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Afghanistan
5:09 am
Sun July 29, 2012

Disarming Afghan IEDs: Big Job, Too Few Trained

A student takes part in an exercise to disarm IEDs in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan.
Sean Carberry NPR

Originally published on Sun July 29, 2012 10:58 am

Improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, remain one of the biggest killers in Afghanistan. As NATO forces prepare to withdraw from the country, Afghans are learning the special skills needed to find and disarm these deadly weapons.

The training area near the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif is a large expanse of dirt and gravel, dotted with a few beat-up old taxis and scattered bunkers.

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Music Interviews
5:00 am
Sun July 29, 2012

Aerosmith's 'Sixth Member' Takes Center Stage

Russ Irwin has toured with Aerosmith for 15 years. His new solo record, Get Me Home, was released this May.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun July 29, 2012 10:58 am

Imagine being able to rock a piano so well that Aerosmith wants you as its touring keyboardist. That's what happened to Russ Irwin, and he's been sharing the stage with Steven Tyler and Joe Perry for 15 years.

"I'm staring at their backsides," he tells NPR's David Greene. "It's an interesting place to be."

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Americandy: Sweet Land Of Liberty
4:59 am
Sun July 29, 2012

In New Mexico, A Brittle Treat That Smolders

Nut brittles from the Las Cruces Candy Company are studded with pecans, pistachios and almonds, and infused with New Mexico's signature chili peppers — both green and red.
Melisa Goh NPR

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 10:20 am

New Mexicans can get a little carried away with their chile peppers. There's chile beer, chile pizza, chile ice cream — you can find the smoldering flavors of chile peppers in just about anything.

And then there's chile brittle. Luis Flores, owner of chili brittle purveyor Las Cruces Candy Company, beats the summer heat by getting up at 3 a.m. to prepare his specialties.

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Election 2012
4:59 am
Sun July 29, 2012

Does Sen. Thune Have The Right Stuff For Romney?

Mitt Romney gets a kick out of South Dakota Sen. John Thune's comments during a January rally in Dubuque, Iowa.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 10:47 am

Mike Lee is one of the most conservative members of the Senate. The freshman Utah Republican was elected with strong Tea Party backing and, like Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, he's a man of the West.

Mention the possibility that Thune, 51, might team up with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and Lee's eyes light up: "I love John," he says. "He's articulate, passionate, collegial. I mean ... I think he'd be great."

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Music Interviews
4:58 am
Sun July 29, 2012

Spirit Family Reunion: Music For Church Basements

Spirit Family Reunion performs at NPR's headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Tom Bullock NPR

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 3:24 pm

It's summer. It's hot. And that means it's time for a particular kind of music: the kind that streams from church basements and empty lots, raising your spirit as high as the mercury. It's revival season.

Spirit Family Reunion isn't from Appalachia or the plains; the band is from Brooklyn. Its music, though clearly Americana-based, casts a wide enough net to elude classification.

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