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Afghanistan
8:05 am
Sun March 29, 2015

Afghan Chief Executive: Leaders Set Aside Egos To Rally For Nation

Afghanistan's Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah (left) stands with President Ashraf Ghani, Vice President Joe Bidden, Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan at a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns on Tuesday.
Andrew Harnik AP

Originally published on Sun March 29, 2015 10:33 am

Afghanistan's leaders were in Washington last week asking for more assistance from the U.S. They got what they wanted: President Obama announced he would postpone the withdrawal of thousands of U.S. troops this year. Those forces are needed to help Afghanistan troops battle the Taliban as the spring
fighting season heats up.

President Ashraf Ghani was accompanied on this trip by Abdullah Abdullah, the chief executive of the Afghan government. They were bitter rivals in Afghanistan's presidential election last year and are now sharing power in a unity government.

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Music
7:37 am
Sun March 29, 2015

Courtney Barnett Talks Songwriting And Shyness

Courtney Barnett.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun March 29, 2015 8:43 am

For more conversations with music-makers, check out NPR's Music Interviews.

Music Interviews
7:26 am
Sun March 29, 2015

Big Data: Dance Floor Jams For The Cyber-Paranoid

Alan Wilkis is the founder of the electronic act Big Data.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun March 29, 2015 10:33 am

The electronic act Big Data made its opening salvo to the music world in 2013 with a single called "Dangerous." The lyrics, which exuded digital-age fears about privacy and surveillance, couldn't have been further in tone from the hard-grooving, extremely danceable music — and that, says founder Alan Wilkis, was precisely the point.

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Sports
6:35 pm
Sat March 28, 2015

The Cautionary Tale Of A Big-Time Bracket Bust

Oklahoma's Buddy Hield, right, and Denzel Valentine of Michigan State played in Friday's East Regional Semifinal of the 2015 NCAA tournament in Syracuse. If you've got money riding on this year's NCAA tournament, you might want to hear about what happened to John Bovary's football pool.
Maddie Meyer Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 29, 2015 10:57 am

About 25 years ago, John Bovery started a modest football pool out of his home in New Jersey. It had 57 participants, all friends and co-workers.

But thanks to word of mouth — and the multiplying factor of email — Bovery's pool grew to staggering proportions. At one point, it got too large for Bovery to handle himself, so he contacted a software company to custom-build something suited to his needs.

By 2009, it included more than 8,000 entries from people around the globe, with a total payout of more than $800,000.

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Deceptive Cadence
5:24 pm
Sat March 28, 2015

A Young Composer's Evening Prayers For Troubled Times

Missy Mazzoli
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat March 28, 2015 5:30 pm

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The Salt
5:02 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Was Your Seafood Caught By Slaves? AP Uncovers Unsavory Trade

A 3,000-ton cargo ship at Thajeen Port in Samut Sakhon, Thailand, 15 days after it set sail from Benjina, Indonesia. The company that owns the ship said it is not involved with the fishermen. "We only carry the shipment and we are hired, in general, by clients," said owner Panya Luangsomboon. "We're separated from the fishing boats."
Wong Maye-E AP

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 4:04 pm

Some of the seafood that winds up in American grocery stores, in restaurants, even in cat food may have been caught by Burmese slaves. That's the conclusion of a yearlong investigation by The Associated Press.

The AP discovered and interviewed dozens of men being held against their will on Benjina, a remote Indonesian island, which serves as the base for a trawler fleet that fishes in the area.

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Goats and Soda
5:02 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Her Instagram Feed Finds The Fun In Long-Suffering Somalia

Ugaaso Boocow is back — and instagramming — in her homeland of Somalia.
Courtesy of Ugaaso A. Boocow

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 10:23 am

Ugaaso Abukar Boocow has become an Instagram sensation by sending out stunning visual messages from an unlikely place: poor, suffering Somalia.

She was just a toddler when her grandmother fled with her to Canada to escape Somalia's civil war, leaving her mother behind.

Then last year, she decided to go back, moving to the capital, Mogadishu, and reuniting with her mother, whom she hadn't seen in over two decades.

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Shots - Health News
3:38 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Critic Faults Alcoholics Anonymous For Lack Of Evidence

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 8:24 pm

Founded by two men in Akron, Ohio, in 1935, Alcoholics Anonymous has since spread around the world as a leading community-based method of overcoming alcohol dependence and abuse. Many people swear by the 12-step method, which has become the basis of programs to treat the abuse of drugs, gambling, eating disorders and other compulsive behaviors.

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The Salt
5:28 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Heinz And Kraft: Before They Were Food Giants, They Were Men

Henry J. Heinz
Library of Congress

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 8:00 pm

Heinz and Kraft.

When we hear those names we think ketchup and Velveeta, right?

But before they were products and companies that will merge to become a giant with $28 billion in revenue, Heinz and Kraft were men.

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Music Interviews
3:09 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Cuban Music's Most Successful Accident Rises Again

The new album Lost And Found compiles unheard recordings from the Buena Vista Social Club sessions, as well as solo work from the musicians involved.
Alejandro Perez Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 8:00 pm

In Cuba, there are songs you're just as likely to hear on a street corner today as you would have been in the 1950s. For decades, that Cuban traditional music went largely unheard and unnoticed by the rest of the world — and then came an album called Buena Vista Social Club.

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