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The Two-Way
11:23 am
Sat January 31, 2015

Islamic State Blames Coalition Airstrikes For Losing Kobani

The self-declared Islamic State says airstrikes conducted by the U.S.-led coalition forced its fighters from Kobani, the first time the extremist group has acknowledged its defeat in the heavily contested Syrian border town, The Associated Press reports.

The AP reports: "In a video released by the pro-IS Aamaq News Agency late Friday, two fighters said the airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition were the main reason why [ISIS] fighters were forced to withdraw from Kobani."

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Middle East
9:41 am
Sat January 31, 2015

Four Years After Revolution, Libya Slides Into Chaos

Bullet holes from recent clashes riddle an apartment building in Tripoli.
Bilal Hussein AP

Originally published on Sat January 31, 2015 11:20 am

There was hope in Libya and around the world for Libya after Moammar Gadhafi was overthrown four years ago.

But today, Libya is a country torn apart. There are now two competing governments, in different cities with their own parliaments and their own military.

A traveler first needs a visa from one government to land in Tripoli, then a so-called "landing permission" to fly east to the other government's territory — and has to hopscotch around jihadist-controlled areas along the way.

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Fresh Air Weekend
9:35 am
Sat January 31, 2015

Fresh Air Weekend: Benedict Cumberbatch, 'American Sniper' Review And 'Teenage Brain'

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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Education
9:16 am
Sat January 31, 2015

U.Va. Sorority Women Say Party Ban Is Patronizing

University of Virginia students walk to fraternities at the start of rush week. Sorority women are always invited to Boys' Bid Night, but this year national sororities have ordered women to stay clear.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Sat January 31, 2015 11:20 am

Saturday is Boys' Bid Night at the University of Virginia, when fraternities welcome their new members.

Women from U.Va.'s sororities are always invited to join the Boys' Bid Night party, but this year, they're under strict orders from national sorority presidents to stay clear of frat houses. The orders come after a Rolling Stone article about a gang rape at U.Va. that was later discredited.

But the women at U.Va.'s sororities are outraged, calling the ban unnecessary and patronizing.

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The Two-Way
8:36 am
Sat January 31, 2015

Record-Setting Balloonists Touch Down In Mexico After Pacific Crossing

A photo provided by Tami Bradley-Two Eagles Balloon Team, shows pilots from left, Troy Bradley of Albuquerque, N.M., and Leonid Tiukhtyaev of Russia, before their liftoff in a gas balloon in Saga, Japan.
AP

The Eagles have landed.

Balloon pilots Troy Bradley and Leonid Tiukhtyaev, dubbed the "Two Eagles," who already set a distance record for a gas-filled balloon on Friday, have completed their nearly 7,000-mile journey across the Pacific from Japan to Mexico.

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The Two-Way
7:46 am
Sat January 31, 2015

All Is Not So Well In The NFL Ahead Of Super Bowl Sunday

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaking at a pre-Super Bowl news conference in Phoenix.
David J. Phillip AP

Another day, another controversy.

It's been that kind of a year for the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell talked about it all Friday at his annual State of the League address in downtown Phoenix.

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The Two-Way
7:03 am
Sat January 31, 2015

Merkel: No Relaxing Of Terms On Greek Debt

German Chancellor Angela Merkel stands in front of a poster showing a new Two-Euro commemorative coin at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, on Thursday.
Britta Pedersen DPA/Landov

Originally published on Sat January 31, 2015 9:04 am

Updated at 11:00 a.m. ET

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has rejected any renegotiation of Greek debt after last week's election that brought an anti-austerity party into power in Athens.

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The Two-Way
6:01 am
Sat January 31, 2015

Serena Williams Wins Australian Open For 19th Grand Slam Title

Serena Williams celebrates after defeating Maria Sharapova of Russia in their women's singles final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia on Saturday.
Lee Jin-man AP

Serena Williams has beaten Russia's Maria Sharapova for her sixth Australian Open, clinching her 19th Grand Slam title.

Williams, 33, won the final 6-3 7-6 (7-5).

It was the tennis superstar's first Australian Open in five years and she managed to win despite fighting a severe cold that The New York Times says "left her occasionally coughing between returns and serves in the final."

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Author Interviews
5:57 am
Sat January 31, 2015

A Mismatched Crew Dreams Of Swashbuckling In 'We Are Pirates'

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Sports
5:37 am
Sat January 31, 2015

Super Bowl And Skullduggery: The Week In Sports

Originally published on Sat January 31, 2015 11:10 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Around the Nation
5:37 am
Sat January 31, 2015

Pennsylvania Law Allows NRA To Sue Cities Over Gun Rules

Originally published on Sat January 31, 2015 11:20 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Politics
5:37 am
Sat January 31, 2015

What Romney's Retreat Means For GOP Hopefuls

Originally published on Sat January 31, 2015 11:13 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Europe
5:37 am
Sat January 31, 2015

Fighting In Eastern Ukraine Drags On Into WInter

Originally published on Sat January 31, 2015 11:12 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Religion
5:37 am
Sat January 31, 2015

In LA, Women Build A Mosque Where They Can Call To Prayer

Originally published on Sat January 31, 2015 11:11 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Europe
5:37 am
Sat January 31, 2015

An Arctic Institution, Sweden's Ice Hotel Turns 25

Originally published on Sat January 31, 2015 11:08 am

This year marks 25 years of the original Ice Hotel, carved from snow and ice bricks in far northern Sweden. This story originally aired on All Things Considered on Jan. 29, 2015.

Poetry
5:37 am
Sat January 31, 2015

Amiri Baraka Didn't Worry About His Politics Overpowering His Poetry

Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 31, 2015 11:20 am

For the late poet Amiri Baraka, poetry was about the sound of the words — that the poems should come alive when they were read aloud. "I'm trying to make the poems as musical as I can — from the inception," he said in 1980. "So that whether they're read on the page, or people read them aloud, or I read them aloud, the musicality will be kind of a given."

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Author Interviews
5:37 am
Sat January 31, 2015

Prime Minister Loses His Noggin But Keeps Talking In 'Head Of State'

Originally published on Sat January 31, 2015 11:09 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Remembrances
5:37 am
Sat January 31, 2015

Rod McKuen, The Cheeseburger To Poetry's Haute Cuisine

Originally published on Sat January 31, 2015 11:14 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Book News & Features
5:23 am
Sat January 31, 2015

8 Picture Books You Don't Have To Be A Kid To Love

Courtesy of Roaring Book Press

Originally published on Sat January 31, 2015 5:03 am

Here at NPR Books, we may be grown-ups, but every now and then we still enjoy channeling our inner 7-year-olds. And this week, we have the perfect excuse: Monday's Randolph Caldecott Medal announcement for picture book artistry. We've tried (and failed) to predict winners in the past, but right or wrong, we still like looking at pretty picture books and wildly speculating about what could win.

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Goats and Soda
5:03 am
Sat January 31, 2015

Just Your Typical Teenagers Helping To Fight World Poverty

They're members of the global-minded teens club: (left to right) Toluwanimi Sola-Adeyemi of Lagos, Chloe McGill of Seattle and Emine Arcasoy of Chapel Hill.
Courtesy of Tolu Sola-Adeyemi, Chloe McGill and

On Jan. 15, 15-year-olds around the world took a stand. Their goal was to make the world a better place 15 years from now by getting rid of poverty and disease. They shared their worries and their dreams with leaders around the world as part of the newly launched "action/2015" effort, supported by the ONE Campaign, a nonprofit group that the rock star Bono founded.

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Remembrances
3:36 am
Sat January 31, 2015

Remembering 'Thorn Birds' Author Colleen McCullough

Colleen McCullough at home on Australia's remote Norfolk Island in 1990 — she told an interviewer she moved there to escape her difficult family.
Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 31, 2015 11:20 am

Australian writer Colleen McCullough died Thursday; she was 77 years old. McCullough was best known for her novel The Thorn Birds, a huge hugely popular romance which has sold 30 million copies around the world, and has never gone out of print.

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Goats and Soda
3:33 am
Sat January 31, 2015

A Former Child Soldier Finds Escape, Heaven Through His Music

"Through music," says former child soldier Emmanuel Jal, "I was able to become a child again."
Courtesy of Gatwitch

Originally published on Sat January 31, 2015 11:20 am

Emmanuel Jal was only 8 when he was dragged into Sudan's long civil war. Like 12,000 other children, he was recruited as a soldier, fighting and killing alongside South Sudanese armed groups.

Only a few, like Jal, have managed to escape.

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Shots - Health News
3:31 am
Sat January 31, 2015

Why Do We Love Football So Much? Theater Tackles Tough Questions

Football rules, uniforms, helmets and protective gear have changed a lot over the years.
Keystone-France Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 31, 2015 11:20 am

Football injuries have long been seen by some as a badge of honor. A broken sternum, a busted knee, a pierced kidney: all evidence of tenacity on the field.

But the emerging science around head injuries in football — and the long-term effects of repeated concussions – is forcing players, team owners and football fans to come to grips with the idea that the sport they love may be extracting a much higher price than anyone knew.

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Middle East
1:38 am
Sat January 31, 2015

Efforts To Free Japanese ISIS Captive 'Deadlocked'

A top Japanese diplomat says efforts to free a captive journalist from the militant Islamic State group have reached a "state of deadlock."

The fate of veteran war reporter Kenji Goto has been linked to that of another hostage, Jordanian fighter pilot Lt. Muath Kaseasbeh, whom the extremist also have threatened to kill.

Jordan and Japan are reportedly conducting indirect negotiations with the militants who control a third of both Iraq and Syria.

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The Two-Way
7:16 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

In Qatar, Released Taliban Member Raises U.S. Concerns

One of the Taliban officials who were released last year in exchange for the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has raised U.S. officials' suspicions that he might attempt to reconnect with the group.

The exchange of five men who had been detained at the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay for the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who had been captured in 2009, occurred on May 31, 2014. It set off a range of reactions, from happiness at the soldier's safe return to anger that the Obama administration had released five senior members of the Taliban.

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The Two-Way
5:35 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

An Archer Goes Old-School, And Wows The Internet

Danish archer Lars Andersen calls himself "the fastest archer alive" — and he seeks to prove it, in a new video.
Lars Andersen

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 6:15 pm

It would be perfectly normal to think of archery as a sport defined by accuracy. But a Danish man who says he researched archery's historic methods is arguing for speed and agility, as well: Lars Andersen has released a video in which he fires three arrows in 0.6 seconds.

In fact, Andersen makes a claim to the title of "the fastest archer alive."

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Goats and Soda
4:25 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

Measles Is A Killer: It Took 100,000 Lives Worldwide Last Year

A Vietnamese boy is treated for measles in a state-run hospital in April 2014.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 4:35 pm

The number of measles cases from the outbreak linked to Disneyland has now risen to at least 98. But measles remains extremely rare in the United States.

The rest of the world hasn't been so fortunate. Last year roughly 250,000 people came down with measles; more than half of them died.

Currently the Philippines is experiencing a major measles outbreak that sickened 57,000 people in 2014. China had twice that many cases, although they were more geographically spread out. Major outbreaks were also recorded in Angola, Brazil, Ethiopia, Indonesia and Vietnam.

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The Salt
4:21 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

Shake Shack Sizzles With IPO As McDonald's Fizzles

The founder and chairman of Shake Shack, Danny Meyer, visits the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 6:40 pm

Shake Shack, the Manhattan-based burger chain, has a cult following, and investors gobbled up shares Friday when it became a publicly traded company.

In its initial public offering, shares were priced at $21, but they jumped to nearly $50 as trading began, and closed the day just under $46.

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Parallels
4:19 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

Argentine Official Says He Sought Cooperation With Iran, Not Cover-Up

Argentina's Foreign Minister Hector Timerman on Jan. 15 shows a letter he said was sent in 2013 to Interpol informing it of an agreement reached with Iran's government to investigate the 1994 bombing of the Argentine-Israeli Mutual Association that killed 85 people. Timerman says he met with Iran in an attempt to solve the case and denies accusations he was part of a cover-up.
Rodrigo Abd AP

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 5:49 pm

Shortly before Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman was found dead with a bullet in his head, he accused Argentina's president, Cristina Fernandez, and others in her government of covering up what he said was Iran's involvement in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center.

Nisman claimed that those involved in the cover-up included Foreign Minister Hector Timerman — a particularly sensitive accusation not only because of his position but because of his background.

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Code Switch
3:24 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

Is There A #PubRadioVoice That Sounds Like America?

#PubRadioVoice brought together our listeners with African-American and Latino radio journalists in a discussion on whether the voices on air truly represent the "public" in public radio.
Emily Jan NPR

Chenjerai Kumanyika, a professor at Clemson University and aspiring public radio journalist, sparked a challenging conversation with his commentary about the "whiteness" of public radio voices. We hosted a Twitter chat about his essay and invited listeners and public radio professionals to share their thoughts using #PubRadioVoice.

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