All Things Considered

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Michele Norris & Robert Siegal
Melissa Block
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3:30pm

Wed March 6, 2013
Music News

Britain's Brass Bands: A Working-Class Tradition On The Wane

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 10:49 am

Cornetist Adam Rosbottom rehearses with the Grimethorpe Colliery Band in January. The band was founded in South Yorkshire, England, in 1917.
Christopher Werth

The world often feels full of fading traditions, from drive-in movie theaters to the dying art of good old-fashioned letter writing.

For the British, add brass bands to that list. Traditional brass bands have played an important cultural role in working-class British communities for centuries. But some warn that without funding, they could become a thing of the past.

Take the Grimethorpe Colliery Band in South Yorkshire. The band was originally formed in 1917, and nearly 100 years later, a group of tuba, euphonium and other horn players still bears the band's name.

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2:27pm

Wed March 6, 2013
Planet Money

If The Catholic Church Were A Business, How Would You Fix It?

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 10:49 am

Now that Pope Benedict XVI has officially gone into retirement, the next leader of the Catholic Church has a lot to consider, including finances.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

The next pope will be the spiritual leader of the world's Catholics. He will also be leading a multibillion-dollar financial empire. And from a business perspective, the Catholic Church is struggling.

We talked to several people who study the business of the church. Here are a few of the issues they pointed out.

1. Globally, the church's employees are in the wrong place.

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1:56pm

Wed March 6, 2013
Latin America

Cubans Wonder If Aid Will Still Flow Following Death Of Chavez

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 10:49 am

Cuba's Fidel Castro was a mentor to Hugo Chavez, and the Venezuelan leader provided oil and other assistance to Cuba. The two men met in Havana in June 2011 when Chavez went for cancer treatment.
Granma AP

The death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is an especially tough blow for Cuba, whose feeble state-run economy has been propped up for more than a decade with Venezuelan oil shipments and other subsidies.

The Castro government has declared three days of mourning, calling Chavez "a son" of Cuba, but privately Cubans are quietly fretting about the potential loss of billions in trade and the threat of a new economic crisis.

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5:20pm

Tue March 5, 2013
Business

As Construction Picks Up, American Truck Makers Race

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 6:34 pm

Ford unveils the F-150 Atlas concept pickup during January's North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Experts say the boom in construction will boost pickup sales.
Carlos Osorio AP

Economists look at many tea leaves as they try to determine the health of the economy. One of the most important surrounds vehicle sales, and more specifically pickup truck sales, which are tied to the construction industry. And as last month's sales rose 18 percent, the auto industry is betting big on a real estate rebound.

It's arguable that the Ford F-150 is the most important vehicle to come out of Detroit since the Model-T. It's also built where many parts for the old Model-T were made in Dearborn, Mich.

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5:20pm

Tue March 5, 2013
Theater

For This Pair Of Clowns, 'Old Hats' Means New Laughs

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 6:14 pm

Nellie McKay, David Shiner and Bill Irwin use old-time comedy, newfangled tricks and zany music to score laughs in their new theatrical revue, Old Hats.
Joan Marcus

Twenty years ago, theatrical clowns Bill Irwin and David Shiner collaborated on a Broadway show called Fool Moon — a giddy mixture of slapstick, improv and audience participation that proved such a success that it came back to Broadway for two more runs and toured both the U.S. and Europe. Now Irwin and Shiner have put together a new show called Old Hats, and it's been receiving rave reviews off-Broadway.

Irwin and Shiner's rubber-faced, loose-bodied clowning hasn't gotten easier over two decades.

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