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11:34 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Kennedy Center's New Organ No Longer A Pipe Dream

After years of waiting, the Kennedy Center has a new symphonic organ replacing its old Filene organ. The $2 million project will culminate in the organ's debut on Nov. 27. William Neil (left), the National Symphony Orchestra organist, speaks with NSO Assistant Conductor Ankush Kumar Bahl (center) during the organ's test with the orchestra on Oct. 18.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 6:16 am

It was almost spooky. Each night after 11 p.m., when nothing was stirring in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall, two men would enter. One would sit at the organ, playing a key or series of keys, and the other would crawl around inside the organ pipes, 40 feet off the floor. The process went on for months.

It was the all but final phase of installing a new organ for the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. And on Nov. 27, the organ makes its formal debut.

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Deceptive Cadence
11:30 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Do Orchestras Really Need Conductors?

Does This Guy Matter? Conductor Leonard Bernstein during rehearsal with the Cincinnati Symphony at Carnegie Hall in 1977.
James Garrett New York Daily News via Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 7:12 am

Have you ever wondered whether music conductors actually influence their orchestras?

They seem important. After all, they're standing in the middle of the stage and waving their hands. But the musicians all have scores before them that tell them what to play. If you took the conductor away, could the orchestra manage on its own?

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Books
11:28 am
Tue November 27, 2012

After Decades Of Dreaming, Dolly Parton Says 'Dream More'

Dolly Parton, known as "The Queen of Country Music," has won eight Grammys and sold more than 100 million records.
Brendon Thorne Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 1:00 pm

In 1964, Dolly Parton told her classmates at eastern Tennessee's Sevier County High School that she planned to go to Nashville and become a star.

The whole class burst into laughter.

"Anywhere you go, people say, 'Well, ain't you afraid you'll starve to death?'" Parton tells NPR's Neal Conan. "'Ain't you afraid you'll go hungry?' I said, 'Well I couldn't be any poorer than we've been here. And I'm not a bad-looking girl.'"

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Law
10:56 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Parents With Disabilities And Family Law

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 11:55 am

A report from the National Council on Disability finds that parents with physical or mental disabilities have a greater risk of losing custody of their children. The study says that the U.S. legal system needs to provide more support for these parents.

From Our Listeners
10:56 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Letters: Video Games, National Day Of Listening

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 11:57 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

It's Tuesday and time to read from your comments. Several listeners told us they appreciated our segment on what we get from playing first-person shooter games. Kristen(ph) wrote: I don't personally play videogames, but my boyfriend does. He was an infantry scout in Iraq, and the shooter games were actually recommended by his psychiatrist as a way to have him differentiate between what's real and what is not.

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Middle East
10:56 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Morsi's Power Grab, Egypt's Constitutional Crisis

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 11:56 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Last week, Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi received plaudits from around the world after he brokered a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. Then a day later he issued a decree, giving him near-absolute power. After some times of violent protests and a visit from outraged judges, the president backed off a bit, but many worry that Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood will now dictate Egypt's new constitution and that the revolution just created one strong man for another.

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Music Reviews
10:52 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Cecilia Bartoli's New 'Mission' Unearths Baroque Gems

On her new album, opera star Cecilia Bartoli tackles the work of Baroque composer Agostino Steffani.
Uli Weber Decca

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 12:17 pm

I never heard of the Baroque composer Agostino Steffani until last year, when the Boston Early Music Festival presented the North American premiere of Steffani's Niobe, an opera about the mythical queen who bragged so much about her many children, the gods killed them all in revenge. One of the leading roles, Niobe's husband King Amphion, was played by the early-music superstar countertenor Philippe Jaroussky, who sang the opera's most sublime aria — a hymn to the harmony of the spheres. I couldn't wait to hear Jaroussky again, and was eager to hear more Steffani.

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The Two-Way
10:40 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Venezuela's Chávez Will Return To Cuba For Medical Treatment

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez speaks on November 1.
AFP/Getty Images

Venezuela's National Assembly has approved a measure that allows President Hugo Chávez to leave the country for medical treatment in Cuba.

Chávez, as we've reported, has been battling cancer for more than a year. His treatments and the secrecy surrounding his condition led some to wonder whether he could handle a rough reelection campaign. But he made a remarkable comeback and handily won another term in October.

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The Two-Way
10:27 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Grover Norquist: Pink Unicorns Aren't Real And GOP Won't Break Tax Pledge

Grover Norquist, founder of Americans for Tax Reform and the man behind the pledge.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 3:35 pm

  • Grover Norquist on Keynesianism
  • Grover Norquist: Pink unicorns aren't real either
  • Congressman-elect Ted Yoho on 'Morning Edition'

There has not been a wave of defections by Republicans who signed on to his "no new taxes" pledge and even the few who have spoken about possibly going along with revenue increases won't do so in the end, anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist told NPR Tuesday.

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Shots - Health News
9:42 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Momentum Builds For Hepatitis C Testing Of Baby Boomers

Hospitals began testing blood for hepatitis in 1992, so anyone who received a blood transfusion before then is at an increased risk for contracting the disease.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 12:01 pm

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an influential and often controversial panel of doctors, is moving toward a recommendation for testing that could apply to all baby boomers.

The group issued draft advice to doctors saying they should consider giving a hepatitis C test to people born between 1945 and 1965, regardless of their risk factors for having the disease.

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The Two-Way
9:29 am
Tue November 27, 2012

France Will Support Palestinian Bid For Status At United Nations

The United Nations General Assembly during a vote earlier this year.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 5:36 am

France became the first major European country to say they will support the Palestinian bid to attain non-member observer state status at the United Nations.

Israel has been lobbying U.N. members to vote against the measure so a defection from France, a permanent member of the Security Council, is a setback for them. The United States has also opposed the move, saying it would veto any attempt brought before the Security Council.

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The Two-Way
8:54 am
Tue November 27, 2012

GOP Senators More Troubled About Benghazi After Talking With Amb. Rice

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., speaking to reporters after their meeting with U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 1:56 pm

After meeting with U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice this morning, three key Republican senators emerged to say they're more troubled — not less — by what they say were intelligence failures and misleading information concerning the September attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, which left four Americans dead.

One, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, said it's too soon to even be speculating about promoting Rice to be secretary of state.

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The Two-Way
8:03 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Marvin Miller, Union Leader Who Brought Free Agency To Baseball, Dies

Marvin Miller, who rocked baseball, in 1966.
AP

Marvin Miller, "arguably the most significant figure in 20th century baseball" according to Morning Edition commentator Frank Deford, has died.

The former head of the Major League Baseball Players Association was 95.

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Shots - Health News
7:57 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Taking Aim At Restrictions On Medical Questions About Gun Ownership

Should a talk about guns be off-limits in the exam room?
iStockphoto.com

The way some doctors see it, asking patients whether they own a gun is no more politically loaded than any other health-related question they ask.

So when a Florida law that prohibited them from discussing gun ownership with patients passed last year, they moved to fight it. A federal judge issued a permanent injunction blocking enforcement of the law in July.

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The Salt
7:41 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Rare Meat Allergy Caused By Tick Bites May Be On The Rise

The Lone Star tick, common to the southeastern U.S., is responsible for inducing meat allergies in some people, scientists say.
CDC Public Health Image Library

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 7:23 am

Some people are allergic to peanuts, others to shellfish, fruits, or wheat. But this rare allergy is a carnivore's worst nightmare: A tick bite that can cause a case of itchy red hives every time you eat meat. Yup, get bit by one of these buggers and you may be saying farewell to your filet Mignon.

For some people around the country, this is no nightmare, it's a reality – and it may be coming to your neck of the woods.

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The Two-Way
7:34 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Attention Chinese Media: Kim Jong Un Is 2012's Most Interesting Man

The mysterious, most-interesting, super-sexy North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. (And if you believe all that, you may be reading too many reports from Chinese media.)
Ed Jones AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 5:32 am

Update at 8:15 a.m. ET, Nov. 28. And Now, It's Gone:

People's Daily Online has realized it was duped and removed its glorious account of Kim Jong Un's sexiness, NPR's Frank Langfitt tells us.

But you can still read our original post:

Shh.

Please don't tell the editors at People's Daily Online that our headline might not be true.

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Your Money
7:25 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Is It Wise To Bank At Big Box Retailers?

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 9:30 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And now to matters of personal finance. If you're one of the millions of people already on the prowl for that hot must-have gift this holiday season, you might have already noticed something new at your favorite big box store and we're not talking about stocking stuffers. More and more of the big box stores are also offering financial products, like home mortgages or small business loans, along with the flat-screen TVs, lumber and paper towels.

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Law
7:25 am
Tue November 27, 2012

When Do Self-Defense Laws Apply?

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 9:30 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, just in time for the holidays, some big box stores want to help customers finance those shopping sprees, but will financial products from big retailers be a hit or a miss for consumers? We'll speak with our business reporter who's looked at this. That's just ahead in our Money Coach conversation.

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Politics
7:25 am
Tue November 27, 2012

NH All-Female Delegation Ready To Break Gridlock

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 9:30 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, you've probably heard the name Treyvon Martin in connection with the debate about the so-called Stand Your Ground law in Florida but have you heard about John McNeil? He's a Georgia homeowner who's been sentenced to life in prison for fatally shooting a man who'd threatened McNeil's son on McNeil's property.

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The Two-Way
5:58 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Top Stories: Cairo Clashes; Fiscal Cliff Talks; Sandy's Huge Costs

Ortley Beach, N.J.: The aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.
Mark Wilson Getty Images
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