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Fresh Air Weekend
7:03 am
Sat September 1, 2012

Fresh Air Weekend: Regina Spektor, Victor LaValle

"To me, the voice is an instrument, just like any other instrument," Regina Spektor says.
Shervin Lainez

Originally published on Sat September 1, 2012 10:08 am

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

Regina Spektor: On Growing Up A 'Soviet Kid': The singer spent the first nine years of her life in the Soviet Union, where she and her family faced discrimination as Jews. She talks about Russia and her new album, What We Saw From the Cheap Seats.

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Favorite Sessions
6:03 am
Sat September 1, 2012

Husky: Music For The Heart And Head

The Current

After years on the Melbourne scene, the Australian band Husky is making inroads to the world of American folk and chamber-pop with its new album, Forever So.

Husky's support in Australia grew after the group won Triple J's "Unearthed" contest, which gave it national exposure. No stranger to big crowds, Husky has opened for the likes of Laura Marling, Gotye, Noah and the Whale, and The Shins. The group's acoustic, folk-inspired songs are captivating and marked by sweet harmonies, like those heard in this performance of "History's Door."

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The Salt
6:03 am
Sat September 1, 2012

Want To Grill Like A Zillionaire? There's An App For That

The iGrill on display at Macworld 2011in San Francisco.
Tony Avelar Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 2:14 pm

There are so many cooking apps out there, it's easy to get lost. Good thing the iGrill has Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg on its side.

Sales of the $80 device spiked by 400 percent after Zuckerberg updated his Facebook status on Aug. 19 with an enthusiastic thumbs up for the iGrill, a cooking thermometer that uses Bluetooth to connect to the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

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It's All Politics
4:30 am
Sat September 1, 2012

Republicans Gear Up To Thwart An Obama North Carolina Two-Peat

Romney-Ryan campaign volunteers Will Moore and Mindy Moorman in the Greensboro, N.C., office.
Frank James NPR

Blindsided is what North Carolina Republicans felt four years ago when President Obama won the state, though by the slightest of margins — a mere 14,177 votes out of 4.3 million cast.

Republicans admit they had taken as a given a 2008 North Carolina victory by Sen. John McCain. And who could blame them? No Democratic presidential candidate had won the state since Jimmy Carter in 1976.

But as McCain learned to his grief, history isn't always destiny. Obama's campaign had an effective strategy to win the state, and did.

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The Record
4:12 am
Sat September 1, 2012

Summer's Over, But fun.'s Just Getting Started

All Good fun.: Band members (from left) Jack Antonoff, Andrew Dost and Nate Ruess (before he quit smoking) in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 5:15 pm

It's late in August, and after six straight months of touring, Nate Ruess is in the parking lot of the Al Bedoo Shrine Auditorium in Billings, Mo. Ruess, who sings in the band fun., owners of one of the year's biggest hits "We Are Young," has just finished assembling a portable basketball hoop outside the band's tour bus.

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Your Money
4:12 am
Sat September 1, 2012

Saving For Retirement? Here's A Tip

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 3:05 pm

Anyone with a 401(k) retirement plan has been painfully aware of the gyrations in the stock market in recent years. The market has come back up lately, but the economy is still in low gear, so many analysts aren't too bullish in the short term. Also, treasuries and CDs are offering tiny returns.

So what's the average American trying to save for retirement to do? Answers are percolating at an annual economics retreat in Maine.

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Europe
4:12 am
Sat September 1, 2012

In Bike-Friendly Copenhagen, Highways For Cyclists

Many Copenhagen residents already travel by bike, and now the city is building high-speed routes designed to encourage commuters even in the outlying suburbs.
Slim Allagui AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 1, 2012 8:17 pm

Every day, one-third of the people of Copenhagen ride their bikes to work or school. Collectively, they cycle more than 750,000 miles daily, enough to make it to the moon and back. And city officials want even more people to commute, and over longer distances.

So a network of 26 new bike routes, dubbed "the cycling superhighway," is being built to link the surrounding suburbs to Copenhagen.

Lars Gaardhoj, an official with the Copenhagen capital region, says the routes will be straight and direct.

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Europe
4:12 am
Sat September 1, 2012

For Sale: Greek Government Assets — Slightly Used

Striking Hellenic Postbank workers chat outside the state-owned bank's headquarters in Athens on Thursday. The union is protesting the government's plan to sell its majority share in the lender.
Petros Giannakouris AP

Originally published on Sat September 1, 2012 1:31 pm

Greece is trying to raise cash by reviving an ambitious program to privatize state assets. The country's lenders, which include the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, hope the sell-off will cut the country's enormous debt.

But Antonis Tsifis, who runs a betting shop in a working-class neighborhood in Athens, is upset that the government is going to sell its stake in OPAP, the giant gaming firm that oversees his betting shop.

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U.S.
4:12 am
Sat September 1, 2012

Obama To Troops: 'We're Here To Help You'

Members of the military listen to President Obama during his visit to Fort Bliss, Texas, on Friday.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Sun September 2, 2012 9:09 pm

On Friday, President Obama was at Fort Bliss, Texas, where he spoke to troops and met with military families, including some who lost loved ones in Afghanistan.

As that war winds down, the president is ordering additional help for those with invisible battle scars. A rash of suicides has shown mental injuries can be just as deadly as a roadside bomb.

Surrounded by soldiers in camouflage fatigues, Obama recalled his last visit to Fort Bliss, exactly two years earlier. That was the day he announced a formal end to combat operations in Iraq.

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Education
4:12 am
Sat September 1, 2012

What's A Charter School If Not A Game Changer?

In less than 20 years, charter schools have grown to the point where more than 2 million students will be attending this fall. But not all of the schools are living up to expectations.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat September 1, 2012 1:31 pm

The charter school movement is now at a crossroads. More than 2 million students will be enrolled in charter schools in the fall — a big number for a movement that's barely 20 years old. The publicly funded, privately run schools have spread so fast, they operate more like a parallel school system in some places.

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