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3:17 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

'The Last Refuge': Yemen, Al-Qaida And The U.S.

W.W. Norton & Co.

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 3:47 pm

In December 2009, a would-be terrorist boarded a plane for Detroit with a bomb in his underwear. While the explosive failed to properly ignite and the man was arrested upon landing, the ensuing investigation revealed the bomb in question had been made by al-Qaida leaders in Yemen.

This attempted act of terrorism heralded both the small Arabian country's re-emergence into the international consciousness as a refuge for al-Qaida and the ascendance of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), developments that have grown only more pronounced since.

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The Two-Way
3:12 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Powerball Jackpot Is $500 Million; Now Will You Buy A Chance?

A ticket and a dream.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 7:23 pm

We know there's only a 1 in 175 million chance of winning. Even then, you might have to share the prize.

But with Wednesday's Powerball jackpot now estimated to be $500 million (a record for that lottery), we wonder: Are Two-Way readers playing?

Yes, it is kind of silly to think that just because the jackpot has hit half a billion dollars it makes a lot more sense to buy a chance now than it did when you would "only" win $40 million.

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Around the Nation
2:34 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Kennedy Center's New Organ No Longer A Pipe Dream

After years of waiting, the Kennedy Center has a new symphonic organ replacing its old Filene organ. The $2 million project will culminate in the organ's debut on Nov. 27. William Neil (left), the National Symphony Orchestra organist, speaks with NSO Assistant Conductor Ankush Kumar Bahl (center) during the organ's test with the orchestra on Oct. 18.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 9:16 am

It was almost spooky. Each night after 11 p.m., when nothing was stirring in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall, two men would enter. One would sit at the organ, playing a key or series of keys, and the other would crawl around inside the organ pipes, 40 feet off the floor. The process went on for months.

It was the all but final phase of installing a new organ for the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. And on Nov. 27, the organ makes its formal debut.

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Books
2:33 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

After Decades Of Dreaming, Dolly Parton Says, 'Dream More'

Dolly Parton, known as "The Queen of Country Music," has won eight Grammys and sold more than 100 million records.
Brendon Thorne Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 4:00 pm

In 1964, Dolly Parton told her classmates at eastern Tennessee's Sevier County High School that she planned to go to Nashville and become a star.

The whole class burst into laughter.

"Anywhere you go, people say, 'Well, ain't you afraid you'll starve to death?'" Parton tells NPR's Neal Conan. "'Ain't you afraid you'll go hungry?' I said, 'Well I couldn't be any poorer than we've been here. And I'm not a bad-looking girl.'"

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Deceptive Cadence
2:30 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Do Orchestras Really Need Conductors?

Does This Guy Matter? Conductor Leonard Bernstein during rehearsal with the Cincinnati Symphony at Carnegie Hall in 1977.
James Garrett New York Daily News via Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 10:12 am

Have you ever wondered whether music conductors actually influence their orchestras?

They seem important. After all, they're standing in the middle of the stage and waving their hands. But the musicians all have scores before them that tell them what to play. If you took the conductor away, could the orchestra manage on its own?

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Sports
1:56 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

The Legacy Of Baseball's Marvin Miller

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 2:55 pm

Marvin Miller, the first executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, died Tuesday at the age of 95. Miller headed the players union from 1966 to 1982, transforming the organization into one of the most powerful unions in the country.

Law
1:56 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Parents With Disabilities And Family Law

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 2:55 pm

A report from the National Council on Disability finds that parents with physical or mental disabilities have a greater risk of losing custody of their children. The study says that the U.S. legal system needs to provide more support for these parents.

From Our Listeners
1:56 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Letters: Video Games, National Day Of Listening

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 2:57 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

It's Tuesday and time to read from your comments. Several listeners told us they appreciated our segment on what we get from playing first-person shooter games. Kristen(ph) wrote: I don't personally play videogames, but my boyfriend does. He was an infantry scout in Iraq, and the shooter games were actually recommended by his psychiatrist as a way to have him differentiate between what's real and what is not.

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Middle East
1:56 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Morsi's Power Grab, Egypt's Constitutional Crisis

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 2:56 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Last week, Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi received plaudits from around the world after he brokered a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. Then a day later he issued a decree, giving him near-absolute power. After some times of violent protests and a visit from outraged judges, the president backed off a bit, but many worry that Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood will now dictate Egypt's new constitution and that the revolution just created one strong man for another.

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Music Reviews
1:52 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Cecilia Bartoli's New 'Mission' Unearths Baroque Gems

On her new album, opera star Cecilia Bartoli tackles the work of Baroque composer Agostino Steffani.
Uli Weber Decca

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 3:17 pm

I never heard of the Baroque composer Agostino Steffani until last year, when the Boston Early Music Festival presented the North American premiere of Steffani's Niobe, an opera about the mythical queen who bragged so much about her many children, the gods killed them all in revenge. One of the leading roles, Niobe's husband King Amphion, was played by the early-music superstar countertenor Philippe Jaroussky, who sang the opera's most sublime aria — a hymn to the harmony of the spheres. I couldn't wait to hear Jaroussky again, and was eager to hear more Steffani.

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