Parallels
2:35 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

What's In A Name? A Lot If You're A Country

Afghan President Hamid Karzai reportedly pulled his representatives out of planned peace talks because of the flag and the nameplate at the Taliban office in Doha, Qatar. Both were legacies of the time the Taliban ruled the country and illustrated how sensitive such symbols can be.
EPA/Landov

A flag and a nameplate: Those seemingly innocuous items were apparently the reason that Afghan President Hamid Karzai abruptly refused to participate in peace talks also involving the Taliban and the U.S.

The flag was the same white flag the Taliban used when they ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001. The nameplate bore the words "Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan," the name used by the old Taliban government.

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Favorite Sessions
1:51 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

Jonathan Wilson: Laurel Canyon Personified

Laurel Canyon devotee Jonathan Wilson performed a special concert for KEXP.
Charina Pitzel KEXP

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 3:25 pm

To look at Jonathan Wilson is to know where he's coming from. There's the long, straight hair tied back; the well-kept but not exactly neat beard; the army-green coat over a well-worn band T-shirt: It all evokes '70s hippie chic, tempered by a contemporary sense of taste.

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Remembrances
1:19 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

Gandolfini Through The Eyes Of Those He Worked With

Actor James Gandolfini speaks at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards in January 2013. He died on June 19.
Stephen Lovekin Getty Images

As New Jersey mob boss Tony Soprano on The Sopranos, which ran on HBO from 1999 to 2007, James Gandolfini created a character that helped open television to a new era of great and nuanced acting. When he died in Italy on Wednesday at the age of 51, fans around the world were shocked.

And as Fresh Air's television critic David Bianculli noticed, there was an instant online outpouring that celebrated "what an iconic performance he gave us in terms of television."

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Author Interviews
1:19 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

'The Center Holds' Sees Victory For Moderates In Obama's Win

In his new book, The Center Holds, Jonathan Alter looks at President Obama's re-election campaign.
Simon & Schuster

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 1:50 pm

Journalist Jonathan Alter sees the 2012 presidential contest as the most consequential election of recent times. In his new book, The Center Holds, Alter argues that President Obama's re-election prevented the country from veering sharply to the right.

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Arts & Life
1:16 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

Nikky Finney Ponders Possibilities Of The Poetry Profession

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 1:25 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Over the past several weeks, we checked in with our colleagues and friends in a series of conversations called "Looking Ahead," today, poet Nikky Finney. Two years ago, she riveted the audience as she accepted a National Book Award for her poetry collection "Head Off & Split."

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED SPEECH)

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The Two-Way
1:15 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

Second Reported Miracle Paves Way For Pope John Paul's Sainthood

Cardinal Stanislav Dziwisz, archbishop of Krakow and former personal secretary of Pope John Paul II, prays in front of the late pope's tomb at St. Peter's Basilica in 2011, in Vatican City.
Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 1:53 pm

It's a miracle, though we're not quite sure of the details yet.

A Vatican official confirms that a committee of theologians has approved a second miracle attributed to Pope John Paul II's posthumous intercession — a sine qua non for sainthood.

Italian media say a Costa Rican woman was cured of a severe brain injury after her family prayed to the memory of the late pope. The Vatican is set to release details in the next week or so.

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NPR Story
1:14 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

'Blood & Beauty' Breathes New Life Into The Borgias

Sarah Dunant is also author of the novels The Birth of Venus and Sacred Hearts.
Charlie Hopkinson

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 11:48 am

In the 1500s, Italy is bursting with some of the most influential and vivid figures in history. Many — like Leonardo da Vinci, who balanced art and the sciences; Galileo Galilei, who turned his telescope to the heavens; and Niccolo Machiavelli, who calculated the ruthless politics of the day — are still remembered even now for their major contributions.

Author Sarah Dunant has drilled down into the Italian Renaissance for over a decade — reconstructing a time of artistic innovation, political corruption and war into captivating, and highly accurate, fiction.

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Politics
1:11 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

4 Facts You Might Not Have Known About The IRS Scandal

Dennis Brack Landov

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 12:52 pm

For a little more than a month now, we've been reporting on the IRS's flagging of Tea Party and conservative groups for extra scrutiny. Through it all, some basic questions remain: Who ordered the targeting? And why?

We don't have any satisfying answers to those questions yet — and it seems neither do the congressional investigators. But along the way, as new revelations have trickled out, we've noticed some surprising and even puzzling facts about the situation that haven't gotten much attention.

Here are four of them:

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Iraq
1:10 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

After A Surge Of Violence, The Threat Of A New Civil War In Iraq

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan.

Yesterday, seven people were killed and 24 wounded in bomb attacks in Iraq as a surge of violence there continues, 2,000 dead since April; numbers that haven't been seen since the worst days of 2006 and 2007. Then as now, the fighting is largely between Sunnis and Shiites, but this time, inflamed by the civil war raging next door in Syria.

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Alt.Latino
1:10 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

Vem Pra Rua: The Music Of Brazilian Protest

A protester waves a Brazilian flag over cars driving to the football stadium in Fortaleza, Northern Brazil, on June 19, 2013.
Vanderlei Almeida AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 2:08 pm

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