3:09am

Sat July 7, 2012
U.S.

Gridlock: Storms, Blackouts Expose Power Problems

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 12:19 pm

A power pole is bent after severe storms hit the Bemidji, Minn., area on Tuesday, knocking down thousands of trees and causing extensive damage to utility lines. Thousands of customers were left without power.
Monte Draper AP

As hundreds of thousands swelter without power a week after a violent storm pummeled the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic, energy experts say the future will look even worse if the nation's aging, congested electrical grid isn't upgraded.

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3:08am

Sat July 7, 2012
U.S.

How One Drought Changed Texas Agriculture Forever

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 12:40 pm

Siblings Charles Hagood and Nancy Hagood Nunns grew up in Junction, Texas, in the 1950s. Charles says the drought drove ranchers to find other types of work.
Michael O'Brien Michael O'Brien

In Texas, there is still the drought against which all other droughts are measured: the seven-year dry spell in the 1950s. It was so devastating that agriculture losses exceeded those of the Dust Bowl years, and so momentous that it kicked off the modern era of water planning in Texas.

From 1950 to 1957, the sky dried up and the rain refused to fall. Every day, Texans scanned the pale-blue heavens for rainclouds, but year after year they never came.

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1:02am

Sat July 7, 2012
The Two-Way

U.S. Gives Afghanistan New Ally Status As Part Of 2014 Transition

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 5:11 am

In Kabul, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announces that Afghanistan is now a "major non-NATO ally" alongside Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
Sean Carberry for NPR

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made an unannounced visit to Afghanistan this morning, and she brought along some news. The country has officially been designated a "major non-NATO ally" of the U.S., which will facilitate defense and security cooperation between the countries even after the U.S. withdraws combat troops in 2014.

In an emailed press release, the State Department says the status "qualifies a country for certain privileges supporting defense and security cooperation but does not entail any security commitment to that country."

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11:08pm

Fri July 6, 2012
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: Summer Cooking From Top Chefs

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 8:57 am

Bridget Lancaster and Jack Bishop prepare a traditional summer barbecue, as imagined by WHYY's artist-in-residence, Tony Auth.
Tony Auth

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:


Summer Cooking Tips From 'America's Test Kitchen': Jack Bishop and Bridget Lancaster highlight some of their favorite grilling techniques and summer recipes — everything from meats to vegetables to, yes, even desserts.

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11:03pm

Fri July 6, 2012
Author Interviews

Remembering George Szell, Powerhouse Conductor

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 2:42 pm

Michael Charry was the "sorcerer's apprentice" to celebrated 20th-century conductor George Szell. For the last decade of Szell's tenure at the Cleveland Orchestra, Charry was an assistant conductor.

Now, Charry has captured the power of Szell's artistry — as well as his tempestuous personality — in a new biography called George Szell: A Life of Music.

Charry vividly recalls Szell testing him on how many notes he could find in a chord when he first auditioned for the job.

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5:12pm

Fri July 6, 2012
Transportation

High-Speed Rail passes California Legislature

The California State Senate today narrowly authorized funding for the nation’s biggest high-speed rail plan.

This vote authorizes initial funding for the bullet train, with construction set to begin in the Central Valley. It also provides close to $2 billion to upgrade Caltrain, and commuter rail lines in Los Angeles.

The senate vote was mostly along party lines, with Democrats supporting the plan and Republicans opposing, but several powerful Democrats crossed the aisle, including the chair of the transportation committee, Mark DeSaulnier.

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2:29pm

Fri July 6, 2012
Religion

Evangelicals Fight Over Therapy To 'Cure' Gays

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 1:46 pm

iStockphoto.com

Supporters call it "conversion therapy." Critics call it "praying away the gay." Whatever name you use, it's creating a ruckus in Christian circles about whether a person can change his or her sexual orientation. And now the largest "ex-gay ministry" is rejecting the approach.

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2:12pm

Fri July 6, 2012
Music Interviews

16 Musical Odes To Very Strange Animals

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 10:21 am

Illustrator Jelmer Noordeman's rendering of a real-life creature: the venomous, nocturnal solenodon.
Jelmer Noordeman

CD sleeves usually feature pictures of the musicians, the text of lyrics and copious thanks.

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2:04pm

Fri July 6, 2012
The Salt

Finding Food (Even Filet Mignon) During A Week Without Power

It has been about a week since a gigantic wind storm tore through the Mid-Atlantic, leaving millions without electricity in its tattered wake. By now much of the debris has been cleared, but Reuters reports that 500,000 Americans are still without power, which of course is keeping many people out of their kitchens.

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1:57pm

Fri July 6, 2012
World

At Last, A Verdict On Argentina's 'Stolen Children'

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 1:46 pm

Since 1978, Rosa Tarlovsky de Roisinblit has waged a relentless search to find her daughter, Patricia, who was kidnapped by military henchmen and never seen again. Twelve years ago, Roisinblit did find Patricia's son, who is now in his 30s.
Silvina Frydlewsky for NPR

As a judge in Argentina read out the 50-year prison term handed down to former dictator Jorge Rafael Videla, a courtroom packed with the families of the victims celebrated, feeling that justice had at last been delivered.

And no one watching Thursday's historic sentencing in Buenos Aires had worked so hard for justice as the tenacious members of one of the world's most renowned human rights groups, the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo.

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