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Latin America
4:00 am
Sun January 15, 2012

Brazil's Falling Birth Rate: A 'New Way Of Thinking'

Brazil's fertility rate has dropped dramatically over the past half-century and is now below that in the U.S. Here, women lie with their newborns at the Pro Matre maternity hospital in Rio de Janeiro.
Douglas Engle MCT/Landov

Brazil has undergone a demographic shift so dramatic that it has astonished social scientists. Over the past 50 years, the fertility rate has tumbled from six children per woman on average to fewer than two — and is now lower than in the United States.

Demographers say the fertility rate is declining because the country is richer and more urban, but they also point to Brazil's hugely popular soap operas and their portrayal of small, glamorous families.

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Africa
3:59 am
Sun January 15, 2012

Just A Few Months Old, S. Sudan Already In Turmoil

People who escaped ethnic violence in Jonglei state wait for food rations at a World Food Program distribution center on Thursday. South Sudan gained independence just six months ago, and already ethnic tensions inside the new country have forced tens of thousands to flee their homes.
Michael Onyiego AP

South Sudan gained independence just six months ago, but the country is already plagued by ethnic violence at home and ongoing tensions with its previous rulers in Sudan.

Potential humanitarian crises are brewing in both Sudans, and U.S. diplomats are sounding frustrated that the two are not talking to each other enough.

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Around the Nation
3:58 am
Sun January 15, 2012

Montana's Wide-Open Spaces Getting A Bit Crowded

Montana's wide-open spaces are slightly more crowded than they used to be, and not all residents are happy about sharing.
J. Stephen Conn Flickr

One of the nation's least densely populated states has hit a major milestone. Montana's population crossed over the 1 million person mark around the first of the year. While the governor says that's a good sign for the future, some residents say the state's already too crowded.

Fewer than 2,000 people live in Townsend, Mont., a small farming community surrounded by national forests and just south of the gigantic Canyon Ferry Reservoir.

At Penny's Breakfast Station, cook Amber Burchett fries up hash browns in the early afternoon.

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The Two-Way
3:30 pm
Sat January 14, 2012

Assassination Opens New Rifts Between Iran And The West

People gather around a car as it is removed by a mobile crane in Tehran, Iran. The car was being driven by Iranian nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan when it was targeted by a bomb Wednesday. Roshan was killed in the blast.
Meghdad Madadi AP

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 3:29 pm

Earlier this week, 32-year-old nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan was killed by a bomb blast on his way to work in Tehran, Iran.

The attack, carried out with a magnetic bomb placed on Roshan's car by a man on a motorcycle, was like something out of a spy novel. In Iran, however, it's very much a reality. Assassins have targeted five Iranian nuclear scientists in the past two years; four of the attacks have succeeded.

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Author Interviews
2:49 pm
Sat January 14, 2012

Alan Bennett Defies Expectations With 'Smut'

Originally published on Sat January 14, 2012 5:14 pm

Alan Bennett, author of The History Boys and The Madness of King George, among countless other books, plays and memoirs, is a grand old man of British letters.

"I'm getting on now, and I'm thought of in England as being rather cozy and genteel — certainly in the stories that I write," he tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz.

So Bennett decided to give his readers a little rattle with a new book of two short stories called Smut.

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Author Interviews
1:13 pm
Sat January 14, 2012

The Inquisition: Alive And Well After 800 Years

When we talk of inquisition it is usually prefaced with a definite article — as in, The Inquisition. But, as Vanity Fair editor Cullen Murphy points out in his new book, God's Jury, the Inquisition wasn't a single event but rather a decentralized, centuries-long process.

Murphy says the "inquisitorial impulse" is alive and well today — despite its humble origins with the Cathars in France, where it was initially designed to deal with Christian heretics.

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World
1:00 pm
Sat January 14, 2012

Search Is On For Survivors Of Crashed Cruise Ship

Originally published on Sat January 14, 2012 5:14 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

The captain of the Italian cruise ship which ran aground off the coast of Tuscany last night has been arrested on suspicion of involuntary manslaughter. The majority of the ship's 4,000 passengers reached land by lifeboat, but three people are confirmed dead. About 30 are reportedly injured and some 50 are still unaccounted for. It is still unclear what caused the ship to come so close to the rocky shore.

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Science
1:00 pm
Sat January 14, 2012

Mega Mirror To Power Massive New Telescope

One upon a time, the largest glass telescope mirror was 100 inches in diameter. Today, scientists are casting a mirror 27 feet in diameter that will be part of one of the most powerful telescopes on Earth. NPR's Joe Palca speaks with weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz from the mirror laboratory, located under the football stadium at the University of Arizona.

Analysis
1:00 pm
Sat January 14, 2012

Week In News: Corporate Money And The Campaigns

Originally published on Sat January 14, 2012 5:14 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.

(SOUNDBITE OF POLITICAL AD)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: A story of greed, playing the system for a quick buck, a group of corporate raiders led by Mitt Romney, more ruthless than Wall Street.

RAZ: That's part of an anti-Mitt Romney ad now running in South Carolina. The video is being distributed by pro-Newt Gingrich superPAC. And its message may be a sign of a growing philosophical split among the GOP candidates.

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Business
1:00 pm
Sat January 14, 2012

Breaking Down Bain Capital

Private equity firms are under the microscope this week as a pro-Gingrich superPAC hounds GOP candidate Mitt Romney for his role as head of Bain Capital. Weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz talks with Dan Primack, senior editor of Fortune Magazine, about how these firms operate and the legitimacy of these attacks.

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