National News

Poised And Persistent, Reporter Broke White House Color Barrier

NPR News - Sat, 2014-05-03 06:51

Harry McAlpin became the first black White House reporter in 1944, though he was excluded from joining the Correspondents' Association. Decades later, he'll be be honored at the group's centennial.

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Afghan Landslide: Search For Survivors Ends; Thousands Feared Dead

NPR News - Sat, 2014-05-03 06:31

More than 2,000 people are believed to be dead after a hillside collapsed on part of a remote village in Afghanistan. Heavy rain prompted the landslide, which enclosed hundreds of houses in mud.

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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar On Sterling: 'There's Light Now'

NPR News - Sat, 2014-05-03 06:19

The Hall of Famer calls the punishment for Donald Sterling's racist remarks wise and just, but wonders why the NBA tolerated the Clippers owner's "shameful record" for so many years.

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A Black Sheep Crashes The Kentucky Derby

NPR News - Sat, 2014-05-03 06:14

California Chrome is a flashy red horse with a big white blaze down his face. Unlike his competition, he's from humble origins, but more important than his breeding is his speed.

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NBA's Ban On Sterling: Moral Justice Or Smart Business Move?

NPR News - Sat, 2014-05-03 05:51

The NBA's ban on Clippers owner Donald Sterling has drawn approval all around. ESPN's Howard Bryant tells NPR's Scott Simon that with such heinous remarks, the league may not have had much choice.

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Discouraging Numbers Hidden By A Positive Jobs Report

NPR News - Sat, 2014-05-03 05:51

The April jobs report came in much better than expected, though the shrinking labor force leaves some unanswered questions.

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Monitors Released In Ukraine As Fire Kills Dozens In Odessa

NPR News - Sat, 2014-05-03 05:51

International observers have been freed by pro-Russian forces in eastern Ukraine. Correspondent Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson speaks to NPR's Scott Simon about their release and new military action.

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Apple's Win Settles Samsung's Complaint, Too

NPR News - Sat, 2014-05-03 05:51

In the latest round of litigation, Samsung has been ordered to pay $119.6 million to Apple. It was a mixed verdict. The jury found that both sides violated each other's patents.

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College Chess Turns Out High-Stakes Championships

NPR News - Sat, 2014-05-03 05:51

The Final Four tournament was a real nail-biter, coming amid controversy over huge salaries and reports of top recruits stolen. Professor Richard Vedder discusses college chess with NPR's Scott Simon.

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Gerry Adams' Arrest Calls Educational Privacy Into Question

NPR News - Sat, 2014-05-03 05:51

The Sinn Fein Leader was arrested this week for a 1972 murder based on evidence collected by a Boston College project. NPR's Scott Simon talks with Beth McMurtrie of The Chronicle of Higher Education.

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'Slate Plus' Offers Readers Inside Access, For A Fee

NPR News - Sat, 2014-05-03 05:51

Concerned about digital advertising revenue, Slate Magazine has started raising money through a paid-membership program. Media correspondent David Folkenflik explains the move to NPR's Scott Simon.

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Present But Not There: Ruling Supports Telecommuting

NPR News - Sat, 2014-05-03 05:51

A federal court has ruled that being "at work" no longer has to mean physically in the office. Employment lawyers are expecting a flood of requests to telecommute, and say they'll be harder to deny.

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European Observers Held By Pro-Russian Force Are Freed In Ukraine

NPR News - Sat, 2014-05-03 05:18

Seven observers are freed more than a week after they were seized by separatists in eastern Ukraine. Kiev's government is putting new military pressure on separatists and taking control of TV towers.

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Organic Farming Factions Spat Over Synthetic Substances

NPR News - Sat, 2014-05-03 03:18

There's a long list of pesky exceptions to the rules organic farmers have to follow for using pesticides and fertilizers. This week, a battle erupted over those exceptions.

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Playing with Machines: Marketplace Tech gets musical

Marketplace - American Public Media - Sat, 2014-05-03 01:00

When you ask someone about their favorite piece of music, the conversation gets personal. Everyone feels music differently -- that's what makes it human. It's why music and technology, at least to some people, seem like a mismatch. Machines are cold. Music is not. 

Here's the thing: We use technology to make music all the time. No, I do not count the auto-tuned antics of Glee tracks released on iTunes. I'm talking about musicians using technology to compose, create, and record music. It's a relationship that gets deeper and more complex all the time. The place where music and technology cross paths is a fascinating intersection.

All this week, we'll talk to musicians for whom tech is an integral part of their process -- From Squarepusher, who wrote an entire EP of music played by robot musicians, to Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs, who turns herself into a one-woman percussion instrument using loops and drum machines. We'll also talk to prolific film composer John Powell about his recording process for film, and electronic musician/composer Dan Deacon about why the computer is the biggest diva he's ever worked with (and why it has a right to be). DJ Rekha, credited with bringing Bhangra music to America, talks about the technology involved in being a DJ, and how it has evolved over time.

These are musicians and performers at the top of their game who constantly ask themselves how technology can help them be better at what they do, but also wonder how far is too far when it comes to letting machines take over. Each of these guests have funny and insightful comments to offer.

So plug in your keytar, boot up your computer, and let's get to playing with machines.

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