

The Czech band Druha Trava will perform in Wichita, Kan., Saturday night. The band is on its U.S. tour.
Don Gonyea NPR

Originally published on Thu November 17, 2011 6:41 am

NPR's Don Gonyea normally reports on politics, but he finds other stories along the way, like this one about a touring bluegrass band from the Czech Republic.

The first time I heard Druha Trava play was April 2009. I was covering President Obama's trip to the Europe. There was a big outdoor speech in Prague, and the band was playing Czech versions of Bob Dylan songs.

I did a short radio postcard story back then, figuring it was the kind of experience that every music fan knows: You stumble upon a great band somewhere and never see them again.

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NPR Story
6:00 am
Sat November 12, 2011

Arab League Suspends Syria; Other Options Unclear

In an emergency meeting on Saturday, the Arab League voted to suspend Syria, warning that the country could face sanctions if it does not end its brutal crackdown on protestors. Meanwhile, NATO leaders say a Libya-style military intervention is out of the question. NPR's Kelly McEvers reports on what other choices remain.

Education
6:00 am
Sat November 12, 2011

Teachers Unions Mobilize To Survive In Ohio

This week, Ohio voters soundly rejected Gov. John Kasich's plan to scale back collective bargaining rights for public employees. The vote was a big victory for labor; in particular, it showed how important the nation's teachers unions have become beyond the classroom. Teachers groups are mobilizing like never before — because they face threats to their very existence.

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Europe
6:00 am
Sat November 12, 2011

Debt Weighs On European Politics

Originally published on Thu November 17, 2011 6:41 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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Business
6:00 am
Sat November 12, 2011

Wanted: Temporary Holiday Workers

Originally published on Thu November 17, 2011 6:41 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Across the country, retailers are accepting applications for temporary positions this holiday season. Seasonal hiring might offer a bit of a break for people looking for work. Scott Detrow of member station WITF in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania has more.

SCOTT DETROW, BYLINE: 18-year-old Tyler Albinus is walking from store to store in a Lancaster, Pennsylvania outlet mall, looking for a job. He's been searching for more than a month now and has lost track of how many applications he's filled out.

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Europe
6:00 am
Sat November 12, 2011

Spain Poised For Change As Elections Near

Change is in the wind across southern Europe. The governments of Greece and Italy are collapsing under a mountain of debt and Spain, too, is on shaky financial ground. Spaniards go to the polls on Nov. 20 and are expected to turn the ruling Socialist Party out of power. Yet, as Lauren Frayer reports, people there are also uneasy about the alternatives.

Art & Design
6:00 am
Sat November 12, 2011

Wal-Mart Heiress' Show Puts A High Price On Art

Alice Walton's long-awaited Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art opens Saturday in Arkansas, and the art market is already feeling the impact of the Wal-Mart heiress and the money she's throwing at acquisitions. Not everyone is happy about it. NPR's Joel Rose reports.

Sports
6:00 am
Sat November 12, 2011

Penn State Faces First Game Without 'JoePa'

After a week of child sex abuse charges that resulted in the firing of legendary football coach Joe Paterno, Penn State University plays its final home game of the season on Saturday. Students are holding a vigil and fundraising events ahead of the game against Nebraska. NPR's Jeff Brady has the latest in the wake of the scandal.

Research News
6:00 am
Sat November 12, 2011

Polka-Dotted Horses? Cave Art May Not Be Fantasy

Originally published on Thu November 17, 2011 6:41 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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Sports
6:00 am
Sat November 12, 2011

Crime And Scandal Tops Sports Headlines

On Saturday's docket in sports: the Penn State scandal, college basketball and the kidnapping and rescue of Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos. Guest host Linda Wertheimer talks sports with NPR's Tom Goldman.

Politics
6:00 am
Sat November 12, 2011

Celebrity Lawyer Takes Spotlight In Cain Case

It seems like hardly a month goes by without seeing celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred on television. This week, Allred was in the news again, representing one of presidential candidate Herman Cain's sexual harassment accusers. Her bold use of media to call attention to her clients' causes has earned the respect of some, but the irritation of others. NPR's Karen Grigsby Bates has a profile.

Politics
6:00 am
Sat November 12, 2011

Next String Of GOP Debates Feature Foreign Policy

Originally published on Thu November 17, 2011 6:41 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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Deceptive Cadence
5:57 am
Sat November 12, 2011

Aaron Copland's Forgotten Score Premieres At Last

Manhattan, Copland's "Quiet City," at night.
Joseph Gareri iStock

American composer Aaron Copland began work on Quiet City in 1939 and completed it two years later. A lonely trumpet and an English horn, backed by hushed strings, offer an ode to New York.

The orchestral version of Quiet City is fairly well known, but there's more to this story. Another version has recently come to light.

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The Record
4:00 am
Sat November 12, 2011

Non-Jamaican Reggae: Who's Making It And Who's Buying It

Hawaiian reggae band The Green. From left to right Zion Thompson, JP Kennedy, Caleb Keolanui and Ikaika Antone.
Tammy Moniz Courtesy of Press Junkie PR

Originally published on Thu November 17, 2011 6:41 am

Reggae music and the island of Jamaica are inseparable, right? Lately, a crop of artists from places like Hawaii, California and Italy are proving that hit reggae can come from anywhere. In the process, they're raising some complex questions about culture and ownership.

There's a new generation of reggae artists with two things in common: They're not from the birthplace of reggae music, and they are enormously successful.

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Author Interviews
3:36 am
Sat November 12, 2011

'Mrs. Nixon' Reimagines An Enigmatic First Lady

Originally published on Thu November 17, 2011 6:41 am

Aside from being the wife of one of the most well-known politicians in recent American history, Pat Nixon is mostly a mystery. Throughout crisis and scandal, she somehow managed to remain a private public figure.

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