6:57am

Sat March 23, 2013
NPR Story

Obama Leaves Middle East With Mixed Reviews

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 8:26 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. And President Obama heads home from the Middle East today after a mixed reception to his four-day visit. Mr. Obama spent much of that time in Israel trying to lay the groundwork to revive the long-stalled peace process with Palestinians. He also traveled to the West Bank and met with Jordan's King Abdullah. NPR's Scott Horsley has a recap.

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6:57am

Sat March 23, 2013
NPR Story

Gay Lobbying On The Hill Has Short Yet Strong History

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 12:37 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

One argument used by some conservatives in the Supreme Court cases is that gay Americans have become so politically powerful and prominent they don't need special consideration from the courts. Whether or not that's true, it is clear that lesbian-gay-bisexual-and-transgendered advocacy groups have built a strong network of lobbyists and political activists in Washington, D.C.

NPR's Peter Overby reports.

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6:57am

Sat March 23, 2013
NPR Story

From One Author To Another, Letters Of Praise

Originally published on Sat March 23, 2013 7:13 am

Host Scott Simon reads some of the best fan mail to authors, written by authors.

6:32am

Sat March 23, 2013
Same-Sex Marriage And The Supreme Court

The Senators Who Oppose DOMA, Despite Having OK'd It

Originally published on Sat March 23, 2013 11:53 am

Supreme Court justices will hear arguments Tuesday on California's Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage. On Wednesday they'll hear arguments on the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between one man and one woman.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

The soul-searching over the Defense of Marriage Act went viral last week after Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman, a social conservative and original co-sponsor of the 1996 bill, sought out CNN to say something no one saw coming.

Portman said he'd decided to oppose DOMA and support same-sex marriage, two years after learning his college-age son was gay.

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5:25am

Sat March 23, 2013
Music Interviews

The Milk Carton Kids: At Life's Crossroads, A Duo Looks Both Ways

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 8:28 am

Kenneth Pattengale (left) and Joey Ryan, who record as The Milk Carton Kids. Their new album is called The Ash & Clay.
Courtesy of the artist

Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan were doing just fine as solo performers. Then one night, Ryan walked into a bar where Pattengale was playing.

"I heard Kenneth perform a song that he had written from the perspective of a dead dog, only very recently having been hit by a truck," Ryan says, wryly. "And it was that sort of uplifting material that drew us together."

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5:24am

Sat March 23, 2013
Author Interviews

'Z' Tells The Fitzgeralds' Story From Zelda's Point Of View

Originally published on Sat March 23, 2013 7:13 am

St. Martin's Press

F. Scott Fitzgerald first saw his future wife from across a crowded room at a country club dance in Montgomery, Ala., where he was in basic training and she was waiting to be discovered by the world. They wed in 1920, and the two went on to have a famously turbulent marriage — tarnished by personal and professional jealousy, alcohol abuse and mental illness — which they both immortalized in their writing.

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5:24am

Sat March 23, 2013
Middle East

In Saudi Arabia, Shiite Muslims Challenge Ban On Protests

Originally published on Sat March 23, 2013 3:27 pm

Anti-riot police face off with protesters in Saudi Arabia's eastern city of Qatif on March 11, 2011. Despite bans on the demonstrations, Shiite Muslims in the eastern part of the country have continued to stage protests, demanding political changes.
Reuters /Landov

Editor's note: When Arab Spring protests broke out in Saudi Arabia in 2011, the government reacted quickly, pumping $130 billion into the economy and cracking down on dissent. While this approach has worked in some cities, the Shiite Muslims in the Eastern Province continued to demonstrate. Reese Erlich, on assignment for GlobalPost and NPR, managed to get into the city of Qatif and meet with protest leaders.

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5:22am

Sat March 23, 2013
Education

Race, Poverty Central To National School-Closure Debate

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 7:49 pm

Jean De Lafayette Elementary School is one of 50 schools slated to be closed in Chicago. Cities across the country are facing similar decisions, and opposition to the closures is growing.
Scott Olson Getty Images

In Chicago, parents are fighting to prevent the city from closing 54 public schools. The Chicago Teachers Union is planning a rally against the cost-cutting proposal next week.

School closings are nothing new, but in a growing number of districts around the country, what was once seen as a local decision to close schools has now morphed into a politically charged campaign.

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5:18am

Sat March 23, 2013
Shots - Health News

At Age 3, Affordable Care Act Is No Less Controversial

Originally published on Sat March 23, 2013 11:33 am

President Obama signs the Affordable Care Act at the White House on March 23, 2010.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

The Affordable Care Act turns 3 on Saturday, and it seems just as divisive as the day President Obama signed it.

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5:17am

Sat March 23, 2013
The Two-Way

Coal And Coral: Australia's Self-Destructive Paradox

The city of Gladstone near the Great Barrier Reef is the world's fourth largest coal-export hub. Dredges, like one seen here, have turned the harbor brown as they work to expand the coal port.
Richard Harris NPR

NPR Science Correspondent Richard Harris traveled to Australia's Great Barrier Reef to find out how the coral reefs are coping with increased water temperature and increasing ocean acidity, brought about by our burning of fossil fuels. Day 5: A return to shore finds that people prefer cars to corals.

It's not every day you open an in-flight magazine and read an ad touting "spitwater pressure cleaners for the mining industry." Flip the page and you'll also see an ad cajoling you to "snorkel, sip, snooze" on the Great Barrier Reef.

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