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The Fresh Air Interview
1:11 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Christopher Beha, On Faith And Its Discontents

Christopher Beha is an associate editor at Harper's magazine and the author of The Whole Five Feet.
Josephine Sittenfeld Tin House Books

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 4:15 pm

In the novel What Happened to Sophie Wilder, writer Charlie Blakeman runs into his former college love after 10 years and finds out that she has converted to Catholicism. Charlie can't make sense of her conversion, but as he finds out more about Sophie's past, he sees her life is more complicated than he previously thought. When Sophie once again disappears, Charlie sets out to discover what has happened to her.

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Movie Reviews
1:10 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

In China, A Persistent Thorn In The State's Side

Although Ai Weiwei's art is internationally recognized, much of his worldwide fame comes from his political activism in China. The latter is the focus of Alison Klayman's documentary Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry.
Ted Alcorn IFC Films

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 11:05 am

A couple of months ago, I visited Beijing, and like so many before me, I was stunned by how hypercapitalist Communist China has become — the hundreds of glossy highrises, the countless shops selling Prada and Apple, the traffic jams filled with brand new Audis. You felt you could be in L.A. or Tokyo — until you wanted some information. Then you discovered that Facebook was permanently blocked, certain words in Google searches always crashed your browser, and, as my wife joked, it was easier to buy a Rolls-Royce than a real newspaper. Here was a country at once booming — and repressive.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:02 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

How A 'Google Bomb' Improved Russia's HIV Drug Supply

Activist Alexandra Volgina (right) accepts the Red Ribbon Award at the 19th International AIDS Conference for her grassroots group Patients in Control, which has worked to improve HIV treatment programs in Russia.
Ryan Rayburn IAS

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 4:25 pm

In countries where censorship is part of daily life, speaking out against the government often requires innovative tactics. No one knows this better than Russian activist Alexandra Volgina.

A few years ago, Volgina, an HIV-positive mother from St. Petersburg, wanted the Russian Ministry of Health to fix their floundering HIV treatment program. So she launched a "Google bomb."

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Deceptive Cadence
12:50 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

The Classical Kegerator: Pairing Beer With Music

A flight of beers to accompany some musical flights of fancy.
iStock

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 4:17 pm

Throughout history, beer has been the drink of the populace. Traditionally, wine was reserved for the upper classes, due at least in part to the limited area in which grapes would grow, the subtlety of the flavors, the sheer price of production. Barley, on the other hand, grows much more plentifully than grapes do, in a much broader climate. It can be made much more inexpensively and in much greater volume, so beer supplied a vast peasantry with something safe, sustaining — and delicious — to drink.

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The Two-Way
12:50 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Raúl Castro Says Cuba Is An Island Seeking Friendship, Even With U.S.

Cuba's President Raúl Castro speaks during celebrations marking Cuba's Revolution Day in Guantanamo, Cuba on Thursday.
Ramon Espinosa AP

Today, while Cuba celebrated Revolution Day, the 59th anniversary of an initial attack on the Moncada military baracks, President Raúl Castro made a rather surprising admission during his remarks.

According to Granma, the official newspaper of the Communist party, Castro said he was ready to mend relations with the United States.

Here's how Granma reports it:

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The Torch
12:26 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

The Olympics Meet A Mall, And Make A Nightmare

The interior of London's Westfield Stratford City Mall measures some 1.9 million square feet. Many of them were recently walked by NPR's Tom Goldman.
Tom Goldman NPR

Y'know your local mall? The one you drive to whenever, or just as easily drive past? What would happen if you didn't have a choice — if you couldn't avoid going there? Would you walk right through without stopping and shopping? Or, a darker question: What if you could never get out?

Welcome to my Olympic nightmare.

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The Two-Way
12:12 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Justice Department Employees Cited For Nepotism In Hiring

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 3:37 pm

The Justice Department inspector general has uncovered what he calls illegal hiring practices at the federal agency. In a new report he cites eight employees for trying to find jobs for their children and other relatives.

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The Two-Way
11:03 am
Thu July 26, 2012

Oakland Police Radios Failed During Obama's Visit To City

A protester yelling at a line of police officers guarding an intersection near a fundraiser for President Obama at the Fox Theater in Oakland on Monday.
David Yee UPI /Landov

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 11:48 am

"A major portion of Oakland's troubled police radio system failed shortly after President Obama's visit on Monday, leaving many of the 100 officers assigned to handle presidential security unable to communicate as protesters roamed the streets, police said Wednesday,"

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Asia
10:35 am
Thu July 26, 2012

China Charges Bo Xilai's Wife In British Man's Killing

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

China announced today that it is prosecuting the wife of a disgraced party official for the murder of a British man. It's the latest sensational twist in the country's biggest political scandal in decades. NPR's Louisa Lim joins us now from Beijing. Louisa, could you bring us up to speed on this scandal and what the latest news is?

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The Two-Way
10:20 am
Thu July 26, 2012

Guilt First, Trial Later: Murder Charge For Chinese Politician's Wife

Gu Kailai, left, and her husband, Bo Xilai, in 2007. She's been charged with murder.
Kyodo Reuters /Landov
  • Louisa Lim, reporting for the NPR Newscast

China's Xinhua news agency ends its report this morning on the murder case against a prominent politician's wife with this remarkable passage:

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