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August 22, 2014 | NPR · The standoff between the U.S. and Russia over Ukraine has raised the specter of a new Cold War. David Greene talks to Julie Ioffe, of the New Republic, about what Russia's next move may be in Ukraine.
 
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August 22, 2014 | NPR · Even just the word Ebola is kind of terrifying. Why? Hollywood has a lot to do with it. But Ebola outbreaks also have all the ingredients for what one psychologist calls the "dread factor."
 
August 22, 2014 | NPR · Census Bureau data show a wider gap between rich and poor. Kelly McEvers explores this with economist Enrico Moretti of the University of California-Berkeley, author of The New Geography of Jobs.
 

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August 22, 2014 | NPR · It's been another rough August for President Obama. He's wrapping up a summer vacation marred by events in Ferguson, Mo., and the murder of an American journalist in the Middle East.
 
August 22, 2014 | NPR · Regular political commentators, E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and Reihan Salam of The National Review, discuss the killing of American journalist James Foley and the ongoing conflict in Ferguson, Mo.
 
August 22, 2014 | NPR · The scent of fresh pencils is in the air, and homework assignments are around the corner. In honor of back-to-school season, author Alexander Aciman recommends The Lost Estate by Henri Alain-Fournier.
 

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August 23, 2014 | NPR · Nearly 1,500 people have died in the Ebola outbreak, and more nations in the region are closing their borders. NPR's Scott Simon speaks to Africa correspondent Ofeibea Quist-Arcton about the epidemic.
 

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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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Ecstatic Voices

Apr 18, 2014 — Life, death and piety are the recurring themes in hauntingly beautiful alabados preserved by lay brothers called penitentes. "You have to feel them," one says. "You have to feel them in your soul."
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Jan 3, 2014 — The mariachi Mass brings an ensemble of garishly dressed folk musicians — with their guitars, trumpets and violins — right down to the front of the church, where they play liturgical music.
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Dec 26, 2013 — Josh Garrels says his music tries to "peel back layers" of what it means to be a Christian. He says he's given away 153,000 digital copies of his breakout album, Love & War & The Sea in Between.
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Dec 5, 2013 — Can non-belief in God become a belief system itself? NPR's John Burnett has the story of the Texas indie band Quiet Company, who made a splash with a surprisingly positive album about frontman Taylor Muse's crisis of faith.
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Nov 7, 2013 — Kanniks Kannikeswaran writes groundbreaking Hindu sacred music and forms community choirs to perform it. "When a group of about 20 strangers get together and sing raga-based music with choral harmony for the first time," he says, "something magical begins to happen."
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Oct 27, 2013 — If it's Sunday in Houston, get ready to dance up and down the aisle at church. Zydeco music is the soundtrack to spirit-filled parties fueled by beer, boudin, and red beans and rice. It's a joyful continuation of a decades-old tradition.
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Oct 19, 2013 — The trumpeter and bandleader premiered his gospel-jazz Abyssinian Mass back in 2008. But now, accompanied by a 70-voice choir, he's taking the sprawling work on the road and into African-American churches — whose services were the inspiration for the piece.
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Oct 16, 2013 — The Modzitzer sect of Chasidic Judaism, which originated in the Polish town of Modzitz, is known for its beautiful melodies. Among the most emblematic and prolific composers in this tradition is Brooklynite Ben Zion Shenker — who, at 88, continues to create new works.
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Oct 15, 2013 — Hidden deep in the hills of Appalachia, there's a tradition of worship music that has not changed since the 18th century. The hymnody is still practiced by congregations of the Old Regular Baptist Church, where a leader calls out a line and the people respond in a mournful, soaring chorus.
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Sep 18, 2013 — For the Church of the Living God in Toccopola, Miss., the lap steel guitar channels the voice of God through hymns and improvised solos that mix gospel, blues and country.
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