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Politics
10:32 am
Sat March 9, 2013

Departing Obama Speechwriter: 'I Leave This Job Actually More Hopeful'

Jon Favreau, President Obama's former chief speechwriter, is pictured on the South Lawn of the White House in 2010.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 6:09 pm

Behind most politicians is a speechwriter, typing rapidly somewhere in a small office and trying to channel the boss's voice.

The man who has held perhaps the most prominent speechwriting job of the new millennium is Jon Favreau, a 31-year-old from Massachusetts who was President Obama's chief speechwriter until this month. He started writing for Obama when the president was just a senator in 2005.

He tells Audie Cornish, host of All Things Considered, that writing for the president means walking a line between two worlds.

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Latin America
10:31 am
Sat March 9, 2013

Venezuelans Mourn The Fiery Leader They Had Deep Connections To

Supporters of late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez wait in line to see his body lying in state Thursday outside the Military Academy in Caracas, Venezuela. The state funeral will be held Friday.
Mauricio Duenas Castaneda EPA /Landov

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 5:13 pm

In Venezuela, thousands of mourners are paying their last respects to their larger-than-life leader, Hugo Chavez. The man who ruled Venezuela for 14 years died Tuesday, and his body is now lying in state in Caracas, the capital, as presidents and dignitaries fly in for the funeral Friday.

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Food
10:30 am
Sat March 9, 2013

Finding Flavor In The Castoff Carrot Top

Carrots' leafy green tops usually end up in the trash. Not so fast, says cookbook author Diane Morgan, who uses the frilly leaves to make a pesto.
Courtesy of Diane Morgan

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 5:48 pm

Cookbook author Diane Morgan first got to thinking about root vegetables after two encounters at her local farmers market in Portland, Ore. She was burdened down with celery root, Morgan says, when a woman stopped her to ask what she was holding and what she planned to do with it.

"It's amazing," Morgan replied. "You can eat it raw, you can eat it cooked, you can turn it into a fabulous soup."

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Around the Nation
10:30 am
Sat March 9, 2013

VA Offers Free Gun Locks To Help Prevent Vet Suicides

The Department of Veterans Affairs began giving out gun locks in 2008, modeling a national gun safety program called Project ChildSafe
Sue Ogrocki AP

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 5:13 pm

Every day an estimated 22 veterans kill themselves in the U.S. and most of them use a gun to do so, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. This trend mirrors the general population where more people kill themselves with guns than by all other methods combined.

The VA is trying to help with a program that offers gun locks to veterans for free. The thinking is that if they lock their guns up they might not reach for them in the spur of the moment.

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World Cafe
10:30 am
Sat March 9, 2013

Latin Roots: Bolero

Spanish Harlem Orchestra.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 1:19 pm

In this 29th installment of Latin Roots from World Café, David Dye and Grammy-winning Latin music producer Aaron Levinson embark on a transcontinental journey exploring the history and richness of bolero music — a slow-tempo dance with distinctive forms in Cuba and Spain. Bolero typically focuses on themes like love or loss, but as Dye and Levinson discuss, the critical difference between both forms is actually the rhythm.

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World Cafe
10:29 am
Sat March 9, 2013

The Avett Brothers On World Cafe

The Avett Brothers.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 11:18 am

Scott and Seth Avett formed The Avett Brothers in their hometown of Concord, N.C. With an inspired mix of bluegrass, folk, pop, country and rock, the Avetts create a raw sound that can be solemn, energetic or catchy — sometimes all at the same time.

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Books
10:29 am
Sat March 9, 2013

A 'Sweet Valley High' Ghostwriter On Living A Double Life

Amy Boesky teaches early modern literature and creative nonfiction at Boston College.
Mark Karlsberg Studio Eleven

Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 1:50 pm

In her 20s, Amy Boesky lived a double life.

By day, she was a Harvard graduate studying 17th century British literature at Oxford. By night and on weekends, she was a ghostwriter for the popular teen book series Sweet Valley High.

"It was ... a sort of [an] antidote, a kind of escape hatch from the more rigorous world of scholarship and academia in which I was living," she tells NPR's Lynn Neary.

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Movies
10:29 am
Sat March 9, 2013

'Oz,' The Great And Often Imitated

Though the Land of Oz looks familiar in Disney's new film Oz The Great and Powerful, it's just one of many iterations of L. Frank Baum's legendary country of wizards, witches and flying monkeys.
Walt Disney Pictures

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 11:41 am

Disney's new movie Oz the Great and Powerful is the back story of the Wizard of Oz — and three sister witches, good, wicked and otherwise. This newest version begins like the classic 1939 Wizard of Oz movie: in Kansas, in black and white, with a tornado that whisks the main character to a colorful, magical land.

Instead of Judy Garland's Dorothy, though, this film stars James Franco, playing the humbug who'll become the Wizard.

"My character is Oscar Diggs, and he goes by 'Oz,'" says Franco. "He starts as a magician in a travelling circus in Kansas."

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The Two-Way
8:58 am
Sat March 9, 2013

Second Claim Of Sexual Misconduct Against Former U.S. Olympic Speedskater

Originally published on Sat March 9, 2013 8:59 am

Ex-skater and former US Speedskating President Andy Gabel faces a second accusation of sexual misconduct, as first reported by member station WUWM in Milwaukee.

Former skater Nikki Meyer told the NPR affiliate that she was assaulted by Gabel in the 1990s when she was 15 and he was 26.

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Fresh Air Weekend
8:03 am
Sat March 9, 2013

Fresh Air Weekend: Mike White, Mike Piazza And David Bowie

In HBO's Enlightened, Laura Dern stars as corporate executive Amy Jellicoe, who returns from a post-meltdown retreat to pick up the pieces of her broken life. Series creator Mike White stars as Tyler, Amy's friend and co-worker.
Lacey Terrell HBO

Originally published on Sat March 9, 2013 9:50 am

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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