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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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Basketball

Feb 27, 2012 — A new book follows an American basketball veteran as he coaches a struggling Chinese pro basketball team. Pulitzer Prize winner Jim Yardley has a courtside seat from which to observe China's frantic capitalist expansion and its ambivalent fascination with all things American.
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Dec 9, 2010 — An amateur orchestra helps an English village transcend WWII in Alexander McCall Smith's latest novel, while in nonfiction, a popular ESPN columnist takes on the NBA, an English military historian revisits the Civil War, and a journalist confronts species loss around the world.
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Sep 29, 2010 — In fiction, Dominick Dunne's posthumous novel skewers the Manhattan elite he covered for Vanity Fair, while Wicked author Gregory Maguire reimagines "The Little Match Girl." In nonfiction, Ron Paul argues we should End the Fed, while a historian shows how Homer's view of war still rings true.
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Nov 3, 2009 — In the 1980s, the "golden era" of the NBA, basketball superstars Larry Bird and Earvin "Magic" Johnson had an intense rivalry that elevated the entire league. But after years of hating each other, they developed a close friendship, chronicled in a new book, When The Game Was Ours.
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Mar 16, 2009 — Thirty years ago this month, millions of viewers watched a basketball game that would change sports forever. Earvin "Magic" Johnson and the Michigan State Spartans took on Larry Bird and the Indiana State Sycamores for the national college basketball championship title. It was, says author Seth Davis, the beginning of March Madness.
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Mar 18, 2006 — There are two kinds of people in the portion of North Carolina surrounding Durham and Chapel Hill: Duke fans and North Carolina fans. Will Blythe is NOT a Duke fan. He writes about his obsession with a college basketball rivalry in a new book.
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Mar 13, 2006 — There are no surprises among the top seeds in the NCAA men's basketball tournament. But the larger field, as always, contains some unexpected dancers. Renee Montagne talks to sports commentator John Feinstein about the NCAA Tournament's present, and past.
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Dec 2, 2005 — With her gift book selections, NPR's Ketzel Levine will take you wandering through old maps and contemporary art galleries, courtside at the NBA, inside the minds of raucous high school kids, and into the embrace of poems.
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Nov 29, 2005 — "I've always had an eye for the photos of Walter Iooss, and that's what drew me to these forty years' worth of his hoop dreams," writes senior correspondent Ketzel Levine in recommending this book of photography for giving this season.
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Jun 28, 2005USA Today sports columnist Ian O'Connor followed high school hoops prodigy Sebastian Telfair to write a book called The Jump. The title is a nod to a trend that has seen many high school stars bypass college for a pro career. O'Connor tells Steve Inskeep how the NBA's new minimum age requirement — 19 — could affect players like Telfair.
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