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July 29, 2014 | NPR · House and Senate negotiators reached a compromise, $17 billion agreement to improve medical care for veterans. The deal comes in the final week before Congress leaves town for a monthlong recess.
 
July 29, 2014 | NPR · Washington Post reporter Liz Sly tells Renee Montagne that U.S. arms may be flowing to moderate Syrian rebels, but the aid seems to be too little too late to affect the course of the civil war.
 
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July 28, 2014 | NPR · The militant group threatens to kill parents who immunize their children. As a result, polio has come roaring back in Pakistan. Eradication now hinges on whether the country can control the virus.
 

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July 28, 2014 | NPR · A new salvo has been fired in the fight over teacher tenure. A group led by former TV anchor Campbell Brown filed a complaint in New York state court, arguing that tenure laws are preventing the state from providing every child with the "sound, basic education" its constitution guarantees.
 
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July 28, 2014 | NPR · Why are so many low-income and minority kids getting second-class educations in the U.S.? That question is at the center of the heated debate about tenure protections and who gets them.
 
July 28, 2014 | NPR · Only one movie in July, Transformers: Age of Extinction, has broken the 100 million mark during its opening weekend. Box office receipts all summer have proven anemic. Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst with RENTRAK, talks to Audie Cornish about the box office slump.
 

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July 26, 2014 | NPR · Hezbollah has been a longtime ally of Hamas, but during this most recent conflict between Israel and Gaza they've taken a sideline role. NPR's Scott Simon talks to the BBC's Kim Ghattas in Beirut.
 

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July 27, 2014 | NPR · Fighting in Ukraine near the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 has international investigators staying away. NPR's Arun Rath talks with OSCE's Michael Bociurkiw about the investigation.
 

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Collectors and collecting

Jul 12, 2014 — There's a vibrant collecting community for old 78rpm records, ancestors of today's iTunes single. Music writer Amanda Petrusich got sucked in while writing her new book, Do Not Sell at Any Price.
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Jan 25, 2013 — Edmund De Waal's The Hare With Amber Eyes returns to the list at No. 15.
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Jun 30, 2012 — British ceramicist Edmund de Waal is exhibiting his work at Waddesdon Manor, the historic country retreat of his distant cousin Lord Jacob Rothschild. The manor's lavishly decorated rooms are an unlikely space for such minimalist works, but the collaboration tells a story of collection, belonging and loss.
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Jan 20, 2012 — Smart, scintillating reads are hard to find — especially when you like your protagonists nerdy. Author Lev Grossman offers three great reads for the geeks in all of us.
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Jul 25, 2011 — What makes a memorable character? It is the one who changes the most throughout the book? The one who makes a personal discovery? Or is it simply the most eccentric who we love? Actor Simon Pegg says that for his favorite literary protagonist, all three apply.
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Jun 25, 2011 — The Cone sisters of Baltimore had a passion — and a talent — for art collection. In the early 20th century, they patronized and befriended great contemporary artists such as Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse. An exhibition of their collection is now on display at the Jewish Museum of New York.
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Jun 2, 2011 — When book critic Maureen Corrigan was a kid, her family would pile into the car for trips to sites of historical interest. For Corrigan, summer has always been the season for traveling back to a bygone age — either by hitting the road or hitting the books.
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Apr 3, 2011 — When Richard Polsky turned 50, he decided to chase a childhood dream: to hunt for dinosaurs. In his new book, Boneheads, Polsky explores what it's like to be a commercial fossil hunter in the Badlands of South Dakota.
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Dec 3, 2010 — Librarian Nancy Pearl loves reading about other people's lives. And while an unappreciative therapist might call that a predilection toward snooping, it won't stop her from gravitating to the memoir section of the bookstore. Here, for your own vicarious pleasure, are some of her favorites.
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Oct 27, 2009 — Baseball aficionado Zack Hample, author of How To Snag Major League Baseballs, knows better than anyone the thrill of catching a foul ball. He's caught more than 4,000, and offers tips to help you snag fouls from the stands.
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