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Latin America
6:00 am
Sun January 15, 2012

Brazil's Falling Birth Rate: A 'New Way Of Thinking'

Brazil's fertility rate has dropped dramatically over the past half-century and is now below that in the U.S. Here, women lie with their newborns at the Pro Matre maternity hospital in Rio de Janeiro.
Douglas Engle MCT/Landov

Brazil has undergone a demographic shift so dramatic that it has astonished social scientists. Over the past 50 years, the fertility rate has tumbled from six children per woman on average to fewer than two — and is now lower than in the United States.

Demographers say the fertility rate is declining because the country is richer and more urban, but they also point to Brazil's hugely popular soap operas and their portrayal of small, glamorous families.

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Africa
5:59 am
Sun January 15, 2012

Just A Few Months Old, S. Sudan Already In Turmoil

People who escaped ethnic violence in Jonglei state wait for food rations at a World Food Program distribution center on Thursday. South Sudan gained independence just six months ago, and already ethnic tensions inside the new country have forced tens of thousands to flee their homes.
Michael Onyiego AP

South Sudan gained independence just six months ago, but the country is already plagued by ethnic violence at home and ongoing tensions with its previous rulers in Sudan.

Potential humanitarian crises are brewing in both Sudans, and U.S. diplomats are sounding frustrated that the two are not talking to each other enough.

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Around the Nation
5:58 am
Sun January 15, 2012

Montana's Wide-Open Spaces Getting A Bit Crowded

Montana's wide-open spaces are slightly more crowded than they used to be, and not all residents are happy about sharing.
J. Stephen Conn Flickr

One of the nation's least densely populated states has hit a major milestone. Montana's population crossed over the 1 million person mark around the first of the year. While the governor says that's a good sign for the future, some residents say the state's already too crowded.

Fewer than 2,000 people live in Townsend, Mont., a small farming community surrounded by national forests and just south of the gigantic Canyon Ferry Reservoir.

At Penny's Breakfast Station, cook Amber Burchett fries up hash browns in the early afternoon.

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The Two-Way
5:30 pm
Sat January 14, 2012

Assassination Opens New Rifts Between Iran And The West

People gather around a car as it is removed by a mobile crane in Tehran, Iran. The car was being driven by Iranian nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan when it was targeted by a bomb Wednesday. Roshan was killed in the blast.
Meghdad Madadi AP

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 6:29 pm

Earlier this week, 32-year-old nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan was killed by a bomb blast on his way to work in Tehran, Iran.

The attack, carried out with a magnetic bomb placed on Roshan's car by a man on a motorcycle, was like something out of a spy novel. In Iran, however, it's very much a reality. Assassins have targeted five Iranian nuclear scientists in the past two years; four of the attacks have succeeded.

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Author Interviews
4:49 pm
Sat January 14, 2012

Alan Bennett Defies Expectations With 'Smut'

Originally published on Sat January 14, 2012 7:14 pm

Alan Bennett, author of The History Boys and The Madness of King George, among countless other books, plays and memoirs, is a grand old man of British letters.

"I'm getting on now, and I'm thought of in England as being rather cozy and genteel — certainly in the stories that I write," he tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz.

So Bennett decided to give his readers a little rattle with a new book of two short stories called Smut.

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Author Interviews
3:13 pm
Sat January 14, 2012

The Inquisition: Alive And Well After 800 Years

When we talk of inquisition it is usually prefaced with a definite article — as in, The Inquisition. But, as Vanity Fair editor Cullen Murphy points out in his new book, God's Jury, the Inquisition wasn't a single event but rather a decentralized, centuries-long process.

Murphy says the "inquisitorial impulse" is alive and well today — despite its humble origins with the Cathars in France, where it was initially designed to deal with Christian heretics.

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World
3:00 pm
Sat January 14, 2012

Search Is On For Survivors Of Crashed Cruise Ship

Originally published on Sat January 14, 2012 7:14 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

The captain of the Italian cruise ship which ran aground off the coast of Tuscany last night has been arrested on suspicion of involuntary manslaughter. The majority of the ship's 4,000 passengers reached land by lifeboat, but three people are confirmed dead. About 30 are reportedly injured and some 50 are still unaccounted for. It is still unclear what caused the ship to come so close to the rocky shore.

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Science
3:00 pm
Sat January 14, 2012

Mega Mirror To Power Massive New Telescope

One upon a time, the largest glass telescope mirror was 100 inches in diameter. Today, scientists are casting a mirror 27 feet in diameter that will be part of one of the most powerful telescopes on Earth. NPR's Joe Palca speaks with weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz from the mirror laboratory, located under the football stadium at the University of Arizona.

Analysis
3:00 pm
Sat January 14, 2012

Week In News: Corporate Money And The Campaigns

Originally published on Sat January 14, 2012 7:14 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.

(SOUNDBITE OF POLITICAL AD)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: A story of greed, playing the system for a quick buck, a group of corporate raiders led by Mitt Romney, more ruthless than Wall Street.

RAZ: That's part of an anti-Mitt Romney ad now running in South Carolina. The video is being distributed by pro-Newt Gingrich superPAC. And its message may be a sign of a growing philosophical split among the GOP candidates.

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Election 2012
3:00 pm
Sat January 14, 2012

Social Conservatives Vote To Back Santorum

Originally published on Sat January 14, 2012 7:14 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

Now, as the Romney campaign has been building momentum, religious conservatives remain deeply uncomfortable with him as the prospective Republican nominee. Today in Texas, evangelical leaders met. And as NPR's Joel Rose reports, they threw their support behind former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.

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Business
3:00 pm
Sat January 14, 2012

Breaking Down Bain Capital

Private equity firms are under the microscope this week as a pro-Gingrich superPAC hounds GOP candidate Mitt Romney for his role as head of Bain Capital. Weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz talks with Dan Primack, senior editor of Fortune Magazine, about how these firms operate and the legitimacy of these attacks.

NPR Story
2:00 pm
Sat January 14, 2012

Italian Cruise Ship Runs Aground

Originally published on Sun January 15, 2012 12:58 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News, I'm Scott Simon. An enormous cruise ship is lying on its side in the Mediterranean today. The Italian ship, Costa Concordia, ran aground off Italy's Tuscan coast, killing at least three people. Passengers described scenes reminiscent of the Titanic. Fabio Costa was working in a shop on the cruise liner when he felt a jolt.

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Fresh Air Weekend
9:41 am
Sat January 14, 2012

Fresh Air Weekend: Gary Oldman, Rin Tin Tin

Oldman played Sirius Black to Daniel Radcliffe's Harry Potter in the blockbuster franchise.
Murray Close Warner Bros. Pictures

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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Simon Says
9:15 am
Sat January 14, 2012

Zambia Official Talks the Talk, Jumps the Jump

Zambia's tourism minister Given Lubinda bungee-jumped off of a bridge at Victoria Falls to invite tourists back.
ITN News via YouTube

Given Lubinda jumped off a bridge this week and popped up smiling.

Mr. Lubinda is the minister of information, broadcasting and tourism of Zambia, nearly 50 years old and just a tad pudgy, judging from photographs.

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Around the Nation
8:44 am
Sat January 14, 2012

The Income Gap: Unfair, Or Are We Just Jealous?

Occupy Wall Street members stage a protest march near Wall Street in New York in October. Paul Taylor of the Pew Research Center says the movement has "crystallized" the idea of economic disparity.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 14, 2012 9:56 pm

The widening gulf between the rich and everyone else is a growing source of tension in America.

A new survey from the Pew Research Center finds the income gap is now seen as a bigger source of conflict in the U.S. than race, age or national origin. That's why some believe the issue could matter in the presidential campaign, and others worry it could warp the national debate.

Two out of three Americans now perceive strong social conflicts over the income gap — up sharply from two years ago. Paul Taylor of the Pew Research Center has an idea what's behind the increase.

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The Two-Way
8:28 am
Sat January 14, 2012

Guatemala's Legacy Of Violence Follows New Leader To Power

As Guatemala's new president, Otto Perez Molina, takes office today, the former general carries the burden of a complicated history into a new struggle against violence.

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NPR Story
8:00 am
Sat January 14, 2012

Haiti Trembles From The 'Aftershocks Of History'

Originally published on Sat January 14, 2012 2:12 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Haiti has long been regarded as a special challenge for international aid organizations. Haiti has a noble, unique and often bloody history. It was the only nation of slaves to successfully revolt against their colonial overseers, became the first black-led republic in the world. It has also been afflicted with its own demons and tyrants.

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Europe
8:00 am
Sat January 14, 2012

European Credit Downgraded: What's Next?

Late Friday the U.S. credit rating agency Standard & Poors downgraded nine European countries. S&P suggested Europe's single-minded focus on austerity to solve its sovereign debt problem is just not working. Host Scott Simon speaks with NPR's John Ydstie about the downgrades.

NPR Story
8:00 am
Sat January 14, 2012

Connecting With S.C. Voters, Candidates Try BBQ

The South Carolina primary is one week from Saturday. On Friday night, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum hit an upstate barbecue, vying to emerge as the candidate the state's conservative Republicans can rally behind. NPR's Debbie Elliott was there and has this report.

Presidential Race
8:00 am
Sat January 14, 2012

Romney Emerges From Week Of Contradictions

Originally published on Sat January 14, 2012 2:12 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

And Mitt Romney spent the last week celebrating a major victory and then fending off some major attacks. NPR's Ari Shapiro reports from Aiken, South Carolina.

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Mitt Romney had a contradictory week. On the one hand, his landslide win in New Hampshire put him solidly on a course to focus on the general election and President Obama.

MITT ROMNEY: This president puts his faith in government. We put our faith in the American people.

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Election 2012
8:00 am
Sat January 14, 2012

GOP Fault Lines Expose Ideological Divides

There is a diversity of views in the Republican field for president that is wide, even wild. Host Scott Simon talks with Ross Douthat, a conservative author and New York Times columnist, about the ideological divides in the Republican Party, as apparent in the GOP presidential race.

Middle East
8:00 am
Sat January 14, 2012

How Will The Muslim Brotherhood Govern?

The Muslim Brotherhood has emerged as the big winner in Egypt's parliamentary elections. Long oppressed under the regime of Hosni Mubarak, the Islamist party is now the most important power broker in the country. Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports that the question on everyone's lips now is what does the Brotherhood really represent and how will it govern?

Around the Nation
8:00 am
Sat January 14, 2012

An Adirondack Hike, Deep In Winter And Short On Snow

The lack of snow in most of the northeast has extended the hiking season for those willing to brave the cold. Brian Mann takes a winter hike into Roaring Brook Falls in New York's Adirondack Mountains.

Sports
8:00 am
Sat January 14, 2012

Sports: Hopefuls Battle For NFL Glory

The NFL playoffs are well under way. Eight teams are still standing, but two will be sent home on Saturday. Howard Bryant of ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine joins host Scott Simon to discuss the latest news in sports.

Business
8:00 am
Sat January 14, 2012

Karaoke Copyrights: Taking Back The Music

Karaoke machine manufacturers and the distributors of karaoke CDs have had an uphill battle fighting copyright infringement cases brought by music publishers. One player in the karaoke business is fighting a joint venture of Sony and the estate of Michael Jackson over a $1.28-billion bill. Host Scott Simon has more.

From Our Listeners
8:00 am
Sat January 14, 2012

Your Letters: Unemployment, American Indians

Originally published on Sat January 14, 2012 2:12 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Now time for your letters.

(SOUNDBITE OF TYPING AND MUSIC)

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: We got lots of comments on Gloria Hillard's piece on Native Americans who've moved off reservations into major cities. The Bureau of Indian Affairs Urban Relocation Program had encouraged that migration a few decades ago, and Los Angeles County has the country's largest urban Native American population.

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Around the Nation
7:53 am
Sat January 14, 2012

Wisc. Recall Supporters Confident, But GOP Has Sway

A sign to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker hangs on a statue in front of the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison last March. The recall petition drive began in November, and Democrats will turn in signatures Tuesday.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

There's a downside to starting a two-month recall petition drive in mid-November in Wisconsin. Sometimes it snows. A lot.

On Tuesday, Democrats plan to turn in petitions by the truckload to try to force a recall election of Gov. Scott Walker. The effort follows the governor's move last year to strip public workers of union bargaining rights.

A heavy snowstorm late this week had most Wisconsin residents more occupied with shoveling than with knocking on doors. Recall petition circulators in the heavily Democratic city of Madison, for the most part, disappeared.

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The Picture Show
7:13 am
Sat January 14, 2012

Russia By Rail: One Last Look

A street scene in Ekaterinburg, Russia.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:07 am

Six thousand miles. Seven time zones. And endless cups of hot tea.

NPR reporter David Greene along with producer Laura Krantz and photographer David Gilkey boarded the Trans-Siberian Railway in Moscow and took two weeks to make their way to the Pacific Ocean port city of Vladivostok.

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Movies
6:01 am
Sat January 14, 2012

Wim Wenders On 'Pina': A Dance Documentary In 3-D

Damiano Ottavio Bigi and Clementine Deluy, both members of the Tanztheater Wuppertal under Pina Bausch, perform her choreography in Pina.
IFC Films

The film Pina is Germany's official entry at the 84th Academy Awards — and a collaboration between two famous Germans of the postwar generation. The filmmaker Wim Wenders captures the groundbreaking modern-dance choreography of the late Pina Bausch, in what many critics are calling a groundbreaking use of 3-D film.

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Reporter's Notebook
6:00 am
Sat January 14, 2012

In Haiti, Hope Is Still Hard To Find

Elicia Andre, who says she used to be much larger — a sign of affluence in Haiti — is now skin and bones.
Marisa Penaloza NPR

You can see some progress in Haiti two years since the 7.0-magnitude quake hit. But Port-au-Prince is a tour of unrelenting misery and often disturbing images. Things are happening — slowly. You can tell the pace of progress by looking into people's eyes — emptiness looks back at you. Pain is etched on their faces.

You see it in Elicia Andre. We met her back in December at the homeless encampment run by Catholic Relief Services in Port-au-Prince, where she sought refuge after the quake. The charity had just given her $500 to rent an apartment for a year.

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