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The Two-Way
8:21 am
Sun August 4, 2013

Iran's New President: U.S. Wants 'Excuse' To Confront Tehran

Iran's new President Hassan Rowhani sits next to the national flag on his first official day in office in Tehran on Saturday.
Atta Kenare AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 11:42 am

Hassan Rouhani, Iran's newly elected president, is being sworn-in on Sunday, succeeding the controversial Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose focus on the country's nuclear program proved a constant source of tension with the West.

Rouhani, 64, is viewed as a moderate and has pledged greater openness on the country's nuclear program. However, the former chief nuclear negotiator for Tehran appeared late Saturday to be reading from the same script as his predecessor:

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Author Interviews
7:03 am
Sun August 4, 2013

Finding Redemption In The Karaoke Bar

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 5:03 pm

Sixteen years ago, Rob Sheffield had everything going for him. He was young, ambitious, working as a music critic in Charlottesville, Va., and married to the woman he thought he'd spend the rest of his life with.

All that changed suddenly when his wife died of a pulmonary embolism. Sheffield was a widow and not yet 30 years old.

There were many factors that helped him dig himself out of the deep depression that followed: moving to a new city, the simple passage of time. But the most unexpected antidote for his grief came in the form of karaoke.

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Author Interviews
7:03 am
Sun August 4, 2013

Jack Handey Revels In 'The Stench of Honolulu'

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 11:39 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. If you watched "Saturday Night Live" in the 1990s, you might remember this:

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE")

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As announcer) And now, deep thoughts by Jack Handey.

JACK HANDEY: Maybe in order to understand mankind, we have to look at the word itself, mankind. Basically, it's made up of two separate words: mank and ind. What do these words mean? It's a mystery, and that's why so is mankind.

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Music
7:03 am
Sun August 4, 2013

Cash's Burning 'Ring Of Fire' Turns 50

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 11:39 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Love is a burning thing that makes a fiery ring. That, my friends, is musical poetry. OK, maybe not, but it is the opening line to one of Johnny Cash's biggest hits. "Ring of Fire" turns 50 years old this year.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "RING OF FIRE")

JOHNNY CASH: (Singing) Love is a burning thing, and it makes a fiery ring.

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Music Interviews
5:39 am
Sun August 4, 2013

Violinist Amanda Shires Picks Up The Pieces

Amanda Shires' new album is called Down Fell the Doves.
Jimmy Collins Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 6:38 pm

When country violinist Amanda Shires goes on tour, she meets a lot of interesting people. Once after a show in Tampa, Florida, a fellow calling himself Tiger Bill handed her a mysterious bag — whose contents, he said, would make her "bulletproof."

"And I opened it and looked inside of it," Shires recalls. "And it was whiskers and claws and teeth and fur."

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My Guilty Pleasure
5:35 am
Sun August 4, 2013

'The Moonstone' Is A Hidden Gem Of A Detective Novel

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni's latest book is Oleander Girl.

I was about 12 when I first encountered The Moonstone — or a Classics Illustrated version of it — digging through an old trunk in my grandfather's house on a rainy Bengali afternoon. I loved the Classics Illustrated series (the graphic novels of my youth that simplified famous novels for children), presenting us with swashbuckling plotlines, and heroes and villains that were unmistakably, unashamedly, what they were supposed to be.

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The Two-Way
5:16 am
Sun August 4, 2013

U.S. Men's Soccer Is On A Roll — All The Way To Rio?

Members of the U.S. men's soccer team take a lap around the field after beating Panama 1-0 to capture the CONCACAF Gold Cup on Sunday in Chicago.
Jonathan Daniel Getty Images

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 2:55 pm

At the beginning of 2013 — with only a year before soccer's crown jewel event, the World Cup in Brazil — all was not rosy with the U.S. Men's National Soccer Team. There was that 0-0 tie with Canada, and then a 2-1 loss to Honduras in a World Cup qualifier.

But now, the cry is, "Break up the Americans!"

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Music Interviews
5:15 am
Sun August 4, 2013

Heartache Gives KT Tunstall's New Album A Split Personality

KT Tunstall's album Invisible Empire // Crescent Moon was recorded in two sessions, which fell on either side of a life-changing summer for the singer.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 11:39 am

Scottish singer-songwriter KT Tunstall made her latest album in Arizona, of all places. Working with musician and producer Howe Gelb, she recorded the first six songs in the spring of 2012, and the last six in November. But a lot changed for Tunstall in the months between.

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Music Interviews
4:46 am
Sun August 4, 2013

'The Weatherman': A Rambler's Folky Manifesto

Gregory Alan Isakov's latest album is called The Weatherman.
Erin Preston Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 6:16 pm

To be a folk musician these days, there's no requirement that you be some sort of rambling wanderer. But it can't hurt, right?

Gregory Alan Isakov was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. He didn't stay there long: He moved to Philadelphia, then around the East Coast, switching schools every couple years. As an adult, he's found a more stable home: a remote part of Colorado. And in his music, he writes from the perspective quite happy to be away from any big cities.

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Sunday Puzzle
4:44 am
Sun August 4, 2013

First Names First

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 1:39 pm

On-air challenge: This week's puzzle is called "What's in a Name?" Every answer consists of the names of two famous people. The last name of the first person is an anagram of the first name of the last person. Given the non-anagram parts of the names, you identify the people. For example, given "Madeleine" and "Aaron," you would say "Kahn" and "Hank."

Last week's challenge: In three words, name a product sold mainly to women that has the initials N-P-R. The answer is a common phrase.

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