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Audie Cornish, Melissa Block, and Robert Siegel

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NPR Story
3:00 pm
Wed February 29, 2012

Former GOP Chairs Weigh In On Upcoming Primaries

Robert Siegel talks to three former GOP party chairmen and governors about the results of Tuesday's primaries in Michigan and Arizona. Haley Barbour of Mississippi says the campaign should now focus on social issues. Marc Racicot of Montana agrees, but says attention must be paid to those who care about such issues, and Jim Gilmore of Virginia says he feels a connection must be made between the GOP and blue collar voters.

NPR Story
3:00 pm
Wed February 29, 2012

Superman, Ja Rule Among 'Leaplings'

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 8:34 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Now, to the other big story of the day: it's Leap Day, February 29th. The odds of a birthday today: one in 1461.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Leaplings, as they're called, and include motivational speaker Tony Robbins.

TONY ROBBINS: What is it that's shaping that person's ability to contribute?

CORNISH: American rapper and actor Ja Rule.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I'M REAL")

JA RULE: (Rapping) I've been thinking about this relationship. And I want to know is this as good it gets 'cause...

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NPR Story
3:00 pm
Wed February 29, 2012

Snowe Retirement Launches Political Feeding Frenzy

There was a political scramble in Maine after Tuesday's surprise retirement announcement from Olympia Snowe, one of the state's two Republican senators.

The Impact of War
3:00 pm
Wed February 29, 2012

Iraq Veterans Looking For Practical Assistance

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 8:34 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

At the White House tonight, President Obama hosts a thank you dinner for a few dozen Iraq War veterans. They represent more than 1 million uniformed men and women who served during the nine-year conflict. The dinner is meant to be a show of gratitude.

NPR's Scott Horsley reports that some who served are also looking for more practical assistance as they cope with the war's lingering effects.

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CD Reviews
4:04 pm
Tue February 28, 2012

Heartless Bastards: Rousing Songs, Born On The Road

Heartless Bastards' fourth album, Arrow, was released earlier this month.
Nathan Presley

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 3:00 pm

It's true that you can still get by in rock 'n' roll on the strength of a unique voice. But it helps if said voice has something interesting to work with.

On the first three records by Heartless Bastards, that wasn't always the case. The Mountain, from 2008, had some terrific songs about a breakup, and a few that got bogged down in a rut. But on the band's latest release, Arrow, every song has a powerful, almost magnetic melody.

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The Record
3:30 pm
Tue February 28, 2012

Carnaval In Uruguay: Choir Competitions In The Streets

The murga choir Los Curtidores de Hongos performes at the Teatro de Lavalleja in Minas, Uruguay, in February.
Martina Castro for NPR

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 3:00 pm

Uruguay boasts that it has the longest Carnival celebration not just in Latin America, but the world. The 40-day celebration is dotted with makeshift stages all around the capital city of Montevideo for performances of choral music called murga. Murga is both entertainment and a sociopolitical commentary that survived the military dictatorship of the 1970s.

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Planet Money
3:38 pm
Mon February 27, 2012

From Cell Phones To Cigarettes: The Long Arm Of The Chinese Government

How many government-owned businesses do you see in this picture?
Ed Jones AFP/Getty Images

The streets of Beijing and Shanghai feel like an entrepreneurial free-for-all, full of mom-and-pop stores and street vendors selling snacks and cheap toys.

But when you pull back the curtain, you see a different picture: a country where the government still controls huge swaths of the economy.

When you're in China, there's a good chance you're doing business with the government every time you:

  • make a call on your cellphone (the government owns the country's biggest cellphone network)
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Architecture
3:15 pm
Mon February 27, 2012

Chinese Architect Wang Shu Wins The Pritzker Prize

Wang Shu's design for the Ningbo History Museum came to him at 3 in the morning. He realized his job was to show people what their city used to look like, and the design recalls an ancient Chinese fortress.
Lv Hengzhong

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:00 am

For the first time, the Pritzker Architecture Prize has been awarded to an architect based in China. Wang Shu, 49, is interested in preservation, working slowly and tradition — ideals that sometimes seem forgotten in today's booming China. Wang says in the 1990s he had to get away from China's architectural "system" of demolition, megastructures and get-rich-quick — so he spent the decade working with common craftspeople building simple constructions.

"I go out of system," Wang says, "Because, finally I think, this system is too strong."

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Author Interviews
3:03 pm
Sun February 26, 2012

How Sugar Brought An End to Hawaii's Nationhood

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon February 27, 2012 7:40 am

If you've seen a Hawaiian tourism commercial, a beach movie, or even a cartoon with Daffy Duck in a lei and a grass skirt, you've heard the poignant strains of "Aloha Oe."

But the tune has a history stretching far beyond cartoons and commercials: It was composed in 1878 by the woman who would become the last queen of Hawaii, Lili'uokalani.

Hawaii is the only state to have once been an independent monarchy. And when Lili'u, as she called herself, was born in 1838, it was at its height.

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Author Interviews
5:40 pm
Sat February 25, 2012

A Theologian Has A Falling Out With God In 'Still'

HarperOne

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 11:46 am

Theologian Lauren Winner was 21 when she became a Christian.

Although she was raised in a Jewish household and had converted to Orthodox Judaism, she says she felt drawn to Christianity. Her surprising conversion is the subject of her first memoir, the bestseller Girl Meets God.

In Winner's new book, Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis, she writes about a spiritual crisis.

Winner, an ordained Episcopal priest who teaches Christian spirituality at Duke University, says it happened around the time her mother died and her marriage collapsed.

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