Music

Around the Nation
5:17 am
Wed May 30, 2012

Syria's Honorary Consul In California Resigns

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 7:02 am

The U.S. and several governments worldwide have expelled Syrian diplomats in a coordinated protest against last weekend's massacre of more than 100 civilians in the village of Houla. The diplomatic fallout has spread to California, where Syrian Consul General Hazem Chehabi announced his resignation from the post. For more on his decision, Renee Montagne talks to Chehabi.

Remembrances
5:17 am
Wed May 30, 2012

Self-Taught Folk Music Icon Doc Watson Dies At 89

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 5:06 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

A treasure of American folk music has died. Doc Watson passed away yesterday in Winston-Salem, North Carolina at the age of 89. He was born in Deep Gap, North Carolina, in the Blue Ridge Mountains in a three room house that he shared with eight brothers and sisters. During a long and productive career, he revolutionized not just how people play guitar but how people around the world think about mountain music. NPR's Neda Ulaby has this remembrance.

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Business
5:17 am
Wed May 30, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 7:36 am

The Japanese government has launched a campaign aimed at selling bonds to help fund reconstruction of areas hit by last year's earthquake and tsunami. It recruited the popular girl band AKB48, known for hits like "Baby Baby Bay," to help promote the bonds.

Afghanistan
3:33 am
Wed May 30, 2012

For U.S. Troops, One More Big Push In Afghanistan

Bagi Kheyl, in the eastern province of Ghazni, is one of the villages where the 82nd Airborne has been operating as part of a broader effort to drive away the Taliban.
Amy Walters NPR

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 5:48 pm

Several thousand soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division are taking part in what is being called the last major combat offensive of the Afghan War.

Their task is to clear Ghazni province in eastern Afghanistan, a Taliban stronghold and a key prize because it straddles the major roads to Kabul and the insurgent supply routes into Pakistan.

But the American troops are challenged by a stubborn enemy and a short time to finish the job.

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London 2012: The Summer Olympics
3:30 am
Wed May 30, 2012

Swimmer Vies To Bring Olympic Joy Home To Greece

Spyros Gianniotis started the Olympic torch relay at the ancient site of Olympia earlier this month. Greece hasn't won an Olympic medal in swimming since 1896 — something Gianniotis hopes to change in London.
Aris Messinis AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 5:17 am

Swimmer Spyros Gianniotis was born in Liverpool, England, but he will represent Greece in the upcoming London Olympics. At 32, he is the 10-kilometer open-water world champion, and one of Greece's best hopes for a medal in London. He's on a team of Olympians whose training budget has been drastically reduced by austerity measures and the economic crisis.

On a recent morning, Gianniotis' training included three hours of laps in an outdoor Olympic-sized pool in central Athens. The lean, freckled marathon swimmer glides to the end of the pool.

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The Salt
3:28 am
Wed May 30, 2012

From An Israeli Kibbutz, A High-Priced Caviar Prized By Top Chefs

Dean & Deluca

Originally published on Sun June 3, 2012 8:29 am

A kibbutz in the mountains of northern Israel might seem an unlikely source for some of the world's most expensive gourmet food. But a small farming collective has built itself a lucrative business, supplying some of America's top chefs with caviar that customers pay hundreds of dollars to sample.

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It's All Politics
3:18 am
Wed May 30, 2012

GOP Michigan Congressman To Run Write-In Campaign

Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, R-Mich.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 12:55 pm

Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, R-Mich., is facing the daunting prospect of running a write-in campaign to get re-elected this year, as his campaign fell far short of the number of petition signatures he needs to qualify for the August primary ballot.

Compounding McCotter's troubles: It appears election fraud may have played a part in the failure.

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The Salt
12:45 am
Wed May 30, 2012

Nuclear Tuna Is Hot News, But Not Because It's Going To Make You Sick

A Tokyo sushi restaurant displays blocks of fat meat tuna cut out from a 269kg bluefin tuna.
Yoshikazu Tsuno AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 5:17 am

What snarky headline writer could resist a story about "hot tuna?" Or how about "tuna meltdown?"

Really, it seems just plain daffy to ignore a new study that says some Pacific bluefin tuna picked up traces of radioactive material from the Fukushima nuclear disaster last year and brought it across the Pacific Ocean.

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Music
10:20 pm
Tue May 29, 2012

Fresh Air Remembers Traditional Music Legend Doc Watson

Doc Watson performs at the 2009 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival on May 1, 2009.
Rick Diamond/Staff Getty Images Entertainment

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 12:00 pm

This interview was originally broadcast on March 24, 1988.

Doc Watson, who was called "a living national treasure" for his virtuoso flat-picking and his repertoire of traditional folk and bluegrass tunes, has died. He was 89.

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Planet Money
9:46 pm
Tue May 29, 2012

Promises, Promises

The Northern Mariana Islands: white sand, blue water, and huge pension liabilities.
Boltty Studio Flickr

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 9:50 am

States across the country have promised their employees sweet retirement benefits, but haven't set aside enough money to pay for those benefits.

On today's show, we hear from Illinois, which owes its state pension funds $83 billion.

And we hear from the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. territory halfway around the world. The territory may point to the future for many U.S. states: It just became the first American public pension fund to file for bankruptcy.

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