State and National News


Code Switch
5:00 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Obama's Shout-Out To A 'Morehouse Man'

Morehouse graduate Leland Shelton is congratulated as he is acknowledged by President Obama.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 4:00 pm

When President Obama stepped to the lectern on Sunday to address Morehouse College's graduating class, he gave exactly the kind of speech that you give at Morehouse. The president told the graduating students that they had been trained and nurtured to be leaders. He linked their personal and professional successes to the well-being of their communities. This is part of the obligation of being a "Morehouse Man," he said.

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The Two-Way
4:58 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Overturned: Former Guatemalan Dictator's Genocide Conviction

Guatemala's former dictator Efrain Rios Montt arrives in court Jan. 31 in Guatemala City to stand trial on genocide charges. On Monday, his conviction was overturned.
Moises Castillo AP

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 2:01 pm

A federal court in Guatemala has thrown out the genocide conviction of former dictator Efrain Rios Montt, which had been called a breakthrough in the region's human rights.

NPR's Carrie Kahn reports that "all trial evidence and testimony as of April 19th, the date a trial judge was removed from the case, must be re-entered."

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The Record
4:57 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Kanye West Stands Alone

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Kanye West performing "Black Skinhead" on Saturday Night Live last weekend.
Dana Edelson NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 12:13 pm

  • Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Frannie Kelley on Kanye West

What happened over the weekend? At 8:34 on Friday night, Kanye West tweeted. He said he'd be premiering a song in a half hour and we'd have to do what he said to hear it – we'd have to go to a particular address and stand outside with other people and watch a video projected onto the side of a building. Of course, the first video of the video was up within minutes, so most people didn't have to do any such thing.

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Around the Nation
4:56 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Teacher Led Students Through Storm Despite Peril To Daughter

Suzanne Sells, a special education English teacher at Moore High School in Moore, Okla., stayed with her students through Monday's tornado though for some time her own daughter's fate was unknown.
Alan Greenblatt/NPR

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 6:17 pm

Suzanne Sells lost her house to Monday's tornado in Moore, Okla., but she's still helping other people.

Sells is a special education English teacher at Moore High School. It was spared a direct hit, but like other schools in town, it was closed Tuesday. Still, she showed up to let in a student who needed access to heart medicine that had been locked away.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
4:55 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Let's Get Creative And Redefine The Meaning Of Religion

Must religion be embodied in a god or gods, such as Ceres, the Roman goddess of agriculture?
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 1:56 pm

We all know how the battle lines shake out: evangelical vs. scientist, believer vs. atheist. The culture war defined as science vs. religion is so overheated that it seems to be more of a caricature than a coherent, useful discussion. Unless, that is, someone is trying to stretch beyond the usual polarities.

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4:53 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Apple, Tech Giants And An Industrial-Age Tax Code

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 1:07 pm

Apple CEO Timothy Cook made a rare appearance on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, testifying after congressional investigators revealed that Apple avoided billions in taxes. Reporter Charles Duhigg of The New York Times and guest host Jennifer Ludden talk about how, as Duhigg writes, "technology giants have taken advantage of tax codes written for an industrial age."

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The Two-Way
4:46 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Airbnb Stays Are Illegal In New York, Court Rules

A search for places to stay in New York City via Airbnb returns plenty of results, despite the practice of short-term rentals being found to be illegal under city and state law.

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 11:55 am

People who use Airbnb, the web company that pairs travelers with residents who rent out their homes on a short-term basis, are breaking New York City's laws, according to an administrative law judge. The vacation rental business was found to run afoul of the city's occupancy code; it also doesn't conform with a state law.

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The Picture Show
4:45 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

'Nanogardens' Sprout Up On The Surface Of A Penny

Nanoflowers, each smaller than the thickness of a dollar bill, sprout up spontaneously on a surface dipped in salts and silicon.
Courtesy of Wim Noorduin/Harvard University

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 4:36 pm

April showers bring May flowers. But in this case, the blossoms are too small for even a bumblebee to see.

Engineers at Harvard University have figured out a way to make microscopic sculptures of roses, tulips and violets, each smaller than a strand of hair.

To get a sense of just how small these flower sculptures are, grab a penny and flip it on its back. Right in the middle of the Lincoln Memorial, you'll see a faint impression of Abraham Lincoln. These roses would make a perfect corsage for the president's jacket lapel.

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Deceptive Cadence
4:39 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Gods And Monsters: 5 Unforgettable Wagner Moments

The Valkyries, led by Brunnhilde (soprano Debra Voigt, lower left), are the warrior maidens of Richard Wagner's epic Ring cycle.
Ken Howard Metropolitan Opera

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 3:02 pm

  • William Berger on 'Parsifal'
  • William Berger on 'Das Rheingold'
  • William Berger on 'Die Walküre'
  • William Berger on 'Tristan und Isolde'
  • William Berger on 'Die Meistersinger'

How much do you know about Richard Wagner? Probably two unfavorable facts: He wrote very long, grandiose operas and was Hitler's favorite composer. As true as they are, those simple examples barely hint at the complexity of this endlessly creative and confounding artist.

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All Songs Considered
4:39 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

New Music: Mount Kimbie, Laura Mvula, Jagwar Ma, More

Clockwise from upper left: Mount Kimbie, Laura Mvula, Jagwar Ma, Leah Siegel of Firehorse
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 1:15 pm

This week on All Songs Considered, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton offer up a musical sampler of many styles from around the world. There's an upbeat, atmospheric cut with amazing harmonies from the magnetic Laura Mvula, a voice you'll hear a lot more of this year; Firehorse's blazing combination of neo-soul, hip-hop and electronic beats; a heavy, hypnotic track from New York duo Small Multiples and some transfixing psych-pop from Jagwar Ma.

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