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StoryCorps
1:36 am
Fri February 27, 2015

Obama To Ambitious Teen: 'You Have This Strength Inside Yourself'

President Barack Obama participates in a "My Brother's Keeper" StoryCorps interview with Noah McQueen in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Feb. 20.
Chuck Kennedy The White House

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 9:01 am

Noah McQueen is part of "My Brother's Keeper," a White House program aimed at young men of color.

His teen years have been rough, and include several arrests and a short period of incarceration. But last week, he was at the White House. The 18-year-old sat down for a StoryCorps interview with President Obama, who wanted to know more about Noah's life.

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Goats and Soda
1:35 am
Fri February 27, 2015

Go Behind The Scenes With The Producer Who Made 'Life After Death'

Twins Watta and Fatta Balyon pose for a picture outside their guardian Mamuedeh Kanneh's house.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 6:54 pm

They hired a car and drove for 10 hours over the most rutted dirt roads you can imagine, dodging motorbikes, pedestrians and overloaded cars all the way.

It was December. NPR producers John Poole and Sami Yenigun had come to see what happens to a village after Ebola has struck.

Barkedu, in Liberia, is a beautiful place, green and forested. Tall hills start to rise near its border with Guinea. Cows and chickens roam around the village, which is built along the Lofa River. A small stream runs through Barkedu, where people bath and wash their clothes.

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Music
3:43 pm
Sat February 21, 2015

'That Blew My Mind': Raiding The Lead Belly Vault

Lead Belly.
William Gottlieb Courtesy of Smithsonian Folkways and the Library of Congress

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 6:30 am

The story of Huddie "Lead Belly" Ledbetter reads like a parody of the brutal bluesman biography: Kill a man, go to prison — twice — then appeal for a pardon in a song. According to the legend, Lead Belly's undeniable talent convinced Texas Governor Pat Neff to let him go.

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Parallels
1:23 am
Thu February 19, 2015

For The First Time, An Afghan First Lady Steps Into The Spotlight

Lebanese-born Rula Ghani is Afghanistan's first lady. The wife of newly elected Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has her own office in the presidential palace and intends to play a prominent role in public life.
Emily Jan NPR

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 8:51 am

Afghanistan was a different world when Rula Ghani moved there from Lebanon as a newlywed in the 1970s. Untouched by war, its small middle class was open to the wider world.

She had met her husband, Ashraf, while studying political science at the American University of Beirut. He was an Afghan Muslim; she, a Lebanese Christian.

They would go on to make a life together — first in Afghanistan, then in America, where she got a degree from Columbia University and became an American citizen, and he taught at Johns Hopkins before moving on to the World Bank.

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Intelligence Squared U.S.
10:35 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Debate: Are America's Best Days Behind It?

Josef Joffe, author of The Myth of America's Decline, says the U.S. remains a world leader in education, economic performance and innovation.
Samuel LaHoz Intelligence Squared U.S.

Is America in decline? Or an unparalleled leader on the global stage? Is the nation coping well with the challenges of the 21st century — from health care and education to the threat of terrorism — or is it falling behind other world powers?

Some argue that, while other developed nations have watched their share of global GDP shrink, the United States has remained an economic powerhouse. The U.S. military is unrivaled, they add, the world's top universities are American and the nation remains a leader in technological innovation.

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