5:39pm

Sat August 3, 2013
Music

The Biggest Thing Out Of Thailand: An Elephant Orchestra

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 3:01 pm

Thai Elephant Orchestra co-founder David Sulzer (bottom center, in red) poses with the animals and their mahouts, or keepers.
Jerry Alexander Courtesy of the artist

The Thai Elephant Orchestra is, remarkably, just what it sounds like. At a conservation center in Thailand, made for former work animals with nowhere to go, a group of elephants has been assembled and trained to play enormous percussion instruments, holding mallets in their trunks and sometimes trumpeting along.

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5:06pm

Sat August 3, 2013
Sports

How Major League Baseball Alleviated Its Broken Bat Problem

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 6:29 pm

Yasiel Puig of the Los Angeles Dodgers breaks his bat on a single to right field during a game in June. The rate of such breaks has been cut in half since 2008.
Victor Decolongon Getty Images

Back in 2008, Major League Baseball had a problem with broken bats. That season, bats were breaking into multiple pieces at a higher rate than ever before: around once per game.

The problem coincided with a surge in the popularity of maple bats over the traditional ash.

A bat that simply cracks isn't too big a deal. But in 2008, maple bats kept breaking apart. Often, they'd break along the handle, sending the heavier upper barrel of the bat flying.

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4:30pm

Sat August 3, 2013
Research News

Worms' Bright Blue Death Could Shed Light On Human Aging

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 7:50 pm

A nematode worm glows as it nears death in this screenshot from a YouTube video showing the work of researchers in London.
Wellcome Trust YouTube

Last year, researchers at University College London's Institute of Healthy Ageing were looking through their microscopes when they saw something amazing.

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2:23pm

Sat August 3, 2013
The Two-Way

Mugabe Declared Winner In Zimbabwe's Presidential Poll

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 3:06 pm

Zimbabwe's longtime President Robert Mugabe has been declared the winner in elections that give him another five-year term. He's shown here at a July 30 news conference.
Tsvanigirayi Mukwazhi AP

Zimbabwe's longtime President Robert Mugabe has been declared the winner in elections that give him another five-year term. But the opposition says the vote was rigged.

Mugabe won by 61 percent, with his main challenger, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, trailing far behind in the official results from the July 31 vote. Mugabe's party, the Zimbabwe African National Union, also managed a comfortable win in parliamentary elections.

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1:39pm

Sat August 3, 2013
Code Switch

Jobless Rate Falls For Blacks, But It's Not Good News Yet

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 1:46 pm

Employment Specialist Louis Holliday, right, helps an applicant file for unemployment at a Georgia Department of Labor career center last month in Atlanta. The jobless rate for African-Americans fell from 13.7 to 12.6 percent in July, but that's still twice the rate for whites.
David Goldman AP

The labor market continues its recovery; the economy added 162,000 jobs in July and pushed the unemployment rate to a 4.5-year low. After a string of bad news, things seem to be to turning around for African-American workers, too.

"The operative word is growth," says Bill Rodgers, an economist at Rutgers University.

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1:21pm

Sat August 3, 2013
The Two-Way

Interpol Issues Alert Following Al-Qaida-Linked Prison Breaks

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 3:32 pm

Libyans gather near a burned-out vehicle after an attack outside the courthouse in Benghazi on July 28, the day after more than 1,000 inmates escaped during a prison riot.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

A series of high-profile prison breaks linked to al-Qaida in Iraq, Libya and Pakistan has prompted Interpol to issue a global security alert asking member countries to "swiftly process any information linked to these events."

The Lyon, France-based international police agency noted that because al-Qaida was suspected to be involved in the jailbreaks, it was urgent to determine whether the organization was directly linked and to capture the escapees.

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12:16pm

Sat August 3, 2013
The Two-Way

Pentagon Papers Leaker Daniel Ellsberg Praises Snowden, Manning

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 4:49 pm

Daniel Ellsberg was a military analyst in 1971 when he released the Pentagon Papers, a top-secret study of U.S. government decision-making in Vietnam.
Paul J. RIchards AFP/Getty Images

Daniel Ellsberg, the military analyst who in 1971 leaked the top-secret Pentagon Papers detailing the history of U.S. policy in Vietnam, tells NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday that unlike Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden, he "did it the wrong way" by trying first to go through proper channels — a delay that he says cost thousands of lives.

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9:38am

Sat August 3, 2013
Code Switch

Obama Warms To Speaking Personally About Race

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 1:46 pm

President Obama speaks about the George Zimmerman acquittal nearly a week after the ruling.
Carolyn Kaster AP

On race, Barack Obama often says he is not president of black America, but of the United States of America. Though he has not avoided the subject during his time in office, he tends not to seek out opportunities to discuss racial issues.

"He wanted to address them in a time and a way that accomplished specific objectives," says Joshua Dubois, who ran the White House's faith-based initiatives during Obama's first term.

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9:03am

Sat August 3, 2013
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: 'Masters Of Sex,' 'Blue Jasmine' And John Gallagher Jr.

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 11:57 am

William Masters originally hired Virginia Johnson, then a divorced mother of two, to help him conduct research interviews. They married in 1971.
Cook AP

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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8:03am

Sat August 3, 2013
The Two-Way

Suicide Bombers Attack Indian Consulate In Afghanistan

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 3:26 pm

Security officials investigate the scene of an attack near the Indian consulate in the city of Jalalabad, Afghanistan, on Saturday.
Babrak Associated Press

A botched attack on an Indian consulate in Afghanistan's eastern city of Jalalabad has left nine civilians dead in addition to the three suicide bombers, security officials say.

NPR's Sean Carberry reports from Kabul that the Taliban has disclaimed responsibility for the bombing in which two-dozen people were also wounded.

Sean says the explosion occurred outside the consulate but that most of the victims were at a neighboring mosque. Two other attackers died in a gun battle with security forces.

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