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2:26 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Controversial Casting For A Nina Simone Biopic

Nina Simone (left) and actress Zoe Saldana are seen in this composite image. Saldana has been cast to play the late singer in a film biopic.
John Minihan/Frederick M. Brown Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 10:35 am

The rumors that had been around for a couple of years have finally been confirmed: At long last, there's a film in the works about the turbulent life of Nina Simone, otherwise known as the "High Priestess of Soul."

Simone was famous from the 1950s through the '70s for her music and her civil rights activism. And although she died in 2003, her voice remains popular on TV, movie soundtracks and commercials.

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Law
2:25 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Will U.S. Try To Snuff Out State Marijuana Laws?

A worker inspects a marijuana plant at a grow house in Denver on Nov. 8.
Ed Andrieski AP

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 3:54 pm

The Justice Department has a big decision to make.

Parts of new laws in Colorado and Washington that legalize small amounts of recreational marijuana will take effect early next month. The Obama administration needs to choose whether it will sue to stop the legislation or let those states go their own way — even though the drug remains illegal under federal law.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, says the message he got from voters is unambiguous.

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Author Interviews
2:24 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Talking Turkey (And Pie) In 'Thanksgiving'

Sarah C. Rutherford Random House

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 3:56 pm

In the introduction to his new book, Sam Sifton lays it out: "Thanksgiving is not easy." Sifton knows whereof he speaks; he's now the national editor of The New York Times, but before he took on that solemn responsibility, he was the newspaper's restaurant critic and a food columnist for its Sunday Magazine.

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Business
2:20 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Tempted By Holiday Discounts, Consumers 'Self-Gift'

People crowd the aisles inside Macy's department store Nov. 25, 2011, in New York after the midnight opening to begin the "Black Friday" shopping weekend.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 4:23 am

Have you ever been out shopping for other people during the holiday season, and the sales were so good you couldn't help but buy something for yourself?

The National Retail Federation calls that self-gifting, and says that this year consumers who do it plan to spend an average of about $140.

Spokeswoman Kathy Grannis says that's the most in the 10 years the NRF has been asking shoppers about the trend.

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It's All Politics
4:52 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

Fiscal Cliff Siren: Meet The Man Behind The Curtain

Peter G. Peterson speaks at the Fiscal Summit in Washington, D.C., last year. The event was sponsored by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.
Jason Reed Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon November 19, 2012 7:28 pm

Debate over the long-term debt and the annual deficit has dominated the post-election agenda. Both the White House and Congress want to avert massive budget cuts and tax hikes early next year, a situation popularly called the "fiscal cliff."

The challenge has been brewing for years. But its current prominence owes much to the decades-long lobbying of billionaire Peter G. Peterson and his private foundation.

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Deceptive Cadence
4:23 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

Beethoven's Famous 4 Notes: Truly Revolutionary Music

An autographed portrait of Ludwig van Beethoven.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 10:00 am

A new book, a new recording and some old instruments, all addressing the most memorable phrase in music: the opening of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony.

Matthew Guerrieri has written a book about this symphony, called The First Four Notes: Beethoven's Fifth and the Human Imagination. Guerrieri writes about how Beethoven's piece resonated with everyone from revolutionaries to Romantics, and German nationalists to anti-German resistance fighters.

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The Two-Way
4:15 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

Documents Show FBI Kept Tabs On Stalin's Daughter After Defection

You may remember that Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin's only daughter, who had defected to the U.S. in 1967, died last year. Today, The Associated Press reports that the FBI kept close tabs on Lana Peters after her defection to determine how her presence in the U.S. was affecting international relations.

The AP obtained documents under the Freedom of Information Act following Peters' death at age 85 in a Wisconsin nursing home.

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Arts & Life
3:40 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

Book Review: 'Dear Life'

Originally published on Mon November 19, 2012 4:52 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel with good news for short story fans.

Canadian writer and master of the short story Alice Munro has published a new collection. It's called "Dear Life." And our reviewer Alan Cheuse says it's a must read.

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Arts & Life
3:39 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

N.J. Restaurant Owner Tries To Rebuild After Sandy

Originally published on Mon November 19, 2012 4:52 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

We go now to the small community of Union Beach, New Jersey. It's just across the Raritan Bay from New York City. It's also among the places hit hardest by Hurricane Sandy. The powerful storm surge flooded much of the town, gutting buildings along the waterfront and destroying hundreds of homes and businesses. New Jersey Public Radio's Scott Gurian recently visited Union Beach and met one restaurant owner who's trying to put her life back together.

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Israeli-Palestinian Coverage
3:38 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

As Rockets Fly In Gaza, U.S. Influence Seems To Wane

Originally published on Mon November 19, 2012 4:52 pm

The Obama Administration is hoping allies like Egypt and Turkey use their influence to persuade Hamas to stop firing rockets into Israel. But can the U.S. count on that kind of help, with a new government Egypt that doesn't see things the same way? The U.S. has shown no sign that it will pressure Israel to ease tensions. Officials have repeatedly said that Israel has the right to defend itself.

Politics & Government
3:33 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

Violence in Congo Is The Worst in Four Years

Fleeing the fighting: Internally displaced Congolese sit inside a United Nations base in Monigi, near Goma, as they seek shelter from the violence.
Phil Moore AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 19, 2012 5:29 pm

As all eyes turn to the fighting between Israel and fighters in Hamas-controlled Gaza, another long-simmering conflict has reemerged with full force.

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Science & Health
3:28 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

Matching DNA With Medical Records To Crack Disease And Aging

A light micrograph image of telomeres, shown in yellow, at the end of human chromosomes. Women tend to have longer telomeres than men and tend to outlive men, according to new research matching genetic information with medical records.
Peter Lansdorp Visuals Unlimited/Corbis

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 4:29 pm

A massive research project in California is beginning to show how genes, health habits and the environment can interact to cause diseases. And it's all possible because 100,000 people agreed to contribute some saliva in the name of science.

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Politics & Government
3:23 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

Indian Politician Was Popular And Polarizing

Originally published on Mon November 19, 2012 4:52 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Mumbai was shut down yesterday for a funeral. Not just any funeral, the funeral of Bal Thackeray, the 86-year-old political boss of the city and the Indian state of Maharashtra. Thackeray was a Hindu nationalist extremist who championed the local Marati population of Mumbai against newcomers to the city, including Muslims.

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Arts & Life
3:23 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

YouTube The New Platform For Urban Comedians

Originally published on Mon November 19, 2012 4:52 pm

Walter Latham was one of the biggest comedy producers in the 1990s. He was the brains behind the Kings of Comedy tour that featured such headliners as the late Bernie Mac, Cedric the Entertainer and Steve Harvey. Audie Cornish talks to Latham about starting a new YouTube channel called, "Walter Latham Comedy" and both the new opportunities and challenges it presents.

Politics & Government
2:31 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

Rubio Dodges Question On Earth's Age

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., in Iowa on Saturday.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 6:25 pm

According to scientists, the Earth is about 4.5 billion years old. Most of the people who vote in presidential primaries aren't scientists, however.

Indeed, a Gallup poll this year reported that 46 percent of Americans (58 percent of Republicans, 41 percent of Democrats and 39 percent of independents) held a nonscientific belief in creationism, the religious-based view that humans were divinely created within the past 10,000 years.

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