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Environment
5:30 am
Sun July 21, 2013

Fighting Fire With Fire: Why Some Burns Are Good For Nature

An arborist from the Montana Conservation Corps works to clear pine trees from land in Centennial Valley, Mont.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Sun July 21, 2013 1:50 pm

Wildfires were once essential to the American West. Prairies and forests burned regularly, and those fires not only determined the mix of flora and fauna that made up the ecosystem, but they regenerated the land.

When people replaced wilderness with homes and ranches, they aggressively eliminated fire. But now, scientists are trying to bring fire back to the wilderness, to recreate what nature once did on its own.

One place they're doing this is Centennial Valley, in southwestern Montana.

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All Tech Considered
5:21 am
Sun July 21, 2013

High-End Stores Use Facial Recognition Tools To Spot VIPs

Hey, isn't that ...? New facial recognition software is designed to help store employees recognize celebrities like Mindy Kaling — and other bold-faced names.
Chelsea Lauren Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 21, 2013 2:33 pm

When a young Indian-American woman walked into the funky L.A. jewelry boutique Tarina Tarantino, store manager Lauren Twisselman thought she was just like any other customer. She didn't realize the woman was actress and writer Mindy Kaling.

"I hadn't watched The Office," Twisselman says. Kaling both wrote and appeared in the NBC hit.

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Code Switch
4:56 am
Sun July 21, 2013

Black Americans Welcome Obama's Entry To Race Discussion

A man holds up a sign at the "Justice for Trayvon" rally in downtown Chicago on Saturday.
Scott Eisen AP

Originally published on Mon July 22, 2013 11:41 am

As soon as he made his remarks on race Friday, President Obama was part of an intense conversation around the nation.

In dozens of cities across the country on Saturday, protesters held coordinated rallies and vigils over the not-guilty verdict in the shooting death of unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla. Many African-Americans insist that understanding the context for black distress over the Zimmerman verdict is key to honest discussions about race.

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Parallels
2:35 am
Sun July 21, 2013

India's Massive Challenge Of Feeding Every Poor Person

The Indian government's new food security plan would cover impoverished families like this one in the city of Allahabad.
Rajesh Kumar Singh AP

We've become familiar with the story of India's economic ascent and the creation of a large middle class. While that story is true, hundreds of millions of Indians have not been lifted out of extreme poverty.

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Politics
5:03 pm
Sat July 20, 2013

Return To Iowa

Cyclists pass a grain elevator in The Des Moines Register's annual bike ride across Iowa in 2011. NPR correspondents are joining the ride this year and documenting the journey.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 5:19 pm

Join three NPR reporters as they explore the Iowa they didn't see on the presidential trail.

Don Gonyea, Scott Horsley and Brian Naylor will tour the state by bike this time around, as part of The Des Moines Register's 41st Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, better known as RAGBRAI.

Follow their travels!

Space
4:34 pm
Sat July 20, 2013

One Small Step For Man, One Giant Lunar Park For The U.S.?

The moon, seen from the International Space Station, on July 31.
NASA

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 5:50 pm

Can astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin's "giant leap for mankind" be permanently preserved? Two House Democrats want to do just that: They proposed a bill to create a national historic park for the Apollo 11 mission — on the moon. The legislation would designate a park on the moon to honor that first mission, as well as preserve artifacts from other lunar missions

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Author Interviews
4:34 pm
Sat July 20, 2013

'No Regrets': A Murder Mystery, Tangled In Life's Troubles

iStockphoto.com

South Florida has been irresistible for crime writers, among them Carl Hiaasen, Edna Buchanan and Harry Crews. Now John Dufresne, most famously the author of the novel Louisiana Power and Light, has joined that list with his first mystery novel.

No Regrets, Coyote is Dufresne's eighth novel, and it begins with the killing of an entire family in the fictional South Florida town of Eden. When the police get to the scene of the crime, they find a typed note, which they insist is a suicide letter.

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History
4:34 pm
Sat July 20, 2013

Remembering The North's First Black Civil War Unit

Originally published on Mon July 22, 2013 4:13 pm

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

If you're just joining us, this is WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden.

One hundred and fifty years ago, the 54th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry fought a historic battle in the Civil War. The unit was almost entirely African-American. They would have been called colored back then. The first such unit from the North to fight for the union. You might have seen their story depicted in the movie "Glory" with Denzel Washington.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "GLORY")

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Book Reviews
3:38 pm
Sat July 20, 2013

You'll Want To Hang Up On These 'Secret Conversations'

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 4:34 pm

A country girl from Grabtown, N.C., Ava Gardner arrived in Hollywood in 1941 knowing she couldn't act but, gorgeous as she was, she never had to let that slow her down. Her beauty — which reportedly intimidated Elizabeth Taylor — won her not just film roles and studio-paid acting lessons, but the attentions of all-American boy Mickey Rooney, whom she married and divorced before she turned 21. She had a similarly brief union with bandleader Artie Shaw — she called those two her "starter husbands" — before a tempestuous, headline-making marriage to Frank Sinatra.

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The Two-Way
3:05 pm
Sat July 20, 2013

Six Men Jailed For Life In Rape Of Swiss Tourist In India

Indian policemen escort suspects in the rape case of a Swiss tourist to court in March. All six accused were sentenced to life on Saturday.
AFP/Getty Images

An Indian court has sentenced six men to life in prison in connection with the gang rape of a Swiss tourist in March.

The 39-year-old woman was raped as she and her husband were camping in India's central state of Madhya Pradesh.

As we reported back in March, police say the attackers tied up the man and raped the woman in his presence. The men then robbed the couple of cash, a laptop and cell phone.

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