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Friday September 17, 2010

Afghanistan Braces For Another Election

A policeman stands guard a day ahead of parliamentary elections in Kabul. (AP)

A policeman stands guard a day ahead of parliamentary elections in Kabul. (AP)

Police are ramping up security ahead of tomorrow’s parliamentary elections in Afghanistan, which were originally scheduled for May but were postponed over security and fraud concerns. Extra checkpoints are in place to scan for suicide bombers and insurgents, amid Taliban warnings of attacks targeting voters and election workers. Already 19 deaths have been attributed to election-related violence, including the deaths of four of the 2,500 candidates. We check in with Ben Arnoldy,  South Asia bureau chief for the Christian Science Monitor in Kabul.

The Man, ‘The Mastermind’ Of Sept. 11

At left a March 1, 2003 photo obtained by the AP shows Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged Sept. 11 mastermind, shortly after his capture during a raid in Pakistan. At right, a photo downloaded from the Arabic language Internet site www.muslm.net, purportedly taken in July 2009 by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and released only to the detainee's family. (AP)

At left a March 1, 2003 photo obtained by the AP shows Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, shortly after his capture. At right, a photo from www.muslm.net, purportedly taken in July 2009 by the International Committee of the Red Cross. (AP)

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-described mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, is one history’s most famous criminals. Unlike Osama Bin Laden, though, Mohammed remains largely unknown. Journalist Terry McDermott dug into Mohammed’s biography in The New Yorker and found a terrorist motivated as much by pathology as ideology. McDermott joins us to talk about his new article.

Possible Twister Touches Down In NYC

Residents in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn circle around damage from Thursday's storm. (AP)

Residents in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn circle around damage from Thursday's storm. (AP)

Residents, utility crews and railroad workers are cleaning up debris today after a brief, but fierce storm barreled through New York City, tearing up trees, stripping roofs from homes, disrupting train service and killing at least one person. The National Weather Service planned to spend the day investigating whether a tornado touched down Thursday evening during the storm. Crews at Long Island Rail Road, the nation’s largest commuter rail line, worked through the night to clear tracks of fallen debris, but the storm caused chaos for commuters. Tornadoes are extremely rare in New York City, with just eight twisters hitting the city in the past 60 years. Ruschelle Boon of NY 1 joins us from Queens with an update.

Tech University Experiments With Social Media Blackout

Harrisburg University of Science and Technology in Pennsylvania became the butt of late-night jokes this week with its one-week blackout of instant messaging, Twitter, MySpace and Facebook. Students will be required to write a reflective essay about the experiment. We speak with Pavithra Vaideeswaran, a senior who will be graduating this December with a degree in computer science information, who finds the experiment valuable.

India’s Superstar Composer Bridges Borders With Music

Most Americans discovered the music of A.R. Rahman when he won two Academy Awards for his score to the film “Slumdog Millionaire.” In India, he’s been a superstar for years and written music for more than 100 films. We speak to Rahman about his work and his thoughts about being a devout Muslim touring the United States during this time of heightened tension about Islam.

Paging Moon Unit: Baltimore To Honor Frank Zappa

Frank Zappa Meets The Mothers Of Prevention
Sunday is “Frank Zappa Day” in Baltimore, the city where the late musician was born. Zappa is being honored for his music and, on the 25th anniversary of his testimony in Congress against music censorship, for his defense of First Amendment rights. We talk with Zappa’s widow, Gail Zappa, about her late husband’s legacy.

Music From The Show

  • Massive Attack, “Pray for Rain”
  • The Wee Trio, “About a Girl”
  • Dean & Britta, “Herringbone Tweed””
  • Art Blakey, “C.O.R.E.”
  • Freddie Hubbard, “Little Sunflower”
  • “Jai Ho” by A.R. Rahman, Sukhvinder Singh, Tanvi Shah, Mahalaxmi Iyer, Vijay Prakash
  • “Choti Si Aasha” Minmini, A.R. Rahman
  • “O Saya” by M.I.A., A.R. Rahman
  • “O Paalanhaare” music by A.R. Rahman, performed by Lata Mangeshkar, Sadhana Sargam, Udit Narayan
  • “Kehna Hi Kya” by Chitra and A.R. Rahman
Spotlight

Here & Now resident chef and cookbook author Kathy Gunst shares her list of the best cookbooks of the year.

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

December 18 Comment

College Counselor: ‘A Deferral Is Not A Denial’

Lisa Micele shares tips for applying to college — especially for students who have been deferred under early decision.

December 18 17 Comments

America’s Political Dynasties

Americans under 38 have only experienced one presidential election that did not involve a Bush or a Clinton.

December 17 2 Comments

Atticus Lish’s ‘Preparation For The Next Life’

The author's debut novel centers on an unlikely romance between an Iraq veteran and a Uyghur from China.

December 17 3 Comments

Diagnosing Ear Infections With Your Smartphone

The CellScope Oto is a clip-on gadget that turns a smartphone into an otoscope — the tool doctors use to check out a patient's eardrum.