Summer Nights: Funtown
5:03 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

For A Silvery Calif. Fish, A Special Moonlit Night

People stand on the beach to catch grunion during the annual grunion run at Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro, Calif., in 2009.
Jae C. Hong AP

Summertime is beach time in Southern California, even at night. Locals gather around bonfires, roast marshmallows and enjoy each other's company. On some very special nights, there's even sex — at least for the fish.

The grunion run happens only in the spring and summer months. Late at night, under the full and new moons, thousands of tiny, silvery fish swim to shore for a very peculiar mating ritual.

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A Blog Supreme
4:59 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Jazz Goes Honky-Tonkin': The Songs Of Hank Williams

Hank Williams has written plenty of tunes covered by jazz artists over the years.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 11:12 am

Hank Williams was a great singer-songwriter who forged his own brand of honky-tonk music from a variety of influences: country, folk, blues, gospel and jazz. Yes, jazz.

If you haven't listened to his music in a while you might not recall — Williams had swing. And even if some jazz listeners have forgotten that fact, many jazz players haven't. Here then are five jazz artists out of many who have taken Williams' music and put their own spins on it.

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The Two-Way
4:22 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Moscow Court Upholds 100-Year Ban On Gay Pride Events

Russian police officers detain a gay rights activist with his flag during an attempt to hold a gay pride parade in Moscow in May.
Mikhail Metzel AP

Aside from the sentencing of the punk rock band Pussy Riot, there was another interesting ruling out of Moscow today: A court upheld the city's 100-year ban on gay pride events.

According to the BBC, Nikolay Alexeye, Russia's most prominent gay rights activist, challenged the city council's decision to ban any events that could be considered "gay parades" from March 2012 until May 2112.

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Election 2012
4:13 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Once 'The Obama Of Alabama,' Now A GOP Headliner

Artur Davis, with his wife, Tara, concedes the Democratic gubernatorial race in Birmingham, Ala., in 2010. Since losing that race, he has become a Republican and moved to Virginia.
Mark Almond AP

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 8:57 pm

Four years ago in Denver, Artur Davis took the podium at the Democratic National Convention to speak up for Barack Obama.

"I am honored to second the nomination of the man whose victory tonight takes us closer to becoming what we know America can be," he said.

But now, as President Obama seeks re-election, Davis is on the list of scheduled speakers for the Republican National Convention.

The former Democratic congressman from Alabama, who tried and failed to become the state's first black governor, is now a Republican resident of Virginia.

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Europe
4:08 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Russian Rockers Get Prison Sentences

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 5:03 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block. Human rights groups are denouncing the sentence handed down today to members of the Russian feminist punk band, Pussy Riot. The group's crimes? It staged a protest in Moscow's main Russian Orthodox Cathedral last winter. A judge convicted the three women of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred and sentenced each of them to two years in a labor camp.

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U.S.
4:08 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Budgets Tight, States Ask Voters To Raise Taxes

California Gov. Jerry Brown, speaking in Sacramento on Wednesday, advocates a ballot initiative that would increase sales and income taxes. Several states have measures on the November ballot that seek to plug deficits by raising taxes.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 5:03 pm

Tax increases will join political candidates on the November ballot in several states struggling to plug some big holes in their budgets.

One of the most closely watched measures is in California, where Gov. Jerry Brown has staked his reputation on closing his state's multibillion-dollar budget gap.

On Wednesday in Sacramento, Brown officially kicked off his campaign to get voter approval to raise taxes via the Schools Public Safety Protection Act, also known as Proposition 30.

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It's All Politics
4:08 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Five Social Issues On November Ballots

Petitions for Referendum 74, which would provide a public vote on gay marriage, were submitted in June in Olympia, Wash.
Elaine Thompson AP

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 5:03 pm

In addition to choosing a president and members of Congress, voters in several states will weigh in on high-profile social issues on Nov. 6. Here are some of the key voter initiatives on ballots:

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The Record
4:08 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Music As The Ultimate Rebel Yell

Thomas Mapfumo wrote one of the most famous revolutionary songs, "Hokoyo."
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 6:18 pm

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Participation Nation
3:33 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Outreach With A Wrench In Homer, Alaska

The generous Brant Torsen at Boog's Automotive shop.
Nathan Rott for NPR

Brant "Boog" Torsen can't fix everyone's cars for cookies. Wouldn't have much of a business if he did. But he knows that when you've got a repair garage in a place like Homer, sometimes folks need a little help to make sure the town's nickname — "The End of the Road" — doesn't apply to them.

That's why Boog's done everything from "fixing engines to replacing turn signal bulbs," for nothing more than handshakes and once, a plate of double chocolate chip cookies.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:14 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

WHO Calls For Emergency Stockpile Of Cholera Vaccine

Thousands of doses of cholera vaccine sit in a refrigerated trailer in a United Nations compound in Saint-Marc, Haiti, in March. After some delays, a vaccination project proved successful.
John Poole NPR

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 4:11 pm

A month ago the results of a successful cholera vaccine project in Haiti became available. Now the World Health Organization is calling for the establishment of a global stockpile of the vaccine to respond to outbreaks like Haiti's.

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