Parallels
6:07 am
Sun May 19, 2013

Russian Lawmakers: Don't Criticize Soviet Actions In WWII

A column of Russia's T-90 tanks rumbles over the cobblestones in Moscow's Red Square on May 9 during the country's Victory Day parade celebrating the anniversary of its costly victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.
Yuri Kadobnov AFP/Getty Images

World War II remains a monumental event in the collective Russian mind. It's known as the "Great Patriotic War," and Russians believe no one made greater sacrifices than the Soviet Union when it came to defeating Nazi Germany.

The end of the war is celebrated with a huge military parade in Moscow's Red Square on May 9, commemorating the millions of men and women, military and civilian, who died during the struggle.

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Parallels
5:50 am
Sun May 19, 2013

Escape From An Eritrean Prison

Eritrea's human rights record has been widely criticized under President Isaias Afwerki, shown here speaking at the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 23, 2011.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty

Originally published on Sun May 19, 2013 8:56 am

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Politics
5:41 am
Sun May 19, 2013

Nonconservative Groups Say IRS Scrutinized Them, Too

Outgoing acting Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Steve Miller (right) and Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George are sworn before a full House Ways and Means Committee hearing Friday.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 19, 2013 6:46 pm

The IRS was in the hot seat Friday, with its outgoing acting commissioner testifying before a House committee. A Senate panel is scheduled for Tuesday. Congress is prodding to find out why the agency singled out conservative groups for special scrutiny.

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Afghanistan
5:41 am
Sun May 19, 2013

Afghans With Disabilities Fight For The Right To Rights

A technician shapes a cast mold for a prosthetic limb at the Red Cross orthopedic clinic in Kabul. The clinic produces about 2,000 prosthetic limbs each year.
Sean Carberry NPR

Originally published on Sun May 19, 2013 6:44 pm

Climbing the rickety metal staircase is precarious enough if you aren't on crutches, but it's simply dangerous if you are. At the top is the office of Janbazan-e-Mayhan, one of many social councils for disabled Afghans. Men missing arms, legs or hands sit around the small room.

Afghanistan isn't an easy place for anyone to make a living. But for those with disabilities, it's a downright hostile environment. Tens of thousands have been maimed and disabled during decades of conflict. Jobs are scarce, and there's almost nothing that's handicapped-accessible.

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Music Interviews
5:41 am
Sun May 19, 2013

Marques Toliver: An R&B Crooner With Strings Attached

Marques Toliver's debut album is called Land of CanAan.
Athos Burez Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun May 19, 2013 2:11 pm

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Music Interviews
5:41 am
Sun May 19, 2013

Laura Mvula: A Soulful Voice That Once Answered Phones

Laura Mvula's debut album is called Sing to the Moon.
Josh Shinner Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun May 19, 2013 2:11 pm

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Author Interviews
5:41 am
Sun May 19, 2013

Stories Of Hope Amid America's 'Unwinding'

Originally published on Sun May 19, 2013 2:11 pm

According to New Yorker writer George Packer, there used to be a kind of deal among Americans — a deal in which everyone had a place.

"People were more constrained than they are today, they had less freedom," he says, "but they had more security and there was a sense in which each generation felt that the next generation would be able to improve itself, to do better."

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Author Interviews
5:41 am
Sun May 19, 2013

Siblings' Separation Haunts In 'Kite Runner' Author's Latest

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 2:59 pm

There was a time around 2003, before e-books and e-readers, when it seemed that everywhere you turned — in an airport, on a bus or anywhere people read — people were lost in The Kite Runner. An epic tale set in Afghanistan, the book sold more than 7 million copies in the U.S. and catapulted the author, Khaled Hosseini, onto the global literary stage.

Hosseini followed that success with another book about his homeland, A Thousand Splendid Suns, which also became a best-seller.

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Movie Interviews
5:41 am
Sun May 19, 2013

One Couple, Nearly 20 Years, All 'Before Midnight'

Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke star in Before Midnight, the third film in a series that follows near 20 years of a relationship.
Despina Spyrou Courtesy Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Sun May 19, 2013 2:11 pm

In 1995, an unintended cult-classic trilogy was born with a film that centered on a simple, romantic premise. Two strangers in their early 20s spend a spontaneous night together in Vienna. The characters, Jesse and Celine, split ways in Before Sunrise, but they reunited nine years later for a sequel, Before Sunset.

In that sequel, Jesse and Celine, played by Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, find each other in Paris for another brief rendezvous. Even though both are now in other relationships, they can't shake their connection.

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Sunday Puzzle
4:28 am
Sun May 19, 2013

Put On Your Thinking Hat

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun May 19, 2013 2:11 pm

On-air challenge: Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name in which the first word starts with H-A and the second word starts with T.

Last week's challenge: From listener Al Gori of Cozy Lake, N.J. Name a famous American man — first and last names. Change the first letter of his first name from T to H. The result will sound like a term for an attractive person. Who is it?

Answer: Ted Turner; head turner

Winner: Vernon Cole, Brownsboro, Ala.

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