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5:39 pm
Sat May 25, 2013

A Literary Tale of Chechnya, The Horror and Whimsy

Russian soldiers take their position near the village of Shatoy, Chechnya.
Alexander Nemenov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 26, 2013 12:05 pm

In his debut novel, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, Anthony Marra transports readers to Chechnya, a war-torn Russian republic that has long sought independence.

The lyrical and heart-breaking novel begins in 2004 when a doctor watches as Russian soldiers abduct his neighbor, who has been accused of aiding Chechen rebels. He later rescues the neighbor's 8-year-old daughter, then colludes with another doctor to form an unlikely family amid the daily violence.

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The Two-Way
4:55 pm
Sat May 25, 2013

Flooding Brings San Antonio To Standstill, Kills One

A San Antonio metro bus sits in floodwaters after it was swept off the road during heavy rains on Saturday.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 11:30 pm

A massive storm system has dumped more than 10 inches of rain over San Antonio, leaving the Texas city flooded and at a standstill.

Texas Public Radio's Ryan Loyd reports the area is still under a flash flood emergency. Ryan filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"Some people didn't have time to make it to safety in rain-drenched San Antonio. A woman died when raging flood waters swept her away in her car. So much rain fell that it floated a city bus. Major highways are completely submerged.

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NPR Story
4:47 pm
Sat May 25, 2013

Week In News: Obama's Foreign Policy Pitch

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 5:39 pm

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden.

Coming up, a novel of village life amid the daily violence of war-torn Chechnya. But first, President Obama sets a new course in the war on terror.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Our systematic effort to dismantle terrorist organizations must continue. But this war, like all wars, must end.

LYDEN: James Fallows of The Atlantic joins us, as he does most Saturdays. Hi there, Jim.

JAMES FALLOWS: Hello, Jacki.

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NPR Story
4:47 pm
Sat May 25, 2013

Is the Espionage Act Outdated?

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 5:39 pm

Weekends on All Things Considered host Jacki Lyden speaks with Benjamin Wittes of the Brookings Institution about the Espionage Act. This Word War I-era legislation has been used more frequently in recent times to prosecute government employees who leak information to the press, but the limits set by the act are poorly defined for our modern age.

The Two-Way
4:24 pm
Sat May 25, 2013

'We'll Keep Running': Thousands Complete Final Mile Of Boston Marathon

Erin Roy, left, comforts Elise Wulff as runners cross the finish line after completing the final mile of the Boston Marathon course during "#onerun" in Boston, Massachusetts, on Saturday.
Dominick Reuter Reuters /Landov

It was cold and rainy today in Boston. Still, thousands of runners laced up their shoes and headed to Kenmore Square.

That's the site of the final mile marker for the Boston Marathon. On April 15, when two bombs exploded near the finish line, thousands of runners could not finish the most illustrious road race in the world.

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U.S.
3:50 pm
Sat May 25, 2013

Stunned By Military Sex Scandals, Advocates Demand Changes

President Obama speaks at the commencement ceremony for the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., on Friday. The president urged new graduates to exhibit honor and courage in tackling incidents of sexual assault as they assume leadership positions in the military.
Patrick Semansky AP

West Point alum Donna McAleer was at her Utah home last week when she got a call asking if she'd "seen the latest."

A male Army sergeant, a friend told her, had just been charged with secretly photographing and videotaping at least a dozen female cadets at McAleer's alma mater.

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The Two-Way
1:33 pm
Sat May 25, 2013

Obama Forgets To Salute; Sparks Debate On Presidential Tradition

President Obama greets a Marine after forgetting to salute him while boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 2:55 pm

As President Obama boarded Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House on Friday, he didn't return the salute of the Marine standing at the base of the stairs.

Obama realized it once he got into the helicopter, so he turned around and shook the Marine's hand. Here's video of the moment:

As happens with anything to do with the presidency, Obama's forgetfulness unleashed scrutiny and criticism.

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U.S.
1:19 pm
Sat May 25, 2013

Chasing Okla. Storms: 'Technology Can Only Go So Far'

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

When huge tornadoes, like the one that hit Moore, churn, swirl and scream, most people run for cover. Then there are people like Val Castor, who jumps into his truck and heads straight towards it. Mr. Castor is the senior storm tracker for Channel 9 News in Oklahoma City. He's been covering Oklahoma's temperamental and often treacherous weather for the last 22 years. Val Castor, we had the honor of spending a little time with you in your truck a couple of years ago. Thank you for being with us today.

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The Salt
12:40 pm
Sat May 25, 2013

Meet London's Master Architects In Jell-0

Sam Bompas (left) and Harry Parr made names for themselves with spectacular gelatin creations.
Courtesy of Sam Bompas

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 1:05 pm

Banana-flavored vapors? A pineapple island?

These may sound like the makings of a Roald Dahl children's book (he of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory fame). But at London's Kew Gardens, visitors can now immerse themselves in such fantastic-sounding experiences like rowing down a blue-dyed boating lake to the aforementioned island, which features a 15-foot replica pineapple towering over a banana grotto.

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The Two-Way
11:04 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Missouri Train Collision Injures 7, Collapses Overpass

Two freight trains collided in Scott County, Mo., early Saturday morning, leaving seven injured and collapsing an overpass.

KMOV-TV reports:

"Scott County Sheriff Rick Walter says a Union Pacific train t-boned a Burlington Northern train that had just made it through an intersection.

"The collision caused one of the trains to derail and hit a pillar under the overpass causing it to collapse. At least a dozen train cars derailed.

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The Two-Way
10:03 am
Sat May 25, 2013

One Hit Wonder? Another Anibal Sanchez No-Hit Bid Spoiled

Anibal Sanchez of the Detroit Tigers reacts after striking out Justin Morneau of the Minnesota Twins to end the game on Friday.
Duane Burleson Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 5:03 pm

You've gotta feel for Detroit right-hander Anibal Sanchez.

He was cruising toward a no-hitter against the Minnesota Twins Friday night. It was the ninth inning, two outs to go, the count was 1-1 on Joe Mauer.

For his 121st pitch, Sanchez hung a pitch over the heart of the plate. Mauer delivered a bullet to center field, spoiling Sanchez's no-hit bid.

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The Two-Way
9:13 am
Sat May 25, 2013

'We Need Help Bad': 911 Calls Reveal Chaos In Tornado's Wake

An American flag flies over the rubble of a destroyed neighborhood on May 24 in Moore, Okla.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

Authorities in Moore, Okla., just released some of the calls that were made to 911 during the EF-5 tornado that devastated the city.

They're harrowing and they offer a glimmer of the chaos and emotion that followed the storm.

During one of the calls, a man tells the dispatcher that the tornado has "cremated" a daycare.

"We need help bad," the man says. You can hear the sounds of children crying in the background. "We need help bad. We got tons of babies in here."

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Code Switch
8:03 am
Sat May 25, 2013

'Las Caras Lindas': To Be Black And Puerto Rican In 2013

Puerto Rican hip-hop artist Tego Calderón is seen in his studio, El Sitio, in Santurce, San Juan, Puerto Rico. Behind him, a portrait of Ismael Rivera.
Coburn Dukehart NPR

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 9:20 pm

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The Two-Way
7:48 am
Sat May 25, 2013

School Bus Fire Kills 15 Children In Pakistan

A relative of one of the children who died after a fire on a school bus, cries over the coffin, on the outskirts of Gujrat.
Mohsin Raza Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 8:42 am

A fire onboard a school bus left at least 15 children dead in Pakistan Saturday morning.

The New York Times reports the private school bus caught fire near the town of Gujrat, when the driver tried to switch from using gasoline to natural gas.

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From Our Listeners
7:08 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Three-Minute Fiction Readings: 'Geometry' And 'Snowflake'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 5:39 pm

NPR's Bob Mondello and Susan Stamberg read excerpts of two of the best submissions for Round 11 of our short story contest. They read Snowflake by Winona Wendth of Lancaster, Mass., and Geometry by Eugenie Montague of Los Angeles. You can read their full stories below and find other stories on our Three-Minute Fiction page or on Facebook.

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Law
7:02 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Tough Arizona Sheriff Gets Judicial Reprimand

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 1:19 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. A federal judge in Arizona has ruled against the man who calls himself America's toughest sheriff. The judge ruled that the Maricopa County Sheriff's Department has used racial profiling to enforce the state's tough immigration laws. Sheriff Joe Arpaio has maintained that his department has the authority to round up undocumented immigrants. NPR's Ted Robbins has been following the case and joins us now. Ted, thanks for being with us.

TED ROBBINS, BYLINE: You're welcome.

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Sports
7:02 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Sports: Playoff Time In The NBA

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 1:21 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon and any time I get a little low I think, hmm, time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF THEME MUSIC)

SIMON: Intense Heat can't slow the Pacers. How do you like that new cliche? We're deep into the NBA playoffs. Also last night, the WNBA season began. NPR's Tom Goldman joins us. Hi there, Tom.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Good morning, Scott.

SIMON: Don't the Indiana Pacers know they're supposed to be losing? They won last night.

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Around the Nation
7:02 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Pentagon's Historical Displays Honor Americans' Sacrifices

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 1:19 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This Memorial Day weekend, tens of thousands of tourists are descending on the nation's capital. Many will spend time inside of Washington, D.C.'s free museums. Only a small fraction will take the drive across the Potomac River to a museum of a different sort, that's in the Pentagon. NPR's Shula Neuman reports.

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The Salt
6:30 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Gals Who Grill: What Will It Take For Women To Man The Q?

Ladies, why are we letting the menfolk dominate the grilling?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 11:36 am

There's a lot of innovation in grilling — everything from fancy briquettes to gadgets that help grill veggies to perfection.

But according to survey data from the NPD Group, one thing that's not changing is who's firing up the grill.

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Parallels
5:55 am
Sat May 25, 2013

In India, More Women Are Playing Matchmaker For Themselves

A bride and groom exchange rings during a traditional Indian wedding ceremony. Although most marriages in India are still arranged, a growing number of women are taking matters of the heart into their own hands, using social networking clubs and matrimonial websites.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 2:52 pm

In India, some of the most entertaining reading on a Sunday afternoon is found in the classified ads. Page after page, the matrimonial section trumpets the finer qualities of India's sons and daughters.

Parents looking to marry off their children often place ads such as this one: "Wanted: Well-settled, educated groom for fair, beautiful Bengali girl, 22, 5'3"."

The matrimonial ads are a hallowed tradition in the quest to find a life partner — part of the institution of matchmaking that is as old as the country itself.

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National Security
5:55 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Obama Keeps Distance From Torture Debate, At Least For Now

President Obama delivers a speech on national security Thursday at the National Defense University at Fort McNair in Washington.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 2:12 pm

In his national security speech Thursday, President Obama discussed drone warfare and the Guantanamo detention camp. But a third controversial issue went largely unmentioned: the use of interrogation methods that are tantamount to torture.

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The Deadly Tornado In Moore, Okla.
5:55 am
Sat May 25, 2013

'Please, No More Clothes': Relief Groups Ask For Cash

Relief agencies like the American Red Cross say monetary donations give them the greatest flexibility to address victims' needs.
Erik Lesser EPA/Landov

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 4:38 pm

The tornado that devastated much of Moore, Okla., has drawn loads of donations from across the country: food, clothing, medical supplies, toys. Much of it is needed by the victims, but not everything.

After every disaster, relief groups usually ask for one thing: money. But writing a check or texting a donation isn't always that satisfying for those who want so desperately to help.

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Europe
5:55 am
Sat May 25, 2013

War Of Words: France Debates Teaching Courses In English

Demonstrators in Paris protest Thursday against a measure to teach more university courses in English.
Jacques Demarthon AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 5:13 pm

Will teaching in English at France's universities undermine the French language? That's up for debate in the country now, and the argument is heated.

The lower house of parliament approved a measure Thursday that would allow courses to be taught in English, something that is currently against the law.

Those in favor of the proposal say it will attract more international students and improve English language skills of French students. But opponents say the move will only impoverish and marginalize the country's tongue.

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The Two-Way
5:55 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Gnomes Crash Distinguished Garden Show In England

Despite the change in policy, some gardens maintained a more traditional appearance this year, such as the East Village display.
Ben Stansall AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 1:19 pm

Gnomes marched their way into one of England's most prestigious gardening events this year. The 100th annual Chelsea Flower Show, which ends Saturday, opened its gates to the flower-friendly creatures for the first time.

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Politics
5:55 am
Sat May 25, 2013

IRS Hearings Highlight Ambiguity Of Nonprofits In Politics

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 1:19 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News, I'm Scott Simon. In the two weeks since the Internal Revenue Service scandal erupted, the acting commissioner has been ousted, the head of the relevant section has been put on administrative leave. The Justice Department has begun investigating the scrutiny given to conservative groups that sought tax exempt status and three congressional committees have held hearings bombarding IRS officials with questions.

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