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Parallels
7:41 am
Sat July 20, 2013

The Spanish Aristocrat Who Works For North Korea

Spanish aristocrat Alejandro Cao de Benos is believed to be the only foreigner working for the North Korean government. He divides his time between North Korea and Europe, where he organizes university conferences on North Korean ideology. He's shown here with a North Korean military officer in Panmunjon, on the border with South Korea.
Courtesy of Alejandro Cao de Benos

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 6:51 pm

The sun-soaked Spanish Riviera isn't where you'd expect to find a faithful foot soldier of North Korea. But that's exactly what Alejandro Cao de Benos calls himself.

Cao de Benos, 38, is believed to be the only Westerner ever employed by the North Korean government. He's a Spanish aristocrat, born to a family of landed gentry in northeast Spain, where he agreed to meet NPR for an interview one recent afternoon.

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NPR Story
7:41 am
Sat July 20, 2013

Neorealism Goes Hollywood

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 4:48 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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NPR Story
7:41 am
Sat July 20, 2013

European Films In Russia's Heartland

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 4:48 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer. For the past few years, in July the Russia provincial town of Vologda has hosted a European Film Festival. Vologda is a sleepy city far from the Russian metropolises of Moscow and St. Petersburg, and every year the arrival of European filmmakers and actors to the Russian heartland is a very special event.

This year, NPR's Eleanor Beardsley attended the festival.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELLS RINGING)

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NPR Story
7:41 am
Sat July 20, 2013

Enlisting Passers-By In Scientific Research

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 4:48 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Scientific research can be expensive, but a lack of funds did not stop one scientist in Buffalo from moving forward with his project. State University of New York professor Chris Lowry came up with a creative and cheap way to get measurements on stream levels across the state by crowdsourcing his research.

Chris Lowry joins us from member station WBFO in Buffalo, New York. Professor Lowry, thank you very much for coming in.

CHRIS LOWRY: Oh, thanks for having me.

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Politics
7:03 am
Sat July 20, 2013

Detroit's Comeback Story Proved Too Good To Be True

Former Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer, right, and former Gov. John Engler shake hands with Marian and Mike Ilitch during groundbreaking ceremonies at the site of the new Tigers stadium in Oct. 1997. At the time, Archer and Detroit were basking in favorable news coverage.
CARLOS OSORIO AP

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 7:16 pm

Detroit was supposed to be a showplace of the urban renaissance.

A little more than a decade ago, Detroit was widely touted as one of the great comeback stories in the country. It was a common theme in the mid-to-late-1990s, with a generation of successful mayors leading their cities back from the brink — which, in cases such as New York, Philadelphia and Cleveland, included near-collapses into bankruptcy.

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Shots - Health News
6:44 am
Sat July 20, 2013

Polio Eradication Suffers A Setback As Somali Outbreak Worsens

A Yemeni child receives a polio vaccine in the capital city of Sanaa. The Yemen government launched an immunization campaign last month in response to the polio outbreak in neighboring Somalia.
Mohammed Huwais AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 22, 2013 9:02 pm

Somalia hadn't had a case of polio for nearly six years. But in the past few months, the virus has come back. Now the East African country has the worst polio outbreak anywhere in the world.

Twenty new cases of polio were reported this week in Somalia by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. That brings the total number of cases in the Horn of Africa to 73. The rest of the world combined has tallied only 59 cases so far this year.

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It's All Politics
6:03 am
Sat July 20, 2013

5 Memorable Nicknames And The Politicians They Stuck To

Martin Van Buren, the eighth president of the United States.
AP

The race for governor in Virginia is attracting national attention for several reasons. It pits a former Democratic National Committee chairman against a conservative attorney general who helped lead the charge against President Obama's health care law. It's also one of the few high-profile statewide races happening this year, which means it will be closely watched for insights into the national mood ahead of the congressional midterm elections of 2014.

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Deceptive Cadence
5:02 am
Sat July 20, 2013

A Veteran's Piercing True Story Leaps From Page To Stage

The Long Walk, Brian Castner's memoir of PTSD and a difficult homecoming, will soon be an opera.
YouTube

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 6:26 pm

Iraq veteran Brian Castner wrote a book about his struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder for his kids, so they could someday know what he'd been going through when he came home from war.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
5:00 am
Sat July 20, 2013

Cheyenne Mize: Tiny Desk Concert

Cheyenne Mize performs a Tiny Desk Concert on May 16, 2013.
Marie McGrory NPR

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 6:21 pm

In the years since she first surfaced as a suitably rustic duet partner for Will Oldham — the two Kentuckians released an EP together back in 2010 — Cheyenne Mize has broadened and deepened her sound, injecting it with slinkiness and sparkle. Her new album Among the Grey continues that evolution, bringing out the lushness in songs that can shimmer prettily or punch with the force of a PJ Harvey.

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The Salt
4:58 am
Sat July 20, 2013

From Ramen To Rotini: Following The Noodles Of The Silk Road

In Turkey, bits of meat are wrapped in squares of pasta to make manti.
thebittenworld Flickr

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 7:22 pm

Popular lore has it that the Italian merchant Marco Polo was responsible for introducing the noodle to China. This legend appeals to Italians, but if you ask the Chinese, they may beg to differ.

In her latest book, On the Noodle Road, author Jen Lin-Liu chronicles a six-month journey along the historic Silk Road from eastern China, through central Asia, Turkey, Iran and eventually arriving in Italy, in search of the true origin of the noodle.

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