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August 1, 2014 | NPR · Renee Montagne talks with the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Thomas Frieden, for the latest news about the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
 
August 1, 2014 | NPR · CIA director John Brennan apologized to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who had accused the CIA of spying on her committee's computers. Brennan at first denied it.
 
August 1, 2014 | NPR · Los Angeles Times and Morning Edition film critic Kenneth Turan reviews "Get On Up," a biopic about James Brown. Chadwick Boseman plays the Godfather of Soul.
 

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July 31, 2014 | NPR · The day began with Israel's military calling up 16,000 more reservists, stoking fears of a widening offensive in Gaza; it ended with a 72-hour cease-fire agreement between Israel and Hamas.
 
July 31, 2014 | NPR · Nearly a month into the war in Gaza, pollsters have been taking a look at how attitudes in the region have changed among Israelis and Palestinians.
 
July 31, 2014 | NPR · A surge of new cases in West Africa's Ebola virus outbreak has health officials worried that the epidemic is getting worse. Sierra Leone, for one, has declared a state of emergency, sending in troops to quarantine some of the hardest hit communities.
 

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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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Essays

Jan 6, 2013 — What attracts people to fantasy? Is it the orcs and the elves, or the rich worlds they inhabit? Author Saladin Ahmed says world-building — the craft of building a believable fictional world — provides "an almost physical sense of getting lost somewhere that isn't home, but which comes to be home."
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Oct 20, 2012 — Amazon is expanding its top 100 lists to rank writers, not just books. The new list features a funky mix of authors, from big names to children's classics to Ayn Rand. Essayist Amanda Katz wonders whether the list is silly, useful, a play for world domination, or possibly all three?
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Aug 8, 2012 — Commentator Amanda Katz muses on some seriously unbeachy beach book choices, from the guy in a Palm Springs pool reading a book on string theory, to the woman curled up on the lounge chair with William Styron's memoir of depression, Darkness Visible.
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Jun 21, 2012 — An old copy of The War of the Worlds, once belonging to rocket scientist Robert Goddard, prompts essayist Amanda Katz to muse on what we lose when we stop reading — and passing along — physical books.
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May 9, 2012 — A baby is snatched away by goblins in Maurice Sendak's unsettling children's book, Outside Over There. Commentator Amanda Katz says she loved this book as a child, and only later understood why it made adults so uncomfortable.
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Apr 20, 2012 — Some of the best poets of spring are masters of the minor key. So it's no surprise that the famously dour Philip Larkin wrote two of the finest spring poems of the last century, according to critic David Orr — who offers his appreciation.
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Apr 17, 2012To Kill a Mockingbird and Valley of the Dolls have more in common than you think. In his new book Hit Lit, mystery writer James Hall argues that best-sellers from the past century share 12 features.
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Apr 12, 2012 — The Department of Justice's lawsuit against Apple and five major publishers for e-book price fixing sent shivers through the industry — but Jason Boog says this fraught relationship between American publishers, retailers and the DOJ goes back to the Great Depression.
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Mar 13, 2012 — Sky looking a little slatchy to you? Want another helping of slang-jang? The final volume of the Dictionary of American Regional English, a 50-year project to document English across the U.S., is a treasure trove of history and local color.
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Feb 13, 2012 — Valentine's Day is a tricky occasion for poets. Granted, it's hard not to be happy about a holiday on which poems are thought to be genuinely useful. But love poetry's record as an aphrodisiac is mixed. Critic David Orr offers advice for romantic rhymers.
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