5:24am

Sat February 9, 2013
Around the Nation

NYC Labor Chorus Tries To Hit Right Note, Attract New Voices

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 4:15 pm

The New York City Labor Chorus performs in 2011 at the Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi in Old Havana.
Courtesy of NYCLC

Union membership is at its lowest point since the 1930s. New figures show a drop, and only about 11 percent of workers belong to unions today.

But these numbers don't deter the New York City Labor Chorus, which has been singing in praise of unions for more than 20 years.

Jana Ballard, the choral director of the labor chorus, is one of the youngest in the group. She's 38. The average age of the 80 members is about 65.

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Sam has worked at Vermont Public Radio since October 1978 in various capacities â

4:45am

Sat February 9, 2013
Music News

Frank Ocean's Big Year, And What Hasn't Changed In Hip-Hop

Originally published on Sat February 9, 2013 11:11 am

Frank Ocean performs at the MTV Video Music Awards in September 2012.
Kevin Mazur WireImage

Frank Ocean is set to take a victory lap at this year's Grammys. He's up for six awards for his album Channel Orange, including best new artist, and he'll be performing as well. But just a few months ago, Frank Ocean's music wasn't the story — his sexuality was.

To review: After a listening party for Channel Orange last July, a BBC journalist pointed out that a few of the love songs referenced a "him" where you might have expected to hear "her."

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4:09am

Sat February 9, 2013
Economy

For Rural Towns, Postal Service Cuts Could Mean A Loss Of Identity

Originally published on Sat February 9, 2013 11:11 am

Brookfield, Vt., residents fear that Postal Service changes will eventually lead to the closing of their small town post office. About 1,300 people live in Brookfield, according to 2010 U.S. Census figures.
Steve Zind Vermont Public Radio

In rural Vermont, the U.S. Postal Service decision to discontinue Saturday letter delivery is yet another blow to an institution that's long been a fixture of village life.

Last year, the U.S. Postal Service abandoned plans to close thousands of small post offices, opting instead to cut hours. But there are fears the cuts will continue until the rural post office is no more.

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4:09am

Sat February 9, 2013
Afghanistan

Afghanistan, Pakistan Seek A Fatwa Against Suicide Attacks

Originally published on Sat February 9, 2013 9:21 pm

Afghan police and officials visit the site of a suicide attack in Kabul in September. A suicide bomber blew himself up alongside a minivan carrying foreigners on a major highway leading to the international airport in the Afghan capital, police said, killing at least 10 people, including nine foreigners.
Massoud Hossaini AFP/Getty Images

The Muhammad Mustafa mosque sits in a fairly well-off part of Kabul where government employees and some high-ranking officials live. Muhammad Ehsan Saiqal, a moderate, 54-year-old Muslim who welcomes girls into his Quran classes, is the imam. The slight, gray-bearded cleric preaches against suicide bombings.

"Islam doesn't permit suicide attacks," he says. "If someone kills any Muslim without any cause, under Shariah law [Islamic law] it means that he kills the whole Muslim world."

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4:08am

Sat February 9, 2013
Reporter's Notebook

For Some In Minneapolis, National Gun Debate Hits Close To Home

Originally published on Sat February 9, 2013 11:11 am

President Obama greets law enforcement officers after speaking on ideas to reduce gun violence at the Minneapolis Police Department Special Operations on Monday.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

The shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., in December revived a national debate about gun violence. It's one that is emotional and often highly personal, and it's happening in places far from the halls of Congress. Earlier this week, President Obama was in Minneapolis advocating new limits on guns; no law or set of laws, he said, can keep children completely safe. NPR's David Welna was there for the visit and sent this reporter's notebook about the voices he encountered.

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4:07am

Sat February 9, 2013
It's All Politics

Public Pressure, Background Checks Central To Obama Gun Control Strategy

Originally published on Sat February 9, 2013 11:11 am

President Obama speaks about his gun control agenda before law enforcement officials in Minneapolis on Monday. The president was doing what his aides say he didn't do often enough in his first term: getting outside of Washington to build public support for legislation.
Ben Garvin Getty Images

Gun control historically has been one of the most divisive issues in Congress, between the parties and even inside the Democratic coalition. Yet some in President Obama's own party say he has put together a gun agenda that is sweeping without being too painful for most Democrats to support.

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9:00pm

Fri February 8, 2013
Caravan

Caravan

Airs Friday, February 8 at 9 p.m. This week on the Caravan we'll feature some new music from a brand new band out of England called One Mile An Hour and ethereal music for the African Kora, bass and Trumpet from Ablaye Cissoko. Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt and Chris Smither will be featured as well as Shreveport’s own Twang Darkly. Plus we have a live concert featuring Nora Jones. Join us this Friday night at 9 pm for the Caravan... here on Red River Radio.

Caravan Playlist for Friday, February 8, 2013

5:17pm

Fri February 8, 2013
The Two-Way

Review Of Deadly Attack On Base In Afghanistan Finds Troops Let Guard Down

A Marine Corps review of the deadly Taliban attack on an allied base in Afghanistan last September found that some guard towers were unattended, and the insurgents "got lucky" by cutting through the fence at a remote area of the base in Helmand Province, Capitol Hill sources tell NPR.

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4:06pm

Fri February 8, 2013
Around the Nation

Growing University Highlights Connecticut's Water Woes

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 10:03 pm

The expanding University of Connecticut is looking at the Farmington River as a water source, but some say recent weather fluctuation paints an uncertain picture for the river.
Neena Satija WNPR

Lack of water supply isn't just an issue in hot spots like Texas, Colorado and the Mississippi; it has also become a problem in the Northeast, where rivers are drying out in the summers and infrastructure developments are competing more for resources.

One of the area's biggest public universities, the University of Connecticut, needs more water. But plans to obtain it are generating controversy in a region where the availability of water is becoming more and more unpredictable.

The Water Source

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