On-air challenge: This week's puzzle celebrates ringing in the new year. Take the letters Y-E-A-R. Add one letter and scramble to make a new word that answers the clue. For example, by adding the letter B to Y-E-A-R, with the clue "maker of aspirin," the answer would be "Bayer."
Attention American history buffs, here's a name you might not have heard before: Robert Ingersoll. According to author Susan Jacoby, he was "one of the most famous people in America in the last quarter of the 19th century."
"He went around the country," Jacoby tells NPR's Rachel Martin. "He spoke to more people than presidents. He was also an active mover and shaker behind the scenes of the Republican Party."
It's the moment fantasy fans have been waiting for (really!): After more than 20 years, and 13 doorstopper volumes, the last book in the best-selling Wheel of Time series comes out Tuesday. The series unfolds an epic battle between good and evil — think Game of Thrones but more so: more characters, more magic, more tiny little world-building details, more everything.
You put your right foot in, you put your right foot out ... chances are you know the rest. But in Jerry Spinelli's latest book, the Hokey Pokey is much more than a children's song and dance. Hokey Pokey is the name of a magical universe where kids are in charge — no adults in sight. There are herds of bikes, endless cartoons, a cuddle station and dessert for lunch every day.
In Mexico these days, the majority of babies are born in hospitals. That hasn't helped reduce the number of maternal deaths, though. So health officials are re-making the centuries-old tradition of midwifery. They are betting a new kind of midwife, one trained in a clinical setting, can offer a solution.
After the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., the state's governor and President Obama called for stricter gun laws.
In the meantime, at least one small town in Connecticut is drafting new ordinances of its own.
The town meeting in Weston begins with the Pledge of Allegiance. Moving through the agenda, the attendees discuss appointments to the Commission on Aging, there's some talk of the budget and two fourth-graders make their case for eliminating plastic bags.
Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 6:55 am
Syrian President Bashar Assad addressed his country publicly for the first time in months on Sunday, maintaining his prior assertions that the violence estimated to have killed more than 60,000 of his citizens is the work of terrorists.
NPR's Peter Kenyon tells our Newscast Unit that Assad insisted he could win the battle. Kenyon reports:
When Barack Obama first took office four years ago, many progressives were on cloud nine. Here was a president pledging to tackle some of the issues closest to the progressive base: climate change, gun control and what he called our "broken immigration system."
That was in 2008. Fast forward to now and these are just a few of the unresolved issues leaving progressives unsatisfied.
With Obama's second term around the corner, some progressives are wondering if President Obama will reboot and follow through with his earlier promises.
Just over 20 years ago, one of the most influential bands in the riot grrrl movement released its first album. Bikini Kill helped define a movement that grew up as an offshoot of punk in the early 1990s, when many women felt marginalized by society, and in some cases, even by the punk-rock community.
It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden.
(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: If Congress refuses to give the United States the ability to pay its bills on time, the consequences for the entire global economy could be catastrophic. The last time Congress threatened this course of action, our entire economy suffered for it.
When Congress reconvened on January 3rd, it did so with 84 newly elected members. We've been profiling a few of the newcomers over the past week. Today, we'll learn a bit more about the latest Republican to join Kentucky delegation Andy Barr. Here's Kentucky Public Radio's Kenny Colston.
KENNY COLSTON, BYLINE: The halls of Henry Clay High School in Lexington aren't that much different than the halls of power its namesake served in: loud and busy. But this place brings back memories for Congressman-elect Andy Barr.
If you're just tuning in, this is WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden.
In India, outrage continues unabated over sexual violence against women. A court in New Delhi has ordered five men charged in the murder and gang rape of a young woman last month to appear in court on Monday. The incident ignited demands for bringing the widespread nature of such assaults to light. NPR's Julie McCarthy joins us from New Delhi. Warning, some graphic language ahead. Julie, thanks for being here.
Photographer Eugene Richards had several reasons to visit the Arkansas Delta 40 years after his initial visit.
"I went back, ostensibly, to look at the culture and see if there was anything left of it," he says. Or at least — that was the pitch he gave National Geographic magazine, in hopes that it would send him there, which it did. You can see the story in the magazine's November issue.
Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 4:54 am
Four people are dead inside an Aurora, Colo., home Saturday following a standoff with an "armed and dangerous" man holding hostages, police say. Aurora is the Denver suburb where a gunman opened fire in a movie theater last July, killing 12 and injuring many more.
Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:
The 113th Congress is setting a new record, with 101 women this time around. Now there's lots of speculation about what difference — if any — a sizable group of women might make to our national legislature.
In Pakistan, there's a cafe called the Second Floor. It's listed in a local Karachi social blog as one of the coolest cafes in town. Since it opened its doors five years ago, it's become a haven in a city more known for its violence than its civil discourse. NPR's Dina Temple-Raston paid a visit.
DINA TEMPLE-RASTON, BYLINE: The artwork on the front stoop of the Second Floor Cafe in Karachi says it all.
SABEEN MAHMUD: I wanted something right at the entrance...
It's hard to tell whether the ongoing conflict in Eastern Congo is a battle between rival ethnic groups or a fight for resources. There are so many militant groups in Eastern Congo with so many shifting alliances and demands. But a tiny ethnic minority in Congo has been at the center of this conflict for the past 20 years. NPR's Gregory Warner tells their story from the Eastern Congoli city of Goma.
After the eurozone provided billions in bailout loans to Greece in December, the prime minister declared a new beginning for his country, despite a third year of wage cuts and tax hikes. But a scandal over a list of wealthy Greeks with Swiss bank accounts is roiling the country's fragile government.
Barge traffic on the Mississippi River could grind to a halt in the next few days. Water levels on the nation's largest waterway are very low in certain parts of the river because of the most severe drought in decades. Guest host Linda Wertheimer talks to Mark Fletcher of Ceres Barge Line about how the shipping industry is coping with the lack of rain.
Linda Wertheimer speaks with freshman Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire about the challenges facing the 113th Congress. Shaheen is a former governor of New Hampshire and a part of the state's new all-female delegation to Congress.
The NFL playoffs get underway this weekend with four wildcard games. Three rookie quarterbacks are leading teams into the playoffs, and Baltimore Raven veteran Ray Lewis plays his last home game. Monday, Notre Dame faces Alabama in the college national championship game. Guest host Linda Wertheimer speaks with Howard Bryant of ESPN about these crucial games.