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Super Bowl And Skullduggery: The Week In Sports

Sat, 01/31/2015 - 6:35am

It's nearly time for the Super Bowl, but Howard Bryant of ESPN.com and ESPN the magazine tells NPR's Scott Simon that more people are talking about off-the-field scandals than the actual game.

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In LA, Women Build A Mosque Where They Can Call To Prayer

Sat, 01/31/2015 - 6:35am

A women-led mosque held its first jumma'a, or Friday prayer service, in Los Angeles this week. The group is hoping to strengthen the Muslim community in America by empowering the faith's women.

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Fighting In Eastern Ukraine Drags On Into WInter

Sat, 01/31/2015 - 6:35am

Government troops are locked in a fierce battle with Russian-backed separatists, while civilians suffer freezing cold. Correspondent Corey Flintoff shares the latest with NPR's Scott Simon.

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What Romney's Retreat Means For GOP Hopefuls

Sat, 01/31/2015 - 6:35am

NPR's Scott Simon speaks with senior Washington editor Ron Elving about the narrowing Republican presidential field for 2016 and what we've seen so far in the first month of the new Congress.

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Rod McKuen, The Cheeseburger To Poetry's Haute Cuisine

Sat, 01/31/2015 - 6:35am

Poet Rod McKuen was loved by millions but mocked by literary critics. He died this week at age 81.

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An Odd Crew Dreams Of Swashbuckling In 'We Are Pirates'

Sat, 01/31/2015 - 6:35am

Acclaimed writer Daniel Handler, a.k.a. Lemony Snickett, drew criticism last year for a racist comment at a literary event. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with Handler about his new novel, We Are Pirates.

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The Infite Whiteness Of Public Radio Voices

Sat, 01/31/2015 - 6:35am

The hashtag #publicradiovoices, about the "whiteness" of public radio, trended on Twitter this week. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with Gene Demby of NPR's Code Switch team about the conversation.

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Pennsylvania Law Allows NRA To Sue Cities Over Gun Rules

Sat, 01/31/2015 - 6:35am

The NRA has already filed suit against Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Lancaster, claiming the cities' gun ordinances are illegal.

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Amiri Baraka Didn't Worry About His Politics Overpowering His Poetry

Sat, 01/31/2015 - 6:35am

"The real hallmark of an effective political artist is that the politics is accepted with the art," said Baraka. A new career-spanning anthology collects his work from 1961 to 2013. He died in 2014.

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In A Few Fateful Years, One Record Label Blew Open The Blues

Sat, 01/31/2015 - 6:35am

Music was an afterthought for Paramount Records, a short-lived label founded by a furniture company. But in its final years, it gave vital exposure to the artists who would come to define Delta blues.

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It May Take A British Actor To Make An American Story Sing

Sat, 01/31/2015 - 6:35am

Awards season has offered NPR's Scott Simon the opportunity to reflect on the number of British actors playing Americans in films and television shows, and wonder where the American actors are.

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Just Your Typical Teenagers Helping To Fight World Poverty

Sat, 01/31/2015 - 6:03am

Their goal is to make the world a better place 15 years from now. And the U.S. State Department listened to their ideas. But that doesn't mean they are oblivious to Justin Bieber and Gossip Girl.

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8 Picture Books You Don't Have To Be A Kid To Love

Sat, 01/31/2015 - 6:00am

Here at NPR Books, we may be grown-ups, but we still enjoy channeling our inner 7-year-olds. And this week, we have the perfect excuse: Monday's Caldecott Medal announcement for picture book artistry.

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Remembering 'Thorn Birds' Author Colleen McCullough

Sat, 01/31/2015 - 4:36am

Australian writer Colleen McCullough has died at 77; she was best known for her doomed Outback romance saga The Thorn Birds, famously adapted for TV with Richard Chamberlain as a passionate priest.

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Diana Krall: Liner Notes From A 'Wallflower'

Sat, 01/31/2015 - 4:35am

Krall's new album is a collection of songs she first heard on vinyl, from The Mamas & the Papas to the Eagles. She discusses getting know the originals and sharing music with her twin sons.

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Soldier With PTSD, Woman Who Lost Husband To It, Find Solace Together

Sat, 01/31/2015 - 4:33am

When Michael Pelkey returned from Iraq, "his light was gone," says former Army Cpt. Stephanie Pelkey. Her friend, Army Sgt. T.J. Hart, says he barely survived the numbness that led Pelkey away.

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A Former Child Soldier Finds Escape, Heaven Through His Music

Sat, 01/31/2015 - 4:33am

Starved, brainwashed and beaten, Emmanual Jal was a child soldier who escaped Sudan's war. Now he's an actor, musician and activist. But he says he still gets nightmares.

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Why Do We Love Football So Much? Theater Tackles Tough Questions

Sat, 01/31/2015 - 4:31am

A play based on interviews with former NFL players, their families and fans digs deep: What's so fun about a sport that devastates bodies and brains? And what if it can't be made safer?

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Efforts To Free Japanese ISIS Captive 'Deadlocked'

Sat, 01/31/2015 - 2:38am

A top Japanese diplomat says indirect negotiations to free a captive journalist from the militant Islamic State group have reached a "state of deadlock."

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Episode 600: The People Inside Your Machine

Fri, 01/30/2015 - 9:10pm

Today on the show, we visit the place where regular people compete to do tiny tasks, sometimes for pennies.

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