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Author Interviews
9:00 am
Sun June 28, 2015

Two Years After Deadly Wildfire, Are There Lessons In The Ashes?

An aerial view shows the Yarnell Hill fire burning June 29, 2013 near the town of Yarnell, Ariz. The next day, 19 firefighters died battling the blaze.
Arizona State Forestry Division Getty Images

Two years ago, a wildfire was raging in the foothills of North Arizona. The Granite Mountain Hotshots, a team of elite firefighters from Prescott, Ariz., were on the ground, battling the blaze.

Then the weather and the winds shifted, and the two-day-old Yarnell Hill Fire changed course. The commander had a huge decision to make: stay on safe ground, or try to cut off the blaze?

He made the call — and before the day was over, 19 hotshot firefighters were dead. It was one of the deadliest incidents for wildland firefighters in U.S. history.

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NPR Story
7:17 am
Sun June 28, 2015

2 Brothers And A Team Of Mules Tackle The Historic Oregon Trail

The Oregon Trail looms large in the American imagination. But journalist Rinker Buck and his brother Nick set out to see what the experience was really like — miseries and all.
Albert Bierstadt Public Domain

Originally published on Sun June 28, 2015 8:40 am

Two 21st-century guys, a replica 19th-century wagon, some mules and a resolution: to re-live the Oregon Trail today.

Rivers, mountains, cliffs, runaway mules, cars and trucks, bad weather ... What could possibly go wrong?

Journalist Rinker Buck wanted to find out. He and his brother Nick hitched a covered wagon to mules and set off to retrace what's left of the westward path traveled by thousands of 19th-century pioneers.

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Governing
4:36 pm
Sat June 27, 2015

For Families Of U.S. Hostages, New Policy May Bring New Hope

Linda Boyle (left) and Lyn Coleman hold a photo of their children, who were kidnapped in Afghanistan in 2012. Caitlan Coleman, an American married to Canadian Joshua Boyle, was pregnant when the couple was abducted.
Bill Gorman AP

Originally published on Sat June 27, 2015 5:36 pm

More than 80 Americans have been taken hostage abroad since Sept. 11, 2001. Currently, 30 Americans are being held around the world.

Until this week, the families of those hostages would have faced the threat of prosecution from the U.S. government for trying to pay a ransom to kidnappers.

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Book News & Features
4:26 pm
Sat June 27, 2015

Marvel's Half-Black, Half-Latino Spider-Man Is Going Mainstream

Marvel has put half-African-American, half-Latino teen Miles Morales in the Spider-Man suit.
Courtesy of Marvel

Originally published on Sat June 27, 2015 5:36 pm

Step aside, Peter Parker: There's a new Spider-Man joining the Marvel Universe.

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Television
5:18 pm
Sun June 21, 2015

The Human Drama Of Hacking Fuels TV Thriller 'Mr. Robot'

USA's Mr. Robot tells the story of a cyber-security engineer and vigilant hacker (played by Rami Malek) who also suffers from anxiety.
Sarah Shatz USA Network

Originally published on Mon June 22, 2015 9:13 am

Cyborgs and androids are nowhere to be seen in the new USA show Mr. Robot. Instead, the drama is centered on a very human interior — the mind of Elliot, the unlikely hacker hero. From his first words — "Hello, friend" — his voice-over keeps audiences squarely inside his world.

"Elliot is sort of an internal, isolated guy who can't really interact with people socially, in real life, but online he can hack them and knows all the intimate, private details of them," Sam Esmail, the show's creator and executive producer, tells NPR's Arun Rath.

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Middle East
7:27 am
Sun June 21, 2015

For A British Man, Fighting ISIS Was Simply The Right Thing To Do

Seen here in an undated photograph, Macer Gifford — an alias he uses to protect his family — left his job as a financial trader in London to fight ISIS in Syria.
Courtesy of Macer Gifford

Originally published on Sun June 21, 2015 2:48 pm

We have heard about how ISIS is recruiting foreign fighters to join its ranks. But it's happening on the other side as well.

Just last week, a Massachusetts man who died fighting against ISIS in Syria was laid to rest.

Last year, a British man who calls himself Macer Gifford left his job as a financial trader in London and went to join the Kurds and fight the self-declared Islamic State in Syria.

Gifford spoke on the condition that NPR not reveal his real name, because he fears for the safety of his family in the UK.

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Movie Interviews
4:03 am
Fri June 19, 2015

'Sadness Is Like A Superhero': Amy Poehler On Pixar's 'Inside Out'

"[Sadness is] such a funny opposite energy to Joy, who is literally jumping up and down," Poehler says. "And Sadness just wants to lie down and kind of feel her feelings." Poehler plays Joy (left) and Phyllis Smith plays Sadness in the new film Inside Out.
Disney/Pixar

Originally published on Sun June 21, 2015 11:37 am

A new animated feature from Pixar aims to do the near-impossible, as any parent would tell you: get inside the mind of a preteen girl. Inside Out is about an 11-year-old girl named Riley, but the real stars are her emotions — five colorful characters representing joy, sadness, anger, fear and disgust.

Pete Docter, the creative force behind Up and Monsters, Inc., wrote and directed the film, and actress Amy Poehler plays Joy. Both of them laugh about one of the biggest challenges of the movie: deciding how many emotions to include.

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Interviews
4:03 am
Fri June 19, 2015

'I'm So Proud To Have You As A Daughter'

Mario Loiseau and his daughter Mabou during a recent visit to StoryCorps.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri June 19, 2015 11:20 am

Mario Loiseau works two jobs, including long hours as a parking lot attendant, to help pay for his 9-year-old daughter Mabou's tutoring. Mabou is a science and language prodigy and is already studying college-level algebra.

"So Daddy, how did you feel when I was born?" she asked her father during a recent visit to StoryCorps in New York City.

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Author Interviews
5:27 pm
Sun June 14, 2015

'You Couldn't Make This Stuff Up': Inside The Lives Of The 'China Rich'

Lydia Thompson NPR

Originally published on Mon June 15, 2015 12:06 pm

In his 2014 novel Crazy Rich Asians, author Kevin Kwan took readers to Singapore and into the lives of Asia's elite, who live in a world of opulence so extreme, it's absurd.

The novel became an international best-seller, with a movie in the works.

Now those Crazy Rich Asians are back as a mix of old and new characters in Kwan's new novel, China Rich Girlfriend.

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Health
5:18 pm
Sun June 14, 2015

'Man With The Golden Arm' Donates Blood That Has Saved 2 Million Babies

James Harrison was recognized in 2003 with the Guinness World Record for the most blood donated by one person.
DAVID GRAY Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon June 15, 2015 10:20 am

When James Harrison was 14, he got really sick. One of his lungs had to be removed, and he needed a lot of blood.

"I was in the hospital for three months and I had 100 stitches," he recalls.

After receiving 13 units — almost 2 gallons — of donated blood, Harrison knew right away that he wanted to give back.

"I was always looking forward to donating, right from the operation, because I don't know how many people it took to save my life," he says. "I never met them, didn't know them."

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