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'And Then We Danced': Queer As Folk Dance

Feb 7, 2020

"This is not the lambada," a grim-faced dance instructor reminds his students in Levan Akin's And Then We Danced, directing his comments mostly toward Merab (Levan Gelbakhiani), whose movements have edged too much toward the feminine for his tastes. In traditional Georgian dance, he tells him, "You should be like a nail" and his longtime partner, Mary (Ana Javakishvili), must have a gaze that suggests virginal innocence.

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A former high-ranking official at the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee is suing the organization because he says he was fired last year for raising concerns about its treatment of Olympic athletes.

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In Rome, just behind St. Peter's Square, there's a palace that the Vatican owns. Some church officials wanted to turn it into a money-making enterprise. But as NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports, Pope Francis had other ideas.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELLS RINGING)

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President Trump on Thursday announced a successful U.S. counterterrorism operation that killed Qassim al-Rimi, the leader of a Yemen-based al-Qaida affiliate who claimed responsibility for last year's deadly shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida.

In a brief White House statement released late Thursday, the president said he had ordered the operation in Yemen "that successfully eliminated Qasim al-Rimi, a founder and leader of al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and a deputy to al-Qa'ida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri."

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Harvey Weinstein's defense team has begun presenting its case in New York City. NPR's Rose Friedman has been in that courthouse for the entire trial, and she brought us this. And just a quick warning, this story deals with sex crimes.

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CIA officer Carrie Mathison takes on one more assignment in the eighth and final season of Showtime's spy drama "Homeland," which launches on Sunday. NPR TV critic Eric Deggans has this review.

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The XFL is set for a reboot this weekend nearly two decades after it folded.

Back in 2001, World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Vince McMahon promised a new type of football game: faster, more violent tackles, creative new rules, a brash attitude and scantily clad cheerleaders.

"We welcome you to our brand of football," McMahon said in his 2001 opening day speech before he growled, "Ladies and gentlemen, this is the XFL."

Chunlin Leonhard is grateful to be back in the United States, even though she's now living under the first federally mandated quarantine in 50 years. "The primary feeling is a sense of relief that I'm back in the States," she says. "I'm just tired and glad and grateful."

Updated at 9:20 p.m. ET

A Chinese doctor who was among the first to blow the whistle on the new coronavirus has died from the disease, the hospital treating him said on social media early Friday local time.

Li Wenliang, 34, an ophthalmologist based in Wuhan, was reprimanded in early January by local police authorities for "publishing falsehoods" after he mentioned in a WeChat group seven cases of a virus similar to SARS from a seafood market.

Federal prosecutors have charged Patrick Wood Crusius with hate crimes related to the killing of 22 people at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, last August. Crusius allegedly told police he had driven to the store intending to kill "Mexicans."

A federal grand jury returned a 90-count indictment that also included firearm charges in connection with the shootings, which the Department of Justice has described as an act of domestic terrorism.

"There are so many ways to get this right, they had to look for a way to get this wrong."

That's author L.L. McKinney's response to Barnes & Noble's "Diverse Editions" campaign. McKinney's most recent book, A Dream So Dark, is a sequel to A Blade So Black, a contemporary retelling of Alice in Wonderland with a black female lead.

In two separate speeches on Thursday, President Trump, buoyed by his acquittal in the Senate impeachment trial a day earlier, continued to lash out at the lone Republican who voted to convict and remove him from office — Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah.

But the president's ire against the former GOP presidential nominee began just after midnight when he tweeted his displeasure with Romney, while needling him for coming up short during his White House bid in 2012.

Attorney General William Barr has issued new restrictions on opening investigations into politically sensitive individuals or entities, including a requirement that he approve any inquiry into a presidential candidate or campaign.

Barr outlined the new policies in a three-page memo obtained by NPR as the Democratic primaries are underway and the country gears up for November's presidential vote. The memo was first reported by The New York Times.

Updated Friday, Feb. 7 at 5:00 p.m. ET

One of Mali's most prominent musicians, Ballaké Sissoko, has alleged that the Transportation Security Administration [TSA] destroyed his specially designed instrument during a trip from New York to Paris that began on Monday evening. On Thursday afternoon, the TSA said that its agents did not open the instrument case or create the damage.

The degree to which any given Marvel or DC/Warners movie manages to distinguish itself from the slew of punch-em-ups that have come before is a function of tone, more than anything else. The demands of the genre (innocents to protect, evil to punish, MacGuffins to procure, training to montage) are such that filmmakers are forced to innovate around the margins.

Updated at 5:50 p.m. ET

More than two years after carrying out the largest reversal of national monument protections in U.S. history, the Trump administration has finalized plans for the roughly 2 million acres of formerly protected land in southern Utah.

Updated at 8:41 p.m. ET

Millions of people in China have been returning home from the Lunar New Year holiday and heading back to work. The holiday's end date was extended in many cities, from Jan. 31 to Feb. 3, to help slow down the rapidly spreading coronavirus outbreak.

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As Democratic presidential hopefuls make their final pitches to voters in New Hampshire, the president’s recent State of the Union has brought one issue into focus: the economy.

Today’s low unemployment rates and strong market could make a candidate’s pitch against Trump’s economic policies a hard sell. Host Tonya Mosley speaks with NPR’s chief economics correspondent Scott Horsley (@HorsleyScott) about each top candidate’s economic plans.

China will cut tariffs on $75 billion worth of American-made goods. It’s a sign that the trade truce between the United States and China is working.

But the new coronavirus outbreak may affect trade with China. Here & Now’s Robin Young talks to Ali Velshi (@AliVelshi), MSNBC anchor and economics correspondent.

The popular children’s song “Baby Shark” has now been turned into a live stage show. Smart Study, the South Korean company behind the hit song, says Baby Shark and his friends will tour cities across the U.S. and Canada.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young speaks with Jonathan Linden, co-president of the production company Round Room Live that’s helping put on the concert tour.

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We talk to Emiliana Duarte (@emiduarte), a freelance journalist in Caracas, about how people there are viewing opposition leader Juan Guaidó’s meeting with President Trump this week.

Duarte says while the visit was a “morale-booster” and “sugar high” for many, she remains skeptical anything substantive will come of it.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Private companies like SpaceX are testing vehicles for manned space missions. We’ll peer out into the near future and next steps in human space exploration.

Guests

Ariel Ekblaw, founder and lead of MIT Media Lab’s Space Exploration Initiative. (@ariel_ekblaw)

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