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6:48pm

Sun June 28, 2015
Music Interviews

The Sound Of Twin Danger: Frank Sinatra Meets The Clash

Twin Danger's Vanessa Bley and Stuart Matthewman
Sunny Khalsa Courtesy of the artist

Cocktail jazz isn't a sound you hear very much in pop music these days. But a duo known as Twin Danger is causing a scene with their self-titled debut album and live shows.

It's a familiar mood for saxophonist Stuart Matthewman; he co-wrote many of the biggest hits for Sade, like "No Ordinary Love" and "Your Love Is King."

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5:36pm

Sat June 27, 2015
Governing

For Families Of U.S. Hostages, New Policy May Bring New Hope

Originally published on Sat June 27, 2015 6:36 pm

Linda Boyle (left) and Lyn Coleman hold a photo of their children, who were kidnapped in Afghanistan in 2012. Caitlan Coleman, an American married to Canadian Joshua Boyle, was pregnant when the couple was abducted.
Bill Gorman AP

More than 80 Americans have been taken hostage abroad since Sept. 11, 2001. Currently, 30 Americans are being held around the world.

Until this week, the families of those hostages would have faced the threat of prosecution from the U.S. government for trying to pay a ransom to kidnappers.

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5:08pm

Sat June 27, 2015
Book News & Features

Marvel's Half-Black, Half-Latino Spider-Man Is Going Mainstream

Originally published on Sat June 27, 2015 6:36 pm

Marvel has put half-African-American, half-Latino teen Miles Morales in the Spider-Man suit.
Courtesy of Marvel

Step aside, Peter Parker: There's a new Spider-Man joining the Marvel Universe.

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8:11am

Sat June 27, 2015
Around the Nation

National Cathedral Should Not Be Stained With Confederate Flag, Dean Says

Originally published on Sat June 27, 2015 10:30 am

A glass window at Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., shows Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. The dean of the cathedral has called for its removal.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

The Confederate stars and bars have been taken down from flagpoles and store shelves all over the country this week. Calls for their removal follow the June 17 shooting of nine people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C.

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11:57am

Fri June 26, 2015
Code Switch

40 Years Later, The Cast Of 'Cooley High' Looks Back

Originally published on Fri June 26, 2015 12:27 pm

Rick Stone (left) was a gang member from Cabrini-Green who was asked to play himself in Cooley High.
AIP/The Kobal Collection

A classic of black cinema celebrated its 40th birthday on June 25. Cooley High showed a slice of urban life rarely seen in "blaxploitation" movies of the time. Set in Chicago's Cabrini-Green housing project, it became a touchstone for filmmakers like John Singleton and Spike Lee.

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6:18pm

Sun June 21, 2015
Television

The Human Drama Of Hacking Fuels TV Thriller 'Mr. Robot'

Originally published on Mon June 22, 2015 10:13 am

USA's Mr. Robot tells the story of a cyber-security engineer and vigilant hacker (played by Rami Malek) who also suffers from anxiety.
Sarah Shatz USA Network

Cyborgs and androids are nowhere to be seen in the new USA show Mr. Robot. Instead, the drama is centered on a very human interior — the mind of Elliot, the unlikely hacker hero. From his first words — "Hello, friend" — his voice-over keeps audiences squarely inside his world.

"Elliot is sort of an internal, isolated guy who can't really interact with people socially, in real life, but online he can hack them and knows all the intimate, private details of them," Sam Esmail, the show's creator and executive producer, tells NPR's Arun Rath.

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5:09pm

Sun June 21, 2015
Asia

From California To Kathmandu, Task Force 2 Responds To Disasters

Originally published on Sun June 21, 2015 6:18 pm

Members of Task Force 2 from the Los Angeles County Fire Department recovered survivors from a building that collapsed in May after a major aftershock in Singati, a mountain village in Nepal.
Kashish Das AP

California's Task Force 2 is ready for anything. As an elite disaster response team based in Los Angeles County, it has to be. But it's not just prepped for disasters at home — it's ready to respond to emergencies halfway around the world as well.

Just days after the devastating April 25 earthquake in Nepal, Task Force 2's firefighters, doctors and engineers were on the ground, helping rescue people.

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5:09pm

Sun June 21, 2015
World

Snapshot Sleuthing Confirms Russian Military Presence In Ukraine

Originally published on Mon June 22, 2015 8:03 am

A soldier in the Russian army posed, rifle in hand, for a snapshot at a battlefield checkpoint. Simon Ostrovsky, at right, located the same spot in Vuhlehirsk, in Ukraine's Donetsk region.
VICE News

Reports of the Russian military helping pro-Russian separatist fighters in Ukraine are common — but can be hard to confirm. Russia denies that its soldiers are fighting in Ukraine.

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8:27am

Sun June 21, 2015
Middle East

For A British Man, Fighting ISIS Was Simply The Right Thing To Do

Originally published on Sun June 21, 2015 3:48 pm

Seen here in an undated photograph, Macer Gifford — an alias he uses to protect his family — left his job as a financial trader in London to fight ISIS in Syria.
Courtesy of Macer Gifford

We have heard about how ISIS is recruiting foreign fighters to join its ranks. But it's happening on the other side as well.

Just last week, a Massachusetts man who died fighting against ISIS in Syria was laid to rest.

Last year, a British man who calls himself Macer Gifford left his job as a financial trader in London and went to join the Kurds and fight the self-declared Islamic State in Syria.

Gifford spoke on the condition that NPR not reveal his real name, because he fears for the safety of his family in the UK.

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5:03am

Fri June 19, 2015
Movie Interviews

'Sadness Is Like A Superhero': Amy Poehler On Pixar's 'Inside Out'

Originally published on Sun June 21, 2015 12:37 pm

"[Sadness is] such a funny opposite energy to Joy, who is literally jumping up and down," Poehler says. "And Sadness just wants to lie down and kind of feel her feelings." Poehler plays Joy (left) and Phyllis Smith plays Sadness in the new film Inside Out.
Disney/Pixar

A new animated feature from Pixar aims to do the near-impossible, as any parent would tell you: get inside the mind of a preteen girl. Inside Out is about an 11-year-old girl named Riley, but the real stars are her emotions — five colorful characters representing joy, sadness, anger, fear and disgust.

Pete Docter, the creative force behind Up and Monsters, Inc., wrote and directed the film, and actress Amy Poehler plays Joy. Both of them laugh about one of the biggest challenges of the movie: deciding how many emotions to include.

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5:03am

Fri June 19, 2015
Interviews

'I'm So Proud To Have You As A Daughter'

Originally published on Fri June 19, 2015 12:20 pm

Mario Loiseau and his daughter Mabou during a recent visit to StoryCorps.
StoryCorps

Mario Loiseau works two jobs, including long hours as a parking lot attendant, to help pay for his 9-year-old daughter Mabou's tutoring. Mabou is a science and language prodigy and is already studying college-level algebra.

"So Daddy, how did you feel when I was born?" she asked her father during a recent visit to StoryCorps in New York City.

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6:03pm

Thu June 18, 2015
The Two-Way

The Victims: 9 Were Slain At Charleston's Emanuel AME Church

Originally published on Sat June 20, 2015 8:44 pm

Charleston residents visit a makeshift memorial for victims of Wednesday's mass shooting at the Emanuel AME Church on Calhoun Steet in Charleston, S.C.
Randall Hill Reuters /Landov

The nine people who were killed in a mass shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., on Wednesday have been identified by the authorities.

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6:27pm

Sun June 14, 2015
Author Interviews

'You Couldn't Make This Stuff Up': Inside The Lives Of The 'China Rich'

Originally published on Mon June 15, 2015 1:06 pm

Lydia Thompson NPR

In his 2014 novel Crazy Rich Asians, author Kevin Kwan took readers to Singapore and into the lives of Asia's elite, who live in a world of opulence so extreme, it's absurd.

The novel became an international best-seller, with a movie in the works.

Now those Crazy Rich Asians are back as a mix of old and new characters in Kwan's new novel, China Rich Girlfriend.

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6:18pm

Sun June 14, 2015
Health

'Man With The Golden Arm' Donates Blood That Has Saved 2 Million Babies

Originally published on Mon June 15, 2015 11:20 am

James Harrison was recognized in 2003 with the Guinness World Record for the most blood donated by one person.
DAVID GRAY Reuters /Landov

When James Harrison was 14, he got really sick. One of his lungs had to be removed, and he needed a lot of blood.

"I was in the hospital for three months and I had 100 stitches," he recalls.

After receiving 13 units — almost 2 gallons — of donated blood, Harrison knew right away that he wanted to give back.

"I was always looking forward to donating, right from the operation, because I don't know how many people it took to save my life," he says. "I never met them, didn't know them."

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6:21pm

Sat June 13, 2015
Author Interviews

'Seven Good Years' Between The Birth Of A Son, Death Of A Father

Lydia Thompson NPR

Israeli writer Etgar Keret is beloved around the world for his funny, haunting and frequently fantastical short stories. But he's hardly one to stick to a single medium: on top of his stories, he's written graphic novels, TV shows, movie scripts and a children's book. And public radio fans may know his work from its numerous appearances on This American Life.

But for 25 years — whether in print, on air, on screen or in comic-book form — he only wrote fiction.

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