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NPR Story
1:16 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Making Music For 'The Hobbit'

Composer Howard Shore (howardshore.com)

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 7:38 am

Composer Howard Shore has written dozens of film scores. He’s worked with directors Jonathan Demme and Martin Scorcese, and he’s a frequent collaborator with David Cronenberg. But he’s probably best known for his work with Peter Jackson.

Shore wrote the scores for all three “Lord of the Rings” movies, as well as the two “Hobbit” films, including “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” which opens today. He’s won three Oscars for his work on “The Lord of the Rings” films.

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NPR Story
1:16 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

A Friend Remembers Nelson Mandela

Padraig O'Malley from the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy Studies of University of Massachusetts who was involved in the Iraq meeting last week in Finland gave a short statement in Helsinki, Sept. 4, 2007, after the secretive four-day talks between representatives of Iraqi political parties and others linked to a range of groups close to the conflict ended in Finland late on Monday. (Seppo Samuli/AFP/Getty Images)

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 7:38 am

Padraig O’Malley spent more than 10 years tracking South Africa’s transition to democracy, working with whites and blacks, including the man who would eventually become the nation’s first democratically-elected president: Nelson Mandela.

Ahead of Mandela’s funeral on Sunday, O’Malley joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to a reflect on a man who brought people of very different perspectives together.

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NPR Story
1:15 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

'Survivor' Renewed Through 30th Season

The latest cast of "Survivor" anticipates someone being voted off the show. (CBS)

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 7:38 am

Survivor,” the reality TV show that sets up groups of strangers to compete in remote locations, is being renewed for its 29th and 30th seasons.

That makes it the longest-running reality competition show in television history. It’s also one of the first-ever reality series.

Since launching “Survivor” in 2000, executive producer Mark Burnett has gone on to produce other popular competition programs, including “The Voice” and “Shark Tank.”

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Politics
1:14 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

As Congress Leaves Town, Some Jobless Benefits Set To Expire

Job seekers attend at a career fair in Miami Lakes, Fla., in August. At the end of the year, 1.3 million Americans will lose their extended unemployment benefits.
Alan Diaz AP

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 3:56 pm

The House adjourned for the holidays Thursday night after passing a two-year budget agreement. But despite pressure from Democrats, the deal did not include an extension of the long-term unemployment benefit program.

While the issue may be reconsidered in January, more than a million Americans will lose their benefits between Christmas and New Year's.

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It's All Politics
1:07 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Is Sen. John Cornyn Conservative Enough For Texas?

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, the Senate minority whip, questions Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius before the Senate Finance Committee on Nov. 6.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Being an incumbent ain't what it used to be.

Texan John Cornyn is the No. 2 man in Senate GOP leadership and by most measures holds high conservative ratings — according to National Journal's rankings, he was the second most conservative senator in the last Congress.

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Music Reviews
1:00 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

When Donny Hathaway, Thelonious Monk And Neil Young Hit A Turning Point

Live at the Cellar Door, the new album from Neil Young, was recorded in 1970.
Gary Burden Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 4:29 pm

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Poetry
1:00 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Poem: Nelson Mandela, 'An Ordinary Man'

Jonathan Blakely/NPR

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 3:56 pm

On Sunday, South Africans will lay to rest the remains of Nelson Mandela.

The legacy left by the activist and political prisoner who transformed a nation and became president is being remembered by politicians, historians and artists.

Among them is Thabiso Mohare, a young South African spoken word artist who performs under the name Afurakan. He wrote a poem for NPR about Mandela called "An Ordinary Man."

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Shots - Health News
12:35 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

FDA Warns Against Test Touted As Mammogram Alternative

When it comes to taking care of the girls, mammograms are still the way to go.
iStockphoto

Mammograms are no woman's idea of fun, but if someone suggests that you could skip that aggravation just by vacuuming a little bit of fluid from the breast, think again.

Nipple aspirate tests being offered in doctors' offices are no substitute for mammograms, the Food and Drug Administration said Thursday.

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All Tech Considered
12:35 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Game Director Shifts From 'Grand Theft Auto' To Iranian Revolution

The creators of 1979 Revolution interviewed fellow Iranians to create accurate scenes of Iran.
iNK Stories

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 3:56 pm

Navid Khonsari worked on blockbusters like Grand Theft Auto III, Vice City and Max Payne. These are all violent and aggressive games, set in fictional cities where you shoot your enemies. But for the past two years Khonsari, a video game director, has led a small team, some of them fellow Iranians, working on something very different — a documentary game about the 1979 Iranian Revolution.

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The Two-Way
12:10 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

White House: American Seized In Iran Wasn't On CIA Payroll

A photo provided by Robert Levinson's family shows the retired FBI agent in captivity in April 2011.
AP

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 3:37 pm

A day after The Associated Press reported that an ex-FBI agent who went missing in Iran nearly seven years ago was on a rogue mission for the CIA, the White House has reiterated its long-held position that Robert Levinson was not on the U.S. payroll when he disappeared.

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