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Latin America
4:47 pm
Sun July 26, 2015

A Day Of Triumph In A Time Of Change: Cuba's High Holiday Explained

Cubans gather in Santiago de Cuba to celebrate this year's Revolution Day, the 62nd anniversary of Fidel Castro's first open assault on the forces of President Fulgencio Batista, who would eventually be overthrown by the rebels.
Yamil Lage AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 26, 2015 10:23 pm

On this day 62 years ago, Fidel Castro launched the attack that marked the start of the Cuban revolution. In the years since, the day has taken on emotional significance for the Cuban people โ€” and for the communist government that celebrates it annually.

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Global Health
4:13 pm
Sun July 26, 2015

Transgender Women Face Inadequate Health Care, 'Shocking' HIV Rates

Transgender performers walk backstage during an event to mark World AIDS Day in 2013. A new WHO report demonstrates extremely rates of HIV infection among transgender women in 15 countries.
Prakash Mathema AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 26, 2015 10:27 pm

Transgender people are not getting adequate health care, and widespread discrimination is largely to blame, according to a recent World Health Organization report. And the story is told most starkly in the high rates of HIV among transgender women worldwide.

JoAnne Keatley, one of the authors of that study, puts it plainly.

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Author Interviews
4:50 am
Sun July 26, 2015

In This Twist On Tricky Dick's History, A President's Secrets Can Save Us

Courtesy of Little, Brown and Company

Originally published on Sun July 26, 2015 9:38 am

"I promise you I will show the same contempt for the historical record that it has shown for me."

So intone the opening pages of Austin Grossman's Crooked, in what are supposed to be the thoughts of our 37th president, Richard Nixon โ€” or, at least, those thoughts as Grossman imagines them.

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Newport Folk Festival
4:28 pm
Sat July 25, 2015

50 Years Ago, Bob Dylan Electrified A Decade With One Concert

Diana Davies Courtesy of the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections, Smithsonian Institution

In the early 1960s, burgeoning folk music scenes were burbling up all over the country, and the Newport Folk Festival was their confluence.

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Movie Interviews
4:28 pm
Sat July 25, 2015

Back To Walley World: The Griswolds Go On 'Vacation' Again

Skyler Gisondo (from left), Steele Stebbins, Christina Applegate and Ed Helms are the new Griswold family โ€” en route to Walley World โ€” in the 2015 follow-up to the 1983 movie Vacation.
Hopper Stone Warner Brothers Pictures

National Lampoon's Vacation has been resurrected: more than 30 years later, the Griswolds are back on another reckless, wild road trip.

In the new movie Vacation, Rusty Griswold, the son from the original series, is all grown up and taking his family on a cross-country trip to the theme park Walley World. It goes about as smoothly as you'd expect.

Co-writers and co-directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein say the R-rated movie is not a reboot or a remake, but very much a sequel.

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Race
6:48 am
Sat July 25, 2015

A Navajo Speaker Says The Language Connects Her With Her Culture

Supporters of Navajo presidential candidate Chris Deschene were unhappy last October when a court determined that he did not meet the language requirement.
Felicia Fonseca AP

Originally published on Sat July 25, 2015 9:55 am

Should the president of the Navajo Nation be required to speak fluent Navajo?

The Navajo Nation held a referendum on that question this week, and the majority voted no.

The vote was victory for supporters of a Navajo presidential candidate who was disqualified last fall because he didn't speak the language fluently. The next Navajo Nation election is in 2018.

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Author Interviews
4:35 am
Sat July 25, 2015

In 'Wondering Who You Are,' A Man Wakes Up And Doesn't Know His Wife

Lea and Bandy met in 1976 at a high school dance. "He was the boy from out of town," Lea writes. "I was the girl who wanted out."
John Carswell Courtesy of the author

Originally published on Sat July 25, 2015 9:55 am

Sonya Lea and her husband Richard Bandy had a 23-year marriage filled with ups, downs and memories. In 2000 Bandy developed a rare form of appendix cancer and had an operation which was successful โ€” sort of.

Bandy lived, but he was almost a different man. He had suffered a post-surgical complication called "anoxic insult" that cut oxygen to his brain and cleared much of his memory. He called his wife "Sweetness," but could not remember how they met, when they got married and the births of their two children. Twenty-three years more or less vanished from his mind.

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Animals
4:27 am
Sat July 25, 2015

When Detecting Land Mines, The Nose Knows โ€” Or, In This Case, The Trunk

An elephant in South African offers an up-close glimpse of its prodigious instrument. According to Sean Hensman of Adventures with Elephants, trunks like this one could help the U.S. Army develop a better landmine sensor.
Greatstock/Barcroft Media Barcroft Media/Landov

Originally published on Sat July 25, 2015 10:41 am

In Angola, a civil war that raged for decades has left lingering, and dangerous, reminders of the violence across the countryside. Long since the worst of the fighting ended in 2002, land mines continue to claim lives โ€” and not just those of humans.

Even as the elephant population there saw a replenishment in numbers following the war, many of the mammoth animals were being killed by leftover land mines, as well.

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Author Interviews
4:37 am
Tue July 21, 2015

A Lifelong Surfer Explains Why There's No Such Thing As A 'Perfect' Wave

William Finnegan surfs Cloudbreak, off the island of Tavarua in Fiji, in 2005.
Scott Winer

Originally published on Tue July 21, 2015 1:24 pm

William Finnegan is a New Yorker journalist, but his new memoir doesn't focus on the wars or controversies he's covered. It's about surfing.

Finnegan traces his love of surfing back to his childhood, when he used to watch surfers in Ventura, Calif. He remembers being 10 years old, sitting with his family in a diner, watching waves break on the coast.

It seemed "like they were arriving from some celestial workshop ... carved by ocean angels," he writes. "I wanted to be out there, learning to dance on water."

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All Tech Considered
5:37 pm
Mon July 20, 2015

With Ad Blocking Use On The Rise, What Happens To Online Publishers?

The rise of ad blockers threatens the business model that drives much of the Internet economy.
Danae Munoz Ikon Images/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 21, 2015 12:56 pm

Advertising is the basic business model of the Internet. It's one reason we can view online content free of charge.

Millions of Web surfers already download software to block ads online, and that number is growing. Soon, Apple could be making mobile ad blocking easier.

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Arts & Life
9:37 am
Mon July 20, 2015

'Songs Of Salvation': Remembering Fannie Lou Hamer's Music

From left, Guy Carawan, Fannie Lou Hamer, Bernice Johnson Reagon, and Len Chandler perform Civil Rights songs at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival.
Diana Davies Courtesy of the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections

Originally published on Sat July 18, 2015 9:33 am

There was a voice during the civil rights movement of the 1960s that soothed and inspired those who marched on Southern streets and tried to sit at segregated lunch counters.

Fannie Lou Hamer was a Mississippi sharecropper's daughter who grew up to become an activist and a musician. She registered black voters, stood up to bigotry, and was beaten by the police for her heroism. In 1983, Worth Long of the Smithsonian Institution put together a cassette recording of Hamer's music and recollections. That collection has just been reissued.

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Animals
5:28 pm
Sun July 19, 2015

PETA Says Undercover SeaWorld Employee Posed As Animal Rights Activist

During the 2014 Tournament of Roses Parade, SeaWorld's float was accompanied by police in Pasadena, Calif. PETA supporters were arrested for protesting the float that day, and PETA claims that a SeaWorld employee posing as a PETA volunteer tipped police off to the protest.
Ringo H.W. Chiu AP

Originally published on Wed July 22, 2015 9:28 am

In recent years, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has waged a protest campaign against SeaWorld, saying that the U.S. theme parks' treatment of trained orcas is cruel. Now, PETA says it has identified a SeaWorld "agent" in its midst.

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Author Interviews
4:12 pm
Sun July 19, 2015

Written In Spanish About Belgium By A Colombian, 'It Feels American'

Lydia Thompson NPR

Originally published on Sun July 19, 2015 4:22 pm

Juan Gabriel Vรกsquez is best known for his 2013 blockbuster novel The Sound of Things Falling. But more than a decade before that book vaulted him onto the international literary stage, he published a well-reviewed collection of short stories in Spanish.

Now, that collection, Lovers on All Saints' Day, is getting an English translation.

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Environment
4:48 pm
Sat July 18, 2015

Birds, Bees And The Power Of Sex Appeal: The Ribald Lives Of Flowers

Stephen Buchmann Scribner

Originally published on Sat July 18, 2015 5:33 pm

Flowers, bugs and bees: Stephen Buchmann wanted to study them all when he was a kid.

"I never grew out of my bug-and-dinosaur phase," he tells NPR's Arun Rath. "You know, since about the third grade, I decided I wanted to chase insects, especially bees."

These days, he's living that dream. As a pollination ecologist, he's now taking a particular interest in how flowers attract insects. In his new book, The Reason for Flowers, he looks at more than just the biology of flowers โ€” he dives into the ways they've laid down roots in human history and culture, too.

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Education
4:10 pm
Sat July 18, 2015

They're No. 1: U.S. Wins Math Olympiad For First Time In 21 Years

Head coach Po-Shen Loh (far left) and assistant coaches John Berman and Alex Zhai (far right) flank the members of the winning squad: Shyam Narayanan, David Stoner, Michael Kural, Ryan Alweiss, Yang Liu and Allen Liu.
Courtesy of Po-Shen Loh

Originally published on Mon July 20, 2015 12:26 pm

In one of this year's most intense international competitions, the United States has come out as best in the world โ€” and this time, we're not talking about soccer.

This week, the top-ranked math students from high schools around the country went head-to-head with competitors from more than 100 countries at the International Mathematical Olympiad in Chiang Mai, Thailand. And, for the first time in more than two decades, they won.

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