Robert Siegel

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6:58pm

Fri March 27, 2015
The Two-Way

Nostalgic Cars: Sour Automotive Fruit Of Cuban Embargo Gets New Life

Originally published on Sat March 28, 2015 12:12 am

Daily traffic in Havana resembles a vintage car rally, even if it does share the city streets these days Hyundais and Peugeots and rattletrap Russian Ladas.
Eyder Peralta NPR

In Havana, Cuba, the old cars that crowd the streets used to symbolize a stagnant nation. Now enterprising Cubans have begun renting cars out to tourists who are hungry for the cars of their youth.

During my reporting trip to Havana, I spoke with Julio Alvarez, the owner of Nostalgicar in Havana.

He joked that one thing Cubans should thank Fidel Castro for is all the old, majestic American cars that are now making him money.

You can listen to the story using the player above.

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4:40pm

Thu March 26, 2015
Parallels

A Fraying Promise: Exploring Race And Inequality In Havana

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 8:02 pm

A view of one of the oldest parts of Havana. The buildings in the city tell a story of inequality.
Eyder Peralta NPR

Miguel Coyula points at an open door in the middle of Old Havana. The mahogany door looks worn, but still handsome. The concrete facade has lost most of its paint, and time has ripped parts of it open.

"That's marble," Coyula says, pointing to the treads of the staircase. "They are the remnants of something that was very glorious."

Coyula is an architect and an economist, and as he walks through the streets of Havana, he doesn't just see breathtaking decay. He sees how economic policies and social circumstances have shaped this city.

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5:23pm

Wed March 25, 2015
The Two-Way

In Havana, A Journey Into The Forbidden With A Provocative Artist

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 8:00 pm

Cuban artist Tania Bruguera poses for a photograph near the statue of José Martí in Havana's Revolution Plaza. She was arrested in December for planning a political performance there.
Eyder Peralta NPR

It was still dark when Tania Bruguera hopped into a cab with us on her way to Revolution Square.

"All of a sudden it looks quite subversive what we're doing," she said. Her voice revealed a little nervousness, but it translated into a giddy laughter.

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2:50pm

Tue March 24, 2015
Parallels

With Improved Relations, Are The U.S. And Cuba Ready To Play Ball?

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 5:57 pm

Yoan Francisco, a rookie for the Havana Industriales, warms up before a game at Havana's Latin American Stadium. Cuban baseball has been facing hard times, but improved diplomatic relations with the U.S. have raised the possibility of increased cooperation and new opportunities.
Eyder Peralta NPR

It has already been a messy game at Havana's Latin American Stadium, the premier baseball stadium in Cuba. The home team, the Industriales, has given up five runs in the first inning; a shortstop fumbled a ball, an outfielder failed to hustle and an easy out became an extra-base hit.

The home crowd isn't deterred. The vuvuzelas, those ear-splitting plastic horns, still swell when an opposing batter reaches two strikes.

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5:07pm

Mon March 23, 2015
Remembrances

Remembering NPR's Bill Deputy, A 'Guardian Of Sound'

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 10:43 am

Bill Deputy, a longtime NPR audio engineer, in 2012.
Courtesy of Mona Sanders

Bill Deputy was All Things Considered's guardian of sound. An engineer and the show's technical director for many years, Deputy died Sunday of lung cancer in New Orleans at the age of 58.

Sound was a serious business for Bill. When he wasn't combining words and sound with music in the All Things Considered control room, he was traveling with us on assignments. We worked together everywhere from Baltimore to Gaza City, and his assignments with my colleagues were equally far-flung.

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12:07pm

Mon March 23, 2015
Parallels

An Object Of Desire: Hope And Yearning For The Internet In Cuba

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 6:05 pm

The Havana studio of prominent artist Kcho is ringed by Cubans with their heads buried in screens. Users say the only other free Internet connection in Havana is at the U.S. Interests Section.
Eyder Peralta NPR

After the sun sets on Havana on weekends, G Street turns into a kind of runway.

Blocks of the promenade — which is very colonial with its big, beautiful statues and impeccable topiaries — swell with crowds of young Cubans. For the most part, they just walk up and down, greeting each other with kisses.

It's a spectacle: Everyone, it seems, is here to impress. They're perfectly coiffed, perfectly matched; they're splayed on benches, arms wrapped around each other.

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5:53pm

Thu February 26, 2015
Parallels

For One Parliamentarian, A Stronger Jordan Is Key To Fighting ISIS

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 9:42 pm

Jordan's election laws make it impossible for any one political party to build a strong bloc in Parliament. Observers say that's one reason for the country's weakness — and for the growing appeal of the messages used by militants of the self-proclaimed Islamic State.
Khalil Mazraawi AFP/Getty Images

There's a election law implemented in 2010 in Jordan known as "one person, one vote" that advocates of reform and democratization there regard, surprisingly, as a big step backward.

That's because of the strong ties Jordanians feel to family, clan and tribe, says Omar Razzaz, an economist and banker in Amman, the Jordanian capital.

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4:58pm

Wed February 25, 2015
Parallels

Jordan's Fuzzy Definition Of Free Speech

Originally published on Wed February 25, 2015 8:46 pm

Lina Ejeilat helped found the Jordanian online magazine 7iber (pronounced 'Hebber'). While the government encourages free expression in principle, many strict regulations remain, as noted by the satirical chart next to her.
Art Silverman NPR

Earlier this month, Jordan's Information Minister Mohammad Al-Momani told a conference that freedom of expression can contribute to stopping radicalization.

On the very same day, a military court in the capital Amman sentenced a man to 18 months in prison for a Facebook post that was seen as insulting a friendly country, the United Arab Emirates.

Momani spent years studying at Rice University in Houston, so he knows what Americans think of as free expression. But he sees it a little differently.

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4:50pm

Tue February 24, 2015
Parallels

Jordan's King Balances Threats Abroad And Critics At Home

Originally published on Wed February 25, 2015 8:27 am

Jordanians marched in the streets of the capital Amman on Feb. 6 to show solidarity with the family of a pilot killed by the Islamic State in Syria. Jordanians also expressed support for the king's decision to take part in the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS.
Muhammad Hamed Reuters/Landov

Jordan's King Abdullah has faced a delicate balancing act ever since he ascended the throne in 1999 following his father's death. His country shares borders with Iraq, Syria and Israel among others, and there always seems to be trouble in the neighborhood.

His latest challenge has been to convince Jordanians that it's in the country's interest to play a prominent role in the U.S.-led coalition against the self-declared Islamic State.

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5:01pm

Mon February 23, 2015
Parallels

Jordan's Army Preps For A Bigger Role Against ISIS

Originally published on Wed February 25, 2015 4:55 pm

Jordanian soldiers stand guard at the Iraq-Jordan border last year. Jordan also shares a border with Syria and has had to deal with a flood of refugees from both its neighbors over the past decade.
Jamal Nasrallah EPA/Landov

Jordan's King Abdullah was way out ahead of the people in his support of the war against the self-declared Islamic State, or ISIS. Many Jordanians used to say it was someone else's war even though it's only a 90-minute drive from the capital, Amman, north to the Syrian border.

But Jordanian opinions changed dramatically after the horrific video in which ISIS immolated a Jordanian pilot, Moaz Kassasbeh, who was captured back in December.

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4:09pm

Mon January 19, 2015
History

Cold Casing: The Mystery Of The Long-Lost Winchester Rifle

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 7:32 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Here's a lost and found story. What we assume was lost more than a hundred years ago was a rifle. Archaeologist Eva Jensen found it during a survey in Nevada's Great Basin National Park. She was looking for Native American artifacts.

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5:12pm

Mon September 22, 2014
Environment

Calderon: End Fossil Fuel Subsidies, Create Carbon Tax

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 1:38 pm

Former Mexican President Felipe Calderon leads a group to encourage heads of state to propel climate change. He discusses the obstacles that block aggressive efforts to curb climate change.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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5:12pm

Mon September 22, 2014
Middle East

What's Turkey's Next Step In Fight Against ISIS?

Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 5:40 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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9:25pm

Thu September 11, 2014
National Security

Court Documents Show How NSA Leaned On Yahoo, How Yahoo Fought Back

Originally published on Fri September 12, 2014 9:00 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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4:33pm

Wed September 10, 2014
Politics

A New Brand Of Paul Gains Support In Iowa

Originally published on Thu September 11, 2014 1:43 pm

Sen. Rand Paul meets with local Republicans in Hiawatha, Iowa. He's made three trips to the state this year.
Charlie Neibergall AP

It's still more than 15 months until the Iowa caucuses, and no one in the crowded field of Republicans with presidential ambitions has announced. But things are already happening in Iowa, especially for Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.

Paul has reached out to Iowans who never considered voting for his father, Ron Paul, who made a respectable third-place showing there in 2012.

He's still popular with his father's old supporters. Many of them are in the so-called liberty faction of the Iowa GOP.

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