NPR News



Sun October 16, 2011

Poverty, Martin Luther King's Last Cause


AUDIE CORNISH, host: This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall is being dedicated today in Washington. In August, Hurricane Irene forced the delay of the dedication. The ceremony was originally scheduled to coincided with the 48th anniversary of King's famous "I Have A Dream" Speech. Well, Dr. King is best-known for championing civil rights. Toward the end of his life and he focused his attention on fighting poverty.

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Sun October 16, 2011

Chance To Spot Rare Supernova Fading Fast

Highly sensitive cameras were set up outside the Yucca Valley Community Center in California recently to capture images from deep space. One of the brightest supernovas in the last century won't be visible to amateur stargazers within the next week.

Brian Hajek

Supernova 2011fe is bringing out the stargazers. It's one of the brightest supernovas in the last century and it's now visible. It's the kind of event amateur astronomers dream of.

The supernova will last for more than a decade, but it won't stay this bright. Within the next week, the light that took 21 million years to reach earth will fade out of view for amateur astronomers.

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Sun October 16, 2011

Betting On Food Prices May Sell The Hungry Short

For speculators, food is a commodity to trade, not eat.

Scott Olson Getty Images

Speculators in the agricultural commodities markets are forcing grocery prices to rise too quickly and erratically, according to some top economists marking World Food Day on Sunday.

"Excessive financial speculation is contributing to increasing volatility and record food prices, exacerbating global hunger and poverty," wrote 461 economists, from more than 40 countries, in an open letter.

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Sun October 16, 2011
Deceptive Cadence

At 75, Steve Reich Is Still The Center Of Attention

Steve Reich turned 75 this month.

Jay Blakesberg

American composer Steve Reich turned 75 this week. The so-called "minimalist" credits jazz, African drumming and Balinese gamelan for inspiring his signature style. His music, from experimental tape loops to the Pulitzer Prize-winning "Double Sextet," has inspired the generations of composers who followed.

In the early 1960s, when Reich was beginning his composition career, the contemporary classical music scene was dominated by atonal music like the works of Pierre Boulez.

"It fell to my generation to basically say, 'Basta! Enough!' " Reich says.

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Sun October 16, 2011
The Record

Electronic Music Festivals In The Media's Cross Hairs

Revelers at Electric Zoo in New York City Labor Day weekend.

Scott Kowalchyk Courtesy of Electric Zoo

On Labor Day weekend a bustling sea of music fans in their late teens and early 20s were stuffed onto a grassy, open field in New York. One of them stood out, dancing in a sweat-drenched black T-shirt that read, "Sex, drugs and dubstep."

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