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2:01 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Jason Isbell: Literary, But Keeping An Edge On 'Southeastern'

Jason Isbell's latest album, Southeastern, is personal and intimate.
Michael Wilson Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 3:18 pm

When Jason Isbell was part of Drive-By Truckers, his guitar contributed to the band's sometimes magnificent squall of noise, while his songwriting contributed to the eloquence that raised the band high in the Southern rock pantheon. But the group was led by two other first-rate songwriters, Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley.

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The Two-Way
2:00 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

3 Things You Need To Know About The NBA Finals

LeBron James of the Miami Heat.
Brent Smith Reuters /Landov

We won't dwell on the obvious. If you care about basketball at all, you know by now that Game 1 of the NBA finals is set for Thursday night in Miami, where the hometown Heat will play the San Antonio Spurs.

Time: 9 p.m. ET.

Broadcaster: ABC-TV.

Led by LeBron James, Miami is defending its 2012 championship. Led by Tim Duncan, San Antonio is looking to win its fifth title.

It's a best-of-seven series.

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The Two-Way
1:57 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

'An Inland Ocean Of Flooding': Disaster In Central Europe

A cloverleaf is partially flooded by the river Danube near Deggendorf, southern Germany, on June 6, 2013.
Christof Stache AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 3:31 pm

At least 16 people are dead after several days of flooding in Austria, Germany, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Historic cities are underwater, and flood victims are perching on rooftops for safety. It's been a rainy spring in the region, and heavy storms last weekend forced many rivers and streams over their banks.

And more rain is forecast for this weekend in parts of central Europe.

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The Two-Way
1:46 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Christie Names N.J. Attorney General To Be Interim Senator

New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa is going to be New Jersey's interim senator — filling the seat vacated Monday by the death of Democrat Frank Lautenberg.

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Monkey See
1:38 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

The Vexing Matter Of The Summer Blockbuster

In Iron Man 3, Robert Downey Jr. reprises his role as Tony Stark (aka Iron Man), and Gwyneth Paltrow reprises hers as his girlfriend, Pepper Potts.
Paramout Pictures

On today's Here & Now from WBUR, I talked to host Robin Young about the weird situation of summer blockbusters — which can easily go the way of Iron Man 3 (hit!) or the way of After Earth (non-hit!) and it's not always easy to tell what you're going to get until it happens.

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Middle East
1:30 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Looking Ahead To The Future Of Syria's Crisis

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 8:32 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan. The war in and around Syria grows more horrific and more dangerous day by day: tens of thousands dead, many more injured, over a million refugees in neighboring countries and who knows how many millions displaced inside Syria itself.

It's almost hard to remember the early days of what's now grown into a civil war. More than two years ago, NPR's Deborah Amos reported on activists hopeful that Syria would be changed by the Arab spring.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RADIO BROADCAST)

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The Two-Way
1:29 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Esther Williams, Swimmer Turned Movie Star, Dies

Esther Williams in August, 1942.
AP

Esther Williams, a swimming champion who became "America's mermaid" when she starred in a series of Hollywood "aqua musicals" in the 1940s and '50s, has died.

According to The Associated Press, that word comes from her family and her publicist.

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The Salt
12:36 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Feeling A Little Blue May Mask Our Ability To Taste Fat

Feeling down? It could be messing with your ability to taste the fat in that carton of ice cream.
Heather Rousseau NPR

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 4:00 pm

So, here's the scenario: You're feeling a little blue, then you watch an emotional movie and dig into a bowl of ice cream.

Are you aware of how fattening your comfort food is? Likely not. Especially in the moment.

A new study finds that temporary, strong emotions, like the sadness we experience from a weepy movie, can significantly decrease our ability to taste — or perceive — the amount of fat we're eating.

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The Two-Way
12:24 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

In Letter To Senators, DoJ Explains How Secret Court Works

A man takes a photograph with his cell phone of names on the walls of "Empty Sky Memorial" at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey. The concrete and steel memoria pays tribute to the 746 citizens of New Jersey who lost their lives on Sept. 11.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 2:32 pm

Back in October of 2011, then-Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich wrote a letter to Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.) concerning section 215 of the USA Patriot Act.

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Arts & Life
12:07 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Chef Roblé Ali On Difficult Clients And Staying Skinny

Chef Roblé Ali prepares crabs for an event with singer-songwriter John Legend.
Bravo Heidi Gutman

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 2:38 pm

Summertime means backyard barbecues and parties on the patio, and chef Roblé Ali knows all about good times and good food. The 29-year-old New Yorker has prepared meals for big names, including President Obama and entertainers Michael Jackson and Vanessa Williams.

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Music
12:07 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Christian McBride Says Music Is About People, Not Grammys

Christian McBride.
Chi Modu Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 5:01 pm

The U.S. considers jazz a national treasure. But its core audience has been gradually shrinking — and aging.

Grammy-winning bassist Christian McBride has been trying to stem that tide by looking at the form in a different way. He tells Tell Me More guest host Celeste Headlee where he thinks jazz should go to reach its audience, and offers his personal insight with regard to how artists should take it from here.

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Race
12:07 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Diversity Sounds Nice, But Limitations Exist In Elite Jobs

African-Americans fought for years to enter professions that were dominated by white people, like medicine, business and law. Now, experts say some of those gains have leveled off since the recession. Guest host Celeste Headlee speaks with The New York Times' Nelson Schwartz, and lawyer Lisa Tatum, about why minorities struggle to gain ground in elite professions.

Race
12:07 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Coming Out As Black, When You Were Hispanic

Teen Elaine Vilorio spent years trying to make sense of her racial identity. She describes herself as Hispanic, but other people see her as black. Vilorio speaks to guest host Celeste Headlee about her recent HuffPost Teen blog, 'Coming Out As Black.'

Shots - Health News
12:05 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

How Nature Builds A Pandemic Flu Virus

A vendor weighs a live chicken at the Kowloon City Market in Hong Kong last April. After closing live poultry shops in many cities around China, the rate of new H7N9 infections sharply declined.
Lam Yik Fei Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 8:26 am

Here's a sobering thought: Wild birds — including city pigeons and ubiquitous Canada geese — carry 170 different types of bird flu. You know, all those viruses with the Hs and Ns in their names, like H1N1 and H5N1.

Only a dozen of these viruses have infected humans so far, but many of those have been deadly, and three of them have caused global flu pandemics.

Does every bird flu that leaps into people have the potential to turn into the next "big one" that spreads rapidly around the world?

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Parallels
11:51 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Once Unsafe, Rio's Shantytowns See Rapid Gentrification

The small, hillside community of Babilonia, situated above the Leme and Copacabana neighborhoods in Rio de Janeiro, has ocean views.
Lianne Milton for NPR

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 5:38 pm

A new gastronomic guide to Rio de Janeiro's shantytowns — for a cool $35 — has just been published. A new boutique hotel perched on top of one of Rio's previously most dangerous favelas is about to open. And yes, there is a jazz club and yoga, too.

These are new services catering to a new kind of favela resident.

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