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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 Vásquez 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 — 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 — 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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World
4:08 pm
Sat July 18, 2015

In Northern Ireland, 'Terror Gets Old,' But Divisions Linger

Courtesy of Corinne Purtill and Mark Oltmanns

Originally published on Sat July 18, 2015 8:00 pm

In Northern Ireland, "the Troubles" — the long and bloody conflict between Catholic Irish nationalists and pro-British Protestants — formally came to an end with a peace agreement in 1998.

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Music Interviews
4:08 pm
Sat July 18, 2015

Leaving Los Angeles: Rickie Lee Jones Turns A Decade Into An Album

The new album The Other Side of Desire marks Jones' first original material in years, spurred on by a life-changing move to New Orleans.
David McClister Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed July 22, 2015 1:51 pm

If you turned on a radio in 1979, there was very good chance you'd hear the music of Rickie Lee Jones. At only 24, she leapt onto the world stage with her big single "Chuck E.'s in Love." Rolling Stone called her "the dutchess of coolsville."

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Middle East
8:04 am
Sat July 18, 2015

Former Hostage: Under Deal, Iran Has Less Incentive To Hold Americans

Shourd and fellow hikers Shane Bauer (center) and Josh Fattal held a press conference shortly after Bauer and Fattal were released in 2011. Shourd was released in 2010.
Craig Ruttle AP

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

President Obama responded sharply this week when a reporter asked if he was "content" to celebrate the nuclear deal with Iran when at least three and possibly four Americans are being held in Iranian jails.

"Nobody's content," he said, "and our diplomats and our teams are working diligently to try to get them out."

At least one former American hostage thinks the deal is worth signing, despite the remaining hostages.

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Environment
4:36 am
Fri July 17, 2015

Reduce, Reuse, Remove The Cellophane: Recycling Demystified

Workers pull out plastic and trash from a conveyor belt of paper at a recycling plant in Elkridge, Md. The plant processes 1,000 tons of recyclable materials every day.
Dianna Douglas NPR

Originally published on Fri July 17, 2015 9:29 am

It's easy to think we're being virtuous when we fill up the blue recycling bin and put it on the curb. But it's clear we have embraced some magical thinking when it comes to what can be recycled.

Morning Edition asked its social media followers to share what puzzles them the most about the recycling process. Then, NPR's Dianna Douglas visited a waste management plant in Elkridge, Md., to get the answers from Michael Taylor, director of recycling operations for the plant.

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StoryCorps
4:36 am
Fri July 17, 2015

At The End Of A Murder Sentence, A Redemption Forged From Forgiveness

Mary Johnson-Roy spoke with Oshea Israel at StoryCorps in Minneapolis.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri July 17, 2015 1:54 pm

On Thursday, President Obama became the first sitting president in U.S. history to visit a federal prison, taking a tour of the El Reno Federal Correction Institution in Oklahoma. Earlier in the week, he addressed the NAACP in Philadelphia, calling for reforms in the criminal justice system — with the hopes of helping people who have served time turn their lives around.

Oshea Israel, whom listeners first met through StoryCorps in 2011, has done just that.

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Parallels
7:41 am
Thu July 16, 2015

The View From Inside Syria

Saeed al-Batal, a Syrian photographer, posted this image from Douma, Syria, on his Facebook page on March 31.
Courtesy of Saeed al-Batal

Originally published on Thu July 16, 2015 2:46 pm

Syria's civil war has created the worst refugee crisis in the world, with more than 4 million people fleeing the country. Millions more have been displaced inside Syria, though we rarely hear from them.

Over the past year, NPR's Morning Edition has spoken three times with Saeed al-Batal, a photographer and filmmaker who doesn't use his real name for security reasons.

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It's All Politics
5:13 pm
Wed July 15, 2015

Logo Or No Go? When Campaign Logos Look A Little Too Familiar

@CNNPolitics tweeted a combination of Scott Walker's campaign logo with America's Best Eyeglasses logo to show the design similarities.
Via @CNNPolitics/Twitter

Originally published on Wed July 15, 2015 7:01 pm

The "E" in Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's newly unveiled presidential logo is a stylized American flag — as it turns out, one that looks remarkably similar to the logo for America's Best Contacts & Eyeglasses.

The company's CEO, Reade Fahs, said he doesn't mind but also that it's unlikely the governor hasn't seen the 18-year-old logo. "It's on hundreds of stores across the country. So assuming he's got good vision, he probably would have spotted it in his campaign travels. And we have lots of stores in Wisconsin too."

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All Tech Considered
2:49 pm
Mon July 13, 2015

#RaceOnTech: How An Early Love Of Math Led Her To The Role Of CEO

Dr. Lisa Dyson is the CEO of Kiverdi, a next-generation sustainable oil company that converts CO2 and waste carbon gases into oils using biotechnology.
Maurice Dean Courtesy of Lisa Dyson

Originally published on Fri July 17, 2015 9:03 am

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Arts & Life
9:22 am
Mon July 13, 2015

Sweet Adelines, A Society Of Women In Harmony, Hits A Milestone

The organization Sweet Adelines International has more than 500 all-female barbershop choruses in its membership, including the Baltimore-based Lustre Quartet.
Tina Mahina Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat July 11, 2015 9:38 am

That tight four-part harmony is unmistakable. And it's been around for a long time.

Barbershop quartets trace their roots back to the late 19th century, when African-Americans would gather in barbershops and on street corners to sing (it was called "cracking a chord"). The term "barbershop" was originally a put-down, but the 1910 song "Play That Barbershop Chord" put that to rest; by then, close-sung harmony was a national hit.

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All Tech Considered
6:03 am
Mon July 13, 2015

Follow #RaceOnTech, Explore Diversity In Tech And Science

Follow the #RaceOnTech hashtag on Twitter to participate in a conversation about diversity in STEM fields.
Mary McLain NPR

Originally published on Fri July 17, 2015 8:44 am

Silicon Valley admits it has a diversity problem. Companies from Google to Facebook to Twitter have reported that a majority of their employees are white males.

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Music
4:24 pm
Sun July 12, 2015

'Happy Birthday' Hits Sour Notes When It Comes To Song's Free Use

Everyone knows how to sing "Happy Birthday to You." But performing the song in movies or on TV requires payment of sometimes hefty licensing fees. Now the song is at the heart of a lawsuit.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed July 15, 2015 10:21 pm

The Guinness Book of World Records calls "Happy Birthday to You" the most recognized song in the English language. But you'll rarely ever hear it on TV or in a movie.

Instead, you usually hear something that sounds sort of like the song, but not quite. In Disney's The Emperor's New Groove, for example, the characters sing: "Happy, happy birthday from all of us to you, we wish it was our birthday so we could party, too."

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