1:53pm

Thu July 5, 2012
The Two-Way

The 'Arafat Killed By Poison?' Story: Here's What We Don't Get

Originally published on Sun July 8, 2012 8:34 am

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in October 2004, a month before he died.
Muhammed Muheisen AP

Al-Jazeera is getting attention for its reports that traces of polonium-210 have been found on items, including clothing, belonging to the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

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1:50pm

Thu July 5, 2012
It's All Politics

Website Tests How Political Opposites Actually Discuss Differences

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 3:48 pm

A screen grab from the website politicalscreamingmatch.com.

By now, a couple of generations of moviegoers are familiar with the disembodied voice in a cornfield that leads Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) to risk all for a baseball diamond. Web developer Pascal Rettig is not in as precarious a position as that fictional farmer, yet he has challenged himself by constructing a social stadium of sorts.

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Kevin Whitehead is the jazz critic for NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross.

Whitehead's articles on jazz and improvised music have appeared in such publications as Point of Departure, the Chicago Sun-Times, Village Voice, Down Beat, and the Dutch daily de Volkskrant.

He is the author of Why Jazz: A Concise Guide (2010), New Dutch Swing (1998), and (with photographer Ton Mijs) Instant Composers Pool Orchestra: You Have to See It (2011).

His essays have appeared in numerous anthologies including Da Capo Best Music Writing 2006, Discover Jazz and Traveling the Spaceways: Sun Ra, the Astro-Black and Other Solar Myths.

12:50pm

Thu July 5, 2012
Music Reviews

Linda Oh: Connecting Points On A Musical Map

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 12:01 pm

Linda Oh
Vincent Soyez courtesy of the artist

In a good jazz rhythm section, the players function independently and as one. Their parts and accents crisscross and reinforce each other, interlocking like West African drummers. Beyond that, the bass is a band's ground floor. When it changes up, the earth shifts under all the players' feet. From moment to moment, Linda Oh's bass prowls or gallops, takes giant downward leaps, or stands its ground.

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12:23pm

Thu July 5, 2012
The Two-Way

Heat Waves, Power Outages, Wildfires: The Misery Continues

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 6:23 pm

Trying to keep cool in Chicago: On Wednesday, 7-year-old Keshyra Pitts played in the spray from a fire hydrant.
Jose M. Osorio MCT /Landov

First, some good news:

-- The Waldo Canyon fire in and around Colorado Springs is "90 percent contained" and officials expect it will be "fully contained by Friday," The Denver Post reports. That blaze, which began June 23, has destroyed about 350 homes and caused at least two fatalities.

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12:22pm

Thu July 5, 2012
Around the Nation

AIDS In Black America: A Public Health Crisis

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 2:10 pm

Dr. David Ho, an HIV/AIDS specialist, draws blood from Magic Johnson, one of the people featured in Endgame: AIDS in Black America.
Renata Simone Productions/Frontline

Of the more than 1 million people in the U.S. infected with HIV, nearly half are black men, women and children — even though blacks make up about 13 percent of the population. AIDS is the primary killer of African-Americans ages 19 to 44, and the mortality rate is 10 times higher for black Americans than for whites.

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12:21pm

Thu July 5, 2012
Mountain Stage

Tracy Nelson On Mountain Stage

This is Tracy Nelson's 16th appearance on Mountain Stage.

Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

12:18pm

Thu July 5, 2012
Asia

After A Forced Abortion, A Roaring Debate In China

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 11:09 pm

Feng Jianmei and her husband could not pay $6,000 in fines for violating China's one-child policy. In June, when she was seven months pregnant, local officials abducted her and forced her to have an abortion, her family says. The case has provoked widespread outrage.
Quirky China News Rex Features

Deng Jiyuan and Feng Jianmei, a couple from northwest China's Shaanxi province, have a 6-year-old daughter. Under China's complicated birth calculus, they were barred from having another child. But they tried anyway.

"We planned this pregnancy because our parents are old, they want us to have another child," Deng, 30, explained by cellphone last month from his home in Shaanxi.

That decision led to a sequence of events that has ignited a firestorm and renewed debate over the country's one-child policy.

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11:51am

Thu July 5, 2012
Games & Humor

Translating South African Jokes For A U.S. Audience

Originally published on Fri July 6, 2012 1:19 pm

Comedian Trevor Noah has sold more performance DVDs than any other standup comic in Africa.
Courtesy of the artist

In the span of just a few years, comedian Trevor Noah went from performing at amateur clubs to selling out large theaters in his native South Africa. Born to an African mother and Swiss father during the apartheid era, much of his comedy stems from his upbringing in a township where blacks and whites were separated by law.

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11:49am

Thu July 5, 2012
Interviews

Morgan Freeman: No Black President For U.S. Yet

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 3:33 pm

Morgan Freeman plays Monte Wildhorn in The Magic of Belle Isle.
Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman joined Tell Me More host Michel Martin to discuss his new movie, The Magic of Belle Isle. But the prolific actor, famous for his roles in films such as The Shawshank Redemption, Million Dollar Baby and The Dark Knight, also had a lot to say about politics. He was especially interested in talking about President Obama, and why Freeman thinks he should not be called America's first black president.

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