Author Interviews
6:51 am
Mon January 16, 2012

Legal scholar: Jim Crow still exists in America

Originally published on Mon January 16, 2012 4:39 am

Under Jim Crow laws, black Americans were relegated to a subordinate status for decades. Things like literacy tests for voters and laws designed to prevent blacks from serving on juries were commonplace in nearly a dozen Southern states.

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Can I Just Tell You?
6:49 am
Mon January 16, 2012

From Martin Luther King Jr., a burden and gift

The statue shows King emerging from a stone extracted from a mountain.
Amy Ta NPR

Originally published on Fri January 13, 2012 12:04 pm

As you can tell, if you managed to hear any or all of today's program, then you know that the central question we've been grappling with is what exactly does Dr. King's life and message mean to us now, some 43 years after his death and so many years after the largely successful conclusion of the specific campaigns that defined his adult life.

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Michel Martin is curious about many things. "I wonder what it's like to leave everything and everyone you know for the promise of a better life, to run for President, to be a professional athlete, to parent children of a different race," she notes. "I am fascinated by people who live lives different from my own. And at the same time, I feel connected to all of these lives being a journalist, a woman of color, a wife and mother."

All these topics — from immigration to parenting in a multicultural family — are part of Tell Me More, the one-hour daily NPR news and talk show that made its national premiere on April 30, 2007, on public radio stations around the country.

Around the Nation
6:00 am
Mon January 16, 2012

Fuel-carrying tanker reaches iced-in Alaskan town

Originally published on Sun January 15, 2012 5:03 pm

Crews worked to build a path Sunday over a half-mile of Bering Sea ice for the final leg of a Russian tanker's mission to deliver fuel to a town isolated amid one of the most severe Alaska winters in decades.

The tanker was moored roughly a half-mile from Nome's harbor after a Coast Guard cutter cleared a path for it through hundreds of miles of a slow journey stalled by thick ice and strong ocean currents.

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Author Interviews
9:49 am
Sun January 15, 2012

The Inquisition: Alive And Well After 800 Years

Originally published on Sat January 14, 2012 12:13 pm

When we talk of inquisition it is usually prefaced with a definite article — as in, The Inquisition. But, as Vanity Fair editor Cullen Murphy points out in his new book, God's Jury, the Inquisition wasn't a single event but rather a decentralized, centuries-long process.

Murphy says the "inquisitorial impulse" is alive and well today — despite its humble origins with the Cathars in France, where it was initially designed to deal with Christian heretics.

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Around the Nation
9:46 am
Sun January 15, 2012

Montana's wide-open spaces getting a bit crowded

Montana's wide-open spaces are slightly more crowded than they used to be, and not all residents are happy about sharing.
J. Stephen Conn Flickr

Originally published on Sun January 15, 2012 2:58 am

One of the nation's least densely populated states has hit a major milestone. Montana's population crossed over the 1 million person mark around the first of the year. While the governor says that's a good sign for the future, some residents say the state's already too crowded.

Fewer than 2,000 people live in Townsend, Mont., a small farming community surrounded by national forests and just south of the gigantic Canyon Ferry Reservoir.

At Penny's Breakfast Station, cook Amber Burchett fries up hash browns in the early afternoon.

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Africa
9:40 am
Sun January 15, 2012

Just A Few Months Old, S. Sudan Already In Turmoil

People who escaped ethnic violence in Jonglei state wait for food rations at a World Food Program distribution center on Thursday. South Sudan gained independence just six months ago, and already ethnic tensions inside the new country have forced tens of thousands to flee their homes.
Michael Onyiego AP

Originally published on Sun January 15, 2012 2:59 am

South Sudan gained independence just six months ago, but the country is already plagued by ethnic violence at home and ongoing tensions with its previous rulers in Sudan.

Potential humanitarian crises are brewing in both Sudans, and U.S. diplomats are sounding frustrated that the two are not talking to each other enough.

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A former NPR Moscow bureau chief, Michele Kelemen now covers the State Department and Washington's diplomatic corps. Her reports can be heard on all NPR News programs, including Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

In her latest beat, Kelemen has been traveling with Secretary of State John Kerry and Hillary Clinton before him, tracking the Obama administration's broad foreign policy agenda from Asia to the Middle East. She also followed President Bush's Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell and was part of the NPR team that won the 2007 Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Award for coverage of the war in Iraq.

Artscape
7:19 am
Sun January 15, 2012

At the Seattle Rep, a personal play by a priest about family

Tyler Pierce (as Bill Cain) and Linda Gehringer (as Mary Cain) star in the world premiere of Cain’s "How to Write a New Book for the Bible" at Seattle Repertory Theatre.
Photo courtesy of kevinberne.com

The latest play at Seattle Repertory Theatre is called "How To Write A New Book For The Bible." It's about a priest who comes home to take care of his dying mother.

It’s a true story, written by Jesuit priest and playwright Bill Cain.

Which partly explains the play's title. Cain says the play "is about sifting through the presence of God in the reality of family."

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Author Interviews
5:41 pm
Sat January 14, 2012

Alan Bennett Defies Expectations With 'Smut'

Originally published on Sat January 14, 2012 4:14 pm

Alan Bennett, author of The History Boys and The Madness of King George, among countless other books, plays and memoirs, is a grand old man of British letters.

"I'm getting on now, and I'm thought of in England as being rather cozy and genteel — certainly in the stories that I write," he tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz.

So Bennett decided to give his readers a little rattle with a new book of two short stories called Smut.

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