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Animals
3:24 am
Sun August 26, 2012

A Pachyderm's Ditty Prompts An Elephantine Debate

Shanthi explores her yard at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, D.C., in 2010. The 36-year-old Asian elephant loves blowing into a harmonica.
Mehgan Murphy Smithsonian Institution

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 5:06 pm

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Around the Nation
3:24 am
Sun August 26, 2012

Snakes, And The Snake Wranglers Who Love Them

Matt and Paula Wilson (in background) clear rattlesnakes from a field in Pennsylvania. They work as snake wranglers, clearing areas for natural gas company employees.
Scott Detrow WITF

Originally published on Sun August 26, 2012 9:32 am

Jobs on natural gas drilling sites can have funny-sounding names: There are roustabouts, mud men, doodlebuggers and snake wranglers. That last one — snake wrangler — is exactly what it sounds like.

Everyone hates snakes, right?

Even Indiana Jones hates snakes.

But — not everybody.

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Africa
3:24 am
Sun August 26, 2012

Ugandan Gold Medalist Returns To Fame And Fortune

Uganda's Stephen Kiprotich wins the gold medal in the men's marathon at the 2012 London Olympics. As the impoverished country's second gold medalist in 40 years, Kiprotich became an instant national hero.
Kyodo/Landov

Originally published on Sun August 26, 2012 3:02 pm

On the last day of the London Olympics, a Ugandan runner seemingly came from nowhere during the marathon to pass the favored Kenyan and Ethiopian athletes and win gold.

Stephen Kiprotich is the first gold medalist from Uganda since John Akii-Bua won the 400-meter hurdles at the 1972 Munich Olympics. In the last two weeks, Kiprotich has become an unlikely national hero in a struggling country that rarely has much to cheer about.

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Presidential Race
2:27 am
Sun August 26, 2012

Despite Delay, Republican Stage Is Set In Tampa

Workers prepare for the Republican National Convention inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Fla., on Saturday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue August 28, 2012 6:32 am

After a year and a half of preparations, Tampa, Fla., is ready host the Republican National Convention.

Some 70,000 delegates, support personnel, media and protestors are gathering for the party's nominating event. Originally scheduled to start on Monday, the convention was pushed back because of Tropical Storm Isaac.

Inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum — a hockey arena that's been transformed into a high-tech political stage — it's a vision in red, white and blue. There's a nod to tradition, placards marking the sections reserved for each state's delegation.

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Remembrances
2:21 am
Sun August 26, 2012

In Just 'One Small Step' Armstrong Became An Icon

Armstrong stepped into history July 20, 1969, leaving the first human footprint on the surface of the moon.
NASA Getty Images

Originally published on Sun August 26, 2012 9:32 am

It was the kind of history that ignites the imagination of humanity.

On July 20, 1969, hundreds of millions of people around the world watched or listened as the lunar module Eagle carried astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the surface of the moon. Armstrong got on the radio to let them know "the Eagle has landed."

Almost seven hours later, Armstrong stepped off the ladder in his bulky white space suitand said those famous words: "That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind"

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Middle East
2:21 am
Sun August 26, 2012

Palestinians Flood Into Israel, If Only Briefly

A mother and son wait to enter Israel through the Qalandia checkpoint, which separates the West Bank and Jerusalem. Most of the year, Israel permits relatively few Palestinians to visit, but over the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, 1.2 million Palestinians were allowed in.
Daniel Estrin for NPR

Originally published on Sun September 2, 2012 8:27 am

As Palestinian Muslims in the West Bank celebrated the end of Ramadan this past week, many traveled to a place that's usually off limits: Israel.

At the main Israeli checkpoint between the West Bank and Jerusalem, you could hear the taxi drivers offering to take Palestinians to the beach in Tel Aviv.

The drive is no more than an hour from the West Bank boundary to Israel's Mediterranean coast. Yet many Palestinians have not taken a dip in years, if ever.

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Megafires: The New Normal In The Southwest
2:20 am
Sun August 26, 2012

'Torture Lab' Kills Trees To Learn How To Save Them

Powers walks along plastic gutters designed to keep rain away from tree roots to simulate drought. Scientists here are studying the effects of sustained drought conditions on the tree species of the Southwest.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Sun August 26, 2012 3:03 pm

Last of a five-part series

The droughts that have parched big regions of the country are killing forests.

In the arid Southwest, the body count is especially high. Besides trying to keep wildfires from burning up these desiccated forests, there's not much anyone can do. In fact, scientists are only now figuring out how drought affects trees.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
10:12 pm
Sat August 25, 2012

Making Peace With Our Cyborg Nature

Lance Armstrong competes in the Ironman Panama 70.3. triathlon in Panama City, Panama.
Arnulfo Franco AP

Originally published on Mon August 27, 2012 5:51 am

I loved the TV show The Six-Million Dollar man growing up. For me, Steve Austin (played by Lee Majors) wasn't less cool because he had bionic implants that enabled him to perform superhuman feats. He was more cool.

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Presidential Race
5:16 pm
Sat August 25, 2012

RNC Shuts Down Monday's Events Due To Storm

Transcript

LAURA SULLIVAN, HOST:

The Republican National Convention, in Tampa, has canceled almost all events for Monday night, citing Tropical Storm Isaac. Convention organizers made that announcement, saying safety is their primary concern. NPR's Jeff Brady is in Tampa, and he joins us now. Jeff, tell us what's happening.

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The Two-Way
4:27 pm
Sat August 25, 2012

Storm Forces Republicans To Cancel Monday Convention Events

Tropical Storm Isaac's projected path on Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012
National Hurricane Center

Originally published on Sat August 25, 2012 5:55 pm

Tropical Storm Isaac has been difficult to track, but its potential to affect Florida has caused the Republican National Convention to change its plans. Events for Monday have been canceled, though the committee will convene briefly. As Alan Greenblatt reported for It's All Politics, this is now the second-consecutive Republican National Convention to be delayed by a storm.

Update at 8:55 p.m. ET. Nomination Delayed:

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Remembrances
2:12 pm
Sat August 25, 2012

Astronaut Neil Armstrong Dies

Originally published on Sat August 25, 2012 5:16 pm

Transcript

LAURA SULLIVAN, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Laura Sullivan, in for Guy Raz.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

NEIL ARMSTRONG: That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.

SULLIVAN: Astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. He died today at the age of 82 after complications from a heart procedure. He was the first of just 12 Americans to step on the moon from 1969 to 1972.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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Remembrances
2:12 pm
Sat August 25, 2012

Neil Armstrong: An 'Exemplary Life'

Originally published on Sat August 25, 2012 5:16 pm

Transcript

LAURA SULLIVAN, HOST:

James Fallows of The Atlantic joins us as he does most Saturdays. Jim, let me get your thoughts on the passing of Neil Armstrong.

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Presidential Race
2:12 pm
Sat August 25, 2012

Tampa Gears Up For RNC And A Possible Storm

Originally published on Sat August 25, 2012 5:16 pm

Transcript

LAURA SULLIVAN, HOST:

While some 70,000 visitors are expected for the Republican National Convention, it's not the only big event heading towards Tampa. On Tuesday, another important visitor could be on the way, though perhaps not directly through Tampa - Tropical Storm Isaac. As of now, Isaac is still in the Caribbean. But as NPR's Greg Allen reports from Tampa, it's likely to be a hurricane when it passes near the city later in the week.

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Law
2:12 pm
Sat August 25, 2012

Voting As A 'Responsibility': How Hard Should It Be?

Demonstrators hold signs at an NAACP-organized rally on the steps of the Pennsylvania Capitol to protest the state's new voter identification law on July 24 in Harrisburg, Pa.
Marc Levy AP

Originally published on Sat August 25, 2012 5:29 pm

Ana Gonzalez, 63, has gone her whole life without a driver's license or a state-issued ID. That wasn't really a problem, until now.

She was born in Puerto Rico but moved soon after with her adoptive parents for the continental U.S., where she grew up. Her husband drives, and her odd jobs over the years have required only a Social Security card, which she has. She's just never needed a birth certificate before.

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Participation Nation
2:03 pm
Sat August 25, 2012

Replanting Trees In New Orleans, La.

City Park in New Orleans.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 8:18 am

More than 100,000 trees — including many beautiful live oaks and magnolias — were lost when Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in 2005.

In response, Hike For KaTREEna — a nonprofit group dedicated to reforesting the Crescent City — was created.

Since 2006, more than 10,000 volunteers have helped to plant 13,400 trees — including oaks, cypress, red maples, crepe myrtles, magnolias, redbuds, Savannah hollies and citrus trees such as navel orange, satsuma, lemon, lime and grapefruit.

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The Two-Way
12:45 pm
Sat August 25, 2012

Neil Armstrong, First Man To Walk On The Moon, Dies

Armstrong in the lunar module after the historic moonwalk.
AP NASA

Originally published on Sun August 26, 2012 2:28 pm

Former astronaut Neil Armstrong, known for his words, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind," has died. The first man ever to walk on the moon was 82.

Update at 5:15 p.m. ET:

Armstrong's family has released a statement, saying he died following cardiovascular procedures. NASA published it here. They say, "Armstrong was also a reluctant American hero who always believed he was just doing his job."

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The Two-Way
11:11 am
Sat August 25, 2012

In Killing New York Gunman, Police Also Shot Bystanders

Police investigate a shooting at the Empire State Building in New York on Friday.
Louis Lanzano AP

Originally published on Sat August 25, 2012 6:42 pm

The shooting outside the Empire State Building on Friday took a new turn Saturday: New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly says all nine bystanders wounded in the deadly incident were "struck either by fragments or bullets fired by the police."

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Participation Nation
10:03 am
Sat August 25, 2012

Art Of Mentoring In Minneapolis

Preparing a wall for a mural.
Courtesy of MPTA

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 8:33 am

Cross the Mississippi River on Saint Paul's Marshall Avenue and it morphs into Minneapolis' Lake Street — a colorful kaleidoscope of cultures.

As Lake Street's collection of murals grows, so does its sense of safety, beauty and community — thanks to groups of artist-activists.

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Music Interviews
9:03 am
Sat August 25, 2012

Chilly Gonzales: Pianist, Rapper, Provocateur

Chilly Gonzales' latest album is Solo Piano II.
Alexandre Isard

Originally published on Sat August 25, 2012 5:16 pm

The musician known as Chilly Gonzales is difficult to introduce, if only because no one aspect of his career defines him. The Canadian-born performer has shown there's very little he's afraid to try.

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Television
8:26 am
Sat August 25, 2012

Meet Peter Lassally, Late Night 'Host Whisperer'

Longtime late night producer Peter Lassally tells Scott Simon that being interviewed for NPR is a "big, frightening experience." "I'm not a performer," he says. "I'm a quiet person who doesn't like to blow his own horn."
Mark Mainz Getty Images for AFI

Originally published on Sat August 25, 2012 7:16 am

Peter Lassally is known as "the host whisperer." If you've ever watched a late night show with an opening monologue, a couch and guests bouncing off each other, then you've seen his work — he practically invented the form.

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