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The Two-Way
9:02 am
Sun February 10, 2013

Chinese 'Pingpong Diplomacy' Player Dies

The Chinese table tennis player who was instrumental in the pingpong diplomacy that paved the way for President Nixon's groundbreaking visit to China has died. Zhuang Zedong was 73.

Here's more from the BBC about the 1971 incident that led to pingpong diplomacy:

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The Two-Way
6:03 am
Sun February 10, 2013

Islamists Make Sufi Shrines A Target In North Africa

A woman tries to salvage items from a burnt out Sufi shrine outside the Tunisian capital, Tunis, last October. Hard-line Islamists, known as Salafists, have attacked many Sufi shrines in Tunisia recently.
Fethi Belaid AFP/Getty Images

When radical Islamists lash out at cultural sites they consider un-Islamic, a frequent target is Sufi Islam shrines.

Islamists in Tunisia have attacked almost 40 Sufi shrines in recent months, Sufi officials told AFP.

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The Two-Way
6:03 am
Sun February 10, 2013

Will Syria Become An Islamist State?

A Syrian rebel prays on a street in the northern city of Aleppo in January. Many Syrians are debating what role Islam should play in Syria if the current secular government is toppled.
Muzaffar Salman Reuters/Landov

The author, a Syrian citizen living in Damascus, is not being identified by NPR for security reasons. Many Syrians interviewed for this piece asked that their full names not be used, for their safety.

In most every Arab country where there's been an uprising in the past couple of years, Islamists have gained influence or come to power. Is the same thing destined to happen in Syria if President Bashar Assad's secular government is ousted?

Syrians may not know the answer, but they certainly are talking about it.

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Business
5:36 am
Sun February 10, 2013

Bloomingdale's Lays Out Welcome Mat To Chinese Shoppers

To mark the Lunar New Year, Bloomingdale's is catering to affluent Chinese tourists with an array of pop-up shops.
Courtesy of Bloomingdale's

Originally published on Sun April 7, 2013 7:04 pm

A number of luxury retailers are rolling out tactics this year to mark the beginning of the Lunar New Year. For Bloomingdale's in New York City, though, reaching out to Asian shoppers during the cultural celebration is a decades-long tradition.

The upscale department store's marketing strategy traces back to 1971, the year President Nixon lifted the U.S. trade embargo with the People's Republic of China. Immediately, Marvin Traub, then-president of Bloomingdale's, decided he wanted to sell Chinese goods in his flagship store on the Upper East Side.

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Digital Life
4:33 am
Sun February 10, 2013

To Foster Communication, Bay Area Boss Cut Off Email

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 4:15 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Digital Life
4:05 am
Sun February 10, 2013

Raising Personable Children, Even If They're Glued To Phones

The Jordans use an iPad to talk to their daughter, Kelly, who's at school in Chicago.
Marie McGrory for NPR

Originally published on Sun February 10, 2013 3:00 pm

Weekend Edition Sunday is taking a look at how technology affects personal relationships. Along with romantic and workplace connections, family dynamics are shifting.

The Jordans are a classic example of a family trying to figure out how to use technology without feeling disconnected from one another. Sue and David have five kids: two off at college and three still at home.

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Digital Life
4:04 am
Sun February 10, 2013

'We Need To Talk': Missed Connections With Hyper-Connectivity

Sherry Turkle is a professor of the social studies of science and technology at MIT.
Courtesy of Sherry Turkle

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 2:23 pm

For Valentine's Day, maybe you'll post a photo of your loved one on Facebook, tweet out a love poem or text-message your secret crush. But as we make those virtual connections, are we missing something?

Weekend Edition Sunday is exploring a few of the places in our lives where technology can actually drive us apart and make real intimacy tough: in our romantic relationships, with our kids, even in the workplace.

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U.S.
4:41 pm
Sat February 9, 2013

Amid Daily Struggles, Gay Rights Movement Embraces Watershed Moments

Chris (right) and Renee Wiley pose for a wedding photo on Times Square in New York in December. Same-sex marriage in New York state became legal in July 2011.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat February 9, 2013 9:22 pm

From the sparks lit at the Stonewall Inn in 1969 to the whirl of same-sex marriage laws, the gay rights movement has made a lot of advances. But has it now reached a plateau?

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Animals
4:05 pm
Sat February 9, 2013

Vultures Beware: Virginia Town Targets Flock Of Unwanted Visitors

Turkey vulture droppings can strip paint, kill grass and sicken pets. The droppings also smell really bad.
Holly Kuchera iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 6:34 am

It sounds like a horror story: Every few years, usually in the winter months, residents of the town of Leesburg, Va., come home from work to find their backyards overrun with turkey vultures. Not just a few birds, but hundreds of them. Everywhere.

Lt. Jeff Dube is with the town's police department. For a whole week, he spent every evening driving around town, looking for the latest vulture hotspots.

"They like Leesburg. There's really no rhyme or reason. Every three to five years they come back en mass, like this year, 2- to 300," Dube says.

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Books
4:05 pm
Sat February 9, 2013

Countdown Nears to 3MF Deadline

Originally published on Sat February 9, 2013 5:51 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF AUTOMATED VOICE MAIL)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Your call has been forwarded to an automatic voice message system.

MONA SIMPSON: Three-Minute Fiction...

(SOUNDBITE OF AUTOMATED VOICE MAIL)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: ...is not available. At the tone, please record your message.

(SOUNDBITE OF BEEP)

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

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