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Parallels
1:26 am
Wed January 28, 2015

Singing The Blues, A U.S. Envoy Hopes To Boost Ties With Ecuador

Adam Namm (left) is the U.S. ambassador to Ecuador and a member of Samay Blues Band. He performs regularly with the group and says its a way to breakaway from traditional diplomacy.
Alejandro Reinoso for NPR

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 10:31 am

Shortly before taking the stage at a bar in Quito, Ecuador's capital, the local band Samay Blues plugs in for a sound check.

Among the audience are a number of Americans. That's because the word is out: U.S. Ambassador Adam Namm will be sitting in on keyboards.

"I'm glad to get out of the office once in a while," Namm tells a patron. "Thanks for coming."

In a region where many left-wing leaders are hostile to the United States, Namm has found a novel way to reach out to his host country.

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Around the Nation
1:25 am
Wed January 28, 2015

Homeless Man Encourages Others On The Streets To 'Get Up'

Tony Simmons leads a group of Johns Hopkins University students on a "justice walk" in downtown Baltimore, during which they learn about public policy, providing services, and the connections between income inequality and health.
Gabriella Demczuk for NPR

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 8:57 am

This story begins an occasional series about individuals who don't have much money or power but do have a big impact on their communities.

Sometimes, the people you'd least expect are those who do the most. People like Tony Simmons, a homeless man in Baltimore who helps others get off the street. Simmons says he does it as much for himself as for anyone else.

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Parallels
1:24 am
Wed January 28, 2015

Tiger Skins And Rhino Horns: Can A Trade Deal Halt The Trafficking?

Coleen Schaefer (left) and Doni Sprague display a tiger pelt that was confiscated and is being stored at the National Eagle and Wildlife repository on the outskirts of Denver. Some 1.5 million items are being held at the facility. The Asia-Pacific Trade Pact, which is still under negotiation, would punish wildlife trafficking.
Jackie Northam NPR

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 6:09 am

If you want a sobering look at the scale of wildlife trafficking, just visit the National Eagle and Wildlife Repository on the outskirts of Denver. In the middle of a national reserve is a cavernous warehouse stuffed with the remains of 1.5 million animals, whole and in parts.

They range from taxidermied polar bears to tiny sea horses turned into key chains. An area devoted to elephants is framed by a pair of enormous tusks.

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Parallels
1:21 am
Wed January 28, 2015

Group Urges Swedes To Evade Subway Fares, And Even Insures Against Fines

Christian Tengblad (right) and his fellow fare dodger are part of the group Planka.nu.
Ari Shapiro NPR

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 7:45 am

Every city that has public transportation struggles with fare jumpers — people who sneak onto the subway or the bus without buying a ticket. In Sweden, fare-dodging is a brazen movement in which the group's members don't try to hide what they're doing.

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All Tech Considered
11:11 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

Apple Sold 30,000 iPhones An Hour Last Quarter, Scored Record Profits

Apple CEO Tim Cook discusses the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus late last year.
Marcio Jose Sanchez AP

Sales of Apple's larger iPhone 6 and 6 Plus hit one out of the ballpark last quarter, reports NPR's Laura Sydell.

"Apple sold over 74 million iPhones in three months and it made $18 million in profits — that's a record for the company. Apple CEO Tim Cook said that they sold 30,000 iPhones every hour."

"The sales may reflect pent up consumer demand — many people were waiting for Apple to release a phone with a bigger screen, which its main competitor, Samsung, already had."

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