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Mitt Romney may not have meant to echo another governor from a well-known political family who also once sought the presidency (Adlai Stevenson).

But the Republican presidential candidate this week sure sounded an awful lot like the Democratic Illinois governor who famously twice failed to win the presidency in the 1950s against Dwight D. Eisenhower.

At sunset tonight Manhattan's grid will match up perfectly with the sun, producing a dazzling, golden display on each one of the city's streets.

It happens twice a year and it's been termed "Manhattanhenge," coined by Neil DeGrasse Tyson, the director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Museum of Natural History.

NPR's Margo Adler sent this report for our Newscast unit:

In The Last Full Measure: How Soldiers Die In Battle, Michael Stephenson describes how soldiers fight and die, how those who have lived deal with the experience of combat, and what it reveals about warfare and human nature.

He acknowledges it's a sensitive subject, but he argues it's an important one. Understanding how soldiers die, Stephenson tells NPR's Neal Conan, "is central to an understanding of what combat is. And I think we have to engage with it."

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NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Countries around the world expelled Syrian diplomats today, explaining that the representatives of a country that slaughters its own people are not welcome. United Nations observers confirmed the massacre of over 100 men, women and children, many of them children, in the village of Houla last Friday. U.N. special envoy Kofi Annan met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus today to demand that his government abide by a cease-fire agreement that now lies in bloody taters.

Egyptian Election Marred By Violence

May 29, 2012

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NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. In another dramatic turn in Egypt, the first free democratic presidential election in the nation's history set up a run-off vote next month between two divisive candidates: Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood and Ahmed Shafik the last prime minister under former President Hosni Mubarak. Between them, the two top candidates received just under 50 percent of the votes.

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NEAL CONAN, HOST:

It's Tuesday and time to read from your comments. Cathy May(ph) in Bigelow, Arkansas heard our conversation about possible compensation for organ donors and wrote: I'm donating a kidney to a friend this coming August. While I don't care to be paid for donating, I would love to be reimbursed from my loss of salary while recovering from the process. It's a great honor to help another person, but it comes at a cost for me.

Yesterday, a short piece in a Japan-based foreign affairs magazine caused a lot of surprise: U.S. Special Forces have parachuted into North Korea "to spy on Pyongyang's extensive network of underground military facilities," The Diplomat reported.

The New York Times' Frank Bruni floated the idea, saying he'd heard "a vague murmuring" about Michelle Obama running for the Senate from Illinois in 2016.

The Lumineers On World Cafe

May 29, 2012

This week's Vintage Cafe goes back to 2012, when good things were starting to happen for a trio of musicians from Denver. The Lumineers' original members, Wesley Schultz and Jeremiah Fraites, were high-school friends who moved to Denver thinking they'd have a better shot at getting noticed than they had in Brooklyn — plus, it was affordable. There, they met their third member, cellist Neyla Pekarek, through a Craigslist ad.

It's the sort of question you toss out to a table full of politics buffs — sharing a pitcher of cold beer. (We'll provide the aficionados; you imagine the table and the cold pitcher.)

Which presidential election in American history most resembles the coming election between President Obama and Mitt Romney — and why?

The International Monetary Fund's boss, Christine Lagarde, made a lot of Greeks very angry with an interview she gave The Guardian on Friday.

Essentially, Lagarde said she has very little sympathy for the Greeks and that if they want to solve their financial problems they should just pay their taxes.

Here's what she told the paper exactly:

If a goat walks about 2,000 miles from Arizona to Chicago can that "reverse the curse" that has plagued the Cubs for nearly 67 years?

Odd as that question sounds, it's about to be put to the test.

Five Cubs fans and a goat have just finished a three-month walk from Mesa, Ariz., to the Windy City and are due at Wrigley Field this afternoon when the Cubs host the San Diego Padres.

This is the first of two stories we're doing this week on organ transplants. See the second story, What Air Traffic Can Teach Us About Kidney Transplants

Ashley Dias, 26, is waiting for lungs. She has cystic fibrosis and needs a lung transplant to survive. She's got a tracheostomy tube in her neck so she can only mouth out words.

It's taken a decade, but Trampled by Turtles' music has officially crossed over into the mainstream. The Minnesota band's most recent albums, Palomino and the new Stars and Satellites, have helped Trampled by Turtles make the transition from club favorite to the sort of cult sensation that draws enormous festival crowds.

Barbecue is not only delicious, it's magnanimous. So even though it's supposed to be the star of the Memorial Day picnic, sometimes it lets the new guy have the spotlight. Such was the situation when Friend of Sandwich Monday Adam showed up with Piñata Cookies: cookies with a surprise inside. Here's a recipe.

Ian: The cookies are nice and moist. But it's nice to know if they weren't, we could bring in an 8-year-old's birthday party to beat them open with bats.

More children are growing up without a father at home. In his documentary Dear Daddy, filmmaker Janks Morton explores the emotional consequences for black girls and the women they become. Host Michel Martin speaks with Morton, Jasmine Bowden, who was featured in the film, and Jonetta Rose Barras, author of Whatever Happened to Daddy's Little Girl?

Nuevo Latino: Not Your Grandma's Cooking

May 29, 2012

Combine food, travels and passion, and you get creations by Guillermo Pernot, a self-taught chef and winner of two prestigious James Beard awards.

The Argentina native's Cuba Libre Restaurant and Rum Bar has branches in Philadelphia; Atlantic City; Orlando, Fla.; and Washington, D.C.

As a child, Pernot spent lots of time cooking with his family, and after he moved to the United States, he took a job at a bed and breakfast in Pennsylvania, where his work first attracted the attention of food writers.

It probably speaks to the complexity of Mad Men that the same episode can be a highlight of the series for some and a lowlight for others. Sunday night's episode, "The Other Woman," instantly became a favorite of a lot of observers and writers, but for me, it was a rarity on Mad Men: a serious and profound misstep.

I would hope it's obvious that if you haven't seen Sunday's episode and plan to watch it, you should stop reading.

Wes Anderson, Creating A Singular 'Kingdom'

May 29, 2012

Director Wes Anderson has many credits to his name — The Royal Tenenbaums, The Darjeeling Limited, Bottle Rocket and Fantastic Mr. Fox among them — but Moonrise Kingdom is his first film to open the prestigious Cannes Film Festival.

Starring Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Bruce Willis and Edward Norton, the quirky independent picture tells the story of a 12-year-old girl and boy who fall in love and then make a pact to run off into the woods together.

Word from the antivirus experts at Kaspersky Lab that "we've found what might be the most sophisticated cyber weapon yet unleashed," and that this Flame spyware is targeting Iran and some places in the Middle East, is getting lots of attention this morning:

-- "Massive Cyber-Attack Discovered, Researchers Say." (BBC News)

Can someone actually be hooked on a behavior, like gambling?

Problem gambling isn't considered a true addiction in medical circles. But that may change as psychiatrists revise the diagnostic manual that spells out criteria for more than a dozen varieties of mental disorders.

Last week, the researchers who put out the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Survey of Consumers said their index rose in May to "its highest level since October 2007" — before the last recession began.

But when it comes to economics, there always seem to be an "on the other hand" moment coming — especially when the economy appears to be at a turning point.

 

The late string quartets of Beethoven performed in completion by the Cypress String Quartet is enchanting. The Cypress String Quartet formed in 1996 and is comprised of Cecily Ward violin, Tom Stone violin, Ethan Filner viola, and Jennifer Kloetzel cello. 

MSR Classics

 

Duo Landon performs Béla Bartók’s 44 Duos for 2 violins with great talent and clear interpretation. Duo Landon is a collaborative effort between two Icelandic violinist, Hílf Sigurjónsdóttir and Hjörleifur Valsson. 

Love Raise Your Voice is a collaborative album of contemporary compositions for Soprano, Violin and Piano. The chamber ensemble consists of soprano, Christine Howlett, violinist Patrick Wood Uribe and pianist Holly Chatham.  The album’s titled track “Love Raise Your Voice” composed by Tarik O’Regan is a highly charged piece with a bouncing melodic line and playful accompanying lines articulating the great joys of love...

Kathleen Edwards On World Cafe

Feb 14, 2012

Canadian singer-songwriter Kathleen Edwards is enjoying a huge career boost with her new fourth album, Voyageur. Produced in part by Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, Voyageur sounds deeply personal and genuine: Edwards sings of failed marriages, life in the spotlight and the delicate happiness that comes with new beginnings.

Dear WHQR Friends,

WHQR is thrilled to be co-presenting The Great American Songbook Live at Thalian Hall on Friday, March 2 at 8:30. The show, with an expanded cast of musicians, will be a live version of our popular radio feature with Phil Furia, heard each afternoon at 1:30.

The Fox Hunt On Mountain Stage

Jan 28, 2012

The string band The Fox Hunt returns to Mountain Stage to dispense more dirt-laden tales of drinking, cheating and damnation around a single shared condenser microphone. Led by singer-songwriter John R. Miller, the Martinsburg, W.V., group assimilates influences that begin with early-20th-century string-band music and end with a variety of punk and rock.

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