Celebrate Fall With Mountain Stage (Live)

Watch live as Mountain Stage welcomes the arrival of fall with a diverse group of songwriters and musical styles, hosted by Larry Groce. You’ll hear Semisonic frontman Dan Wilson as he revisits songs he co-wrote with the likes of Adele and Chris Stapleton. Hear why Mavis Staples is a fan of Son Little‘s venturesome approach to sharing his nu-soul sounds, and prepare to be charmed by the charismatic folk-pop of Martin Sexton Trio. You’ll also hear sets from emerging roots group Phoebe Hunt and the Gatherers and Scottish singer-songwriter Rachel Sermanni.

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PHOTOS: A 4-Year Mission To Present A New Vision Of Beauty

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Mihaela Noroc/Courtesy of Ten Speed Press

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Mihaela Noroc/Courtesy of Ten Speed Press

Romanian photographer Mihaela Noroc spent nearly four years shooting portraits of — and collecting stories about — women from around the world.

The product of her vision — and her travels to 50 countries — can be seen in her book The Atlas Of Beauty,hitting shelves Tuesday.

The project, she says, began as something “very genuine and sincere” that she financed, initially, with her own savings — and by being frugal in her backpacking adventure. She later crowd-funded, including a Facebook campaign in March.

NPR’s Lulu Garcia-Navaro spoke with the 31-year-old via phone from Berlin about her photography. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Syria

Mihaela Noroc/Courtesy of Ten Speed Press

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Mihaela Noroc/Courtesy of Ten Speed Press

Interview Highlights

This book is called The Atlas Of Beauty. What is beautiful to you? What kind of beauty were you trying to evoke?

That’s a very long story, actually. I’m going to try to make it short. You know nowadays the word usually has a little bit of a bad meaning in the end. And everything that’s related to beauty is just related to marketing and sales. If you’re going to put into Google, for example, ‘beautiful woman,’ you’re just going to see women with parted lips and a little bit over-sexualized. And that’s not what beauty means. In the end, I think beauty just means just being yourself. I don’t think we have to change ourselves to be in a certain way; I think we just have to keep ourselves as we are and don’t necessarily [need] to change.

Were you trying to reclaim the word ‘beauty,’ perhaps, from the male gaze and make it more about the way women see other women?

Maybe people that are going to look at my work are going to draw their own conclusions. I think I started the project in a very sincere way and the way it developed made us see some lessons from it.

Guatemala

Mihaela Noroc/Courtesy of Ten Speed Press

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Mihaela Noroc/Courtesy of Ten Speed Press

Tell me how the project started.

The project started almost four years ago, and I just traveled around the world for one year. And, in the beginning, I was not expecting to do a worldwide project. It was just something very genuine; I just was photographing people that I met and after a year, when [my project] became very popular, I realized that I have to be more responsible and I have to work more.

Ethiopia

Mihaela Noroc/Courtesy of Ten Speed Press

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Mihaela Noroc/Courtesy of Ten Speed Press

The book features all these portraits of different women in different situations, of different ages, of different colors, of different sizes all over the world, and little snippets of their stories. How did you choose your subjects?

That’s a very beautiful question because I think everything is very instinctual and, maybe, it’s something that attracts you more than the appearance. Like a chemistry that happens for a moment between you and the person that you photograph. And you’re just drawn to the people that you’re going to photograph. It’s something very natural, it’s nothing planned. That’s the beauty of it, and that’s why the book is more honest and more sincere. Because if I would have planned everything, probably it would be very different.

Italy

Mihaela Noroc/Courtesy of Ten Speed Press

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Mihaela Noroc/Courtesy of Ten Speed Press

Brazil

Mihaela Noroc/Courtesy of Ten Speed Press

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Mihaela Noroc/Courtesy of Ten Speed Press

Tell me the story of an encounter with one of the women. How you met her, how long you spent with her. Generally, do you just take the pictures immediately, or do you make an appointment to come back and see the women later when they’ve had a chance to fix their hair and put on some makeup?

Usually I prefer to photograph without makeup but not all the women are comfortable with that. It’s very different from one situation to another. Sometimes I spend a few seconds, and sometimes I spend a few hours. If the women let me stay with them and photograph them and tell me their story, it is wonderful — but not everyone has the time for that. So whenever I have the opportunity to spend two hours, it is amazing.

Book cover for Atlas Of Beauty.

Mihaela Noroc/Courtesy of Ten Speed Press

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Mihaela Noroc/Courtesy of Ten Speed Press

The woman that I photographed for the cover of the book, it was a matter of seconds. I was in India, it was early morning — usually when you go to the river you are going to see a lot of Hindu pilgrims making their offerings. And so, she was one of them. I saw her in the river. I asked her for permission with my expression and she said yes. I made a few pictures, then I let her continue her offering. It was a magical moment that I saw — there are lots of magical moments like that in our lifetime. Maybe sometimes we are just not too careful to see them, and we are preoccupied with other problems. So maybe photography and this project also gives you the opportunity to just open your eyes and see the beauty that surrounds you.

Some of the women say they don’t necessarily see themselves as beautiful. They do not see in themselves the thing that you saw in them. Did you find that to be common?

I did realize the women I photographed were not confident in the way they were. I posted their photos on social media and, after they saw the all the comments on social media, they saw [their beauty]. [We] are convinced we have to be a certain way and we are never secure in our own way. From an early age you can really understand that we can be confident and beautiful and however we want. We don’t have to try to change. I think it’s a very big confidence booster.

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Mihaela Noroc/Courtesy of Ten Speed Press

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Mihaela Noroc/Courtesy of Ten Speed Press

Nepal

Mihaela Noroc/Courtesy of Ten Speed Press

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Mihaela Noroc/Courtesy of Ten Speed Press

We are inundated by images of beauty on social media and in advertising in magazines. From your book, what can we learn about how other cultures view beauty?

The [other] cultures are also getting influenced by our Western way of seeing beauty. You see, in Asia and Africa, whitening products to lighten the skin. We have to start from early age with children to show them that people are very different but very beautiful in their own way.

Belgium

Mihaela Noroc/Courtesy of Ten Speed Press

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Mihaela Noroc/Courtesy of Ten Speed Press

How did this project change you as a woman?

I matured a lot, and I’m sure that my idea about the world changed a lot — in my idea about how a woman is supposed to be. I’m much more confident. I’m much more respectful of what the other women in the world have to go through every day because, I realize more that I am extremely privileged to be in this position. And this is why I’m beautiful.

Amazon rainforest

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Mihaela Noroc/Courtesy of Ten Speed Press

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Trump Embroiled In Two Controversies About Professional Sports, Race And Culture

In this Dec. 18, 2016, file photo, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and outside linebacker Eli Harold kneel during the playing of the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta.

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In the span of less than 24 hours, President Trump catapulted himself into the center of dual racially-charged controversies involving professional sports, reigniting criticism that he is divisive and insensitive — a month after Trump struggled with criticism of his multiple remarks in response to violence in Charlottesville, Va.

The president was stumping for Sen. Luther Strange, R-Ala., at a campaign rally Friday night, when he used a segue in his speech that was supposed to convince voters that continuing to have Strange in the Senate would make all Alabamans winners — an argument with emotional appeal in a state known for its fierce love of football.

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And, while he was on the subject of football, Trump took the opportunity to expound on his thoughts regarding NFL players, like Colin Kaepernick, who last year began kneeling during the national anthem in protest over perceived social injustices against African-Americans. Trump’s take: it’s unpatriotic and NFL team owners should fire those refusing to stand.

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a b*tch off the field right now,” he said to roaring applause.

“He’s fired!” Trump said, paraphrasing his popular reality TV catchphrase.

Then Trump took on Stephen Curry of the NBA champion Golden State Warriors in a tweet Saturday morning. The president rescinded an offer for what has become a traditional celebratory visit to the White House for any championship team of a major professional sport.

He wrote: “Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team. Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!”

Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team.Stephen Curry is hesitating,therefore invitation is withdrawn!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 23, 2017

The president was reacting to Curry’s statement Friday that the popular, star player didn’t want to visit the White House and meet with Trump because Curry believed passing on the traditional event sent the message that “we won’t stand for” some of Trump’s past remarks. “This is my opportunity to voice that,” Curry also said, of the possibility of not going to the White House as expected.

Saturday afternoon, Trump was back online attacking the NFL.

If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL,or other leagues, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect….

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 23, 2017

…our Great American Flag (or Country) and should stand for the National Anthem. If not, YOU’RE FIRED. Find something else to do!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 23, 2017

“If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL, or other leagues, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect our Great American Flag (or Country) and should stand for the National Anthem. If not, YOU’RE FIRED. Find something else to do!,” Trump tweeted.

While none of Trump’s tweets or remarks were explicitly about race, they led to an escalating war of words between the president and black athletes, activists and celebrities on social media. And the president, who was almost immediately cast as being divisive, took a serious pummeling from NFL team owners and notable black public figures.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in a statement Saturday morning said, “Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players.”

Late Friday night, before Trump had sparked controversy involving Curry, Max Garcia of the Denver Broncos couldn’t help comparing Trump’s comments about kneeling in the NFL during the campaign rally with how he responded to events in Charlottesville, Va., last month that left one counterprotester dead.

“What an emphatic response, where was this passion in response to Charlottesville…,” Garcia wrote on Twitter with a video of Trump.

What an emphatic response, where was this passion in response to Charlottesville…🤔 https://t.co/OkVZTdloXx

— Max Garcia (@MGarcia_76) September 23, 2017

Individual NFL teams, including the New York Giants, Miami Dolphins, Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers all issued statements Saturday condemning Trump’s remarks.

Jed York of the San Francisco 49ers, for whom Kaepernick played last year when he began the kneeling protest, issued this statement:

“The callous and offensive comments made by the President are contradictory to what this great country stands for. Our players have exercised their rights as United States citizens in order to spark conversation and action to address social injustice.”

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said, “Our country needs unifying leadership right now, not more divisiveness. We need to seek to understand each other and have civil discourse instead of condemnation and sound bites.”

Meanwhile current and former luminaries in the NBA weighed in online Saturday expressing support for Curry and criticizing Trump.

Basketball megastar LeBron James, who has nearly as many followers on Twitter (38.4 million) as Trump does on his personal account (39 million), defended Curry, his sometimes rival on the court.

James wrote, “U bum @StephenCurry30 already said he ain’t going! So therefore ain’t no invite. Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!”

U bum @StephenCurry30 already said he ain’t going! So therefore ain’t no invite. Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!

— LeBron James (@KingJames) September 23, 2017

James’ tweet has been liked more than a 1.1 million times and retweeted more than a half million times. According to Twitter, the message is James’ most retweeted post to date.

James later recorded and posted a two-minute video to Twitter in which he said, “It’s not about dividing. We as American people need to come together even stronger.”

“It’s not about dividing. We as American people need to come together even stronger.” — @KingJames responds to @realDonaldTrump‘s comments. pic.twitter.com/UHpzXpb42K

— UNINTERRUPTED (@uninterrupted) September 23, 2017

Chris Paul, who plays for the Houston Rockets and is president of the NBA Players Association, questioned the president’s attention to the issue in the first place. “With everything that’s going on in our country, why are YOU focused on who’s kneeling and visiting the White House??? #StayInYoLane,” Paul wrote on Twitter.

With everything that’s going on in our country, why are YOU focused on who’s kneeling and visiting the White House??? #StayInYoLane

— Chris Paul (@CP3) September 23, 2017

Retired longtime Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant contributed this to the online conversation, suggesting Trump was notliving up to his ubiquitous campaign slogan: “A #POTUS whose name alone creates division and anger. Whose words inspire dissension and hatred can’t possibly ‘Make America Great Again.'”

A #POTUS whose name alone creates division and anger. Whose words inspire dissension and hatred can’t possibly “Make America Great Again”

— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) September 23, 2017

By Saturday afternoon, the Warriors formally announced they were not visiting the White House — or Trump. “We accept that President Trump has made it clear that we are not invited,” the team said in a statement. “In lieu of a visit to the White House,” the NBA champions added, “we have decided that we’ll constructively use our trip to the nation’s capital in February to celebrate equality, diversity and inclusion — the values we embrace as an organization.”

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said he was “disappointed” the team would not be visiting the White House. Curry, for his part, suggested Trump’s effort to target him was beneath the dignity of the presidency.

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James and Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry during the first half of Game 5 of basketball’s NBA Finals in Oakland, Calif., on Monday, June 12, 2017.

Ben Margot/AP

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Ben Margot/AP

The dual controversies also elicited reaction Saturday from black celebrities including musician John Legend, actor Jesse Williams and filmmaker Ava DuVernay, among others.

Some politicians also joined the fray on Twitter.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., took a jab at Trump for comments he has made in the past ridiculing Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., for being of prisoner of war. “And if a person wants the privilege of serving as President, they shouldn’t be allowed to disrespect military heroes who were taken prisoner,” Schiff tweeted.

And if a person wants the privilege of serving as President, they shouldn’t be allowed to disrespect military heroes who were taken prisoner https://t.co/mvuijIyXBc

— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) September 23, 2017

California Lt. Gov. and former San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, congratulated the Warriors for the stance. “Couldn’t be more proud of the @warriors. Thank you for speaking truth to power and standing up for our fundamental California values,” he wrote.

Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., a frequent critic of the country’s growing divisiveness, suggested that if the kneeling protest spread, NFL players would be playing into Trump’s hands. “Btw, Trump wants you to kneel—because it divides the nation, with him and the flag on the same side. Don’t give him the attention he wants,” Sasse tweeted.

btw, Trump wants you to kneel–because it divides the nation, with him and the flag on the same side. Don’t give him the attention he wants. https://t.co/ic5Vc9oGyB

— Ben Sasse (@BenSasse) September 23, 2017

Seemingly answering Sasse, Trump backers argued the president’s comments have nothing to do with race and are purely about patriotism and respect for the flag.

“Has our world turned upside down! Our President criticized for believing our flag & anthem shoud be respected & honored #StandForTheFlag,” Ronna Romney, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, wrote on Twitter.

Has our world turned upside down! Our President criticized for believing our flag & anthem should be respected & honored. #StandForTheFlag

— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) September 23, 2017

Former Trump campaign aide Corey Lewandowski expressed similar sentiments on Fox News Saturday.

And some in the Washington press corps wrote Saturday that the president is deliberately using coded language to appeal to his base of white voters who see themselves as an aggrieved group in America, that is rapidly losing power and influence relative to ethnic and racial minorities.

“To addressa largely white crowd as ‘people like yourselves,’ and refer to protesting athletes, often African American, as ‘those people,’ does nothing to heal the wounds of Charlottesville,” political journalist Mike Allen wrote on Axios.com Saturday morning about Trump’s NFL comments Friday night in Alabama.

Ron Brownstein, another season political journalist in D.C., spent most of the day on Twitter putting forth the argument that exploiting racial and economic anxieties and divisions was one of Trump’s key political strategies.

“Point of this fight is not very hard to find- more signaling to white racial resentment, which has been central to Trump message from day 1,” Brownstein tweeted.

Brownstein re-affirmed his point in a later tweet when another journalist questioned whether Trump was utilizing any strategy at all. “Yes, pretty clearly from day 1: to appeal to parts of older, blue-collar, non-urban white America most uneasy about demographic & eco change,” Brownstein posted.

Another journalist was more blunt. “There is an unmistakable racial element at play, since he is targeting prominent black players,” CNN media reporter Brian Stelter wrote Saturday afternoon about Trump’s NFL comments.

And Stelter’s CNN colleague Chris Cillizza saw something similar, writing Saturday that the context of Trump’s criticisms was inherently racial given that both the NBA and NFL have mostly white team owners and mostly black players. Cillizza went on to point out that Trump’s comments Friday and Saturday bore two rhetorical hallmarks that went back to his presidential campaign: using racially coded language and espousing a seemingly simplistic view of the black community.

Meanwhile, throughout most of Saturday the hashtag #TakeAKnee trended on Twitter across the U.S., as people sympathetic to Kaepernick wondered about what NFL players would do Sunday and as they talked about posting photos of themselves kneeling in solidarity.

And Saturday night the Kaepernick-style protest spread to professional baseball.

Catcher Bruce Maxwell of the Oakland A’s took a knee during the national anthem before a game Saturday night in California. Like the rest of his team, Maxwell had his hand on his heart and was facing the flag; as Maxwell knelt, a teammate is shown in photos with a comforting hand on Maxwell’s shoulder.

Oakland Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell kneels during the national anthem before the start of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Oakland, Calif. Maxwell of the has become the first Major League Baseball player to kneel during the national anthem.

Eric Risberg/AP

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Eric Risberg/AP

“This now has gone from just a BlackLives Matter topic to just complete inequality of any man or woman that wants to stand for Their rights!,” Maxwell posted on Twitter Saturday.

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Frustrations Mount At Miami Airport As Passengers To Puerto Rico Wait And Worry

The Miami Airport is just a short flight from Puerto Rico. But on Saturday afternoon, at the American Airlines rebooking counter, it felt very far away.

A Boeing 777 scheduled to land at San Juan had seemed poised to take off that morning — passengers seated, luggage loaded, doors closed. But after a few fruitless hours, it unloaded at the gate. Hundreds of passengers were stuck, again, unable to check on their family or make it back home.

Luis Castro has learned to recognize some of the faces lined up waiting to talk to an agent. He gestured at the line, more than 30-people strong. “Those guys, they were here since Wednesday,” he said.

Castro is a short-timer, comparatively. “We started this journey yesterday,” he said. Castro lives in Killeen, Texas, but he’s from San Juan and has family there — “my father-in-law, my mother, my cousins, my aunties, everybody,” he said.

The airport in San Juan is open, but it’s far from running at full capacity. So it’s taking some arrivals and turning others away. That means the waiting travelers aren’t just sitting and waiting for word. They’re booking, boarding and having to back out — “jump in this plane, jump in that plane,” Castro said.

Miguel Bosque said he’s had three flights in a row booked and canceled, including the Saturday morning flight. “They gave me a [ride] around the airport and came back,” he said. “And that’s happened to me before.”

Bosque has had his flight to San Juan planned since July. But it’s more than just an ordinary visit now — he hasn’t heard from his family since the storm hit. “I just continue to hope,” he said. “No contact at all.”

He’d like to see his family for himself, but he can’t wait it out forever. “If I couldn’t make it today, I’d probably go back home. I have to go back to my work … and I don’t want to stay here anymore,” he said with a laugh.

Not all of the stalled passengers had that option. For some, Puerto Rico is home.

Jose Roig was heading home from vacation with his wife and 23-year-old son, who has cerebral palsy, when Maria struck the island.

Their flight on Wednesday was canceled — then flights on Thursday, Friday and Saturday were called off too.

Roig was growing increasingly concerned about his son, Antonio. “He can’t be in a wheelchair all day long,” Roig said. “He has to lie down.”

At the American Airlines help desk, Roig lifted his son out of the airport-issued wheelchair and pulled his diaper down, telling an agent that his son couldn’t stay in that chair any longer. He wanted the agent to track down his son’s usual wheelchair, which had been checked at one of the planes they’d been told to board.

But his frustration ran deeper than that. They want to get out of the airport and back to the island. “We’re running out of money. Running out of Pampers. Running out of medication,” he said. “We need to get him home so his doctor can see him.”

Matt Miller, a spokesman for American Airlines, said they were limited by “the condition of the airport in San Juan.” Problems there were affecting all airlines servicing flights to the island, he said, including issues with power and communications. Miller said that only a few planes were allowed to land each hour, prompting the cancellations.

And the airline is looking at “likely the same scenario tomorrow, Monday and Tuesday.”

Roig and his wife and son don’t have much choice but to wait. And some people who could turn back, like Castro, are giving it another shot.

Castro’s booked on another flight — currently scheduled for 6 a.m. Sunday.

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