The Salt
5:00 am
Sat January 21, 2012

How One Former Vegan Learned To Embrace Butchering

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Butcher-in-training Andrew Plotsky at the 2011 Young Farmers Conference.
Maggie Starbard NPR

The farm-to-table philosophy has been mostly about knowing where food was grown. For meat, that meant knowing if your chickens were caged and if your beef was grass fed.

But with the revival of the butcher shop, some young people are undertaking the largely lost art of butchering as a stronger way to connect with their food.

For 24-year-old Andrew Plotsky of Washington, D.C., that meant leaving his job as a barista in a snobby coffee shop to learn the process of raising an animal, slaughtering it and butchering it for a meal.

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Author Interviews
3:01 am
Sat January 21, 2012

Lesson Learned: Don't Fly To North Pole In A Balloon

Knopf

In the late 19th century, scores of celebrated, valorous explorers attempted to reach the North Pole. Groups of explorers from the U.S., Europe and Scandinavia invented clever new equipment, raised money, stirred national pride and enthralled the world by attempting to march, sail or sled to the most cold, remote and unseen place on Earth.

But it was a perilous business: Of the 1,000 people who tried to reach the North Pole in the late 1800s, 751 died during their attempt, author Alec Wilkinson tells NPR's Scott Simon.

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World
3:01 am
Sat January 21, 2012

China Hedges Mideast Oil Bets Amid Iran Tensions

China appears to be rethinking its reliance on oil from Iran. Here, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (right) visits with the members of the Saudi Arabia-China Friendship Association on the outskirt of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, earlier this month.
Liu Weibing Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Sat January 21, 2012 7:35 pm

China's premier, Wen Jiabao, was in the Persian Gulf this week talking about oil.

China has become increasingly concerned about all the threats of conflict with Iran in the Persian Gulf, which supplies China with a great deal of its oil.

In fact, China is Iran's biggest customer. But Iran was not a stop on the Chinese itinerary — Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were.

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Election 2012
3:00 am
Sat January 21, 2012

Carolina Blues: N.C. GOP Looks South With Envy

Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum shakes hands with supporters prior to speaking during a campaign stop at Captain Steve's Restaurant on Jan. 20 in Fort Mill, S.C. Fort Mill is just over the line from North Carolina, and some voters wish they could cross over for the GOP primary on Saturday.
John W. Adkisson Getty Images

South Carolina voters have a pivotal role Saturday in narrowing the field of Republican presidential candidates.

But after that, South Carolina will get very little political attention. It's solidly Republican and simply not worth the time or money of Democratic presidential hopefuls.

North Carolina, on the other hand, could go either way, and the Obama campaign is already digging in. The Charlotte region straddles both states and leads a sort of "double life" in politics.

Too Far North

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Law
2:00 am
Sat January 21, 2012

Privacy Lawyers Process Megaupload Copyright Case

The Justice Department's massive copyright case against the file-sharing website Megaupload.com had the Internet world hopping this week. But it also got lawyers talking, about the scope of a criminal investigation that spanned eight countries and the hard-nosed tactics that the government deployed.

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Europe
2:00 am
Sat January 21, 2012

New U.S. Ambassador Already Facing Critics In Russia

Michael McFaul, the architect of the reset of relations with Russia, is now the U.S. ambassador to Moscow as the countries work through a series of difficult issues. Here, McFaul is shown at his Jan. 10 swearing-in at the Sate Department, a ceremony presided over by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Astrid Riecken Getty images

Originally published on Sat January 21, 2012 7:31 am

In the early days of the Obama administration, Michael McFaul made his mark as the architect of the so-called reset of relations with Russia.

Now, as the new U.S. ambassador to Moscow, McFaul may need to reset relations once again as the two countries go through another rough patch.

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Fresh Air Weekend
9:50 pm
Fri January 20, 2012

Fresh Air Weekend: Michael Fassbender, Mushrooms

Uncomfortably Numb: For Brandon (Michael Fassbender), the endless pursuit of sex doesn't involve any particular pleasure — only a driving obsession.
Fox Searchlight Pictures

Originally published on Sat January 21, 2012 8:17 am

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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It's All Politics
9:31 pm
Fri January 20, 2012

Iowa GOP Officially Declares Santorum The Iowa Caucus Winner

Rick Santorum is officially the winner of the Jan. 3 Iowa Republican presidential caucus. The state Republican Party reversed itself from a previous assertion that it would not declare one, given problems at eight precincts, as The Des Moines Register reported.

In a news release late Friday, the party said it called the race "in order to clarify conflicting reports and to affirm the results released Jan. 18 by the Republican Party of Iowa."

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Music Interviews
4:00 pm
Fri January 20, 2012

Jessie Baylin: Searching For A Certain 'Spark'

Jessie Baylin says she wanted her new album, Little Spark, "to be nostalgic but still fresh and modern."
Mike Hallock

Originally published on Sat January 21, 2012 3:42 pm

The album Little Spark evokes a sound you might have heard 40 years ago, piercing through the static of your AM radio. The big string sections and angelic choruses are all there, echoing the hallmarks of classic orchestral pop. But Little Spark is the work of a modern singer-songwriter named Jessie Baylin.

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The Record
4:00 pm
Fri January 20, 2012

Four Views On Megaupload

Bram van der Kolk, Finn Batato, Mathias Ortmann and Kim Schmitz, also known as Kim Dotcom, (from left to right) are remanded in custody in New Zealand on Friday.
David Rowland EPA /Landov

Originally published on Fri January 20, 2012 4:08 pm

When the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI shut down the web site Megaupload yesterday, there were many responses, from outrage to confusion to applause, and nearly as many questions. One that stood out was simple: If Megaupload provides a service that can be used for legal pursuits, are they legally responsible for the users who use it to illegally share copyrighted material?

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