Around the Nation
4:46 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

50 Years Later, King's Birmingham 'Letter' Still Resonates

Martin Luther King Jr., with the Rev. Ralph Abernathy (center) and the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, defied an injunction against protesting on Good Friday in 1963. They were arrested and held in solitary confinement in the Birmingham jail where King wrote his famous "Letter From Birmingham Jail."
Courtesy of Birmingham Public Library Archives

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 12:12 am

It's been five decades since Martin Luther King Jr., began writing his famous "Letter From Birmingham Jail," a response to eight white Alabama clergymen who criticized King and worried the civil rights campaign would cause violence. They called King an "extremist" and told blacks they should be patient.

But the time for waiting was over. Birmingham was the perfect place to take a stand.

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Around the Nation
4:46 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Changes Help San Diego Homeless, But Long Road Remains Ahead

Wanda Rayborn, 63, was homeless for nine years and was living under a tree in downtown San Diego two years ago. She now lives in a newly renovated efficiency apartment — part of an initiative to help get homeless people off the streets.
Pam Fessler NPR

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 2:05 pm

Two years ago, we reported on an ambitious campaign to end homelessness in downtown San Diego, a city with one of the largest homeless populations in the nation. The effort involved an unprecedented coalition of business leaders, community groups and government agencies.

At the time, some advocates for the homeless — after years of seeing other, failed efforts to get people off city streets — were skeptical that the campaign would amount to much.

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It's All Politics
4:46 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

How Congress Quietly Overhauled Its Insider-Trading Law

Vice President Biden and members of Congress watch as President Obama signs the STOCK Act on April 4, 2012. A year later, Congress moved to undo large portions of the law without fanfare.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

The legislative process on Capitol Hill is often slow and grinding. There are committee hearings, filibuster threats and hours of floor debate. But sometimes, when Congress really wants to get something done, it can move blindingly fast.

That's what happened when Congress moved to undo large parts of a popular law known as the STOCK Act last week.

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Education
4:46 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Creative Classes: An Artful Approach To Improving Performance

Jionni Anderson is a third grader at Savoy Elementary School. Anderson raises her hand to answer a question in Mr. Scott's keyboard class.
Lizzie Chen NPR

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 4:31 pm

This is the first in a three-part series about the intersection of education and the arts.

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Music
4:45 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

The Exchange, April 16

Folk and roots music, and live performances and interviews with local musicians.

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It's All Politics
3:47 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Background Check Battle: More Prosecution Or More Checks?

Vice President Joe Biden, holds a background check form last week in Washington, as he calls on Congress to pass legislation aimed at reducing gun violence.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 12:54 pm

One argument that some gun rights groups make against expanding background checks is that the federal government isn't doing a good enough job now of enforcing the law already on the books.

They point out that only a tiny fraction of people caught trying to buy a gun illegally are ever prosecuted.

But gun control supporters say that argument totally misses the point of background checks.

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The Two-Way
3:39 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

American Airlines Grounds All Flights Due To Computer Glitch

American Airlines flights were grounded for two hours on Tuesday due to a glitch in the reservation system, the airline says.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 3:54 pm

A computer glitch in the reservations system at American Airlines caused all of the carrier's flights to be grounded for at least two hours on Tuesday.

"American's reservation and booking tool, Sabre is offline," American Airlines spokeswoman Mary Frances Fagan told Reuters in an email. "We're working to resolve the issue as quickly as we can. We apologize to our customers for any inconvenience."

NPR's Wade Goodwyn reports that the outage was announced about 2:30 p.m. Eastern time.

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A Blog Supreme
3:27 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

How Taxes And Moving Changed The Sound Of Jazz

The bebop innovator Dizzy Gillespie on 52nd Street in New York, which was filled with small jazz clubs in the 1940s.
William Gottlieb The Library of Congress

This week — when many of us at NPR rushed to file our U.S. federal income-tax returns, then moved to a new headquarters — I'm reminded of a moment in jazz history. Namely, the mid-1940s, when a new style called bebop came into popularity.

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Music Interviews
3:25 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Rachel Zeffira: An Opera 'Deserter' Embraces Dreamy Pop

Rachel Zeffira's debut solo album is titled The Deserters.
Yuval Hen Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 5:46 am

Listening to her ethereal sound, you might not guess that Rachel Zeffira was classically trained as an opera singer. But on her solo debut, The Deserters, she's not just singing: She also plays piano, synthesizers, vibraphone, cathedral organ, violin, viola, oboe and English horn.

Zeffira makes her home in London now, but she grew up in a small town in rural British Columbia and began playing music at a young age.

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Shots - Health News
3:04 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Quality Conundrum: Complications Boost Hospital Profits

If he messes up, should the hospital profit?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 4:35 pm

Hospitals can make much more money when surgery goes wrong than in cases that go without a hitch.

And that presents a problem for patients. The financial incentives don't favor better care.

"The magnitude of the numbers was eye-popping," says Atul Gawande, a professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School, and an author of the study, which was just published in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association. "It was much larger than we expected."

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