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The Salt
10:50 am
Wed June 19, 2013

The Martini: This American Cocktail May Have An International Twist

The martini: international drink of mystery?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 1:15 pm

There's no cocktail more distinctly American than the martini. It's strong, sophisticated and sexy. It's everything we hope to project while ordering one.

Baltimore-born satirist H.L. Mencken is said to have called the martini "the only American invention as perfect as the sonnet." But is the martini perfectly American? Maybe not entirely.

So in honor of National Martini Day on Wednesday, we decided to dig into the drink's muddled past.

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Political Junkie
10:05 am
Wed June 19, 2013

It's The Final ScuttleButton Puzzle ... For Now

Ken Rudin collection

Some words I never thought I would utter: This is the last ScuttleButton puzzle that will ever appear on the NPR Web site.

With the cancellation of Talk of the Nation, and of course the weekly Political Junkie segment that goes with it, the long relationship between Political Junkie and NPR is coming to an end.

Thus, this is the last button puzzle, with the final winner (and t-shirt and button prizes) announced on Wednesday, June 26th — the final Junkie segment on TOTN.

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Shots - Health News
10:04 am
Wed June 19, 2013

AMA Says It's Time To Call Obesity A Disease

NPR

Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 8:15 am

While the American Medical Association may not have the clout it once did, it's still the largest single group of doctors making waves about health and the practice of medicine.

So it's not nothing when the AMA's House of Delegates approves a measure to label obesity a disease. The group's deliberative democratic body passed a measure in Chicago Tuesday that broadly, if vaguely, says obesity is a medical condition:

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Planet Money
9:58 am
Wed June 19, 2013

How A Used Bottle Becomes A New Bottle, In 6 GIFS

Lam Thuy Vo NPR

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 7:39 pm

For more, watch our video: Secrets From The Recycling Plant

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Monkey See
9:03 am
Wed June 19, 2013

The 25 Movies To Which 'World War Z' Is A Sequel, Probably

Brad Pitt is Gerry Lane, Abigail Hargrove is Rachel Lane, and Mireille Enos is Karin Lane in World War Z.
Jaap Buitendijk Paramount Pictures

World War A (in which Isaac Newton is bonked on the head and still bravely figures out gravity)

World War B (spun off from a VH1 reality show)

World War C (in which two dudes hit each other with cellos for 2.5 hours)

World War D (part of The Great Report Card Skirmish Of 1998)

World War-E (in which a tiny robot rolls around and watches Hello Dolly and then smashes the doubloons out of everything in sight)

World War F (the [bleep]ing best war ever)

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It's All Politics
8:34 am
Wed June 19, 2013

IRS Staffer: 'What I Did Was Not Targeting'

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (right) speaks with the committee's ranking Democrat, Elijah Cummings, earlier this month, during a hearing on IRS conference spending.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 10:18 am

Another interview with a key IRS employee, another oblique connection to Washington, D.C., and yet still no explosive revelations in the scandal surrounding the agency's targeting of Tea Party groups.

That, it seems, was precisely the point of Rep. Elijah Cummings' decision to release 205 pages of redacted interview transcripts Tuesday (here and here).

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The Two-Way
8:13 am
Wed June 19, 2013

In Germany, Obama Defends NSA Surveillance Programs

President Obama speaks on the Pariser Platz in front of the Brandenburg Gate on Wednesday in Berlin.
Timur Emek Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 11:45 am

Update at 10:20 a.m. ET. 'Peace With Justice':

Speaking at Brandenburg Gate in Berlin — near the spot where John F. Kennedy made his famous speech almost 50 years ago — President Obama on Wednesday called on the global community to fight for democracy and freedom everywhere.

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The Two-Way
7:49 am
Wed June 19, 2013

In Brazil, Protests Continue As Some Cities Cut Bus Fares

Students block an avenue in São Paulo, Brazil, on Tuesday night, during a protest against a recent rise in public bus and subway fare.
Daniel Guimaraen AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 10:33 am

For a second night in a row, tens of thousands of Brazilians took to the streets to protest everything from the cost of living to government corruption.

The AP reports that during Tuesday's demonstrations:

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Monkey See
7:47 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Bait And Twitch: Vice Magazine, Suicide Glamour, And Not Staying Quiet

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 1:48 pm

This week, Vice magazine unveiled a fashion spread featuring images based on famous female writers who killed themselves. To call it merely tasteless would be to understate how calculated it was, as well as how revolting it was — it literally created an image based on a real writer who really hanged herself with a pair of stockings, and then it told you where to buy the stockings.

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The Two-Way
6:58 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Book News: Kim Jong Un Reportedly Gave 'Mein Kampf' As Gifts

Kim Jong Un (center) watched a performance celebrating the anniversary of the Workers' Party of Korea, in Pyongyang, North Korea.
Yao Dawei Associated Press

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 8:52 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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The Two-Way
6:12 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Heat, Spurs Headed To Game 7 After Stunning Game 6

LeBron James (right) of the Miami Heat snatches the ball from Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs during overtime in Game 6 of the NBA Finals at the American Airlines Arena in Miami.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 9:14 am

We'll let LeBron James do the talking. He said about the sixth game of the NBA finals between the Heat and Spurs:

"It's by far the best game I've ever been a part of."

And it certainly was a stunner: The Heat's Ray Allen hit a three-pointer with just 5.2 seconds on the clock to tie the game, denying the Spurs their fifth NBA title. The game went into overtime and remained airtight, but eventually the Heat prevailed 103 to 100.

ESPN has highlights:

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World
6:09 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Just Washed Your Car? Try Speeding To Dry It

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 8:40 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. A Canadian man was a bit wilder than his country's reputation. Police say he was driving 112 miles per hour on a highway south of Black Diamond, Alberta. When they got a look at the man, they found he was 67 - possibly old enough to know better. But by the time the suspect got to court, he had his story straight.

Around the Nation
6:04 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Banner Misspells College World Series

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 8:40 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene with news from the College World Series. No, I didn't get stuck there. It's just this huge banner over the third-base dugout spelled the name of the tournament incorrectly. College had three Ls. Organizers of the tournament were embarrassed, especially because they had to hold off on fixing the problem until there was a break in play. Some had an idea about what that extra L stood for, because both teams who used that third-base dugout lost.

Book Reviews
6:03 am
Wed June 19, 2013

A Family's Secrets And Sorrows Surface In 'Heatwave'

British writer Maggie O'Farrell, born in Northern Ireland, is less well-known in the U.S. than she should be. Her mesmerizing, tautly plotted novels often revolve around long-standing, ugly family secrets and feature nonconformist women who rebel against their strict Irish Catholic upbringing. Her most recent books, The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox (2006) and The Hand That First Held Mine (2010), offer the sort of spellbinding reads that can make you miss your flight announcement.

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The Two-Way
5:48 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Taliban Attack Kills 4 Coalition Soldiers; Afghan Govt. Suspends Talks

Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks during a ceremony Tuesday at a military academy on the outskirts of Kabul.
Rahmat Gul AP

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 9:17 am

In the hours following an announcement by the Taliban and the United States saying they were ready to begin peace talks, we received reminders of just how tenuous that situation is: On Tuesday night the Taliban said they fired two rockets near Bagram airbase in Kabul. The International Security Assistance Force said four service members were killed by "an indirect fire attack."

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