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Parallels
4:38 am
Sat September 7, 2013

On A Razor's Edge In Damascus

Syrian military soldiers check identifications and search vehicles at a checkpoint on Baghdad Street in Damascus, Syria, on Aug. 21.
Hassan Ammar AP

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 8:32 am

The author is a Syrian citizen in Damascus who is not being further identified for safety reasons.

Lately, Marwan feels like he is sneaking around Damascus doing "something bad."

Marwan is a personal trainer, and under normal circumstances he would have nothing to worry about.

But in the increasingly tense and fearful atmosphere that Damascenes find themselves, Marwan feels he has little choice but to look over his shoulder — especially because some of his few remaining clients are underground activists.

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Music
4:36 am
Sat September 7, 2013

A Children's Author Wrangles A Cowboy Soundtrack

Sandra Boynton's new children's album and songbook is titled Frog Trouble.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 5:11 pm

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Simon Says
4:33 am
Sat September 7, 2013

When Weighing Intervention In Syria, Consider The Children

Leo del Aguila (from left), Vesa Gashi, Scott Simon, Erblin Mehmetaj and Shawn Fox in 1999 in a housing complex in Pristina. Del Aguila, Simon and Fox were covering the Kosovo conflict for NPR; the children lived in the war-stricken area.
Courtesy of Erblin Mehmetaj

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 12:01 pm

I was in a grocery store one night this week when a sturdy young man approached with a smile.

"Do you remember me?" he asked. "Bini."

Bini — Erblin Mehmataj — was a bony-shouldered 9-year-old boy with a full, toothy grin who lived in an Albanian Muslim housing complex in Pristina, where we stayed to cover the war in Kosovo in 1999.

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Author Interviews
4:32 am
Sat September 7, 2013

Billy Crystal's 'Foolin', Full Of Fun — And Feeling

Billy Crystal returned to voice the role of Mike Wazowski in 2013's Monsters University, sequel to the hit Pixar comedy that introduced the outgoing one-eyed scareball — sidekick to John Goodman's furry blue-and-purple star.
Joe Klamar AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 4:07 pm

Billy Crystal is ... 65. He feels that he's gone from being, as he puts it, "a cool Baby Boomer into a Diane Arbus photograph."

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Author Interviews
4:32 am
Sat September 7, 2013

Suspicious? In 'United States Of Paranoia,' It's Not Just You

Conspiracy theorists and other protesters march through downtown Denver on Aug. 26, 2008.
Ben Woloszyn AP

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 12:01 pm

Weekend Edition gets a lot of emails that start like this: "Why don't you tell the truth about ..." The Kennedy assassination, Sept. 11, the Lincoln assassination, the birthplace of Barack Obama or John McCain, Pearl Harbor, Area 51, black helicopters or the moon landing — fill in the blank however you like.

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