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The Two-Way
11:41 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Ban Ki-moon: There's No Plan B For Syria

A handout image released by the Syrian opposition's Shaam News Network on Wednesday, shows Syrians carrying the coffin of Suleiman Kharma who was allegedly killed by security forces during the unrest in Qusayr in central Homs province.
AFP/Getty Images

By any definition, the situation in Syria is atrocious with an estimated 10,000 people killed since the uprising started more than a year ago. The latest international effort to reach a ceasefire is on the ropes.

And, last night, during an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour, the U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon seem to give little hope for a resolution.

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Deceptive Cadence
11:03 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Yet More News From 'Opera News'

Pablo Helguera

Got an idea for a classical cartoon, or a reaction to this one? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.

Pablo Helguera is a New York-based artist working with sculpture, drawing, photography and performance. You can see more of his work at Artworld Salon and on his own site.

Music Reviews
11:00 am
Fri May 25, 2012

James Burton: The Teen Who Invented American Guitar

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 2:11 pm

What were you doing when you were 16?

When he was 16, James Burton was inventing the American guitar. He'd been born in Dubberly, La., in 1939, and was apparently self-taught on his instrument. At 15, he cut a single backing local singer Carol Williams, and then one day he came up with a guitar riff that he liked. He took it to a singer from Shreveport he was touring with, and they worked out a song to use in his act. One thing led to another, and it wound up on a record called "Suzie Q," credited to Dale Hawkins, the singer.

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The Salt
10:59 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Stand Back When Snapping Turtles Crop Up In The Garden

The best thing to do when this gal shows up in your garden is to let her be
T. Susan Chang

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 4:09 pm

Late spring in a New England vegetable garden is usually a time for the last asparagus, the crisp lettuce and arugula, the first pea shoots, and the first sprouting of warm-weather crops like peppers and zucchini. What you don't expect to see planted in your beds are snapping turtles. But that's just what turned up in mine twice this week.

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The Two-Way
10:44 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Consumer Confidence Highest Since Before Recession, Survey Says

If consumers are in the mood to shop, that could give the economy a lift.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 11:13 am

Here's news that could affect both the economy and the presidential race:

Consumer confidence has improved "in each of the past nine monthly surveys" and is now at "its highest level since October 2007," according to the latest Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Survey of Consumers. The most recent recession officially began in December 2007, and lasted into early summer 2009.

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Movie Reviews
10:30 am
Fri May 25, 2012

A Wes Anderson 'Kingdom' Full Of Beautiful Imagery

Edward Norton plays a scoutmaster in search of his lost charge in Wes Anderson's latest film, Moonrise Kingdom.
Focus Features

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 2:11 pm

Many people are rapturous over the work of Wes Anderson, and for them, I expect, Moonrise Kingdom will be nirvana. The frames are quasi-symmetrical: a strong center, often human, with misaligned objects on each side suggesting a universe that's slightly out of balance, like a series of discombobulated dollhouses.

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It's All Politics
10:14 am
Fri May 25, 2012

#FollowFriday: A Tiny Shred Of Political Authenticity

Rep.Thaddeus McCotter, R-Mich., is a regular on Twitter. Here, he plays guitar at a festival last July in Whitmore Lake, Mich.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 11:56 am

Note: We've asked NPR journalists to share their top five (or so) political Twitter accounts, and we're featuring the series on #FollowFriday. Here are recommendations from reporter Andrea Seabrook (@RadioBabe).

I have a thing about political fakes on Twitter. I HATE them. And when I say fakes, I mean a handle that appears to be a senator or representative, but is very obviously written by some 22-year-old staffer.

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The Two-Way
9:51 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Man At Center Of Federal Agency's Las Vegas Scandal Leaves His Job

Jeff Neely during an April 16 hearing on Capitol Hill. He declined to answer any of the lawmakers' questions.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Jeff Neely, the regional official at the General Services Administration who hosted a 2010 taxpayer-funded conference in Las Vegas that became a scandal as details about excessive spending, gifts and lavish parties were revealed, has left his job at the agency.

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Author Interviews
9:17 am
Fri May 25, 2012

From 'App' To 'Tea': English Examined In '100 Words'

"Tea" (a social word from the 17th century) is one of the words David Crystal examines in his book The Story of English In 100 Words.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon May 28, 2012 3:07 pm

This interview was originally broadcast on April 2, 2012.

Linguist David Crystal describes English as a "vacuum cleaner of a language." Speakers merrily swipe some words from other languages, adopt others because they're cool or sound classy, and simply make up other terms.

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Author Interviews
9:11 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Examining 'The Leftovers,' After The Rapture

Tom Perrotta is the author of several novels, including Election and Little Children.
Mark Ostow Courtesy Tom Perrotta

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 2:11 pm

This interview was originally broadcast on August 25, 2011. The Leftovers is now available in paperback.

Last year, California-based preacher Harold Camping announced that the beginning of the end of the world would take place on May 21, 2011. The date passed by with no apparent rapture, and Camping became the butt of many late-night talk show jokes.

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