Religion
6:07 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Singing Loud And Proud: Choir For LGBT Mormons Breaks Out

The One Voice Choir is not officially part of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but the ensemble is invited to perform this weekend at an LDS church-sponsored event intended to reach out to the LGBT community.
Andrea Smardon KUER

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 1:13 pm

Growing up in Utah, Ross Owen watched the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on television every Sunday with his family.

"It was almost like watching a rock concert, and I thought, 'Oh, I'd love to do that,' " he says.

But by the time Owen was old enough to join the choir, he was no longer a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; he had been excommunicated after he came out as gay.

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Space
5:26 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

50 Years After First Interplanetary Probe, NASA Looks To Future

The Mariner 2 probe at an assembly facility in Cape Canaveral, Fla., on Aug. 29, 1962.
NASA/JPL/Caltech

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 10:27 am

Fifty years ago, on Dec. 14, 1962, reporters gathered for a press briefing at NASA headquarters and heard an unearthly sound: radio signals being beamed back by a spacecraft flying within 22,000 miles of Venus.

The Mariner 2 mission to Venus was the first time any spacecraft had ever gone to another planet.

These days, vivid photographs showing scenes from all around the solar system are so ubiquitous that people might easily forget how mysterious our planetary neighbors used to be.

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Music News
5:10 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Indian Musicians Remember Their Teacher, Ravi Shankar

AFP Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 10:27 am

The world mourned the death this week of Indian maestro Ravi Shankar, whose name became synonymous with the sitar. Tributes eulogized Shankar as the great connector of the East and West who'd hobnobbed with The Beatles and collaborated with violin virtuoso Yehudi Menuhin. Less has been said about the roots of the music he spent a lifetime perfecting and innovating.

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Asia
5:05 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Nationalist Rhetoric High As Japanese Head To Polls

Supporters hold up posters of Japan's former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at a rally in Osaka on Thursday. Considered a nationalist hawk, Abe is expected to become prime minister for a second time after parliamentary elections Sunday.
Buddhika Weerasinghe Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 10:27 am

As Japanese head to the polls Sunday, Shinzo Abe is expected to become Japan's prime minister for the second time.

The election takes place as nationalistic rhetoric is on the rise, and while the country remains locked in a bitter dispute with its chief rival, China, over islands both countries claim.

'Pride And Honor'

The battle over the islands heated up last summer.

In mid-August, boats filled with about 150 Japanese activists approached one of the islands, part of a chain that the Japanese call Senkaku; the Chinese, Diaoyu.

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Classical 24 on WMUK-2

A nationally syndicated classical music service, Classical 24 provides great music throughout the week.  Hosts include Julie Amacher, Scott Bankenship, Bob Christiansen, Jeff Esworthy, Ward Jacobson, Valerie Kahler, Mindy Ratner, Elena See and John Zech.

Barbershop
12:06 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Unions — Who Needs 'Em?

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 1:20 pm

In this week's Barbershop, the guys weigh in on U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice withdrawing her name from consideration for secretary of state. They also discuss Michigan's right-to-work law and whether unions are still relevant today.

Remembrances
12:06 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Remembering Civil Rights Leader Lawrence Guyot

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 1:20 pm

Lawrence Guyot spent his life fighting for civil rights - but often at great personal cost. He was jailed and beaten regularly by police in the Deep South while helping black people get involved in politics. Host Michel Martin speaks with Washington, D.C. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, who worked alongside Guyot, about his life and activism.

Middle East
12:06 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Who Benefits From Syrian Civil War?

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 1:20 pm

Egyptians are voting on a new constitution - but the vote is polarizing the country. Meanwhile, in Syria, the main opposition group is now recognized by the U.S., but there are questions about al-Qaeda affiliates fighting alongside them. To make sense of the developments, host Michel Martin talks with Abderrahim Foukara of Al Jazeera International.

Local Music
11:05 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Regional music veterans come together as The Hired Hands Band

Hear about The Hired Hands Band

The Hired Hands Band of Kalamazoo plays what they describe as “honestly Americana” music. They have three public performances coming up between now and the end of the year.

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Culture
10:57 am
Fri December 14, 2012

"Land of the Rising Sun" exhibits Japanese culture

South Haven Center for the Arts' Melissa Warner-Talcott holds up a basket of the cherry blossom origami they've made so far.
Rebecca Thiele, WMUK

Hear about the "Land of the Rising Sun" exhibit

Every few years, the South Haven Center for the Arts has a cultural exhibit. This year, the center will turn into a little slice of Japan.

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The Pure Drop on WMUK-2

WMUK's Cara Lieurance and volunteer host Dave Marlatt serve up traditional music from Ireland, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States.  Their collection of tunes goes back to immigrant recordings of the early 20th Century and spans new artists performing in the tradition.

BBC World Service on wmukhd2

Often acknowledged as the largest news-gathering organization in the world, the BBC World Service supports correspondents and gathers stories around the world.  WMUK dips into this stream of information several times during the week.

Acoustic Cafe on WMUK-2

Acoustic Café is two hours of contemporary acoustic music produced and hosted by Rob Reinhart in Ann Arbor.  Each week, listeners around the globe tune in to Acoustic Café to hear the latest from today's great songwriting talents. Along with the music, Rob features one artist or group each week with an in-depth studio interview and performance.  Acoustic Café is an independent media production of RDR Radio, LLC.

Faith Matters
9:14 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Nigeria's Jews Celebrate Hanukkah

A handmade menorah in Abuja.
William Miles Markus Wiener Publishers

Originally published on Sun December 16, 2012 8:51 am

"Being welcomed by and embraced by Igbos, who take Judaism so seriously ... it raises the question of what it means to be a Jew," says William Miles.

Three years ago, Miles, a self-proclaimed semi-practicing Jew, decided to celebrate Hanukkah in Africa's most populous country. He wrote about his experience in a new book called Jews of Nigeria: An Afro-Judaic Odyssey. He tells NPR's Tell Me More host Michel Martin that he found "a very Jewish community, but also a very African community."

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7:56 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Bills to phase out Personal Property Tax completed

Lead in text: 
Local governments concerned over replacing revenue from Personal Property Tax
The Legislature completed bills to phase out the state's personal property tax on industrial and commercial equipment early this morning, in a move that's expected to save Michigan businesses hundreds of millions of dollars a year.
7:53 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Lawmakers pass flurry of legislation in marathon session

Lead in text: 
State House and Senate did not adjourn until 4:30a.m.
Lansing - Michigan's 96th Legislature ended its term with a marathon bill passing spree that stretched into early Friday and sent Gov. Rick Snyder dozens of measures, including a new emergency manager law, a long-awaited Detroit lighting authority bill, abortion clinic restrictions, recall reforms and tax breaks for businesses.
Around the Nation
7:30 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Stephen Colbert Announces Charity Donations

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Around the Nation
7:14 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Will The Real Indiana Jones Stand Up?

That's what the University of Chicago is asking. The admissions office received mail addressed to Henry Walton Jones, Jr., aka Indiana Jones. The character is said to have attended the school. The package contained a dust-covered replica of the journal in the Raiders of the Lost Ark film.

Business
5:33 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 7:02 am

The bank UBS has been in the middle of a huge investigation into interest rate manipulation. There are several reports that a subsidiary of UBS is making a settlement deal with U.S., British and Swiss officials.

Business
4:42 am
Fri December 14, 2012

SEC Chairman Schapiro's Exit Interview

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 7:51 am

In an interview with David Greene, outgoing Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro reflects on her tenure at the agency, and the disappointment that she wasn't able to overhaul money market funds. She leaves the job on Friday.

Politics
4:42 am
Fri December 14, 2012

'Fiscal Cliff' Message Repeats Itself

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 6:35 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

Politicians, they love to stay on message, don't they? Even when there's not much to spin, they'll spin.

MONTAGNE: Take last night. President Obama met with House Speaker John Boehner. Both sides said the exchange was frank. Lines of communication remain open.

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Business
4:42 am
Fri December 14, 2012

What Does Right To Work Mean?

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 5:33 am

The term "right to work" has been in the news a lot this week. On Tuesday, Michigan became the 24th state to enact right-to-work legislation. It means unions can no longer require workers to pay full dues, even if they're working in a union shop.

Asia
3:25 am
Fri December 14, 2012

What North Korea's Rocket Launch Tells Us About Iran's Role

This monitor screen image shows a graphic of the orbit of the satellite carried by the Unha-3 rocket, which North Korea launched this week. The image is from the Korean Central News Agency, distributed in Tokyo by the Korea News Service.
AP

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 9:03 am

U.S. officials say the satellite put into orbit by North Korea's rocket launch this week is wobbling, but that doesn't necessarily mean the launch itself was unsuccessful.

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Planet Money
3:24 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Why A Principal Created His Own Currency

David Kestenbaum NPR

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 2:43 pm

Shawn Rux took over as principal of MS 53, a New York City middle school, last year. At the time, 50 or 60 kids were absent every day. You could understand why they stayed away: The school was chaos.

Twenty-two teachers had quit, the entire office staff had quit, and hundreds of kids had been suspended. The school was given a grade of F from the city's department of education.

"It was in a bad place," Rux says.

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Shots - Health News
3:24 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Making The Rich Pay More For Medicare

Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., speaks Tuesday at a news conference calling for no reduction in the Medicare and Medicaid budgets, as part of the year-end budget talks on Capitol Hill in Washington. Waxman said he does not support means testing for Medicare.
Joshua Roberts Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 5:33 am

When it comes to reducing Medicare spending, asking wealthier seniors to pay more is one of the few areas where Democrats have shown a willingness to even consider the subject.

"I do believe there should be means testing. And those of us with higher income in retirement should pay more," said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., on last Sunday's Meet the Press. "That could be part of the solution."

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Business
3:17 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Farewell, Bosses: A Wave Of Young Entrepreneurs

To save money, 30-year-old Alisha Mustafa runs her small pie-making business out of the kitchen of another restaurant.
Mustafa Pie Co.

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 5:33 am

Thirty-year-old Alisha Mustafa spent years working at low-paying restaurant jobs. The unemployment rate hovers around 10 percent in her hometown of Bloomington, Ind.

"I've worked it all in this town," she says. "I've worked for so many restaurants, and last year was my year from hell in the industry."

So, she quit and started her own business. Now, she spends most days baking treats like gluten-free strawberry mango pie for her business, Mustafa Pie Co.

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Education
3:15 am
Fri December 14, 2012

In California, Parents Trigger Change At Failing School

Parents leading a revolt to take over an elementary school say it has failed their children. From left: Cynthia Ramirez with her son, Mason; Doreen Diaz; Bartola DelVillar; and Kathy Duncan.
Claudio Sanchez NPR

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 3:18 pm

Parents in one small California community have used a "parent-trigger" law for the first time to shut down and take over an elementary school. It's a revolt led by parents who say the school has failed their children, but others say it's not the school's fault.

The school is in tiny Adelanto, Calif., home to several prisons connected by desolate stretches of highway on the fringes of the Mojave Desert.

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StoryCorps
10:03 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

For Man With Amnesia, Love Repeats Itself

Jeff Ingram, 46, suffers from a rare condition that wipes his memory. Whenever he has an attack, his wife, Penny, fears he won't regain his love for her.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 9:25 am

Forty-six-year-old Jeff Ingram has a rare type of amnesia called dissociative fugue. When he has an attack, his memory is wiped clean and he doesn't remember who he is or where he's from.

To chronicle their memories in case he forgets again, Jeff and his wife, Penny, came to StoryCorps in Olympia, Wash.

"You and I were talking on the phone," Penny recalls. "You said, 'Well, I have a medical condition that I probably should share with you.' "

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Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
6:20 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Lady Liberty's Sea-Washed Gates Closed Indefinitely

The Statue of Liberty survived Sandy unscathed, but Liberty Island remains closed indefinitely as workers remove mud and debris.
Joel Rose NPR

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 8:01 pm

The Statue of Liberty still lifts her lamp beside the golden door, but the island that's home to the iconic statue was severely tempest-tost by Superstorm Sandy. Flood damage inflicted by the storm has closed Liberty Island and nearby Ellis Island indefinitely.

On Thursday, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar made his first visit to the Statue of Liberty since the storm. David Luchsinger, superintendent of the Statue of Liberty National Monument, led the secretary on a walking tour.

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Movie Reviews
5:25 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

A 'Hobbit,' Off On His Unhurried Journey

Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) takes a fantastic adventure across Middle-earth in Peter Jackson's prequel to his Lord of the Rings trilogy.
James Fisher Warner Bros. Pictures

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 8:01 pm

The Hobbit's path to the screen may have started out as tortuous as a trek through the deadly Helcaraxe, filled with detours (Guillermo del Toro was initially going to direct), marked by conflict (New Zealand labor disputes) and strewn with seemingly insurmountable obstacles (so many that the filmmakers threatened to move the shoot to Australia).

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