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5:18 am
Sun February 23, 2014

As The Economy Struggles, Venezuelans Hit The Streets

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro raises his fist after the National Assembly gave him wide-ranging powers to rule by decree for one year on Nov. 19, 2013. With the economy struggling, demonstrators have taken to the streets the streets.
Juan Barreto AFP/Getty Images

Leopoldo López is a rock star to Venezuelans living in the United States. But in west Caracas he's the rich guy. And those contrasting images could affect the outcome of street protests playing out in Venezuela right now.

But first the obvious: This week's arrest of López, a top Venezuela opposition leader, is a reminder that President Nicolás Maduro's credibility is plummeting during the anti-government demonstrations that have swept his country since Feb. 12.

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Middle East
1:01 am
Sun February 23, 2014

Taliban Suspends Talks On Prisoner Exchange

Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 1:45 am

The Taliban has suspended talks over a possible exchange of Taliban and U.S. prisoners due to the "complexity" of the situation in Afghanistan, the militant group said on Sunday.

"Due to the political complexity of the current situation in the country, the leadership of the Islamic Emirate has decided to suspend the issue for some time," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in an email to media organizations, using the name the Taliban gave their 1996-2001 government.

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Around the Nation
12:40 am
Sun February 23, 2014

One Dead, 28 Sickened By Carbon Monoxide At New York Mall

Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 3:21 am

A 55-year-old restaurant manager died and more than two dozen others were taken to hospitals Saturday after being overcome by carbon monoxide at a New York mall, police said.

Suffolk County police identified the man who died as Steven Nelson, a manager at the Legal Sea Foods restaurant at the Walt Whitman Shops in Huntington Station on Long Island.

Police said 28 others affected by carbon monoxide were taken to area hospitals.

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Music Interviews
6:08 pm
Sat February 22, 2014

Fred Armisen's Fake Bands (And Their Real Songs)

Bryan Cranston and Fred Armisen in character as The Bjelland Brothers, a sibling soft rock duo dreamed up by Armisen for a 2010 sketch on Saturday Night Live.
NBC via Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 2:57 pm

A lot of obscure bands want to reach a national audience, and they send their records to NPR. Unfortunately, there's a lot of forgettable stuff in the mix, and recently the staff of All Things Considered received the kind of CD it would usually toss.

It's got a pair of singles by two bands — The Blue Jean Committee, which came out of the 1970s Massachusetts folk scene; and The Fingerlings, a British post-disco/synth band of art-school graduates. Both sound desperately tiresome.

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Around the Nation
5:00 pm
Sat February 22, 2014

Explosion On Ky. Natural Gas Pipeline Under Investigation

Burned-out vehicles sit among the ruins following a natural gas pipeline explosion in Kentucky on Thursday.
Timothy D. Easley AP

Originally published on Sat February 22, 2014 7:18 pm

A huge boom awoke the people of rural Adair County, Ky., at about 1 a.m. on Feb. 13. Calls flooded 911 dispatchers with reports of a large fire.

The flames were from an explosion on a natural gas pipeline. It left a crater 60 feet deep, destroyed two homes and sent two people to the hospital.

Federal investigators are examining the cause of the blast, but it wasn't the first time the pipeline had failed in some way.

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Around the Nation
5:00 pm
Sat February 22, 2014

Closing America's Largest Landfill, Without Taking Out The Trash

Trucks dump trash at the Puente Hill Landfill in Puente Hills, Calif., on October 31, 2013. The nation's largest landfill is now covered with soil and closed, and will one day be a park.
Nick Ut AP

Originally published on Sat February 22, 2014 7:18 pm

The covering of America's largest landfill — east of downtown Los Angeles — is underway.

The Puente Hills landfill took in trash from all over LA County, becoming the go-to repository for most of Los Angeles' garbage. Over its more than 50 years in operation, the landfill grew higher than 500 feet.

It stopped receiving new trash in October, but the old waste will actually stay. All those years' worth of garbage will be covered up and remain underneath the ground.

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Latin America
5:00 pm
Sat February 22, 2014

Notorious Mexican Drug Trafficker Arrested

Originally published on Sat February 22, 2014 7:18 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.

Mexican officials have captured that country's number one drug trafficker, Joaquin Guzman, also known as El Chapo. The announcement was made this afternoon by Mexico's attorney general who says the head of the feared Sinaloa Cartel was arrested by special marine forces without a single shot being fired.

We're joined now by NPR's Carrie Kahn in Mexico City. Carrie, they've been looking for Guzman for 13 years. How did they capture him?

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Middle East
5:00 pm
Sat February 22, 2014

U.N. Calls On Syria To Allow Access To Humanitarian Aid

Originally published on Sat February 22, 2014 7:18 pm

The U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution Saturday to boost humanitarian aid access in Syria. More than 9 million people need food, water and medicine, according to the U.N.

Around the Nation
4:35 pm
Sat February 22, 2014

Where Are The Heroes To Save Pittsburgh's African-American Center?

The $42-million August Wilson Center in Pittsburgh is for sale because it can't pay its bills. Some are questioning why the Center was allowed to fail.
Keith Srakocic AP

Originally published on Sat February 22, 2014 7:18 pm

In 2009 a gleaming performing arts space opened to great fanfare in downtown Pittsburgh. The distinctive $42 million-dollar building is as long as the block it occupies, and the corner of the building looks like the sail of a ship made in glass and stone.

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The Edge
1:04 pm
Sat February 22, 2014

U.S. Men's Hockey Team Loses Bronze To Finland

Finland's Teemu Selanne celebrates after scoring his team's fourth goal during the men's ice hockey bronze-medal game U.S. vs. Finland at the Bolshoy Ice Dome during the Sochi Winter Olympics on Saturday.
Alexander Nemenov AFP/Getty Images

A 43-year-old, six-time Olympian helped lead Finland to a bronze-medal win over the U.S. men's hockey team on Saturday.

Teemu Selanne scored two of Finland's five goals, shutting out the U.S. team 5-0.

Team USA had hoped to overcome Friday's crushing loss to Canada, which, if won, would have made the U.S. a contender for the gold. Despite playing great hockey the entire tournament, things seemed to fall apart against Canada and later, Finland.

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The Two-Way
1:03 pm
Sat February 22, 2014

In Rare Unison, U.N. Demands That Syria Allow Humanitarian Aid

A Syrian refugee boy stands outside his tent at Al Zaatri refugee camp in the Jordanian city of Mafraq, near the border with Syria, earlier this week.
Muhammad Hamed Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sat February 22, 2014 4:17 pm

The United Nations Security Council has unanimously called on Syria to immediately allow the delivery of humanitarian aid to millions of needy people in the war-torn country.

Veto-wielding Russia and China, which have been strong supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime in the past, joined other members on the council in passing the resolution.

The move doesn't threaten sanctions, but it does warn of "further steps" if Syria doesn't comply.

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Fresh Air Weekend
12:32 pm
Sat February 22, 2014

Fresh Air Weekend: David O. Russell, 'Last Of The Unjust,' And 'Sonic Wonders'

Why does thunder rumble? Acoustic professor Trevor Cox explains that it has to do with the way lightning is a jagged line. "Each little kink is actually generating the sound, and the reason thunder rumbles is because the sound takes different time to come from different kinks because they're all slightly different distances from you," he says.
Mariana Suarez AFP/Getty Images

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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The Two-Way
12:12 pm
Sat February 22, 2014

Mexican Drug Cartel Kingpin Captured In Joint U.S.-Mexico Raid

Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is escorted to a helicopter in handcuffs by Mexican navy marines at a navy hanger in Mexico City on Saturday. A senior U.S. law enforcement official said that Guzman, the head of Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel, was captured alive overnight in the beach resort town of Mazatlan.
Eduardo Verdugo AP

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 6:04 am

This story was updated at 4:20 p.m. ET.

The head of Mexico's Sinaloa drug cartel, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, was captured overnight by U.S. and Mexican officials in the Pacific coastal town of Mazatlan.

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Europe
12:08 pm
Sat February 22, 2014

Russia's Cossacks Ride Back From History As 'Patriots'

Cossacks, who formed a feared military force in czarist times, start their 2012 ceremonial march from Moscow to Paris in memory of soldiers killed during the war against Napoleon in 1812.
Alexander Zemlianichenko AP

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 5:17 pm

The contrast couldn't have been greater: the protest band Pussy Riot in colorful ski masks and mini dresses, attempting to film a segment for a new video on Sochi's waterfront; and Cossacks in traditional uniform with black sheepskin hats and riding boots, patrolling Sochi streets as part of security for the Olympics.

The Cossacks, trying to enforce a government ban on protests, knocked band member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova to the ground, lashed her with a horse whip, and roughed up other musicians.

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The Two-Way
11:31 am
Sat February 22, 2014

Tale Of Two Popes: Francis, Benedict Appear Together In Public

Newly-elected Cardinal Leopoldo Jose Brenes Solorzano, Archbishop of Managua, right, is hugged by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI during a consistory inside the St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, on Saturday.
Alessandra Tarantino AP

Pope Francis and his predecessor, Benedict XVI, appeared together at a ceremony anointing 19 new cardinals in what The Associated Press described as "an unprecedented blending of papacies past, present and future."

In the solemn event, known as a consistory, Francis on Saturday bestowed red hats on his first batch of cardinals.

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