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Europe
6:17 am
Sat October 13, 2012

Spanish Crisis Revives Calls For Catalan Secession

Supporters of independence for Catalonia gather in Barcelona on the Spanish region's national day, on Sept. 11.
Josep Lago AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 13, 2012 10:17 pm

On a recent day in Barcelona, the capital of northeast Spain's Catalonia region, José Maria Borras and his lifelong friend Antonio Canosa sip coffee in the same square where they went to grade school.

The two retirees — both in their mid-60s — grew up under Spain's military dictator Francisco Franco, who prohibited the Catalan language, festivals and any talk of independence.

"It's been a long struggle for freedom," Borras says. "Back in those years, if you were in this very schoolyard speaking Catalan you'd be punished."

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World
6:17 am
Sat October 13, 2012

New French President Sees Popularity Crash

Just a few months ago, supporters rallied in the streets for the election of Francois Hollande. Now, some of the same people are protesting against the French president. Leftist parties and unions organized this anti-austerity protest in September.
Bertrand Langlois AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 5:47 pm

Just five months after electing President Francois Hollande, many French are now despairing that he cannot deliver on the vision they voted for. What's worse, some wonder if Hollande has a plan at all.

The new president's ratings have plummeted, and his once-lauded "steady approach" is now perceived as dithering.

Protesters shouting "Resistance!" in the streets of Paris this month included people who voted for him and now feel betrayed. They were demonstrating against the European fiscal treaty, approved this week by the Socialist-dominated French parliament.

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Movie Interviews
6:17 am
Sat October 13, 2012

Hoop Dreams Land Basketball Player An 'Iran Job'

Originally published on Sat October 13, 2012 10:15 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Kevin Sheppard was an outstanding point guard at Jacksonville University and he hoped to play professional basketball - maybe in places like Miami, Boston or Los Angeles. Instead, he wound up playing in places like Brazil, China and Israel. Then, came an offer from the heart of the Axis of Evil.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE IRAN JOB")

KEVIN SHEPPARD: I had no idea they played basketball in Iran. But it was actually very popular in Iran.

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Presidential Race
6:17 am
Sat October 13, 2012

Candidates Return To The Trail After VP Debate

Originally published on Sat October 13, 2012 10:15 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. It's a time-honored tradition in presidential campaigns to debate after the debate. Both sides are still squabbling now over who won this week's vice presidential faceoff. And on the campaign trail yesterday, the running mates themselves were out spinning for their side. NPR's Ari Shapiro has this round-up of the day on the trail.

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Middle East
6:17 am
Sat October 13, 2012

Border Incidents Ratchet Up Turkey-Syria Tensions

Originally published on Sat October 13, 2012 10:15 am

Weekend Edition host Scott Simon talks with NPR's Peter Kenyon and NPR's Kelly McEvers about the latest news in Turkey and Syria, where fighting from Syria's internal conflict has spilled across the border the two nations share.

Author Interviews
2:03 am
Sat October 13, 2012

Michael Feinstein: What I Learned From The Gershwins

Composer and educator Michael Feinstein's new memoir is called The Gershwins and Me: A Personal History in Twelve Songs.
Gilles Toucas Courtesy of the author

Originally published on Sat October 13, 2012 11:38 am

Michael Feinstein, the singer and pianist known as the "ambassador of the Great American Songbook," has a serious pedigree to back up that title: a real-life connection to one of America's greatest songwriting teams. It's the subject of Feinstein's new memoir, The Gershwins and Me: A Personal History in Twelve Songs. (A CD of Feinstein singing those songs also comes with the book.)

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It's All Politics
6:32 pm
Fri October 12, 2012

Bachmann Faces Competitive Re-Election Bid In Minnesota

Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., speaks during the Family Research Council Action Values Voter Summit last month in Washington.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 6:41 pm

More than a year after winning Iowa's Straw Poll for the GOP presidential nomination, and more than nine months after dropping out of that race, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., is back on the campaign trail.

This time she's after a fourth term representing Minnesota's 6th Congressional District, and Bachmann's campaign is running into stiff competition.

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Shots - Health Blog
6:23 pm
Fri October 12, 2012

Vice Presidential Candidates Spar Over Medicare

Vice President Biden (left) and Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan during Thursday's debate.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 6:57 pm

It's hardly surprising that Thursday night's vice presidential debate in Danville, Ky., would feature a spirited debate about Medicare. GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan is the author of a controversial Medicare proposal that Democrats have been campaigning against for more than a year now.

But fact checkers have raised some flags about some of the claims the candidates made.

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Space
5:44 pm
Fri October 12, 2012

For Sale: A Chunk Of Mars

A fragment of the meteor that crashed into Tissint, Morocco.
Mark Mauthner Heritage Auctions

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 2:31 pm

Few things are as rare as a piece of rock that falls from outer space and crashes onto Earth.

Among the most prized of these meteorites are from Mars. Friday, scientists describe the latest one discovered: It's called Tissint, and this weekend you can buy a piece of it.

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World
5:31 pm
Fri October 12, 2012

Do Chinese Tech Firms Pose U.S. Security Threat?

Staff and visitors walk past the lobby at the Huawei office in Wuhan, China. Beijing has urged Washington to "set aside prejudices" after a draft congressional report said Chinese telecom firms Huawei and ZTE were security threats that should be banned from business in the U.S.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 5:59 pm

Over the past decade, Chinese companies have become major players in the global telecommunications market. This week the House Intelligence Committee issued a report that could interrupt that growth. The committee warned American companies not to do business with two of China's main telecom manufacturers, saying they posed a security threat.

Huawei Technologies is the miracle story of the Chinese high-tech industry, says telecommunications consultant Roger Entner.

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