All Things Considered

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And now we are joined by NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg. She watched the hearing today. Hi there, Nina.

NINA TOTENBERG, BYLINE: Hi there.

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I'm Audie Cornish in Washington where Judge Neil Gorsuch made his first appearance today before the senators weighing his nomination to the Supreme Court.

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One thing we didn't expect to see here at South by Southwest were the virtual reality helmets. They were everywhere.

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The South by Southwest music festival is well-established as a venue where up-and-coming artists get discovered. But it also offers a chance to hear from the music industry's icons — like veteran country star Garth Brooks, who delivered a keynote address at the Austin Convention Center during SXSW this week. Brooks kicked off his career in the 1980s, and he's still breaking records and selling out shows.

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There's high drama in Florida over a prosecutor's decision not to seek the death penalty for a man accused of killing a police officer.

And the Florida governor's decision to assign a different state attorney to the case is reigniting Florida's death penalty debate yet again, after the law spent a contentious year in court.

The annual South by Southwest conference is in full swing in Austin, Texas, where thousands of musicians go in hopes of making the right connections for their big break. The number of bands from Latin America and from Latino communities has increased so much that organizers have created a mini-conference within the larger festival. It's called SXAmericas and Felix Contreras — the host of Alt-Latino, NPR Music's weekly podcast about Latino arts and culture — spoke with NPR's Audie Cornish about a trend he's spotted there.

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