Firefighters salute the funeral procession for Lt. Ed Walsh, a Boston firefighter who died in a nine-alarm fire late last month. Charles Krupa/AP hide caption

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Simon Says

Firefighters Face Danger Head On (Whomever They're Rescuing)

Firefighters are often called upon to risk their lives. NPR's Scott Simon reflects on a week that demonstrated the extraordinary and surprising sacrifices they make.

A sign at the old Kerr-McGee uranium mill site in Grants, N.M., warns of radioactive material. This week, the Justice Department announced a $5 billion settlement against the mining company to pay for the cleanup of toxic sites the company left across the U.S. over a period of more than eight decades. Susan Montoya Bryan/AP hide caption

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Environment

Feds Hope $5 Billion Settlement A Lesson For Polluters

The Justice Department wants the settlement with mining company Kerr-McGee to send a powerful message: corporations can't shirk their responsibility to clean up the toxic legacies of their operations.

Author Interviews

Biographer Explains How John Updike 'Captured America'

Adam Begley says Updike created an everyman in his Rabbit book series, and inhabited him fully, "allowing that everyman's senses to be totally open to the American experience."

Firefighters salute the funeral procession for Lt. Ed Walsh, a Boston firefighter who died in a nine-alarm fire late last month. Charles Krupa/AP hide caption

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Firefighters Face Danger Head On (Whomever They're Rescuing)

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Brothers Bruce Hornsby
Show Me Your Firetruck Bruce Hornsby

A sign at the old Kerr-McGee uranium mill site in Grants, N.M., warns of radioactive material. This week, the Justice Department announced a $5 billion settlement against the mining company to pay for the cleanup of toxic sites the company left across the U.S. over a period of more than eight decades. Susan Montoya Bryan/AP hide caption

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Feds Hope $5 Billion Settlement A Lesson For Polluters

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President Obama arrives in the Rose Garden on Tuesday to trumpet 7.1 million signups under the Affordable Care Act. Carolyn Kaster/AP hide caption

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With Enrollee Goal Met, Obamacare Still Faces Political Trial

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Ron Rifkin as Menachem Begin, Richard Thomas as Jimmy Carter and Khaled Nabawy as Anwar Sadat in the new play Camp David. Teresa Wood hide caption

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History And Faith Collide On Stage In 'Camp David'

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Peaceful Warrior Aaron Parks
Gede Drum-N-Bass Markus Schwartz & Beaubrun, Dadi
SOS ABBA
Mamma Mia Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Paul Rusesabagina, who sheltered more than 1,000 people in his hotel during the Rwandan genocide, says the brutal violence in Syria, the Central African Republic and the Congo shows history repeats itself while people fail to learn from it. Courtesy Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation hide caption

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'Hotel Rwanda' Manager: We've Failed To Learn From History

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Iranian students climb over the wall of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran during the Iranian Revolution, Nov. 4, 1979. The students went on to seize the embassy staff, and hold 52 of them as hostages for 444 days. AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Taunt Or Miscalculation? Iran's Provocative Pick For U.N. Envoy

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David Potier, head of commercial relations with France's state rail company, promotes the English classes and Canadian Afton Piercy is one of the teachers. Eleanor Beardsley/NPR hide caption

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Dans Le Train, French Spend Their Commute Learning English

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A Go Go John Scofield
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Basketball [Album Version] Lil' Bow Wow
My Main Man Sonny Stitt

In his six-decade career, Peter Matthiessen has written 33 books, including The Snow Leopard and Shadow Country. Linda Girvin/Courtesy of Riverhead Books hide caption

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'In Paradise,' Matthiessen Considers Our Capacity For Cruelty

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Rene Perez Joglar from the Puerto Rican duo Calle 13. Martin Bernetti/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Calle 13, On Being Loved And Hated In Latin America

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Asi de Grande Son las Ideas Calle 13
Gimme Some Grupo Fantasma