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Presidential Race
5:25 pm
Sun March 18, 2012

GOP's Delegate Race A Game Of 'Political Moneyball'

There's a number hovering around the GOP presidential race: 1,144. That's the magic number of delegates needed to secure the party's nomination.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has a little less than half that number right now, but he's still ahead of his closest rival, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum.

Santorum is a threat, however, so the two candidates seem to be sharpening their math skills.

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Theater
4:54 pm
Sun March 18, 2012

'A Salesman' Lives On In Philip Seymour Hoffman

Bridgette Lacombe

When Philip Seymour Hoffman took the stage on March 15 in the new revival of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, he became the fifth actor in 63 years to walk the boards of Broadway in the shoes of the blustery, beleaguered salesman, Willy Loman. In the last six decades, each incarnation of the play has resonated with a new generation of theatergoers.

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U.S.
4:12 pm
Sun March 18, 2012

Years Later, He Brought Her Passport Back

Betty Werther's passport photo from 60 years ago.
Courtesy Betty Werther

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:57 am

Typically, college newsletters aren't thrilling reads, but an article in a recent University of California, Berkeley, newsletter tells the story of two alums who connected in way fit for a movie.

It starts in 1949, after Betty Werther graduated from Berkeley. As a graduation gift, her grandmother sent her to Europe with a friend. They traveled to Paris, ostensibly to study at the Sorbonne.

Their studies didn't last long. Werther and her friend strapped on backpacks and hit the road.

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Sports
3:53 pm
Sun March 18, 2012

After Ownership Drama, Dodgers Want To Play Ball

Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a RBI single against the Oakland Athletics during a spring training game at Camelback Ranch on March 8 in Glendale, Ariz.
Christian Petersen Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 18, 2012 5:50 pm

Things are looking pretty good at the Dodgers spring training complex in Glendale, Ariz. They have Cy Young Award winning Clayton Kershaw anchoring their pitching staff and at the plate, the National league MVP runner-up, Matt Kemp.

"Hopefully, we can start out the way we finished last year and be consistent throughout the whole year," Kemp said.

Everyone has had enough of what's been happening off the field.

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Animals
2:41 pm
Sun March 18, 2012

Domesticated Foxes: Man's New Best Friend?

Ceiridwen Terrill, Ph.D.
Courtesy of CTAS/Concordia University

For thousands of years, dogs have been our companions. After countless generations of selective breeding, they've become hard-wired to follow human commands: sit, lie down, jump, even shake.

So far, most other animals don't come close. But what if they could?

In 1954 a Russian geneticist named Dmitry Belyaev wanted to isolate the genes that make dogs so easy to train. He started a fox farm in Siberia and set out to do with foxes in one lifetime what took dogs thousands of years.

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Politics
8:00 am
Sun March 18, 2012

Candidates' (Vocal) Pitch Plays Into Appeal

Originally published on Sun March 18, 2012 9:57 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

So what does it take to win an election: A clear message, a strong organization, good hair? How about deep pipes?

SENATOR MITCH MCCONNELL: It's my view that the administration's policies are actually designed on purpose to bring about higher gas prices.

MARTIN: That's Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell who has won a few elections in his day.

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Afghanistan
8:00 am
Sun March 18, 2012

Will Massacre In Kandahar Be A Policy Tipping Point?

Originally published on Sun March 18, 2012 9:57 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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

In Afghanistan, the massacre of 16 unarmed Afghan civilians, allegedly by a U.S. service member, is the latest in a string of events which may have shifted the dynamic between the Afghan people and the U.S.-led Army that's been occupying the country for a decade.

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Sports
8:00 am
Sun March 18, 2012

NCAA Madness Marches On

Indiana forward Will Sheehey takes the game-winning shot against Virginia Commonwealth in the second half of an NCAA college basketball tournament third-round game in Portland, Ore., on Saturday. Indiana won 63-61.
Rick Bowmer AP

The madness marches on. Sunday holds eight more games in the NCAA Division 1 men's basketball tournament. On Saturday, thankfully, there were no major rip-up-your-bracket upsets. That is, if your bracket was in still in one piece. But there was plenty of drama. Two of the most exciting games were at the sub-regional in Portland, Ore.

March Madness isn't just screaming crowds and grown men and women chanting things like the University of New Mexico's "Everyone's a Lobo, woof, woof, woof." In fact, sometimes there's drama in hushed silence.

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Religion
8:00 am
Sun March 18, 2012

Anglicans To Get New Spiritual Head

The resignation of the archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, comes at a time of tension within the Anglican Church over issues related to homosexuality as well as women bishops. Vicki Barker has reaction to the news.

Economy
8:00 am
Sun March 18, 2012

First-Time Homebuyers Carry Financial Baggage

Originally published on Sun March 18, 2012 9:57 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Around the Nation
8:00 am
Sun March 18, 2012

Tenn. Town Fights Fire With Money

Originally published on Sun March 18, 2012 9:57 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Two years ago in South Fulton, Tennessee, firefighters in this town watched a home burn to the ground. The owners hadn't paid the required $75 fee for fire service. Now, after a barrage of national media attention, city leaders have finally made a change. Chad Lampe from member station WKMS in Murray, Kentucky has more.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRDS CHIRPING)

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Presidential Race
8:00 am
Sun March 18, 2012

Puerto Rico Holds Primary With Statehood In Mind

Originally published on Sun March 18, 2012 9:57 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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

The Republican presidential race could take yet another twist today in the U.S. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The four million people who live there are U.S. citizens and in today's primary, they'll help determine the next Republican nominee for the White House. The big issue in that contest is statehood, and that'll be on the ballot there in November. But the presidential race won't be because, first, Puerto Rico would have to become a state.

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Politics
8:00 am
Sun March 18, 2012

Whose Money? SuperPACs To Reveal Records

Originally published on Sun March 18, 2012 9:57 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The GOP will hold its primaries in Illinois and Louisiana this week. So maybe it's no surprise that residences there are being bombarded by political attack ads, the vast majority of them ending with phrases like this:

(SOUNDBITE OF A POLITICAL AD)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Restore Our Future is responsible for the content of this message.

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Europe
5:52 am
Sun March 18, 2012

After Spain's Construction Bust, Gardens Bloom

This urban garden was started by a group of neighbors on land that was cleared for construction during Spain's housing bubble but never built upon. The garden was started in November 2011 and is tended by neighborhood volunteers.
Lauren Frayer for NPR

Spain is littered with vacant lots and half-built apartment complexes, where developers ran out of money when the construction bubble burst.

But in one Madrid barrio, neighbors are putting an abandoned tract of urban space to creative use.

Behind a chain link fence, in a dusty weed-filled lot between two soaring apartment blocks, Emilio de la Rosa is planting vegetables.

"Different types of products — garlic, beans, tomatoes, lettuce," he says. "We're teaching our children where tomatoes come from — not from the grocery store, but the ground."

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Economy
5:51 am
Sun March 18, 2012

Sweet Home: When Owning Isn't All About Money

Tamika Rhodes and her children (clockwise) Taneea, Takeema and Paul at their home in St. Paul, Minn. Rhodes says the house is more important to her as a source of stability than as an investment.
Ann Baxter NPR

It's not hard to figure out why the Rhodes family would want a house of their own. Their son Paul's passion for music makes it clear right away.

His mom, Tamika Rhodes, says in their last place, a two-bedroom apartment, Paul couldn't play the drums because it would have driven the neighbors crazy.

Now he, his two sisters, mom and dad live in a big, five-bedroom house in St. Paul, Minn. Rhodes says they all feel much more comfortable.

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The Impact of War
5:50 am
Sun March 18, 2012

Troops' Mental Health: How Much Is Unknown?

Gen. Peter Chiarelli, former vice chief of staff for the U.S. Army, says the Army lacks reliable diagnostic tools to screen for mental health.
Susan Walsh AP

The killing of 16 Afghan civilians last Sunday is now one of the greatest points of tension between the United States and Afghanistan. U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales allegedly killed the civilians in cold blood; those close to him say they were shocked by the news.

According to the Pentagon, Bales had been treated for a traumatic brain injury that he suffered in Iraq in 2010, though the extent of the damage is unclear.

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Afghanistan
4:40 am
Sun March 18, 2012

For Suspect In Afghan Attack, A Praised Record

Then-Capt. Brent Clemmer said Staff Sgt. Robert Bales distinguished himself as a team leader in Clemmer's C Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment during the Battle of Zarqa, Iraq. The faces of the rest of Bales' squad have been obscured.
Courtesy Maj. Brent Clemmer

Originally published on Sun March 18, 2012 1:13 pm

There is still only sketchy information available about Staff Sgt. Robert Bales' recent experience in Afghanistan, but five years ago in Iraq, he was considered an excellent and upbeat soldier.

Bales is suspected of killing 16 unarmed Afghan civilians last Sunday. He has yet to be charged, and his civilian lawyers say they will meet with him at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., to learn the facts of the case.

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The Two-Way
6:06 pm
Sat March 17, 2012

Former Captain: Afghan Shooting Suspect Showed 'Valorous Conduct' In Battle

Bales joined the military after Sept. 11, 2001. He served three times in Iraq before being deployed to Afghanistan.
Courtesy Maj. Brent Clemmer

Originally published on Mon March 19, 2012 6:45 am

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales' commanding officer once recommended him for a medal of valor after a major battle in Iraq.

Bales was named on Friday as the U.S. soldier who allegedly killed 16 Afghan civilians last Sunday. "I was shocked that it was him," Maj. Brent Clemmer told Austin Jenkins of the Public Radio Northwest News Network. "I am still in shock about it."

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The Two-Way
6:00 pm
Sat March 17, 2012

WikiLeaks Founder Assange To Run For Australian Senate

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
Kirsty Wigglesworth AP

Originally published on Sat March 17, 2012 7:50 pm

Here's one way to spend time under house arrest: The WikiLeaks creator will run for the Senate in Australia, his home country. The revelation appeared, typically, on WikiLeaks' Twitter feed:

Assange is under house arrest in England, fighting extradition to Sweden, where he's accused of two sex crimes.

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Movie Reviews
4:48 pm
Sat March 17, 2012

Betting On Two Pairs Of Filmmaking Brothers

Two pairs of filmmaking brothers are both releasing movies this weekend. In Jeff, Who Lives at Home, by the Duplass brothers Jay and Mark, Pat (Ed Helms) and Jeff (Jason Segel) encounter each other in a day fraught with fateful events. Also opening is The Kid with a Bike, a Belgian slice-of-life drama from the Dardenne brothers, Jean-Pierre and Luc..
Paramount Vantage

Originally published on Sat March 17, 2012 6:42 pm

Call it an accident of the calendar: two pairs of filmmaking brothers both opening movies on the same weekend, both films about the awkwardness of growing up. Jeff, Who Lives at Home is a post-mumblecore slacker comedy from the Duplass brothers, Mark and Jay. The Kid with a Bike is a Belgian slice-of-life drama from the Dardenne brothers, Jean-Pierre and Luc.

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Three-Minute Fiction
4:44 pm
Sat March 17, 2012

Minor Details: Three-Minute Fiction's Age Rules

Kahlo Smith, 11, wanted to enter Three-Minute Fiction but found out she was ineligible because of her age. She contacted NPR to find out why.
Courtesy Brian Smith

This week, along with the nearly 1,000 stories that were submitted to weekends on All Things Considered's writing contest, Three-Minute Fiction, there was a letter from 11-year-old Kahlo Smith of Felton, Calif.

Dear Mr. Raz,

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Afghanistan
4:08 pm
Sat March 17, 2012

Karzai: U.S.-Afghan Relations 'At The End Of Rope'

Afghan President Hamid Karzai lashed out at the United States on Friday, saying he is at the "the end of the rope" because of the lack of U.S. cooperation into a probe of a killing spree allegedly carried out by an American soldier.
Ahmad Jamshid AP

The tension between the United States and Afghanistan has reached a boiling point.

More details are emerging about Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, the U.S. soldier accused of killing 16 unarmed Afghans this past week, and there is still anger over the accidental burning of copies of the Quran by soldiers on a military base.

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Music Interviews
3:50 pm
Sat March 17, 2012

On 'Port Of Morrow,' The Shins Sail Back To The 1970s

James Mercer has been the singer and songwriter behind The Shins since 1997.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon March 19, 2012 8:06 am

James Mercer's distinctive voice and earnest songwriting have always been at the heart of The Shins, but these days they are the band's only constant. Port of Morrow, the group's new album and its first in five years, finds Mercer leading a completely new set of musicians.

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Fresh Air Weekend
10:30 am
Sat March 17, 2012

Fresh Air Weekend: Drones, Homes & Dave Brubeck

The Dave Brubeck Quartet.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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History
9:22 am
Sat March 17, 2012

Convicted Nazi Guard John Demjanjuk Dies

John Demjanjuk emerges from the courtroom with his lawyers after a judge sentenced him to five years in prison for charges related to 28,060 counts of accessory to murder in May 2011 in Munich, Germany.
Johannes Simon Getty Images

John Demjanjuk, the retired U.S. autoworker convicted of being a guard at in an infamous Nazi death camp, died Saturday at the age of 91. Demjanjuk died a free man in a nursing home in southern Germany, where he had been released pending his appeal.

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Europe
8:00 am
Sat March 17, 2012

London Starts Digging Massive Tunnels For Transport

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

The history of the city of London dates back to the Romans and beyond. So, when you start digging massive tunnels beneath that place, it's always going to be interesting. And that's just what's about to happen.

MAYOR BORIS JOHNSON: I hereby declare Ada and Phyllis unleashed.

(SOUNDBITE OF BUZZER)

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Around the Nation
8:00 am
Sat March 17, 2012

Soldier Suspected Of Killing Afghans In Kan. Prison

Originally published on Sun March 18, 2012 10:07 am

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. Scott Simon is away. I'm Jacki Lyden. The soldier suspected of killing 16 Afghan civilians is today being held at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas. Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales now has an attorney and the lines of his defense are beginning to emerge. The case has also put America's prosecution of the war in Afghanistan on trial. There are new disputes between the U.S. and Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

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Afghanistan
8:00 am
Sat March 17, 2012

Where Is Counterinsurgency In Afghanistan Now?

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

As further details emerge about this week's shootings in Afghanistan, the situation on the ground there continues to develop. As we've heard, in recent years a lot of emphasis has been placed on the counterinsurgency effort, on winning hearts and minds as opposed to targeting terrorist cells. So what do these latest incidents mean for that already fragile effort? John Nagl is a military counterinsurgency expert. He is now teaching at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis.

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Politics
8:00 am
Sat March 17, 2012

When Polls Conflict: What Political Gauges Mean

Originally published on Sun March 18, 2012 10:07 am

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

If you paid any attention to the polls this past week, you might have come away pretty confused. For example in one survey, a plurality of Americans said that they disapproved of President Obama's performance by a wide margin. Another poll showed just the opposite.

To explain why polls taken during the same period may give conflicting results, we're joined by Andy Kohut. He's the president of the Pew Research Center.

Andy, thank you so much for coming in.

ANDY KOHUT: Happy to be here.

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Sports
8:00 am
Sat March 17, 2012

A Basketball Wrap-Up, In Verse

Originally published on Sun March 18, 2012 10:07 am

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, BYLINE: Every school invited to the NCAA basketball tournament has had a chance to play. So we thought we'd bring you details of every game. Well, maybe not details, but at least a mention from NPR's Mike Pesca. And what he lacks in specifics, he makes up for in rhyme.

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