Book Reviews
5:38 am
Sun March 16, 2014

The Lively Linguistical Exuberance Of 'Being Blue'

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 9:06 am

LANGUAGE ADVISORY: This review contains language some readers may find offensive.

First published in 1976 and now reissued by NYRB Classics, On Being Blue: A Philosophical Inquiry is an exploration of color and language, a celebration of the written and the spoken. In the hands of a novelist like William H. Gass, blue becomes everything there is to know about the world. "Blue pencils, blue noses, blue movies, laws, blue legs and stockings, the language of birds, bees, and flowers as sung by longshoremen." For starters, yes.

Read more
You Must Read This
3:14 am
Sun March 16, 2014

A Circle Of Spies Hit The Road, Filling A 'Dossier' Of Mystery

iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 7:43 am

A few years ago, I spent the winter in Germany, teaching at Leipzig University. I'd never taught before, and it was exciting, particularly because one of the classes I'd come up with was a survey course on spy novels. The class filled up quickly — those resourceful Leipzig students recognized an easy A when they saw it — and I was eager to share the best of an often-maligned genre with them. We looked at W. Somerset Maugham's Ashenden stories, Eric Ambler, Graham Greene, John le Carre, Len Deighton, and Alan Furst.

Read more
Parallels
3:13 am
Sun March 16, 2014

Which Place Is More Sexist: The Middle East Or Latin America?

On the left: Women wearing burqas walk by the Gulf of Aqaba in Jordan in 2006. Right: Women in bikinis visit a beach in Rio de Janeiro in 2013.
Marco Di Fabio and Nelson Almeida Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 1:57 pm

A semi-naked woman in a sequined Carnival costume. A veiled woman with only her eyes showing in a niqab. Two stereotypes of two vastly different regions — Latin America and the Middle East.

On the surface, these two images couldn't be more diametrically opposed. What could the two have in common, right? What a woman wears — or what she doesn't wear, in Brazil's case — is often interpreted as a sign of her emancipation. The veil, for many, is a symbol of female oppression; the right to wear a bikini, one of liberation.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:53 am
Sun March 16, 2014

Crimea Overwhelmingly Supports Split From Ukraine To Join Russia

People in Simferopol, Ukraine, attend a pro-Russian rally in Lenin Square after a day of voting on whether to unite with Russia. Exit polls show strong approval for the move, according to Russian state-run media.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 16, 2014 7:59 pm

  • NPR's Gregory Warner on 'Weekend Edition Sunday'
This post will be updated throughout the day Sunday.

Russian news services are claiming overwhelming support in Crimea for the region's plan to secede from Ukraine and unite with Russia, citing exit polls from Sunday's referendum. Russia's state news agency reports that afer 50 percent of the votes had been processed that more than 95 percent of voters said they were in favor of joining Russia.

Read more
Economy
3:33 pm
Sat March 15, 2014

With Some Moves In Congress, Jobless Still Struggle To Get By

On Thursday, the Senate reached a bipartisan agreement to renew jobless benefits for five months for the long-term unemployed. This comes after Congress failed to extend those benefits in December.

Sports
3:33 pm
Sat March 15, 2014

Predicting Top Seeds For March Madness 2014

It's the most wonderful time of the year for NCAA college basketball fans. NPR's Arun Rath talks with A Martinez of member station KPCC about March Madness.

Europe
3:33 pm
Sat March 15, 2014

Working Without Pay A Reality For Much Of Greece's Labor Force

Alexandra Tsitoura (left) and Nikos Aivatzidis walk through now-empty Hellenic Shipyards in Athens, Greece. Two years ago, the shipyard employed around 1,100 workers.
Holly Pickett for NPR

Originally published on Sun March 16, 2014 7:23 am

For nearly 30 years, Nikos Aivatzidis got up at the crack of dawn to drive from his home in central Athens to his human resources job at Hellenic Shipyards, near Greece's port of Piraeus.

"I'd walk into the entrance and marvel as I watched [6,000] or 7,000 people heading into work with me," he says. "This place was like its own city."

Now this place is deserted. Many of the roughly 1,000 workers still officially on the payroll stopped showing up after the company stopped paying them in April 2012.

But Aivatzidis holds on.

Read more
World
3:33 pm
Sat March 15, 2014

Ukrainians Scramble For Information Ahead Of Crimean Vote

On the eve of the referendum in Crimea, Ukrainians are reportedly nervous about what will happen after Sunday's vote. Correspondent Eleanor Beardsley talks with NPR's Arun Rath about the mood in Kiev.

Middle East
3:33 pm
Sat March 15, 2014

Reflecting On 3-Year Syrian War: 'There But For The Grace Of God'

Saturday is the three-year anniversary of the war in Syria. Nigel Timmins of Oxfam talks with NPR's Arun Rath about the humanitarian crisis there and the Syrian people he has met.

Politics
3:33 pm
Sat March 15, 2014

CIA Pulled Out Of The Shadows With Feinstein's Charge

Sen. Dianne Feinstein accused CIA staff of improperly accessing Senate computers on Tuesday. NPR's Arun Rath speaks with Mark Mazzetti of The New York Times and ex-Rep. Jane Harman about the conflict.

Pages