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Politics
3:00 pm
Sun January 29, 2012

Bilingualism A Political Liability?

Originally published on Sun January 29, 2012 9:48 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

And sticking with presidential politics for a moment, speaking a second language has recently become something of a liability for those aspiring to live in the White House. It turns out very few American presidents have had a strong command of a second language, most of them in the early days of the Republic, and that language, it was French.

John McWhorter wrote about this recently in The New Republic, and he's with me now. John, bonjour.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

JOHN MCWHORTER: Bonjour, Guy. How are you doing?

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Europe
3:00 pm
Sun January 29, 2012

French Town Says Non To "Mademoiselle"

Originally published on Sun January 29, 2012 9:48 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

And speaking of French, a small French revolution is underway in the town of Cesson - sorry. How do you say it?

LAUREN: Cesson-Sevigne.

RAZ: Thankfully, our intern Lauren Benichou is French. Anyway, as I was saying, in that town, the mayor, Michel Bihan, has banned the use of the word mademoiselle.

MAYOR MICHEL BIHAN: (Through translator) In France, mademoiselle is a condescending term. We believe that it's more natural and fair to call women madame.

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Music Interviews
2:32 pm
Sun January 29, 2012

Air: Scoring A Cinematic Marvel, 100 Years Later

Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoit Dunckel pose at a January screening of Le Voyage Dans La Lune at New York's Museum of Modern Art.
Gabi Porter Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue January 31, 2012 11:00 pm

In 1902, director Georges Melies released his magnum opus: Le Voyage Dans La Lune (A Trip To the Moon), often considered the first science-fiction movie ever. Even if you've never heard of Melies, you've probably seen the film's most famous shot: a moon with a human face, wincing at the spaceship that has just crashed into its eye.

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Presidential Race
12:06 pm
Sun January 29, 2012

Gingrich Attacks Romney Ahead Of Florida Vote

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich speaks to reporters in Lutz, Fla., on Sunday. The former House speaker is trailing Mitt Romney in polls ahead of Tuesday's primary in the Sunshine State.
Don Gonyea NPR

Newt Gingrich slammed Republican presidential rival Mitt Romney for "carpet-bombing" his record ahead of Tuesday's pivotal presidential primary in Florida, trying to cut into the resurgent front-runner's lead in the final hours before the vote.

"He has a basic policy of carpet bombing his opponents," Gingrich told Fox News Sunday. "He doesn't try to build up Mitt Romney, he just tries to tear down whoever he's running against."

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Digital Life
8:00 am
Sun January 29, 2012

Real-Time Frustration Over Twitter's New Policy

This past week, the social media network Twitter announced it would begin removing messages from its service within specific countries if asked to do so by one of those countries. The move sparked complaints of censorship from some of its users. Host Rachel Martin has more.

Presidential Race
8:00 am
Sun January 29, 2012

Romney, Gingrich Fight To The Finish In Fla.

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 4:43 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

Florida holds its primary the day after tomorrow. If Mitt Romney wins, it could be a decisive victory for the former Massachusetts governor's bid for the nomination. But if Newt Gingrich comes out on top there will likely be a long battle ahead. Both men have a lot at stake in Tuesday's vote, which explains all the strong attacks they hurled at one another on the campaign trail and in TV spots across Florida yesterday.

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Presidential Race
8:00 am
Sun January 29, 2012

General Election In Focus: Candidates Strategize

Host Rachel Martin talks with NPR's Mara Liasson about the intense Republican primary race and President Obama's message of populism in his State of the Union address last week.

Around the Nation
8:00 am
Sun January 29, 2012

Fla. Restaurant Puts National Politics On Local Stage

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 4:43 pm

The Fish House, a restaurant in Pensacola, Fla., has become a regular stop for GOP candidates. Mike Huckabee and John McCain came by in 2008 and Joe Scarborough has done his Morning Joe show here. In fact, as congressman, Scarborough used to play on weekends in the restaurant's house band. NPR's Greg Allen goes behind the scenes at the Fish House.

National Security
8:00 am
Sun January 29, 2012

U.S. And Iran, A Decade After 'Axis' Declaration

Ten years ago Sunday, President George W. Bush announced that Iran, Iraq and North Korea were "the axis of evil." Now, American-Iranian relations may be at their lowest level since the Islamic Republic was born. Host Rachel Martin talks with NPR's Mike Shuster and Karim Sadjadpour of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Presidential Race
8:00 am
Sun January 29, 2012

Fact-Checking The Florida Mudslinging

With two days left before the pivotal Florida GOP primary, the front-runners have taken over the airwaves. A steady stream of political ads is filled with insinuations and accusations. Host Rachel Martin speaks with Angie Holan of PolitiFact, which fact-checked some of the ads.

Food
5:57 am
Sun January 29, 2012

Moscato Madness: The Dessert Wine's Sweet Surge

Moscato was on display at the 2010 international wine and spirits show "Vinitaly" in Italy. Since then, moscato sales have skyrocketed.
Luca Bruno AP

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 4:43 pm

In the U.S., wine drinking has held its own during these hard economic times, and even grown in some unlikely corners. Moscato, for example, the Italian dessert wine, has gone from relative obscurity to the toast of the town.

Hip-hop singer Drake, in his song "Do It Now," gives it a shout-out. It's also the wine Kanye West orders for special parties. And it's the wine Real Housewife of Atlanta NeNe Leakes has just started selling under the label Miss Moscato.

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Religion
5:57 am
Sun January 29, 2012

On The Record: A Quest For De-Baptism In France

Though marginal, the de-baptism movement is growing, observers say.
iStockphoto.com

In France, an elderly man is fighting to make a formal break with the Catholic Church. He's taken the church to court over its refusal to let him nullify his baptism, in a case that could have far-reaching effects.

Seventy-one-year-old Rene LeBouvier's parents and his brother are buried in a churchyard in the tiny village of Fleury in northwest France. He himself was baptized in the Romanesque stone church and attended mass here as a boy.

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Sports
5:54 am
Sun January 29, 2012

'I Am A Boxer': Fighter In The Ring, Lady Outside It

Tiara Brown, shown at the International Duel in Oxnard, Calif., last year, is competing for a spot on the U.S. women's Olympic team.
Sue Jaye Johnson

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:04 am

Part of a series with WNYC on female boxers

This summer in London, female boxers will compete in the Olympics for the first time. The women competing for a spot on the U.S. team will make history, but few know who they are — and why they box.

Women who box love it for the same reasons men do. Boxing requires intense physical and psychological discipline, the ability to overcome fear and anger.

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National Teachers Initiative
5:48 am
Sun January 29, 2012

Dropout Has Thanks, Not Blame, For Teacher

Roger Alvarez (left) did not graduate from high school, despite the efforts of his former English teacher, Antero Garcia. At 22, Alvarez still hopes to get his GED.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 5:02 am

Editor's note on July 25, 2014: This story originally aired in 2012. Statistics on the graduation rate at Manual Arts High School have been updated, and the figure for 2007 has been corrected.

In 2007, the graduation rate at Manual Arts High School in Los Angeles was just 42 percent. Roger Alvarez, 22, was one of the students who didn't make it.

Alvarez dropped out that year, but Alvarez says he already knew by the time he was in ninth grade that he wasn't going to graduate.

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Europe
5:48 am
Sun January 29, 2012

In Iran's Oil Gambit, EU Nations Have Much To Lose

The Europeans are in the midst of their most serious economic crisis in 60 years, and now they're hearing it's not just their own fate they have to consider: The whole global economy hangs in the balance.

The International Monetary Fund last week warned that if Europe's problems get any worse, it could push the entire world back into recession.

European Union leaders, meeting in Brussels on Monday, are said to be close to resolving some of their most difficult issues — and they'd better be.

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Around the Nation
5:47 am
Sun January 29, 2012

Minnesota Festival On Ice Melts Art's Boundaries

At the Art Shanty festival on Medicine Lake in Plymouth, Minn., the ICE-Cycles Shanty uses a bit of fun (and weather-appropriate tires) to try to encourage wintertime bike riding.
Nathaniel Freeman

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:04 am

Call it the Burning Man of the Midwest: a temporary city built around artistic expression. Only this one takes place in the suburbs of Minneapolis in the middle of winter.

Minnesota is known for its 10,000 lakes. When the lakes freeze for the winter, the state is known for its ice fishing and its ice shanties — little homemade fishing shacks full of heaters, radios and bottles of schnapps.

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Business
5:16 pm
Sat January 28, 2012

Made In The USA: Saving The American Brand

General Motors, headquartered in Detroit, recovered from near disaster after a financial bailout from the federal government.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

A majestic building still dominates the skyline of Rochester, N.Y., the word "Kodak" shining brightly from the top. It's the legacy of George Eastman — the founder of the Eastman Kodak Co. — a company that helped Rochester thrive and gave it the nickname "Kodak Town."

In 1976, Kodak sold 90 percent of the film around the world. The company basically invented digital photography, but it couldn't figure out how to make the transition from film quickly enough to out-compete its Asian rivals. Of the 20 best-selling digital cameras in the U.S., not a single one is from Kodak.

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Business
4:30 pm
Sat January 28, 2012

GM CEO: No Apologies For Accepting U.S. Bailout

Just a few years ago, America's auto industry was on the verge of collapse. When President Obama took office, he had to decide whether to bail out General Motors or let it die. He chose to send them a lifeline, to the tune of $50 billion. In this week's State of the Union speech, President Obama said that decision paid off.

"Today, General Motors is back on top as the world's No. 1 automaker," Obama said.

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Books
4:29 pm
Sat January 28, 2012

'The Snowy Day': Breaking Color Barriers, Quietly

With special permission from The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation

Originally published on Tue January 31, 2012 10:13 am

One morning many years ago, a little boy in Brooklyn named Peter woke up to an amazing sight: fresh snow.

Peter is the hero of the classic children's book by Ezra Jack Keats, The Snowy Day, which turns 50 this year. Peter has a red snowsuit, a stick just right for knocking snow off of trees, and a snowball in his pocket. And, though this is never mentioned in the text, Peter is African-American.

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Art & Design
1:55 pm
Sat January 28, 2012

At 100, Pollock's Legend Still Splattered On Art World

Influenced by Mexican and Native American art, Pollock popularized action-painting and drip style, as seen in Number 7, 1951.
Pollock-Krasner Foundation, National Gallery of Art/Artists Rights Society

Even a century since his birth, American "splatter artist" Jackson Pollock still provokes heated debate about the very definition of art.

Was a man who placed a canvas on the floor and dripped paint straight from the can actually creating a work of art?

"It's very hard if you try to build the paint up to this extent with this many colors and not achieve mud," says National Gallery of Art curator Harry Cooper.

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NPR Story
8:00 am
Sat January 28, 2012

Wolves Attract Tourists, But Reality Lurks

A niche industry of tour companies is taking people into wolves' habitat at Yellowstone National Park. Montana Public Radio's Dan Boyce went on an expedition with a man who recognizes the problems wolves bring to the landscape even as he makes his living off of them.

NPR Story
8:00 am
Sat January 28, 2012

GOP Candidates Court Hispanic Voters

Republican candidates' efforts to win Hispanic voters have intensified in advance of the Florida primary, airing ads in Spanish and contending over immigration. Host Scott Simon speaks with Maria Elena Salinas, co-host of Noticiero Univision, about Hispanic voters' role in the Republican primary and the upcoming presidential election.

NPR Story
8:00 am
Sat January 28, 2012

Your Letters: On Propaganda And Appreciation

Originally published on Sat January 28, 2012 10:46 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Time now for your letters. Last week we spoke with Christian Bale who stars in the new film, "The Flowers of War." The movie takes place in China during Japan's violent occupation of Nanjing in 1937. "The Flowers of War" has been criticized as being part of an effort by the Chinese government to improve China's image in the world.

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NPR Story
8:00 am
Sat January 28, 2012

Sports: Finals Down Under; A New Tiger In Detroit

The women's finals in the Australian Open are already over. In baseball, power-hitter Prince Fielder has returned to his childhood team, the Detroit Tigers, for which his father played. Host Scott Simon talks sports with Howard Bryant of ESPN the Magazine and ESPN.com.

NPR Story
8:00 am
Sat January 28, 2012

Obama's Plan To Kick-Start Housing Market

Originally published on Sat January 28, 2012 10:46 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The future of the state of the U.S. housing market was a primary focus for the White House this week. On Tuesday's State of the Union address, President Obama unveiled a new plan to try to correct the housing downturn. It would allow qualifying homeowners the chance to refinance their mortgages at historically low rates.

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