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August 20, 2014 | NPR · If you venture away from the protest zone in Ferguson, Mo., there is an idyllic neighborhood, which doesn't have much patience for the out-of-towners who have joined the protests.
 
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August 20, 2014 | NPR · President Obama has carefully avoided taking sides following the shooting of Missouri teen Michael Brown, disappointing some African-American observers.
 
August 20, 2014 | NPR · Texas ranks 49th out of 50 states in how much funding it commits to mental health. But San Antonio has become a model for other mental health systems. It has saved $50 million over the past 5 years.
 

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August 19, 2014 | NPR · Dr. Joanne Liu of Doctors Without Borders says fear and a lack of sense of urgency has kept the international community in their home countries rather than stepping up to the plate in West Africa.
 
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August 19, 2014 | NPR · The type of Ebola erupting in West Africa is closely related to one found 2,500 miles away — the distance between Boston and San Francisco. How did the virus spread so far without anyone noticing?
 
August 19, 2014 | NPR · Iranian poet and women's rights advocate Simin Behbahani has died. Her work probed the social and political challenges that faced Iran after its Islamic Revolution. She was 87.
 

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August 16, 2014 | NPR · Both Ukraine and Russia say they're trying to send supplies to residents in eastern Ukraine. But with tensions on both sides running high, that aid may take a while to arrive.
 

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August 17, 2014 | NPR · American fighter jets and drones carried out airstrikes against Islamist targets near the Mosul Dam in northern Iraq on Saturday. A breach of the dam could threaten entire cities.
 

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Spirituality

Dec 22, 2013 — Two strangers tell their stories to a wandering narrator in Bruce Wagner's new The Empty Chair. It's a pair of novellas meditating on grief, love, spirituality and the nature of storytelling. Reviewer Colin Dwyer says Wagner manages to both tease out the threads that bind the stories, and relish the spaces between.
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Mar 11, 2010 — The South African cleric and human-rights activist Desmond Tutu joins Renee Montagne to reflect on his long life and his lasting message about forgiveness and reconciliation. His new book, Made for Goodness, is an explanation of his personal sense of spirituality and an invitation to share in his beliefs about the basic goodness of humanity.
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Sep 28, 2009 — Unitarian minister Forrest Church believed that the knowledge that we must die makes us question what life means. Church, who died Sept. 24, 2009 after a long battle with cancer of the esophagus, was the author of Love and Death: My Journey through the Valley of the Shadow.
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Oct 27, 2008 — Unitarian minister Forrest Church was diagnosed with terminal esophageal cancer last February. He has written and edited over 20 books since 1985. His latest, Love and Death, is a memoir that confronts the fact of death and, in the process, offers readers a meditation on the end of life.
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Dec 18, 2007 — In his new book, The Scandalous Gospel of Jesus, Harvard minister and professor Peter Gomes asks Christians to focus on Jesus' teachings — rather than Jesus himself — in an attempt to rediscover the gospel.
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