All Things Considered for Friday, April 18, 2014

It looks as though the "comment period" for the controversial Keystone XL pipeline project will be extended, delaying a decision past the November elections.
Regular political commentators, E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and David Brooks of The New York Times, discuss the breakthrough Ukraine deal and the new health care enrollment numbers.
Ivan Soltesz studies epilepsy in mice, but says children with chronic seizures are his inspiration. He's closing in on a way to quell the seizures with light — and without drugs' side effects.
Professor and economist Matthew Gentzkow, the recent winner of the John Bates Clark Medal, discusses how to predict media slant and use big data in economics.
Gathered in Washington for a comic book convention, these costumed enthusiasts shared how their favorite characters would run the country.
A police sweep after Friday prayers is the latest in a weeks-long crackdown against terrorism. The operations have pulled in thousands of refugees, immigrants and Kenyan citizens of Somali descent.
More than 13 Nepalese climbers died while preparing a route on Mount Everest for Western climbers. Grayson Schaffer of Outside Magazine explains that local porters and guides bear the brunt of the danger on these extreme climbs.
Airbnb and other rental websites have made billions marketing existing housing to tourists, without hotel tax. Soon, Airbnb will start collecting tax in New York City, San Francisco and Portland, Ore.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez died Thursday. It would be hard to overstate the importance of his novels, but author Gustavo Arellano recommends getting to know him in a different medium.

In New Mexico, A Brotherhood Of Ancient Hymns

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."
The story of fliers ordering Jews to register with the separatists stoked fears of anti-Semitism. But Jews in the Ukrainian town say the orders aren't real and were intended as political provocation.
Authorities in Massachusetts spent the past year planning a more secure environment for the 2014 Boston Marathon. This year, there will be 3,500 police and National Guard soldiers along the course. Runners and spectators are asked to leave bags and strollers at home. Participants generally seem OK with the new measures but say it may change their experience of the race.
Among NHL fans, there's a favorite adage: "There's nothing like playoff hockey." The start of this year's playoffs has been no exception. Sportswriter Stefan Fatsis comments on the first few games.
Abhina Aher is a member of the country's storied, yet marginalized, transgender community. Last week, the India's highest court legally recognized the group as a new gender — neither male nor female.
Farmers in the parched Central Valley are joining forces with farmworkers and a broad cross section of politicians to pressure the federal government to offer relief.
Even as technology and social media transform politics, some traditions still live on — like the annual Shad Planking festival in Wakefield. It's a must-attend event on Virginia's political calendar.
Clam digging satisfies that primeval urge to go out into nature and find free food. And inveterate Washington state clam diggers admit they compete to get their daily limit of 15 clams.
Bob Mondello reviews the new Fading Gigolo, a surprisingly sweet dramedy in which John Turturro plays the gigolo, Woody Allen plays his pimp, and things don't go nearly as wrong as they could.
Singer-songwriter Gina Chavez may be a Texan, but on her latest album she reconnects with her Latin roots, singing in both English and Spanish. Up.Rooted blends Latin folk and American pop.
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