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A Senator's Surprising Inauguration Shout-Out Probably Wasn't So Surprising

It may have struck many people as odd that Lamar Alexander, the senior senator from Tennessee, gave a shout-out to Alex Haley, the author of The Autobiography of Malcolm X, during his remarks at the presidential inauguration.

"The late Alex Haley, the author of Roots, lived his life by these six words: Find the good and praise it," Alexander said Monday on the National Mall, just before he introduced Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who swore in Vice President Biden. (Alexander was the only Republican lawmaker to speak at President Obama's inauguration.)

But it turns out that Alexander and Haley, who died in 1992, were old friends from way back, according to The Washington Post.

"The Tennessee Republican and the celebrated author were good friends. During his second term as governor, Alexander invited Haley to co-chair a homecoming celebration for Tennesseans. During the planning, Haley was convinced to move back to the state. The two once traveled for weeks on a cargo ship together, both working on books. Alexander has called Haley 'the greatest storyteller Tennessee has ever produced.' "

In 2011, Alexander donated many of his papers, including his long correspondence with Haley, to Vanderbilt University.

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NPR

Chinese Dissident Artist Ai Weiwei Restricted To 20-Day U.K. Visa

Ai says he was denied a six-month visa because U.K. officials said he didn't list a criminal conviction in his application. Ai was imprisoned in China, but he notes he was never charged with a crime.
NPR

Humans Aren't The Only Ones To Go Ape Over Diets: Chimps Detox, Too

A group of Ugandan chimps has found a great way to boost their mineral intake and neutralize bitter compounds in their diet: by eating clay.
WAMU 88.5

The Politics Hour - July 31, 2015

Join us for our weekly review of the politics, policies, and personalities of the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.

NPR

Debris Found In The Indian Ocean May Be From Missing Malaysia Airlines Jet

Investigators believe a piece of debris found on the French island of RĂ©union in the Indian Ocean could be from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared in March 2014.

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