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My Big Break
5:13 pm
Sun May 4, 2014

How To Make Your Idol Hate You, In One Unfunny Comedy Audition

Comedian Kurt Braunohler does not speak German, but that didn't stop him from faking his way to an audition for the film Brüno.
Mandee Johnson

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 11:03 am

As part of a series called "My Big Break," All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers. The following is what you might call an "almost big break."

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The Sunday Conversation
5:05 am
Sun May 4, 2014

A Window To Executions: How To Cover Death For A Living

Associated Press reporter Michael Graczyk stands outside Huntsville penitentiary before the execution of confessed killer Elroy Chester.
Pat Sullivan AP

Originally published on Sun May 4, 2014 1:06 pm

Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.

As a criminal justice reporter for The Associated Press, Michael Graczyk has covered hundreds of executions of death row inmates in the state of Texas. This means, of course, that he must be there to witness those deaths.

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Economy
6:05 pm
Sat May 3, 2014

Playing Matchmaker To Empty Jobs And Those Seeking Them

Chevron's El Segundo Refinery is just one of many in the Los Angeles area that must stock up on workers during fast turnaround projects.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 4, 2014 9:50 pm

The easiest time to get hired at one of the seven oil refineries in the Los Angeles area is during what's called a turnaround. These breaks, when the refineries are shut down for routine maintenance, are incredibly labor-intensive. And refineries want to get them done as quickly as possible.

So companies need enough people to get the job done. But those workers must have specific skills.

In this line of work, as with other U.S. industries, there's a skills gap.

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Music Interviews
5:18 pm
Sat May 3, 2014

Sonny Rollins: 'You Can't Think And Play At The Same Time'

"Jazz improvisation is supposed to be the highest form of communication," Sonny Rollins says, "and getting that to the people is our job as musicians."
John Abbott Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat May 3, 2014 6:27 pm

When you consider that critics have been writing about him for over 60 years, it can seem as if there's nothing left to say about Sonny Rollins. But there is – because over the decades, the "Saxophone Colossus" has never stopped growing or adding to his sound.

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Race
10:19 am
Sat May 3, 2014

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar On Sterling: 'There's Light Now'

Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar embraces Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson during a news conference on Tuesday after NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling from basketball for life.
AP

Originally published on Sat May 3, 2014 7:46 pm

Basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar says he believes the entire LA Clippers corporate organization is better off now that owner Donald Sterling has lost his standing with the NBA.

Sterling was banned for life from the NBA last week for racist remarks made on a recording released by TMZ Sports. Abdul-Jabbar says the punishment announced by NBA commissioner Adam Silver is wise and just, and has given the team confidence.

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Paying For College
11:54 am
Fri May 2, 2014

Many Seniors Accepted To First-Choice Colleges Go Elsewhere

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 11:38 am

According to the American Freshman Survey, most students were accepted by their first-choice colleges last year — but almost half of them actually enrolled in other schools, primarily for financial reasons.

To find out more, Morning Edition's David Greene spoke with Sylvia Hurtado, head of the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA, which conducts the annual survey.


Interview Highlights

On forgoing their first-choice schools

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StoryCorps
3:52 am
Fri May 2, 2014

Leaving A Dark Time Behind To 'Get Through It As A Family'

Frank Tempone with his son Jack at StoryCorps in Chicago.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 11:38 am

In 2009, Frank Tempone was severely depressed. He had what he calls a midlife crisis, and left his wife and three kids in Massachusetts to live on his own in Chicago.

But after two years apart, Frank came back. The entire family moved to Chicago, and Frank brought his oldest son, Jack, to StoryCorps because he wanted to apologize.

"Do you remember that time?" Frank asks Jack.

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U.S.
3:45 am
Fri May 2, 2014

Cinco De Mayo: Whose Holiday Is It, Anyway?

Members of Dance Academy of Mexico perform during last year's Cinco de Mayo celebrations in Milwaukee.
Rick Wood Milwaukee Journal Sentinel/MCT/Landov

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 11:38 am

Across the country this weekend, Cinco de Mayo will be celebrated with festivals, music, Mexican food and plenty of bar specials.

But south of the border, the holiday merits little more than a parade in the city of Puebla, east of Mexico City. There, in 1862, outgunned Mexican troops defeated an invading French army.

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Television
4:04 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Meanwhile, In Australia: A Bawdier, Riskier 'Rake'

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 9:47 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Now, a note about television from the other side of the earth, Australia.

A couple of months ago, I found myself watching an American show called "Rake." It starred Greg Kinnear as a criminal lawyer in Los Angeles, a man of many vices and more than a little charm.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "RAKE")

BOJANA HARBOUR: (As Mikki) There's no future for us.

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Europe
4:04 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

In Shadow Of Ukraine, A Return To Rivalry Between NATO And Russia

Originally published on Thu May 1, 2014 8:32 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

We have to begin to view Russia no longer as a power but as more of an adversary - those are the words today of Alexander Vershbow, the deputy secretary-general of NATO. We, in this case, means NATO, and few people are as experienced when he is when it comes to the alliance and the Russians. Before becoming the number two man at NATO, he was U.S. ambassador to the alliance and then U.S. ambassador to Russia. And he joins us now. Alexander Vershbow, welcome to the program.

ALEXANDER VERSHBOW: Good to be here.

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