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The Two-Way
8:18 am
Sat April 20, 2013

Strong Quake In China Kills Dozens, Injures Thousands

A rescuer carries a child to safety after she was pulled out of her collapsed home after an earthquake hit Ya'an City in southwest China's Sichuan province on Saturday.
AFP/Getty Images

"A powerful earthquake jolted China's Sichuan province Saturday near where a devastating quake struck five years ago," The Associated Press writes. According to CNN, early estimates put the death toll around 100. More than 1,000 other people were reportedly injured. Both figures could change substantially as more information comes in.

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Asia
7:41 am
Sat April 20, 2013

Suspects' Chechen Roots Draws Eyes In Russia

In this image taken from a cellphone video, the father of the Boston bombing suspects, Anzor Tsarnaev, talks to the media about his sons, in his home in Makhachkala, the Dagestani capital, on Friday.
AP

Originally published on Sat April 20, 2013 2:09 pm

The Boston Marathon bombing suspects are ethnic Chechens with links to the volatile North Caucasus region of Russia. Moscow's reaction to that fact appears to be as complex as the region's turbulent history.

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Remembrances
7:41 am
Sat April 20, 2013

Remembering The Man Who Gave The Nation A Newspaper

Originally published on Sat April 20, 2013 1:57 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Al Neuharth, the man who launched "USA Today" against all expert advice, has died at the age of 89. He was the chairman of Gannett newspapers who called himself a dreamer and schemer when he got the idea that satellite communications could make a daily national newspaper popular.

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Around the Nation
7:41 am
Sat April 20, 2013

In Boston, The Search For Answers Begins

Originally published on Sat April 20, 2013 1:57 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

People who knew Dzhokhar Tsarnaev just have a hard time squaring the man they knew, with the violence in Boston. Sierra Schwartz went to Cambridge Rindge and Latin high school with the suspect, who's now in custody.

SIERRA SCHWARTZ: The Dzhokhar that I knew at the time was friendly, quiet but not in a - alarming way. He was just - you know, soft-spoken but very - you know, funny, very sweet, wouldn't harm a fly; someone that you would want to talk to.

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Sports
7:41 am
Sat April 20, 2013

Week In Sports: Red Sox's Good Week A Bright Spot For Boston

Originally published on Sat April 20, 2013 1:57 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Isn't it nice to be able to say time for sports?

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: The country was focused on tragedy and mayhem this week, but sports abides, including some remarkable tributes to Boston. And the NBA playoffs begin today and run until, I don't know, I think December. Can anyone beat the Heat? For now we're joined by Howard Bryant of ESPN.com and ESPN the Magazine. Howard, thanks so much for being with us.

HOWARD BRYANT: Good morning, Scott.

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Around the Nation
7:39 am
Sat April 20, 2013

After Bombing Suspect Captured, Next Steps Begin

Originally published on Sat April 20, 2013 1:57 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is weekend edition from NPR NEWS, I'm Scott Simon. The intense manhunt of the brothers suspected of carrying out Monday's bombing of the Boston Marathon ended with the arrest last night of a 19-year-old college student, the only surviving suspect. And as Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been taken into custody and resident in the suburban neighborhood where he was found erupted in cheers of joy and relief.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

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Music
6:17 am
Sat April 20, 2013

Not For Kids, These Child Ballads Are Steeped In History

Anais Mitchell and Jefferson Hamer's new collaborative album is titled Child Ballads.
Jay Sansone Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat April 20, 2013 5:01 pm

Some stories stand the test of time: Shakespeare's plays, the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm, and the Child ballads.

If you're unfamiliar with them, they're not for children. They're Scottish and English folk songs from the 17th and 18th centuries and earlier. They're named after Francis James Child, the Harvard professor and folklorist who collected them.

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Deceptive Cadence
5:22 am
Sat April 20, 2013

A Moment With Pulitzer-Winning Composer Caroline Shaw

Caroline Shaw, who composed the piece Partita for 8 Voices for her vocal group Roomful of Teeth, is the youngest-ever recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for music.
Dashon Burton Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat April 20, 2013 1:57 pm

How do you write something like Partita for 8 Voices, the a cappella vocal piece that is this year's winner of the Pulitzer Prize for music?

"Very late at night," says the composer, Caroline Shaw, speaking with NPR's Scott Simon. "Sometimes it comes from having a sound in your head that you really want to hear, that you've never heard before, and struggling to make that sound happen in any way you can."

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Around the Nation
5:21 am
Sat April 20, 2013

Two Decades Later, Some Branch Davidians Still Believe

Flames engulf the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, on April 20, 1993. A 51-day standoff at the compound ended in a fire and the deaths of about 80 sect members, including two dozen children.
Susan Weems AP

Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 5:15 pm

Twenty years ago, federal agents clashed with David Koresh's Branch Davidian community near Waco, Texas. The standoff ended with a raid and fire that killed some 80 people. It's remembered as one of the darkest chapters in American law enforcement history.

Two decades later, some of the Branch Davidians who survived the raid are still believers, while a new church group has moved onto the land.

The Raid

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Around the Nation
5:21 am
Sat April 20, 2013

Officials Seek Answers In Aftermath Of Deadly Plant Explosion

An explosion leveled a fertilizer plant in West, Texas, on Wednesday. The blast killed 14 people, injured more than 200 others and damaged or completely destroyed at least 80 homes.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Sat April 20, 2013 4:47 pm

With the house-to-house search over and the living and dead largely accounted for, the town of West, Texas, began the transition from shock and disbelief to communal grieving.

On Friday night, mourners gathered at St. Mary Church of the Assumption to remember the dead. Many of the dead were first responders who were fighting a roaring fire for 30 minutes before the explosion, which was felt 80 miles away in Fort Worth.

Texas Sen. John Cornyn caused a stir when he suggested that there might be many more people missing than thought.

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Explosions At Boston Marathon
9:26 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Authorities Capture Younger Boston Bombing Suspect

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 10:51 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And, Chris, I'm sorry to cut you off. Chris, I'm sorry, but we have the news conference. It looks like it's about to begin. Mayor Tom Menino, who's in a wheelchair, has been wheeled to the microphone.

CHRIS ARNOLD, BYLINE: No problem.

BLOCK: So we're going to let you go. And we're going to...

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Here he is.

(SOUNDBITE OF NEWS CONFERENCE)

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Explosions At Boston Marathon
9:06 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Older Suspect Described As Controlling, Manipulative

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 10:51 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Big cheers in Watertown, Massachusetts, tonight and this tweet from the Boston Police Department, captured with three exclamation points, the hunt is over, the search is done, the terror is over, and justice has won, suspect in custody. We've been gathering a lot of information all day on the bombing suspects' backgrounds. NPR's Laura Sullivan reached three women who were roommates with a longtime girlfriend of the older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

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Explosions At Boston Marathon
6:20 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Boston Lifts Citywide 'Shelter In Place' Orders

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 10:51 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Well, Robert McFadden is senior vice president of the Soufan Group. He's a 30-year veteran of U.S. federal law enforcement, and he spent many of those years in counterterrorism, and Mr. McFadden, a question I have for you is now that this very important suspect is in custody, what do you do? How do you question him? What do you do now?

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Business
5:59 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Boeing's 787 Dreamliners To Fly Again After FAA Approval

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 10:51 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And as we continue to cover the events in the Boston area, we want to also talk about one other story, Boeing 787. The jet known as the Dreamliner will be back in the air soon. This afternoon, the FAA approved Boeing's redesign of the plane's battery system. Fifty 787s have been grounded for the last three months following two serious battery failures, one which led to a fire.

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Explosions At Boston Marathon
5:59 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Watertown, Mass., Resident Wakes To Frightening Shootout

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 10:51 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

As we've reported, the hunt for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother led masses of police and SWAT teams to Watertown, the Boston suburb west of Cambridge. Last night's confrontation there was dramatic and frightening for many residents, including Kayla Depaulo(ph). Here's how she described what happened when we spoke earlier this afternoon.

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Explosions At Boston Marathon
5:59 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Social Media May Hold Clues About Boston Bombing Suspect

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 10:51 pm

Robert Siegel talks to Leon Aron, director of Russian studies at the American Enterprise Institute, about Chechnya. Many may not know the long and troubled history of terrorism in this region, and the disturbing link between Chechen rebels, al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden. According to information from multiple reports, the suspects are from Russia's North Caucasus region. They look at a Facebook-like social media site that the suspects posted on.

Around the Nation
5:59 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

As Texas Search Winds Down, Investigation Continues

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 10:51 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

We're going to touch briefly now on another dramatic story, the deadly explosion at a fertilizer plant in the small Texas town of West. Authorities now confirm that the death toll has risen to 12. That's how many bodies have been recovered so far. The cause of the fire and subsequent blast on Wednesday night are still unknown. From West, here's NPR's Wade Goodwyn.

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It's All Politics
5:49 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Stubbornly, Manchin Maintains Optimism On Background Checks

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., meets in his office last week with families of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn. A bipartisan plan to expand background checks for gun buyers was defeated Wednesday in the Senate.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Sen. Joe Manchin, the West Virginia Democrat who lent his name to bipartisan legislation that would have extended background checks for gun purchasers to gun shows and online sales, isn't letting go.

At least not yet.

To Manchin, the bipartisan compromise he co-sponsored with Sen. Pat Toomey, a Pennsylvania Republican of consistent conservative credentials, fell victim to a steady stream of misinformation spread by some gun rights absolutists, including the National Rifle Association.

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The Salt
5:06 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Fertilizer Shows Its Deadly Side

Workers at a cooperative farm near Shanghai scatter fertilizer across fields of winter wheat. Image from the May issue of National Geographic magazine.
© Peter Essick National Geographic

My first reaction when I heard details of this week's deadly fertilizer explosion in Texas was horror.

My second thought was, "Maybe I shouldn't have pushed to change that headline."

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The Two-Way
3:36 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Boston On Lockdown: 'Today Is So Much Scarier'

A sign calling for citizens of Boston to "Shelter in Place" hung across I-93 Friday in Boston.
Elise Amendola AP

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 7:20 pm

Update at 7:10 p.m. ET. Back Inside:

Following reports of sudden, heavy police presence in Watertown, Boston police have asked residents to once again stay indoors. Just about an hour earlier, the governor had lifted the shelter-in-place advisory. The police tweeted: "Police operations in the Franklin Street Watertown area. Residents shelter in place."

Update at 6:25 p.m. ET. "Shelter-In-Place" Advisory Lifted:

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The Two-Way
3:21 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

FAA OKs Boeing's 787 Battery Fix

A part of a charred battery from a Japan Airlines 787 on display at the NTSB headquarters in January.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

The Federal Aviation Administration has approved changes to the design of the Boeing 787's battery system — the first step toward returning the grounded aircraft to service.

The approximately 50 787 "Dreamliners" delivered to airlines worldwide were grounded in January after incidents involving overheating problems in lithium-ion batteries.

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The Two-Way
3:09 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Boston Bombing Suspects Are Brothers Living In U.S. For Years

This combination of undated photos shows Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, left, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19.
AP

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 1:23 pm

Updated 1:50 p.m. ET: (Correcting that brothers shared an apartment in Cambridge, not Watertown.)

The suspects in Monday's deadly Boston Marathon explosions and the Thursday night murder of a police officer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are two brothers from a former Soviet republic who were in the United States legally for years, and lived together in a Cambridge, Mass., apartment.

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The Two-Way
2:57 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

CDC: U.S. Hospitals Should Be Vigilant For Bird Flu

An H7N9 bird flu patient is escorted after his recovery and approval for discharge at a central China hospital on Friday.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

U.S. hospitals have been urged to be on the lookout for symptoms of bird flu among patients who have recently traveled to China, where a new strain of the virus has killed 17 people and infected more than 70.

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The Two-Way
1:42 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

French Family Set Free After Cameroon Kidnapping

A security guard in Cameroon shows photos of Tanguy Moulin-Fournier and his wife, Albane, and their four children, in February.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Members of a French family held for weeks by Boko Haram militants in Cameroon have been freed and are in good health, Al-Jazeera reports, citing Cameroonian and French officials.

Cameroon's President Paul Biya, in a statement read on national radio, said the couple and their four children, aged 5 to 12, had been "handed over last night to Cameroonian authorities."

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Shots - Health News
1:41 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

What David Lynch And Tylenol Can Tell You About The Brain

Researchers used a clip from the David Lynch film Rabbits to make volunteers uneasy. Afterward some people got Tylenol, which appeared to help them cope.
YouTube

Even for a hardcore David Lynch fan, the idea that a film of his would be used to weird people out in a psychology experiment is a tad weird.

But it gets much stranger than that — fast.

Imagine the experiment involved testing whether Tylenol could help people overcome the angst triggered by a four-minute dose of Lynch. A related experiment tested Tylenol's effect on people asked to write about what happens to their bodies after they die.

At the University of British Columbia, psychologists went both places.

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