6:24am

Sat June 23, 2012
Critics' Lists: Summer 2012

Rich Reads: Historical Fiction Fit For A Queen

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 11:33 am

Harriet Russell

I have always loved a great story set in the past. Give me a high-powered historical plot, and I will keep turning those pages until my eyes cross. Kings or consuls, functionaries or janissaries, it doesn't matter, only that it pounds onward to the conclusion — volcano explosion, battle or market crash. It's literary dessert, and I devour every bite.

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6:23am

Sat June 23, 2012
Movies

Shirley Clarke's 'Connection': Will It Click At Last?

Originally published on Sat June 23, 2012 11:07 am

In The Connection, Leach (Warren Finnerty, right) and his friends wait around for their heroin fix, which eventually comes courtesy of Cowboy (Carl Lee). The controversial film was shut down in New York after two screenings in 1962.
Milestone Film

Fifty years ago, a movie called The Connection opened in New York — then closed after two showings. Police shut down the theater and arrested the projectionist.

The movie is about drug addicts, and the language is sometimes frank — too frank for 1962 standards. The director was an independent pioneer named Shirley Clarke, whose movie has been restored and is back in theaters, soon to be followed by restorations of nearly all her work.

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6:23am

Sat June 23, 2012
The Record

A Summer With Fun.

Originally published on Sat August 18, 2012 12:26 pm

Nate Ruess before fun.'s show at Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn on Friday.
Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Fun. is in the middle of quite a run. For six weeks this spring, the band had the No. 1 song in the country with "We Are Young," an anthemic pledge of drunken solidarity that has appeared in countless commercials and TV shows, and dominated radio playlists and sales charts since March (it's still in the top five).

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6:23am

Sat June 23, 2012
Author Interviews

Lessons For Europe From 'The Second World War'

Originally published on Sat June 23, 2012 12:47 pm

STF AFP/Getty Images

For most people, the start of World War II means German soldiers marching into Poland. Historian Antony Beevor begins and ends his new book, The Second World War with something different: the story of a German soldier who was actually Korean, was captured in Normandy, and wound up living in Illinois.

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6:23am

Sat June 23, 2012
U.S.

What Title IX Didn't Change: Stigma About Shop Class

Originally published on Sat June 23, 2012 1:05 pm

Forty years ago, President Richard Nixon signed Title IX, which said no person shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from any education program or activity. Vocational education courses that barred girls — such as auto mechanics, carpentry and plumbing — became available for everyone. But it's still hard to find girls in classes once viewed as "for boys only."

Zoe Shipley, 15, has a passion for cars and tinkering with engines.

"It's just kind of cool to learn how to fix a car or learn about it," she says.

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6:22am

Sat June 23, 2012
Science

Rio+20 Summit Sustains Little More Than Sentiment

Originally published on Sat June 23, 2012 11:15 pm

U.N. General Assembly President Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, Brazil's Secretary of the Conference Luis Figueiredo Machado and Rio+20 Secretary General Sha Zukang attend the closing ceremony of the Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro on Friday.
Andre Penner AP

The Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development was the biggest United Nations conference ever, but it may be one of the biggest duds. It produced no major agreements — just a vaguely worded declaration that has been widely derided.

More than 45,000 people registered for the event in Rio de Janeiro, but diplomats couldn't even agree about the meeting's objective until 2:45 a.m. on Tuesday, just before heads of state and other high-level delegates started arriving in Rio.

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6:22am

Sat June 23, 2012
Around the Nation

On This Stage, Jesus Is A Robber; The Devil's A Rapist

Originally published on Sat June 23, 2012 11:07 am

David Sonnier Jr., from Jeanerette, La., plays the Devil in Angola Prison's production of The Life of Jesus Christ. He was convicted of aggravated rape and is serving a life sentence.
Deborah Luster for NPR

There are more than 5,300 inmates at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola. Nearly 4,000 of them are serving life without parole. Last month, the Angola Prison Drama Club staged a play unlike any other in the prison's experience.

The Life of Jesus Christ featured 70 inmates, men and women acting together for the first time — in costume, with a real camel, performing for the general public. For the untrained actors, this production held special meaning as they saw pieces of their own lives revealed in the characters they played.

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6:41pm

Fri June 22, 2012
The Two-Way

Paraguay's Congress Votes To Oust President

Originally published on Sat June 23, 2012 10:11 am

Paraguay's congress impeached President Fernando Lugo on Friday over his handling of a deadly land dispute.
Jose Cabezas AFP/Getty Images

Paraguay's congress voted to remove President Fernando Lugo. The impeachment proceeding was a lightening process in which with both chambers approved his destitution in a little more than 24 hours.

Paraguay's La Nacíon reports that Vice President Federico Franco will assume the presidency after Lugo was found guilty of "performing his duties badly."

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Sandhya Dirks arrived in Iowa in January of 2012 as a general assignment reporter. Since coming to Des Moines she has covered the Statehouse and traveled across Iowa to bring back stories for IPR. Sandhya was previously a reporter at KALW in San Francisco, covering education and criminal justice issues. Her work was awarded a SPJ Sigma Delta Chi and a regional Edward R. Murrow award.

Most recently, Sandhya earned her Master of Science from Columbia Journalism School in New York. Her master’s project was an investigative documentary about international adoption for which she was awarded the Pasty Preston Pulitzer Documentary Fellowship.

Sandhya’s favorite public radio program is Radiolab.

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