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Music Interviews
4:48 pm
Sun June 28, 2015

The Sound Of Twin Danger: Frank Sinatra Meets The Clash

Twin Danger's Vanessa Bley and Stuart Matthewman
Sunny Khalsa Courtesy of the artist

Cocktail jazz isn't a sound you hear very much in pop music these days. But a duo known as Twin Danger is causing a scene with their self-titled debut album and live shows.

It's a familiar mood for saxophonist Stuart Matthewman; he co-wrote many of the biggest hits for Sade, like "No Ordinary Love" and "Your Love Is King."

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Author Interviews
9:24 am
Sun June 28, 2015

Two Years After Deadly Wildfire, Are There Lessons In The Ashes?

An aerial view shows the Yarnell Hill fire burning June 29, 2013 near the town of Yarnell, Ariz. The next day, 19 firefighters died battling the blaze.
Arizona State Forestry Division Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 28, 2015 8:00 am

Two years ago, a wildfire was raging in the foothills of North Arizona. The Granite Mountain Hotshots, a team of elite firefighters from Prescott, Ariz., were on the ground, battling the blaze.

Then the weather and the winds shifted, and the two-day-old Yarnell Hill Fire changed course. The commander had a huge decision to make: stay on safe ground, or try to cut off the blaze?

He made the call — and before the day was over, 19 hotshot firefighters were dead. It was one of the deadliest incidents for wildland firefighters in U.S. history.

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Author Interviews
3:19 am
Sun June 28, 2015

Raised By 5 Different Families, 7 Siblings Are Reunited In 'Bastards'

Courtest W.W. Norton & Company

Originally published on Sun June 28, 2015 8:44 am

Mary Anna King grew up in a housing project in southern New Jersey, with her older brother Jacob and struggling parents.

"When you're struggling financially and you're living in poverty ... it takes twice as much effort to do anything," she tells NPR's Eric Westervelt.

Her parents went on to have five more kids, all girls, and despite her mother's best efforts to keep the family together, all five girls were ultimately given up for adoption.

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National Security
9:13 pm
Sat June 27, 2015

Embraced Yet Forbidden, Staff Sergeant Comes Out As Transgender

Staff Sgt. Patricia King, who has been in the Army for 16 years, says she decided to start her gender transition in January.
Christian Murdock Colorado Springs Gazette

Originally published on Sat June 27, 2015 4:36 pm

By serving in the Army, Staff Sgt. Patricia King is breaking the rules.

King enlisted 1999 under her birth name, Peter. At the beginning of this year, King — a decorated soldier with three deployments to Afghanistan under her belt — started her gender transition.

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Governing
3:36 pm
Sat June 27, 2015

For Families Of U.S. Hostages, New Policy May Bring New Hope

Linda Boyle (left) and Lyn Coleman hold a photo of their children, who were kidnapped in Afghanistan in 2012. Caitlan Coleman, an American married to Canadian Joshua Boyle, was pregnant when the couple was abducted.
Bill Gorman AP

Originally published on Sat June 27, 2015 4:36 pm

More than 80 Americans have been taken hostage abroad since Sept. 11, 2001. Currently, 30 Americans are being held around the world.

Until this week, the families of those hostages would have faced the threat of prosecution from the U.S. government for trying to pay a ransom to kidnappers.

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Book News & Features
3:26 pm
Sat June 27, 2015

Marvel's Half-Black, Half-Latino Spider-Man Is Going Mainstream

Marvel has put half-African-American, half-Latino teen Miles Morales in the Spider-Man suit.
Courtesy of Marvel

Originally published on Sat June 27, 2015 4:36 pm

Step aside, Peter Parker: There's a new Spider-Man joining the Marvel Universe.

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Author Interviews
3:12 pm
Sat June 27, 2015

How To Win The Money Game: A Former NBA Star Shares Financial Advice

Adonal Foyle (center) plays for the Orlando Magic against the Milwaukee Bucks in 2007.
Doug Benc Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 27, 2015 5:38 pm

According to Sports Illustrated, more than half of all NBA players are broke within five years of retirement. Most of the players come into professional sports totally unequipped to handle their own windfalls like cars, houses and fancy clothes.

Former NBA star Adonal Foyle is trying to help.

He offers financial advice for current and future professional athletes in his book Winning the Money Game: Lessons Learned from the Financial Fouls of Pro Athletes.

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Author Interviews
6:11 am
Sat June 27, 2015

Daniel Silva On 'Double-Edged Sword' Of Writing An Israeli Spy Protagonist

Lydia Thompson NPR

Originally published on Sat June 27, 2015 8:30 am

Another summer, another best-seller from novelist Daniel Silva. In The English Spy, the most famous woman in the world — a titled and gorgeous ex-member of the British royal family — is sunk on her yacht. To track down her killer, British Intelligence needs a little help — actually, a lot of help — from Gabriel Allon, an unassuming art restorer who is also, to those who have to know, a legendary and indispensable Israeli spy.

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Around the Nation
6:11 am
Sat June 27, 2015

National Cathedral Should Not Be Stained With Confederate Flag, Dean Says

A glass window at Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., shows Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. The dean of the cathedral has called for its removal.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 27, 2015 8:30 am

The Confederate stars and bars have been taken down from flagpoles and store shelves all over the country this week. Calls for their removal follow the June 17 shooting of nine people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C.

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Television
4:18 pm
Sun June 21, 2015

The Human Drama Of Hacking Fuels TV Thriller 'Mr. Robot'

USA's Mr. Robot tells the story of a cyber-security engineer and vigilant hacker (played by Rami Malek) who also suffers from anxiety.
Sarah Shatz USA Network

Originally published on Mon June 22, 2015 8:13 am

Cyborgs and androids are nowhere to be seen in the new USA show Mr. Robot. Instead, the drama is centered on a very human interior — the mind of Elliot, the unlikely hacker hero. From his first words — "Hello, friend" — his voice-over keeps audiences squarely inside his world.

"Elliot is sort of an internal, isolated guy who can't really interact with people socially, in real life, but online he can hack them and knows all the intimate, private details of them," Sam Esmail, the show's creator and executive producer, tells NPR's Arun Rath.

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Author Interviews
3:11 pm
Sun June 21, 2015

Beyond The 'Sometimes Sentimental' Story Of Filipino Migrants

Lydia Thompson NPR

Originally published on Sun June 21, 2015 4:18 pm

Mia Alvar was born in the Philippines, but as a small child her family moved to Bahrain. A few years later, they moved again, this time to New York.

The cities of her childhood are the settings in her debut collection of short stories, In The Country. The nine stories feature very different characters, in and outside of the Philippines, who are grappling with some form of exile or emigration.

"Part of the project," she tells NPR's Arun Rath, "was getting behind the official, sometimes sentimental, narrative about overseas Filipino workers."

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Asia
3:11 pm
Sun June 21, 2015

From California To Kathmandu, Task Force 2 Responds To Disasters

Members of Task Force 2 from the Los Angeles County Fire Department recovered survivors from a building that collapsed in May after a major aftershock in Singati, a mountain village in Nepal.
Kashish Das AP

Originally published on Sun June 21, 2015 4:18 pm

California's Task Force 2 is ready for anything. As an elite disaster response team based in Los Angeles County, it has to be. But it's not just prepped for disasters at home — it's ready to respond to emergencies halfway around the world as well.

Just days after the devastating April 25 earthquake in Nepal, Task Force 2's firefighters, doctors and engineers were on the ground, helping rescue people.

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World
3:11 pm
Sun June 21, 2015

Snapshot Sleuthing Confirms Russian Military Presence In Ukraine

A soldier in the Russian army posed, rifle in hand, for a snapshot at a battlefield checkpoint. Simon Ostrovsky, at right, located the same spot in Vuhlehirsk, in Ukraine's Donetsk region.
VICE News

Originally published on Mon June 22, 2015 6:03 am

Reports of the Russian military helping pro-Russian separatist fighters in Ukraine are common — but can be hard to confirm. Russia denies that its soldiers are fighting in Ukraine.

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Middle East
6:24 am
Sun June 21, 2015

For A British Man, Fighting ISIS Was Simply The Right Thing To Do

Seen here in an undated photograph, Macer Gifford — an alias he uses to protect his family — left his job as a financial trader in London to fight ISIS in Syria.
Courtesy of Macer Gifford

Originally published on Sun June 21, 2015 1:48 pm

We have heard about how ISIS is recruiting foreign fighters to join its ranks. But it's happening on the other side as well.

Just last week, a Massachusetts man who died fighting against ISIS in Syria was laid to rest.

Last year, a British man who calls himself Macer Gifford left his job as a financial trader in London and went to join the Kurds and fight the self-declared Islamic State in Syria.

Gifford spoke on the condition that NPR not reveal his real name, because he fears for the safety of his family in the UK.

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Book News & Features
5:57 am
Sun June 21, 2015

A Boy And A Brutal Slaughter In 'Caminar'

Originally published on Mon June 22, 2015 8:26 am

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

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Author Interviews
3:40 am
Sun June 21, 2015

After Years Of Blackouts, A Writer Remembers What She 'Drank To Forget'

Emily Bogle Emily Bogle

Originally published on Tue June 23, 2015 11:34 am

When Sarah Hepola got her very first writing job at The Austin Chronicle, her editor-in-chief gave her an unlikely Christmas gift — a hat that could hold beers. "It was my top boss," Hepola recalls, who had drawn her name in a Secret Santa gift exchange. "He just threw it on my desk and said: 'So you can drink more at work.'"

Hepola's new memoir -- Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget -- is filled with such funny/tragic stories, about drinking until last call, blacking out, and then trying to piece it all together the following day.

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Author Interviews
3:31 pm
Sat June 20, 2015

From Civilian To Spy: How An Average Guy Helped Bust A Russian Agent

Lydia Thompson NPR

Originally published on Mon June 22, 2015 11:28 am

For years, Naveed Jamali gave secrets to the Russians, selling out his country for cash.

Or so the Russians thought. In fact, Jamali was working for the FBI by pretending to be a spy for the Russians: a real-life double agent.

Jamali chronicles his experiences in his new book, How To Catch A Russian Spy: The True Story of an American Civilian Turned Double Agent.

The story starts back when Jamali was a child. A well-dressed Russian man entered his parent's bookstore to buy some books.

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Music Interviews
3:31 pm
Sat June 20, 2015

'Lester, You Changed Our Lives': Channeling Bangs In 'How To Be a Rock Critic'

Erik Jensen portrays rock critic Lester Bangs in the new one-man play How to Be a Rock Critic.
Craig Schwartz

Originally published on Sat June 20, 2015 4:42 pm

In his 33 years on earth, rock critic Lester Bangs left behind tens of thousands of pages of writing. He died of a drug overdose in 1982 — but this month, at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City, Calif., Bangs and his ideas are coming to life on stage in the new one-man play How to Be a Rock Critic.

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Author Interviews
3:52 am
Sat June 20, 2015

Survival Is Insufficient: 'Station Eleven' Preserves Art After The Apocalypse

Originally published on Sat June 20, 2015 8:40 am

Emily St. John Mandel's new novel, Station Eleven, opens with a vain actor — and is there really any other kind? — who dies of a heart attack onstage as he plays King Lear in Toronto. His co-stars can't remember if he had a family to notify. But soon, within minutes, the death of one man playing Lear disappears into the vast, mass death of a worldwide plague called the Georgia Flu.

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Interviews
3:03 am
Fri June 19, 2015

'I'm So Proud To Have You As A Daughter'

Mario Loiseau and his daughter Mabou during a recent visit to StoryCorps.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri June 19, 2015 10:20 am

Mario Loiseau works two jobs, including long hours as a parking lot attendant, to help pay for his 9-year-old daughter Mabou's tutoring. Mabou is a science and language prodigy and is already studying college-level algebra.

"So Daddy, how did you feel when I was born?" she asked her father during a recent visit to StoryCorps in New York City.

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Movie Interviews
3:03 am
Fri June 19, 2015

'Sadness Is Like A Superhero': Amy Poehler On Pixar's 'Inside Out'

"[Sadness is] such a funny opposite energy to Joy, who is literally jumping up and down," Poehler says. "And Sadness just wants to lie down and kind of feel her feelings." Poehler plays Joy (left) and Phyllis Smith plays Sadness in the new film Inside Out.
Disney/Pixar

Originally published on Sun June 21, 2015 10:37 am

A new animated feature from Pixar aims to do the near-impossible, as any parent would tell you: get inside the mind of a preteen girl. Inside Out is about an 11-year-old girl named Riley, but the real stars are her emotions — five colorful characters representing joy, sadness, anger, fear and disgust.

Pete Docter, the creative force behind Up and Monsters, Inc., wrote and directed the film, and actress Amy Poehler plays Joy. Both of them laugh about one of the biggest challenges of the movie: deciding how many emotions to include.

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All Tech Considered
3:03 am
Fri June 19, 2015

Q&A: Shigeru Miyamoto On The Origins Of Nintendo's Famous Characters

Shigeru Miyamoto plays the latest Mario game, called Super Mario Maker, at the Nintendo booth Wednesday at this year's E3 video game expo in Los Angeles.
Travis Larchuk NPR

Originally published on Fri June 19, 2015 9:16 am

Shigeru Miyamoto is the creator of many of Nintendo's iconic video game franchises, including Mario Bros., Donkey Kong and The Legend of Zelda. NPR's Laura Sydell interviewed the 62-year-old designer at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles this week.

Miyamoto spoke, through an interpreter, about the origins of his famous characters, how his life experiences inspire his creations and why Nintendo's latest console, the Wii U, failed to take off.

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The Two-Way
4:17 pm
Thu June 18, 2015

The Victims: 9 Were Slain At Charleston's Emanuel AME Church

Charleston residents visit a makeshift memorial for victims of Wednesday's mass shooting at the Emanuel AME Church on Calhoun Steet in Charleston, S.C.
Randall Hill Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sat June 20, 2015 6:44 pm

The nine people who were killed in a mass shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., on Wednesday have been identified by the authorities.

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Author Interviews
2:59 pm
Mon June 15, 2015

From Dating Exhaustion To ... Flo Rida? Aziz Ansari Surveys 'Modern Romance'

Aziz Ansari is a writer, stand-up comedian and actor well-known for playing Tom Haverford in NBC's Parks and Recreation.
Ruvan Wijesooriy Courtesy of Penguin Press

Originally published on Mon June 15, 2015 5:07 pm

In his stand-up, Aziz Ansari often talks about dating. And while he's now happily in a relationship, he's still fascinated with how people find each other — so fascinated, in fact, that he wrote a book about it called Modern Romance. The comic tells NPR's Audie Cornish, "I didn't want this book to be, you know, just for single people ... who are out there now, but I wanted to kind of do an overview of dating and relationships as a whole."

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Author Interviews
4:27 pm
Sun June 14, 2015

'You Couldn't Make This Stuff Up': Inside The Lives Of The 'China Rich'

Lydia Thompson NPR

Originally published on Mon June 15, 2015 11:06 am

In his 2014 novel Crazy Rich Asians, author Kevin Kwan took readers to Singapore and into the lives of Asia's elite, who live in a world of opulence so extreme, it's absurd.

The novel became an international best-seller, with a movie in the works.

Now those Crazy Rich Asians are back as a mix of old and new characters in Kwan's new novel, China Rich Girlfriend.

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Health
4:18 pm
Sun June 14, 2015

'Man With The Golden Arm' Donates Blood That Has Saved 2 Million Babies

James Harrison was recognized in 2003 with the Guinness World Record for the most blood donated by one person.
DAVID GRAY Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon June 15, 2015 9:20 am

When James Harrison was 14, he got really sick. One of his lungs had to be removed, and he needed a lot of blood.

"I was in the hospital for three months and I had 100 stitches," he recalls.

After receiving 13 units — almost 2 gallons — of donated blood, Harrison knew right away that he wanted to give back.

"I was always looking forward to donating, right from the operation, because I don't know how many people it took to save my life," he says. "I never met them, didn't know them."

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Arts & Life
6:18 am
Sun June 14, 2015

Shooting Barbs At The Stars: Kathy Griffin On Comedy And Intolerance

Kathy Griffin, onstage for her Like a Boss Tour.
David A. Beloff Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 14, 2015 9:02 am

Kathy Griffin has spent her career going for the joke. The comedian has developed a style that eviscerates celebrities, while sharing delightfully bizarre stories that could only happen in Hollywood.

Along the way, she's won fans who feel she tells it like it is ... and enemies who think she goes too far.

On her new tour, called "Like A Boss," Griffin will be traveling to 80 cities between June and December. And, she tells NPR's Rachel Martin, no topics are off-limits — even Caitlyn Jenner.

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Author Interviews
3:51 pm
Sat June 13, 2015

'Seven Good Years' Between The Birth Of A Son, Death Of A Father

Lydia Thompson NPR

Originally published on Sat June 13, 2015 4:21 pm

Israeli writer Etgar Keret is beloved around the world for his funny, haunting and frequently fantastical short stories. But he's hardly one to stick to a single medium: on top of his stories, he's written graphic novels, TV shows, movie scripts and a children's book. And public radio fans may know his work from its numerous appearances on This American Life.

But for 25 years — whether in print, on air, on screen or in comic-book form — he only wrote fiction.

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Sports
3:51 pm
Sat June 13, 2015

Academic Foul: Some Colleges Accused Of Helping Athletes Cheat

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill faces charges of NCAA violations including the existence of sham classes and grade inflation for student-athletes.
Gerry Broome AP

Originally published on Sat June 13, 2015 4:21 pm

Some college athletes are cheating, and the NCAA is cracking down on universities that enable them to do it. Earlier this year, the NCAA came down hard on Syracuse University for academic fraud.

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Author Interviews
3:21 am
Sat June 13, 2015

Lawyer Argues That Virtual Trials Would Make Justice System More Fair

Lydia Thompson NPR

Originally published on Mon June 15, 2015 12:18 pm

The death of Kalief Browder shined more harsh light on the American justice system. Browder was held at New York's Rikers Island prison complex for three years after being accused of stealing a backpack at 16. He was never tried, much less convicted, but spent nearly two years in solitary confinement and was savaged by gangs. Browder was finally released with no charges in 2013, but suffered aftereffects from incarceration.

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