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Michele Norris, Robert Siegel, Melissa Block

NPR's evening news magazine.

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Author Interviews
3:10 pm
Sat September 7, 2013

'Be Mine': Love And Identity Tangled In Tehran

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 3:33 pm

How far would you go for love? In Sara Farizan's debut novel, a studious 17-year-old girl named Sahar finds herself deeply, head-over-heels in love with her childhood best friend and neighbor — another teenage girl named Nasrin.

Their story takes place in Iran, where homosexuality is illegal, making their love that much more forbidden. When Nasrin is engaged to be married to a man, Sahar is crushed. In order to openly be with Nasrin, Sahar considers gender-reassignment surgery, which is more accepted in Iran than homosexuality.

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The U.S. Response To Syria
1:40 pm
Sat September 7, 2013

Syria Puts Obama's Multilateralist Philosophy To The Test

President Obama holds a press conference in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Friday on the sideline of the G-20 summit.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 11:11 pm

President Obama has come home from the Group of 20 summit with essentially no more international support for a strike on Syria than when he left the U.S.

He spent the last three days in Sweden and Russia, lobbying U.S. allies on the sidelines and on the public stage, with little movement.

The conflict has presented perhaps the biggest challenge yet to Obama's multilateralist inclinations.

'A Hard Sell'

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Around the Nation
12:04 pm
Sat September 7, 2013

Minneapolis Courts Chicago's Same-Sex Couples

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak took to a Chicago rooftop on Thursday to attract the city's gay and lesbian community to spend their wedding dollars in Minnesota.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 4:34 pm

With the skyline of Chicago behind him, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak stands on a rooftop plaza in Boystown, the heart of a predominantly gay community.

He's here on a recruiting mission. Minnesota legalized gay marriage just over a month ago, but Illinois' same-sex measure is stalled in its legislature. So now the mayor of Minneapolis is drumming up business for his city — setting his sight on millions of wedding dollars that could come from Illinois.

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Environment
3:12 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Immense Underwater Volcano Is The Biggest On Earth

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 3:20 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

In the northwestern Pacific Ocean, scientists have found what they believe to be the biggest volcano on Earth. In fact, to find a volcano of a similar size, you'd have to go to Mars. As NPR's Christopher Joyce reports, the volcano is, fortunately, dormant, but in its prime, it changed the face of the Earth.

CHRISTOPHER JOYCE, BYLINE: William Sager says he brings conversations to a halt when he tells people he's a geophysicist. But now, he says he's got a story that gets people's attention.

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Commentary
3:12 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Is There Any Meaning In Poet Seamus Heaney's Last Text?

Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 3:20 pm

Commentator Andrei Codrescu reflects on the text message written by poet Seamus Heaney just before he died. In Latin he wrote to his wife "do not be afraid." The 74-year-old Heaney died in a Dublin hospital last week. Codrescu says no great meaning should be implied — it was just a personal message to his wife.

Around the Nation
3:12 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Tensions Over Syria Run High In Two Chicago-Area Districts

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 3:20 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Defending national security is one of the core arguments President Obama is using in his bid to strike Syria. Congress is expected to vote on military action next week. NPR's David Schaper takes us now to two Chicago area districts where passions on Syria are running high.

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Arts & Life
4:10 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

'Smitten Kitchen' Author On Learning To Love Kale

Food blogger Deb Perelman was initially a kale skeptic — until this Kale Salad With Pecorino And Walnuts changed her mind.
Deb Perelman

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 3:21 pm

Kale has experienced a renaissance in recent years. Once relegated to the sidelines as a mere garnish, the green now appears on 400 percent more restaurant menus than it did four years ago.

But not everyone has bought into the gospel of the vitamin- and mineral-rich green. Even Deb Perelman, who writes the blog and cookbook Smitten Kitchen, was initially a kale skeptic.

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Arts & Life
4:10 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Swing Your Partner: W.Va. Circles Back To Square Dancing

A couple takes to the floor in Harmon, W.Va., in 2012. West Virginia is trying to revitalize its square-dance tradition.
Jessie Wright-Mendoza for NPR

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 3:21 pm

Square dancing, once a pillar of small-town life, is making a comeback in West Virginia. A statewide project is trying to help communities preserve and promote this part of their cultural heritage.

Marlinton, W.Va., is one of the towns taking up the cause. Its square dances can gather a crowd, but residents still worry about attracting the attention of the next generation.

If you go to a square dance in Marlinton, there are some rules to follow. First of all, leave your stereotypes at the door, says Becky Hill, who works on The Mountain Dance Trail initiative.

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U.S.
3:16 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

BP Wants To Halt Deepwater Horizon Claims Process

Crude oil that leaked from the Deepwater Horizon oil rig sits on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010.
Chris Graythen Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 3:21 pm

BP is fighting the settlement it agreed to last summer that let the oil company avoid thousands of potential lawsuits over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Just after the spill, when oil was still gushing into the Gulf, BP touted the $20 billion it set aside for claims. But now it says the claim process is corrupt and is hoping a court will overturn the settlement that established the claims fund.

Ending the claims would mean stopping a well-oiled machine.

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Around the Nation
2:26 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Sailors With Disabilities Find Freedom On The Water

Members of the Bay Area Association of Disabled Sailors sail every weekend near San Francisco's Pier 40. The all-volunteer group serves people with a range of physical, developmental and mental disabilities.
Emily Green for NPR

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 3:21 pm

If you think sailing at 40 mph sounds challenging, imagine doing it all alone without the use of your arms or legs, or without hearing or with limited vision. Every weekend in San Francisco, a group of sailors with disabilities does just that, taking to the water to push their bodies to the limit.

Cristina Rubke and her father, Chris, are members of the Bay Area Association of Disabled Sailors. On a recent Saturday, they were at San Francisco's Pier 40, where the dock is awash in activity.

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