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July 28, 2014 | NPR · Argentina says it cannot pay certain debts and will fall into default by July 31 if it can't come to an agreement with creditors. This would be Argentina's second default in 13 years.
 
July 28, 2014 | NPR · Even though Spain's economy is out of recession, youth unemployment has hit 57.7 percent — more than double the continent's average. Economists say it could be years before jobs return. By then, many Spanish 20-somethings — dubbed the "lost generation" — will have missed a decade or more of work.
 
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July 28, 2014 | NPR · To withstand their 9,300-mile migration, red knots feast on eggs from horseshoe crabs each spring in Delaware Bay. Scientists worry many crabs are starting to lay eggs before the birds can get there.
 

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July 27, 2014 | NPR · Israel and Hamas carried out a rhetorical battle Sunday over the fate of dueling offers to extend a ceasefire. In the end, the fighting resumed after Saturday's 12-hour truce. Israel vowed to continue its military campaign, targeting tunnels along the border. Wary Gazans prepared as best they could for the feast that marks the end of Ramadan.
 
July 27, 2014 | NPR · Anne Barnard from The New York Times talks with NPR's Eric Westervelt about the differences between the current explosion of violence in Gaza and previous ones.
 
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July 27, 2014 | NPR · The Harrier Jump Jet is known for vertical take-offs and landings. It also has an accident-prone track record, but that didn't dissuade one pilot from buying his dream plane.
 

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July 26, 2014 | NPR · Hezbollah has been a longtime ally of Hamas, but during this most recent conflict between Israel and Gaza they've taken a sideline role. NPR's Scott Simon talks to the BBC's Kim Ghattas in Beirut.
 

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July 27, 2014 | NPR · Fighting in Ukraine near the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 has international investigators staying away. NPR's Arun Rath talks with OSCE's Michael Bociurkiw about the investigation.
 

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Ecstatic Voices

Apr 18, 2014 — Life, death and piety are the recurring themes in hauntingly beautiful alabados preserved by lay brothers called penitentes. "You have to feel them," one says. "You have to feel them in your soul."
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Jan 3, 2014 — The mariachi Mass brings an ensemble of garishly dressed folk musicians — with their guitars, trumpets and violins — right down to the front of the church, where they play liturgical music.
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Dec 26, 2013 — Josh Garrels says his music tries to "peel back layers" of what it means to be a Christian. He says he's given away 153,000 digital copies of his breakout album, Love & War & The Sea in Between.
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Dec 5, 2013 — Can non-belief in God become a belief system itself? NPR's John Burnett has the story of the Texas indie band Quiet Company, who made a splash with a surprisingly positive album about frontman Taylor Muse's crisis of faith.
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Nov 7, 2013 — Kanniks Kannikeswaran writes groundbreaking Hindu sacred music and forms community choirs to perform it. "When a group of about 20 strangers get together and sing raga-based music with choral harmony for the first time," he says, "something magical begins to happen."
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Oct 27, 2013 — If it's Sunday in Houston, get ready to dance up and down the aisle at church. Zydeco music is the soundtrack to spirit-filled parties fueled by beer, boudin, and red beans and rice. It's a joyful continuation of a decades-old tradition.
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Oct 19, 2013 — The trumpeter and bandleader premiered his gospel-jazz Abyssinian Mass back in 2008. But now, accompanied by a 70-voice choir, he's taking the sprawling work on the road and into African-American churches — whose services were the inspiration for the piece.
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Oct 16, 2013 — The Modzitzer sect of Chasidic Judaism, which originated in the Polish town of Modzitz, is known for its beautiful melodies. Among the most emblematic and prolific composers in this tradition is Brooklynite Ben Zion Shenker — who, at 88, continues to create new works.
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Oct 15, 2013 — Hidden deep in the hills of Appalachia, there's a tradition of worship music that has not changed since the 18th century. The hymnody is still practiced by congregations of the Old Regular Baptist Church, where a leader calls out a line and the people respond in a mournful, soaring chorus.
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Sep 18, 2013 — For the Church of the Living God in Toccopola, Miss., the lap steel guitar channels the voice of God through hymns and improvised solos that mix gospel, blues and country.
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