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NPR's evening news magazine.

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Middle East
11:39 am
Mon September 10, 2012

Syrian Activists Take On New And Riskier Roles

Rebel fighters take up position near the military airport outside the rebel-held town of Azaz in northern Syria on Aug. 21. In rebel-held towns like Azaz, activists are taking on new, risky roles as the uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad continues.
Youssef Boudlal Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 5:58 pm

On a recent day in the northern Syrian town of Azaz, there's an edgy energy when a pickup truck armed with a heavy machine gun screeches to a halt.

Wild-eyed and high-flving, the young rebels in the truck are happy to be alive after they hit a government helicopter landing at an air base 8 miles outside Azaz.

This rebel-held town is under nightly attack. This lightly armed rebel crew races out to the air base every day to target regime aircraft from hidden sites in the olive groves.

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Politics
3:08 pm
Sun September 9, 2012

Who Benefits In Money Game: Democracy Or Donors?

Originally published on Sun September 9, 2012 4:07 pm

There's a new stimulus plan underway in America: $5.8 billion is being injected into the U.S. economy, particularly in states like Ohio, Virginia, Colorado and Florida.

We're talking of course about campaign spending, and this year's elections will be the most expensive in history. In fact, by the time we all head to the voting booth on Election Day, nearly $6 billion will have been spent on campaigns — big and small — all across America.

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Politics
3:08 pm
Sun September 9, 2012

Parsing The 2012 Party Platforms

One overlooked part of the convention frenzy was the party platforms. They seemed to cause more embarrassment than excitement at the DNC, where party leaders fumbled at reinserting clauses about Jerusalem and God into their platform. And at the RNC, Rep. John Boehner admitted he'd never even read his party's platform. NPR senior Washington editor Ron Elving joins weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz to talk about the platforms and what — if anything — they mean in 2012.

Politics
3:08 pm
Sun September 9, 2012

Case Will Test Constitutionality Of The Filibuster

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

And if you're just joining us, this is WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz. There was a time when the Senate would, every once in a while, use a special tool to protect the rights of the minority party.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON")

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Half of official Washington is here to see democracy's finest show, the filibuster, the right to talk your head off, the American privilege of free speech in its most dramatic form.

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Music
2:29 pm
Sun September 9, 2012

It's The Perfect Music For A Funeral

David Young plays "Time To Say Goodbye" ("Con Te Partiro") on two recorders at once.
YouTube

Originally published on Sun September 9, 2012 3:08 pm

Musician David Young is a new-age artist who records the sort of atmospheric music you'd hear in spas or doctor's offices.

For 25 years, he's made a decent living at it. Young says he's sold over a million CDs.

And while you might hear his music getting a massage or in your doctor's waiting room, there's one place you might not expect to hear it. Young tells this story:

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Election 2012
12:59 pm
Sun September 9, 2012

Critics Say Ryan's Record Belies Tough Deficit Talk

Paul Ryan waves as he takes the stage at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Aug. 29. Ryan has been celebrated as a deficit hawk with bold vision, but some critics have called his record on deficit-reduction "dismal."
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 9, 2012 3:08 pm

Paul Ryan has a reputation as a deficit hawk. Mitt Romney's running mate has proposed budgets that cut non-defense spending significantly, and advocated controlling Medicare costs by making it a voucher program. But critics argue there's a lot in the Wisconsin congressman's record that undermines his deficit-hawk reputation.

When Ryan gave the GOP response to President Obama's State of the Union address last year, he restated his commitment to debt and deficit reduction.

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Author Interviews
12:09 pm
Sun September 9, 2012

Michael Chabon Journeys Back To 'Telegraph Avenue'

Michael Chabon's books include The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, The Yiddish Policemen's Union and Manhood for Amateurs. He lives in Berkeley, Calif., with his wife, novelist Ayelet Waldman, and their children.
Jennifer Chaney

Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 9:24 am

Michael Chabon's latest novel, Telegraph Avenue, is named after the famed road between Oakland and Berkeley in California.

In the book, that's also where two couples — Nat and Aviva, who are white, and Archy and Gwen, who are black — are struggling to get by. The two men are friends, partners in a vinyl record shop. Their wives work together as nurse midwives.

Over the course of a couple of weeks, the characters deal with threats to their work, to their relationships and their very way of being. Chabon delves deeply into issues of art, race and sexuality.

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Music Interviews
8:30 am
Sun September 9, 2012

Pet Shop Boys Leave 'West End' To Explore 'Elysium'

The Pet Shop Boys' new album is called Elysium.
Ann Suma Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 11:40 am

For 25 years, the London synth-pop duo Pet Shop Boys have done one thing better than any other duo in the UK: sell records.

In fact, they've sold 50 million records worldwide since Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe met at an electronics shop in 1981.

Many people were reminded of the Pet Shop Boys when they helped close out the 2012 Olympic Games in London with their biggest hit, "West End Girls." The duo, however, continues to make new music and has just released their 11th studio album, Elysium.

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Analysis
6:55 pm
Sat September 8, 2012

Week In News: The Post-Convention Push

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.

(SOUNDBITE OF POLITICAL AD)

MITT ROMNEY: In the last four years, we've seen that promise fade away. Hispanics are hurting.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: But Mitt Romney would break that promise, replace your benefits with a voucher.

RAZ: Some of the latest political ads coming out of the Romney and Obama campaigns. James Fallows of The Atlantic joins me now, as he does most Saturdays, for a look behind the headlines. Jim, welcome.

JAMES FALLOWS: Hello, Guy.

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Politics
4:54 pm
Sat September 8, 2012

Social Issues Hold Sway Over Ohio's Black Voters

Originally published on Sat September 8, 2012 6:55 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

In 2008, then-Senator Barack Obama won nearly all the African-American vote. And this year, a recent poll found that less than 1 percent of black voters will back Mitt Romney. But in Ohio, as NPR's Allison Keyes found out, some black voters are agonizing over whether to vote in November at all.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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