State and National News


Music Reviews
2:12 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

Ghetto Brothers: Guitars Over Guns

Benjy Melendez (right) founded and led The Ghetto Brothers in the early 1970s.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 4:59 pm

The Ghetto Brothers functioned as one of many youth gangs that formed in the 1960s as economic woes and governmental neglect began to transform New York City's South Bronx for the worse. Led by Benjamin "Benjy" Melendez, the gang was originally, literally, just him and his brothers. As kids, they had called themselves Los Junior Beatles, and that Fab Four influence never left.

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Planet Money
2:11 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

Frozen Pizza, Fatty Alcohol And Wire Hangers

Lam Thuy Vo / NPR

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 1:25 pm

What do self-rising pizza, photographic paper and chain-saw chains have in common? They're all products the U.S has been accused of dumping onto foreign markets.

In other words, some foreign country said U.S. companies were exporting these products at prices lower than they sold for at home — a practice that's covered under international trade rules that the U.S. more than 100 other countries have agreed to.

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The Picture Show
2:10 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

Documenting The Irish Travellers: A Nomadic Culture of Yore

Bill Cassidy and Kathleen Connors, Saggart
Courtesy of Alen MacWeeney

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 3:27 pm

Throughout my life I have regularly traveled to my mother's home city of Dublin. During these trips I would regularly see groups of people living in caravans on the sides of the road, and I always wondered who they were and what their lives were like.

I later found out they belonged to a small ethnic minority called "Travellers" — nomads who spend most of their life, literally on the road. While their history has been hard to document — they have no written records — they are thought to have separated from the settled Irish community at least 1,000 years ago.

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Kitchen Window
2:09 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

Baking Without Flour For The Holidays

Nicole Spiridakis for NPR

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 7:54 am

The holidays come in on a rush of cookies and snow (if you are so lucky) and parties and lists, and suddenly it's Jan. 1 and we're wiping the crumbs away and wondering where the year went. I'm currently tiptoeing into the season, my brain still basking in Indian summer despite the rain slated to descend on San Francisco in the coming weeks. "Ready" or not, the time is upon us.

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The Two-Way
2:07 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

Polonium: Marie Curie's Stepchild Discovery, Now In Spotlight As Lethal Weapon

A Palestinian woman walks past a mural depicting late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, right, and late Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, left.
Mahmud Hams AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 7:24 pm

Polonium-210 is back in the spotlight. The radioisotope first gained notoriety back in 2006, after the death of Alexander Litvinenko, a one-time source for journalists who wanted to know about the inner workings of Russia.

Litvinenko, as the BBC tells it, went out to tea with two Russians at a hotel in London in early November of 2006. He drank some tea and by the end of the month he was dead, poisoned it turned out, by a tiny bit of Polonium-210, which decays quickly causing catastrophic damage if inside a human body.

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Planet Money
2:05 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

Planet Money: Taylor Swift, Helium, A Jelly-Like Mass and The Price Of Gas

David Cannon/Getty Images, Charles Dharapak/AP, Friedemann Vogel/Getty Images, Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 2:36 pm

  • Listen to the Episode

On today's show: Four Planet Money stories that aired on the radio but haven't yet made it into the show.

Here's more on those stories:

* A Sequester Is A 'Jelly-Like Mass,' And Other Notes On Fiscal-Cliff Jargon

* Clear The Secret Genius Of Taylor Swift

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2:04 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

Horseradish Tea And Other Global Cold Cures

Lidia Bastianich's great-aunt swore by a horseradish tea for clearing our cold-clogged sinus.

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 7:20 pm

From chicken noodle soup to alcohol-spiked drinks, everyone has a preferred remedy for cold symptoms. Since she was feeling a little under the weather, Melissa Block, host of All Things Considered, asked some foodies for their tried and true remedies from around the globe. Their suggestions range from the gentle to the pungent, but each bears a timeworn seal of approval.

Chinese Rice Porridge And Mustard Greens

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The Two-Way
1:59 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

Former NBC Chief Jeff Zucker Taking Over At CNN

Jeff Zucker, who's going to CNN.
Robert Pitts Landov

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 3:56 pm

"Veteran news producer and former NBC Universal chief Jeff Zucker will become the president of CNN Worldwide in January," CNN confirmed earlier today.

The Associated Press writes that:

"Zucker will be based in New York and report to Phil Kent, who runs all of the Turner networks for parent company Time Warner.

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Planet Money
1:56 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

The 38-Year-Old Woman Who Controls More Than 1,200 Companies

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 12:22 pm

Now that we own our own offshore companies, we were particularly interested to see this week's big Offshore Secrets project in the Guardian.

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Author Interviews
1:51 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

After Decades Of Dreaming, Dolly Parton Says, 'Dream More'

Dolly Parton, known as "The Queen of Country Music," has won eight Grammys and sold more than 100 million records.
Brendon Thorne Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 3:00 pm

In 1964, Dolly Parton told her classmates at eastern Tennessee's Sevier County High School that she planned to go to Nashville and become a star.

The whole class burst into laughter.

"Anywhere you go, people say, 'Well, ain't you afraid you'll starve to death?'" Parton tells NPR's Neal Conan. "'Ain't you afraid you'll go hungry?' I said, 'Well I couldn't be any poorer than we've been here. And I'm not a bad-looking girl.'"

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