Joseph Severn's portrait of Percy Bysshe Shelley. The radical 19th century poet practiced the politics of the plate. For Shelley and other liberals of his day, keeping sugar out of tea was a political statement against slavery. Joseph Severn/Wikimedia hide caption

itoggle caption Joseph Severn/Wikimedia

The Salt

How Poet Percy Shelley Stirred His Politics Into His Tea Cup

In 19th century Britain, keeping sugar out of tea became a political statement against slavery. The sugar boycott was no easy choice for the radical writer, who hated slavery but loved tea.

President Obama's environmental plan won't be so hard for states that have moved to cut emissions. But for others it will be more difficult. Scott Olson/Getty Images hide caption

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Energy

For Some States, New Emissions Rules Will Force A Power Shift

The federal rules will deal a big blow to some energy sectors — especially coal. The change won't be so hard for states that have moved to cut emissions. But for others it will be more difficult.

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William Schimmel distills Mahler's lengthy Ninth Symphony down to under seven minutes. Illustration by Joan Chiverton hide caption

itoggle caption Illustration by Joan Chiverton

Deceptive Cadence

A Mahler Symphony Squeezed In A Squeezebox

Accordionist William Schimmel creates a daring yet touching six-minute distillation of Mahler's mighty Ninth, with detours for tango and trumpet solos by Wynton Marsalis.

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Ronald Engberson served a short stint in the Marines in 1979. Until recently, he had been homeless the past 10 years. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

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Around the Nation

After 10 Years, This Veteran Is Homeless No More

In 2009, then-Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki declared that all homeless veterans would have housing by 2015. New Orleans has made big strides in helping people like Marine Corps veteran Ronald Engberson get off the street. See how other cities measure up.

Tenor Placido Domingo performs the title role in a 1994 performance of Verdi's Otello at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Johan Elbers/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images hide caption

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The Two-Way - News Blog

Metropolitan Opera To Drop Use Of Blackface-Style Makeup In 'Otello'

The Met says it is committed to "colorblind casting" and that its production of Otello this fall will be the first without dark makeup since the opera was first seen at the company in 1891.

"I don't like a government shutdown, but this is a clear case of totally improper use of taxpayers' dollars. I have an obligation to the taxpayers of Arizona," said Sen. John McCain. He had scolded his Republican colleagues in 2013 for shutting down the government over the Affordable Care Act. He says this issue is different. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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It's All Politics

Planned Parenthood Opponents Talk Government Shutdown After Bill Fails

An effort to strip the group of federal funding, which failed in the Senate on Monday, was only the opening volley in a larger funding battle to play out in September.

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Final inspection of frozen blueberries at the Atlantic Blueberry Company. Dan Charles/NPR hide caption

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The Salt

How New Jersey Tamed The Wild Blueberry For Global Production

In the past 10 years, the global blueberry crop has tripled. Yet the big, round commercial blueberry is a fairly recent innovation. It was created by breeders exactly 100 years ago, in New Jersey.

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