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Around the Nation
2:28 pm
Sat January 19, 2013

The Rev. Al Sharpton, In Six True-False Statements

Rev. Al Sharpton, founder and president of National Action Network (NAN), prepares to leave its corporate office for the WWRL radio station in New York, January 11.
Shiho Fukada for NPR

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 8:19 am

Editor's note: NPR's Corey Dade recently traveled to New York to interview the Rev. Al Sharpton about the unusual arc of his checkered career, from pugnacious street fighter for racial justice to savvy insider with ties to CEOs, a successful television show and the the ear of a soon-to-be second-term president.

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Education
2:28 pm
Sat January 19, 2013

New Reading Standards Aim To Prep Kids For College — But At What Cost?

New education standards place more emphasis on nonfiction reading and writing over fiction works. Some say this could lead students away from a passionate engagement with literature.
Chris Sadowski iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 6:17 pm

Once upon a time, in the long ago world of high school reading, Holden Caulfield was perhaps the epitome of angst: a young man suddenly an outcast in the world he thought he knew. The antihero of J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye was about to enter a perilous journey of self-discovery.

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Around the Nation
2:02 pm
Sat January 19, 2013

How Did Tacoma, Wash., Get To Be America's 'Gayest City'?

Advocate editor Matthew Breen says marriage equality gave the advantage to cities in Washington state this year." href="/post/how-did-tacoma-wash-get-be-americas-gayest-city" class="noexit lightbox">
Tacoma, Wash., tops The Advocate magazine's list of "Gayest Cities in America." It was followed by Springfield, Mass., and Spokane, Wash. Advocate editor Matthew Breen says marriage equality gave the advantage to cities in Washington state this year.
USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 4:25 pm

Every year when The Advocate magazine publishes its list of the "Gayest Cities in America" it comes with a few surprises. This year was no different.

At the top of the list for 2013: Tacoma, Wash.

To Tacoma resident Ellen Cohen, the superlative was unexpected.

"In all of Tacoma coming out as No. 1 in anything would surprise me," she said.

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The Two-Way
6:45 am
Sat January 19, 2013

Hostages, Militants Reported Dead In Algerian Assault

British Defense Minister Philip Hammond (left) and U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta hold a joint press conference on the Algerian hostage crisis Saturday in London.
Leon Neal AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 3:51 pm

The four-day standoff in the Algerian desert came to a bloody end Saturday morning when Algerian forces stormed the gas plant where Islamist militants were holding foreign hostages.

Seven hostages were killed in the assault, as were 11 militants, Algeria's state media reported. In total, 32 militants and 23 other people died in the conflict, the Algerian interior ministry said in a statement.

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Fresh Air Weekend
6:03 am
Sat January 19, 2013

Fresh Air Weekend: Ben Affleck And Dustin Hoffman

Ben Affleck as Tony Mendez in Argo. Affleck also directed the film, which is based on events surrounding the Iran hostage crisis of 1979.
Keith Bernstein Warner Brothers

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 8:59 am

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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Shots - Health News
3:32 am
Sat January 19, 2013

Inching Closer To The Demise Of A Stubborn Parasitic Worm

A boy with multiple Guinea worms sits outside a containment center in northern Ghana, February 2007.
Wes Pope Chicago Tribune/MCT /Landov

What's the big fuss about Guinea worm, a parasite that now infects just a few hundred people? Well, the public health community finally has the nasty bug's back against the wall.

There were only 542 cases of Guinea worm worldwide last year, the Carter Center said this week. That's 48 percent less than in 2011. And it's a mere blip compared to the 3.5 million cases back in 1986.

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It's All Politics
2:53 am
Sat January 19, 2013

Inaugural Hijinks: 10 Odd Photos From Ceremonies Past

Scott Stewart AP

The presidential inauguration is a solemn and important occasion, of course, steeped in history and pomp. But it's also a time for parades and balls — and, sometimes, a bit of tomfoolery. As we prepare for President Obama's second inauguration on Monday, a look back at a few funny and unusual moments:

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The Salt
2:53 am
Sat January 19, 2013

Inaugural Balls Where Food Isn't An Afterthought

Guests arrive for the Black Tie and Boots Inaugural Ball in Washington back in 2005 to celebrate President Bush's second term.
J. David Ake AP

Like everyone else in Washington, D.C., right now, we're gearing up for the long inaugural weekend, bracing ourselves for various events and balls around town that can be thrilling, patriotic, touristy and traffic-jamming, all at the same time.

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It's All Politics
2:52 am
Sat January 19, 2013

From The Archives: Inaugural Firsts, Ball Gowns And JFK

President John F. Kennedy delivers his inaugural address after taking the oath of office on Jan. 20, 1961.
AP

As we prepare for President Obama's second inauguration on Monday, we've been looking back through our coverage of inaugurations past. (And it's reminded us that a lot has changed, even from just four years ago.) Along the way, we ran across a few memorable features that we thought worth revisiting.

Inaugural Firsts

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Around the Nation
2:40 am
Sat January 19, 2013

12 Half-Truths We Live With

Koalas aren't really bears, but we don't seem to mind.
Gabriella Garcia-Pardo NPR

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 10:12 am

Say it isn't so. Various news organizations have recently reported that on occasion the Subway sandwich chain's $5 footlong measures 11 inches instead of 12 — as advertised. Sure enough, the bacon, lettuce and tomato jewel we bought Friday fell a little short.

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Africa
2:38 am
Sat January 19, 2013

'Algerian Style': Cooperative, To A Point

People gather Friday outside a hospital in eastern Algeria as they try to get information on those wounded during a military raid on a gas plant where Islamic extremists were holding hostages.
Anis Belghoul AP

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 8:19 pm

The Algerian government gave no advance notice that it was planning to launch a military operation to rescue hostages at the remote In Amenas natural gas field, despite offers of support and advice by many nations, including the U.S.

The anger and disappointment in Washington is muted, however, because the U.S. sees Algeria as a critical ally in the fight against terrorism.

Logistical Dependence

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Inauguration 2013
2:38 am
Sat January 19, 2013

Turning The 'Day Of Service' Into A Longer Commitment

Chelsea Clinton makes cards with 8-year-old Addison Rose on the National Mall on Saturday as part of the National Day of Service events. Clinton, daughter of former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is the honorary chair of the National Day of Service.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 10:39 am

This weekend, hundreds of thousands of people — including President Obama and his family — are participating in volunteer activities around the country. Saturday's National Day of Service kicks off the president's second inauguration and honors the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday.

As budgets tighten and personal schedules fill, nonprofits are looking for new ways to attract extra helpers, and organizers for the national event hope it will lead to a permanent boost in volunteerism.

Willingness To Give Back

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Around the Nation
2:38 am
Sat January 19, 2013

Newtown Debates The Future Of Sandy Hook School

A memorial stands in a yard near the Sandy Hook Elementary School a month after the mass shooting that left 27 dead, including 20 children, in Newtown, Conn.
Jessica Hill AP

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 9:58 am

After the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December, the town arranged for students to go to school at a building in the neighboring town of Monroe. Now, Newtown is deliberating what to do with the building where the shootings took place and whether to build a new school.

Newtown officials held a second public meeting Friday night to hear what community members think should happen to the school.

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It's All Politics
2:38 am
Sat January 19, 2013

A Gun Owner From The Left, Sen. Leahy Leads The Debate

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., voted to allow guns in national parks and on Amtrak trains, but rejects suggestions that he'll slow-walk gun control efforts through Congress.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 4:13 am

President Obama says he's willing to use "whatever power his office holds" to stop gun violence, but the fate of many of his White House proposals will rest in no small part with one man: the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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StoryCorps
2:38 am
Sat January 19, 2013

A Soldier's Battle Lost After Returning Home

Lance Pilgrim with his parents, Randy and Judy, at the pre-deployment ceremony at Fort Sill, Okla., in January 2003.
Courtesy of Judy Pilgrim

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 4:13 am

Spc. Lance Pilgrim was among the first Army troops to enter Iraq in March 2003. Eventually, he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and died from an accidental overdose in 2007 at the age of 26.

His father, Randy Pilgrim, says he first realized something was wrong when his son broke down at the sight of an animal that had been run over. The image had triggered the memory of a traumatic time overseas.

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Politics
2:38 am
Sat January 19, 2013

Is A Fresh Start In Washington Possible?

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 4:13 am

Host Scott Simon talks with NPR's Mara Liasson about whether the Obama administration and Congressional Republicans can find some common ground and overcome the political gridlock that characterized much of the president's first term.

Books
2:38 am
Sat January 19, 2013

For Justice Sotomayor, Books Unlocked Imagination

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 4:13 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has a new autobiography out about her life and her career in law. Earlier this week, we broadcast portions of her interview with NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg. Today, Nina talks to the justice about the role that books have played in her life.

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Politics
2:38 am
Sat January 19, 2013

House GOP Backs Off Debt Ceiling Demands

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 4:13 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Music News
11:03 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Jin, 'The Chinese Kid Who Raps,' Grows Up

After a failed career at home in the U.S., the Chinese-American rapper Jin found an unexpected second chance at stardom on the other side of the world.
Louis Trinh Courtesy of artist

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 4:25 pm

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Music Interviews
11:03 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

A Bagpipe-Slinging Spaniard Finds A Home In New York Jazz

On the new album Migrations, Cristina Pato plays the gaita, a bagpipe from her native region of Galicia in northwest Spain.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 11:18 am

Cristina Pato is a jazz pianist from Spain who also plays flute and sings. But on her new album, Migrations, there's a striking sound not often heard in jazz: a bagpipe. Pato has been playing the traditional gaita (pronounced "GY-tah"), a version of the bagpipe from her native region of Galicia, since she was 4 years old.

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