Thistle and Shamrock
1:01 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Thistle And Shamrock: Essential Celtic

Alan Stivell
Courtesy of the artist

How do you inject a Celtic core into your music library that will reflect the past and present, honoring the purity of tradition and the spirit of innovation? It's a tall order but we have some suggestions this week to enhance any collection.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR Story
12:58 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Sitar Player Remembers The Legendary Ravi Shankar

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 3:04 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

As you probably heard by now, the great sitar player Ravi Shankar died yesterday at the age of 92. His music arrived in most American ears thanks to George Harrison and the Beatles, whose interest triggered something of a sitar craze back in the late '60s. Harrison played the exotic instrument on a couple of tracks. The Rolling Stones followed suit on "Paint It Black." The electric sitar soon followed. But Ravi Shankar remained the unchallenged master. But what do I know? He's the only Indian-born sitar player I ever heard.

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NPR Story
12:58 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Flu Season 2012: What You Should Know this Year

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 1:56 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. This year's flu season started early. Eight states already report widespread flu activity, and doctors say it's a nasty strain this year, too. The good news is this year's vaccine is a good match. But even so, the flu will kill thousands more, probably tens of thousands of Americans, before it runs its course. Why? And what more can we do to reduce that number?

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NPR Story
12:58 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Obama's Cabinet Reshuffle, What's Next For Hillary?

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 3:01 pm

President Barack Obama is expected to make some key changes to his second-term cabinet. As Hillary Clinton prepares to step down as Secretary of State, many wonder whether she will run for president in 2016.

Music Reviews
12:22 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

A 'Warrior' Looking For Legitimacy

Ke$ha's new album is titled Warrior.
Yu Tsai Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 3:53 pm

Ke$ha uses a dollar-sign instead of an "s" in the middle of her stage name. It's one of those gestures that's meant to bait her detractors — suggesting before anyone else does that she's only in it for the money. It turns out, though, that like pop stars ranging from Madonna on back to Chuck Berry, Ke$ha wants it both ways: mass-audience success and artistic acknowledgment. For Ke$ha, that's what her album title Warrior means: She's fighting a war on multiple fronts.

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Best Music Of 2012
12:18 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Ann Powers' Top Albums And Songs Of 2012

Miguel's killer 2012 began with the release of three free Art Dealer Chic mixtapes. His second full-length album, Kaleidoscope Dream, followed in September.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 12:57 pm

Every year as I make my lists of best releases, I feel like that cartoon bodybuilder at the beach, ridiculously flexing in hopes of gaining some fluttery attention. How silly! My ego is all wrapped up in proving my superior powers of discernment, and here's the big competition, where my picks prove that I have more muscle than than my peers. Some years defeat the critic's effort to show off, however: consensus is so strong about a few releases that we all have to strike the same adoring poses.

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Best Music Of 2012
12:15 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Bob Boilen's Top 10 Albums Of 2012

Britain's Alt-J was this year's Mercury Prize winner, for the band's debut album An Awesome Wave. The group is also Bob Boilen's pick for Album Of The Year.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 9:58 am

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The Two-Way
12:14 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Sources: Syrian Rebels Training On Anti-Aircraft Weapons In Jordan

To date, Syrian rebels have had to rely on small-scale weapons in their fight against the Syrian army. Here, a rebel fighter throws an explosive device toward a Syrian government position in the northern city of Aleppo last month.
John Cantlie AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 12:50 pm

The U.S. has now formally recognized a new Syrian opposition group as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people. But the U.S. has repeatedly declined to provide weapons for rebels fighting President Bashar Assad's army.

However, NPR has learned that there are movements behind the scenes. In Jordan, several Syrian sources said that Jordanian authorities, along with their U.S. and British counterparts, have organized training for Syrian rebels on sophisticated anti-aircraft weapons.

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Author Interviews
12:13 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Joseph Kennedy, 'Patriarch' Of An American Dynasty

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 3:03 pm

By the time he turned 40, Joseph Kennedy was a millionaire many times over and the head of what would soon become one of America's greatest political dynasties. In his new biography of the senior Kennedy, The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy, David Nasaw charts Kennedy's life and trajectory from Boston society boy to Hollywood bigwig to controversial ambassador to Great Britain as World War II unfolded on the European stage.

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The Two-Way
12:12 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Wal-Mart's Lobbying In U.S. To Be Probed By Indian Government

September 2012: Employees celebrate the opening of a Best Price Modern store in Hyderabad, India. Bharti Enterprises manages that and other such stores, which Wal-Mart has invested in.
Noah Seelam AFP/Getty Images

India's government has approved an inquiry into Wal-Mart's lobbying activities in the U.S. as a heated debate over the retail giant's plans for stores in India moves into a new phase, NPR's Julie McCarthy tells us from New Delhi.

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