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Music Interviews
4:21 am
Fri March 13, 2015

'We Knew Things Were Different For Us': Heems On Rap, Race And Identity

Heems' first proper solo album, Eat Pray Thug, focuses on his experiences as an Indian-American raised in Queens, N.Y.
Shivani Gupta Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun March 15, 2015 11:06 pm

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Music Interviews
2:03 am
Wed March 11, 2015

How Mexico Learned To Polka

Legendary norteño group Los Alegres de Terán, in a promotional still from the 1976 documentary Chulas Fronteras.
Courtesy of The Arhoolie Foundation Frontera Archive/UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center Press

Originally published on Sat March 14, 2015 12:59 pm

A casual listener would be forgiven for not knowing one kind of accordion music from another. But where two cultures in particular are concerned, the similarity comes with a century-old backstory involving immigration and imitation.

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The Salt
5:03 pm
Tue March 10, 2015

Tea Tuesdays: The Scottish Spy Who Stole China's Tea Empire

Robert Fortune was a 19th-century Scottish botanist who helped the East India Trading Company swipe the secrets of tea production from China.
Apic/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 11:44 am

Editor's Note: A version of this story originally ran in March 2010.

In the mid-19th century, Britain was an almost unchallenged empire. It controlled about a fifth of the world's surface, and yet its weakness had everything to do with tiny leaves soaked in hot water: tea. By 1800, it was easily the most popular drink among Britons.

The problem? All the tea in the world came from China, and Britain couldn't control the quality or the price. So around 1850, a group of British businessmen set out to create a tea industry in a place they did control: India.

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Latin America
4:19 am
Tue March 10, 2015

Explorers Discover Ancient Lost City In Honduran Jungle

A view of part of the vast Mosquitia jungle in Honduras. A team of explorers, guided by scans made from airplanes, recently discovered an important ancient city in the region.
Courtesy of UTL Productions

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 1:43 pm

For almost a century, explorers have searched the jungles of Honduras for a legendary lost city known as the White City, or the City of the Monkey God.

A team of explorers — including archaeologists and a documentary filmmaker — have just returned from an expedition in person, after using a new technology to search for evidence of ruins by plane.

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Music
5:01 pm
Sun March 8, 2015

A Jazz Pianist Taps Armenian Folk, Metal Riffs And A Sense Of History

"Sometimes the music that I write doesn't need to have lyrics, it just needs vowels," says jazz artist Tigran Hamaysan.
Maeve Stam Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun March 8, 2015 8:25 pm

Musicians arrive at their signature sounds through all sorts of influences. For jazz pianist Tigran Hamaysan, that collection of sounds comes from far afield — he's a fan of progressive metal bands like Tool and Meshuggah — as well as from his backyard.

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Music Interviews
5:00 pm
Sat March 7, 2015

Making Records Is 'Not A Race' For Modest Mouse

Isaac Brock performs with Modest Mouse.
Jennifer Baniszewski Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun March 8, 2015 8:45 pm

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Music
6:18 am
Sat March 7, 2015

From The Shadows Of Apartheid, Three Singers Bring Their Voices To The States

Bala Brothers.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat March 7, 2015 10:29 am

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Parallels
3:44 am
Thu March 5, 2015

Boris Nemtsov: 'He Directed His Words Against Putin Himself'

Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, who was shot dead last Friday, was one of the most outspoken critics of President Vladimir Putin. No arrests have been made in his killing.
Ivan Sekretarev AP

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 10:11 am

Boris Nemtsov was just 37 when Russian President Boris Yeltsin named him deputy prime minister in 1997. Trained as a physicist, Nemtsov symbolized a new generation of young leaders who rose to power in the chaotic aftermath of the Soviet breakup.

But after Vladimir Putin became president, Nemtsov joined the liberal opposition and became an outspoken critic. He was arrested on several occasions, but continued his attacks on the Russian leader.

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Shots - Health News
4:03 am
Tue March 3, 2015

What Shapes Health? Webcast Explores Social And Economic Factors

Mitchell Funk/Getty Images/Harvard

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 12:14 pm

Health is more than the sum of its parts. Sometimes in surprising ways, factors such as childhood experiences, housing conditions, poor diets and health care access drive who ends up sick — and who does not.

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Goats and Soda
4:02 am
Mon March 2, 2015

Liberia's President: Ebola Re-Energized Her Downtrodden Country

Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, photographed in Washington, D.C., on February 26.
Ariel Zambelich NPR

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 9:55 am

There's a lot to celebrate in Liberia: The number of new Ebola cases have been declining, kids are going back to school and life is returning to some semblance of normalcy.

Last year, Ebola struck the country and since then, it has killed more than 4,000 Liberians. But among the three hardest-hit countries in West Africa, Liberia has been the fastest at containing the outbreak. Just last week, the region reported 99 new cases of Ebola. Only one of those came out of Liberia.

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