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7:13pm

Fri April 18, 2014
Parallels

A Journey Of Pain And Beauty: On Becoming Transgender In India

Originally published on Sat April 19, 2014 12:44 pm

Abhina Aher was born a boy biologically and is now a hijra, a member of an ancient transgender community in India. Of her painful physical and psychological transformation, Aher remembers now: "I just wanted to become a beautiful butterfly."
Julie McCarthy NPR

The signs came early that Abhina Aher was different.

Born a boy biologically and given the male name Abhijit, Aher grew up in a middle-class neighborhood of Mumbai, India. The son of a single mother who nurtured a love of dance, Aher would watch enthralled as she performed.

"I used to love to wear the clothes that my mother used to wear — her jewelry, her makeup," Aher, now 37, recalls. "That is something which used to extremely fascinate me."

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6:31pm

Fri April 18, 2014
It's All Politics

Are Democrats Trying To Energize The Base With The Race Card?

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 7:46 pm

Attorney General Eric Holder (right) recently expressed outrage at the treatment President Obama and he have received from conservatives. He stopped just short of saying it was race-related, leaving that for the African-American audience at the recent National Action Network convention to decide.
Seth Wenig AP

Few mixtures in American life are more emotionally combustible than the one formed by the combination of politics and race.

That helps explain why Democrats, in general, and President Obama, in particular, have tended to steer clear of overtly raising race as an issue to explain some of the opposition to Obama's presidency and agenda.

There seems to be a shift in recent days, however.

Top Democratic party officials have either directly or indirectly blamed race for some of the hostility to Obama, his policies, or both.

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6:27pm

Fri April 18, 2014
This Week's Must Read

A Love Letter To Literature: Reading Gabo In 'The Paris Review'

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 7:13 pm

Writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who won the Nobel Prize in 1982, died Thursday at 87.
Paco Junquera Getty Images

Everyone has a favorite Gabriel Garcia Marquez book, and mine is Love in the Time of Cholera. It's the story of a romance that lasts decades, unwinding through the pages of the book. It's verbose, vibrant and full of love.

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5:42pm

Fri April 18, 2014
World

Leaflets Given To Donetsk Jews Made Waves Worldwide, But Not In Donetsk

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 7:13 pm

An anti-fascist sign hangs on the barricade outside an occupied government building in Donetsk.
Ari Shapiro NPR

A development in Eastern Ukraine has set social media on fire and triggered outrage around the world.

In the city of Donetsk, someone distributed fliers ordering Jews to register with the separatists who have taken over government buildings.

Even though nobody in Ukraine believed the leaflet was real, the fliers hit a nerve.

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5:42pm

Fri April 18, 2014
All Tech Considered

Airbnb To Start Charging Hotel Taxes In A Handful Of Cities

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 7:13 pm

Airbnb, the online home-rental service, says it will start collecting hotel taxes in a few American cities.
Chris Weeks Getty Images

When Regitze Visby, a tourist visiting San Francisco from Denmark, searched for accommodations for her trip and saw she could stay at one of the famed "painted ladies" on Alamo Square through Airbnb, she took it.

At $135 a night, "it was a good deal," she says.

But does she know if she's paying a transient occupancy tax or a hotel tax? "I have no idea," she says.

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5:42pm

Fri April 18, 2014
Africa

Somalis In Kenya Are Used To Raids, But They Say This Was Different

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 8:12 pm

Kenyan security officers rounded up people Friday as part of a crackdown that has swept up thousands of undocumented refugees, immigrants and Kenyan citizens of Somali descent in recent weeks.
Tony Karumba AFP/Getty Images

Mohammed Ali Isaac's hands shook as he showed his Kenyan ID to the police officers. They let him pass, but his cousins weren't so lucky. The two women had forgotten their IDs at home, and the police were threatening to load them into one of three large trucks they'd brought for the purpose.

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5:42pm

Fri April 18, 2014
The Salt

In The Land Of Razor Clams, Dinner Hides Deep Within The Sand

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 7:13 pm

Clams this fresh taste like tender calamari.
Martin Kaste/NPR

As soon as you drive into town, it's pretty clear that Long Beach, Wash., is all about the razor clam. The first clue is the giant frying pan. It's 14 feet tall and a relic of the clam festivals of the 1940s. And then there's the clam statue that spits when you insert a quarter.

But if you really want to see how much people here love their clams, you'd have to be like Karen Harrell and get up before dawn and drive out onto the blustery beach to go clam digging.

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5:40pm

Fri April 18, 2014
Politics

In Virginia, Politicians Fish For Support At Old-Fashioned Event

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 7:13 pm

Former Sen. George Allen (center) greets attendees at the 64th annual Wakefield Shad Planking in Wakefield, Va., in April 2012. This year's Shad Planking featured Democratic Sen. Mark Warner as the speaker.
Steve Helber AP

At a time when new technologies and social media are transforming politics, we turn to a decidedly old-fashioned campaign event. It's an annual festival known as the Shad Planking, a spring rite of Virginia politics for nearly 70 years.

It's a must-attend event for state politicians, who practice the oldest form of retail politicking among tall pine trees at a dusty campsite.

In Wakefield, about an hour southeast of Virginia's capital of Richmond, shad fish have been roasting by on an open fire since 5 a.m. They're nailed to oak planks.

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5:02pm

Fri April 18, 2014
The Two-Way

Rescue Workers Erect Memorial To Washington Mudslide Victims

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 10:35 pm

A memorial erected by rescue workers near the site of the March 22 mudslide that killed at least 39 people.
Martin Kaste NPR

Rescue workers still searching for bodies from the March 22 landslide that killed at least 39 people near the town of Oso, Washington, erected a simple, but moving memorial to the victims of the tragedy. Four people are still listed as missing.

NPR's Martin Kaste, who took the photo, says the rescue effort is in a "transition phase" as crews from other states are leaving and being replaced by fresh searchers.

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4:37pm

Fri April 18, 2014
Shots - Health News

One Scientist's Quest To Vanquish Epileptic Seizures

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 7:13 pm

The dream of epilepsy research, says neurobiologist Ivan Soltesz, is to stop seizures by manipulating only some brain cells, not all.
Steve Zylius UC Irvine Communications

In the early 1990s, a young brain researcher named Ivan Soltesz heard a story that would shape his career.

His adviser told him about a school for children whose epileptic seizures were so severe and frequent that they had to wear helmets to prevent head injuries. The only exception to the helmet rule was for students who received an award.

"The big deal for them is that they can take the helmet off while they're walking across the stage," Soltesz says. "And that thing struck me as just wrong."

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4:08pm

Fri April 18, 2014
Around the Nation

Marathon Safety Embraced By Boston, For The Most Part

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 7:13 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

This year's Boston Marathon will take place on Monday, and it will have a lot more security than in the past. Last year, of course, two bombs near the finish line killed three people and injured dozens more. Afterwards, Massachusetts authorities spent months developing a new security plan. The goal was to create an environment that's safe and secure but still allows people to have fun. Whether the plan can achieve that remains an open question, as NPR's Jeff Brady reports.

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4:08pm

Fri April 18, 2014
Environment

Pipeline Put Off, As Keystone Review Is Indefinitely Extended

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 7:13 pm

The Keystone XL pipeline remains a major point of contention within the Democratic Party, as green voters pull President Obama one direction and pro-energy senators and labor unions pull the other. It looks as though the "comment period" for the project will be extended, delaying a decision past the November elections.

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4:08pm

Fri April 18, 2014
News

Disaster On Everest Marks Deadliest Day In Mountain's History

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 7:13 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Just ahead of peak climbing season on Mount Everest, tragedy has struck once again. At least 12 local climbers are dead and several more or missing after a massive avalanche this morning. The climbers, Nepalese Sherpas, were setting up ropes along a dangerous stretch of slope used by adventure tourism companies. This is looking to be the deadliest day in Mount Everest's history and the worst accident since 1996 when eight climbers died in a blizzard.

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4:03pm

Fri April 18, 2014
The Salt

Like Ham? There's A Festival For That In French Basque Country

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 5:52 pm

Visitors look at Bayonne hams displayed on the first day of the yearly ham fair.
Gaizka Iroz AFP/Getty Images

In Bayonne, they take their ham very, very seriously.

This medieval fortress of a town is minutes from the French seaside ports of Barritz and St. Jean de Luz, and not far from Spain's St. Sebastian. It has reigned as a cultural and commercial center for a millennium, according to historian Mark Kurlansky in The Basque History of the World.

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3:58pm

Fri April 18, 2014
The Two-Way

Keystone XL Pipeline Review Extended By State Department

Originally published on Sat April 19, 2014 8:58 am

A TransCanada Keystone Pipeline pump station operates outside Steele City, Neb. The State Department is extending the review period for the pipeline, given ongoing litigation in Nebraska over the project.
Lane Hickenbottom Reuters /Landov
  • Tamara Keith's Report For 'All Things Considered'
This post was updated at 6 p.m. ET.

The State Department is giving federal agencies more time to review the Keystone XL Pipeline project. The additional time was given "based on the uncertainty created" by an ongoing legal battle in Nebraska, according to a State Department statement.

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