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World Cafe
3:45 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Latin Roots: Merengue

Merengue musician Wilfrido Vargas.
Courtesy of the artist

In this segment of Latin Roots from World Cafe, Grammy-winning Latin music producer Aaron Levinson and host David Dye ourney through the world of merengue music, starting with its roots in the Dominican Republic.

Largely influenced by the dictator Rafael Trujillo to celebrate his political agenda, merengue is a form of fast-paced, rhythmic music. Utilizing diatonic accordions, tamboras and the g├╝ira, traditional merengue bands have induced listeners around the world to move with the sounds of the tropical beat.

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The Two-Way
3:19 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Surely Congress Would Know Better Than to Hurt Airlines. No?

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 4:31 pm

Those baggage fees, cramped seats and tiny pretzel bags to the contrary and notwithstanding, airline passengers enjoyed good times in 2012, according to an annual recap from Airlines for America, the industry trade group.

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NPR Story
3:17 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

'Friends Of Hamas': How A Joke Went Wrong

Originally published on Sun February 24, 2013 7:50 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

Among the many charges thrown at Chuck Hagel, as he seeks confirmation as defense secretary, is this one: that he received funding from a group called Friends of Hamas. That explosive claim first surfaced on the conservative website breitbart.com. It got traction and spread among conservative media.

Thing is there's no evidence that any such group exists, not to mention any evidence of a Hamas-Hagel connection.

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A Blog Supreme
3:15 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

History As Symphony: The African-American Experience In Jazz Suites

Duke Ellington's compositions present a timeless contribution to American music's legacy.
Victor Drees//Evening Standard Getty Images

Originally published on Sat February 23, 2013 4:47 pm

The Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s inspired several black artists to explore their African heritage and the black experience in America, from enslavement to life after emancipation and migration to cities in the north. In the musical world, pianist James P. Johnson composed Yamekraw: A Negro Rhapsody, a 12-minute portrait of a black community in Savannah, Ga. Yamekraw was orchestrated for a 1928 performance at Carnegie Hall by black composer William Grant Still, who would write his own Afro American Symphony in 1930.

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The Two-Way
3:04 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Sen. Rand Paul Returns $600,000 Of Unspent Operating Costs

Sen. Rand Paul.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 8:27 pm

For the second year in a row, Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican of Kentucky, is returning a large part of his office's operating budget to the Treasury.

According to a press release, Paul presented taxpayers in Louisville with an "oversized" check for $600,000.

"I ran to stop the reckless spending, and I pledged to the people of Kentucky that I would work to keep their hard-earned money out of the hands of Washington bureaucrats whose irresponsible spending has threatened our country's economic health," Paul said.

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