The Academy of American Poets held their 80th anniversary gala this week to mark National Poetry Month with an all-star cast reading some of their favorite poems. Sir Patrick Stewart brought a voice that sounds almost from on-high to read Edna St. Vincent Millay's "God's World."
Jim Gaffigan's got a lot going on right now. He's been on tour with his wife and five children. He shot the pilot of a TV show about living in his New York apartment with only two bedrooms and he's "Obsessed," the title of his new special that premieres tomorrow on Comedy Central. Between stops on his tour, Jim Gaffigan joined us to explain why he takes aim at Kale and how he does it without using a single foul word.
He was born Charles Thompson — but you might know him as Black Francis, frontman for legendary alternative band the Pixies. And though he still tours with the Pixies, he's trying his hand at a new art form: he's co-authored an illustrated novel, called The Good Inn.
As the conflict in Syria rages, a pianist named Malek Jandali has turned to composing to express his sorrow. He was one of the first Syrian artists living abroad to openly criticize the Assad regime, not long after an uprising swept across his homeland. Jessica Jones from North Carolina Public Radio shares how he found his voice through music.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The Obama administration's recent efforts to try to steer Israel and Palestine into - and the Palestinians into a lasting peace accord have failed. President Obama isn't giving up, but as he acknowledges, it may be time for a pause. He says Israelis and Palestinians have both taken unhelpful steps in recent weeks and neither side looks ready to compromise. This is a major setback for Secretary of State John Kerry, as NPR's Michele Kelemen reports.
So if you're a fan of the beautiful game - that's soccer for those of you who aren't - you've no doubt heard that this week Manchester United sacked - that's fired, not putting a man in a sack, though it's close - David Moyes, its manager. Man U had fallen badly behind its Premier League rivals, most notably Liverpool, which is in a position to win its first league championship in almost 25 years.
Two presidents of Egypt have been ousted after often violent street demonstrations since the Arab Spring, but a law passed in November now bans any protest that is not sanctioned by the Egyptian government as part of the broad crackdown on the dissent there, and thousands have been arrested. Many remain in jail.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. President Obama is in Southeast Asia on the third leg of a four-nation tour of Asia. The visit is aimed at reassuring U.S. allies of its support and its intention to remain the primary power in the Asia Pacific. The president's itinerary does not include China but, of course, China's rising influence looms over the entire trip. The president's also trying to move forward on a major trade pact in the region.
The remains of a western Kentucky man who disappeared during World War II have found their way home after almost 70 years. The body of William Carneal was discovered last year in Japan, along with his dog tags and his high school ring. He was buried yesterday in his hometown of Paducah.
Whitney Jones at member station WKMS has our story.
The debate on approving new drugs to treat pain can sometimes get as polarized as abortion or drunk gun control as the number of people who become addicted or who have died from overdoses of legal painkillers increases. Several states are now trying to ban Zo-hydro, the newest FDA-approved painkiller. If you're a patient from who suffers from chronic pain and live in a state with regulatory barriers, it can be nearly impossible to get a doctor to prescribe anything for long-term relief.
There may be no real Chestnut Street in Dublin, but Maeve Binchy made readers feel as if it might be around any corner. Best-selling author Binchy, who died in 2012, was famous for novels which intertwined the lives, loves and relationships of her mostly Irish characters with a lyrical, yet accessible writing style. And Chestnut Street, her last book, is a collection of short stories about those characters, loosely connected by their common setting on the titular street
Sunday is the deadline for Syrian President Bashar Assad to hand over his government's chemical weapons stockpile, and he will have surrendered the vast majority of his declared arsenal.
Some call this a triumph. Others say Assad used the deal to buy time for brutal offensives in the civil war raging through the country. Western governments are investigating reports of more chemical attacks, although Russian officials said Friday that Assad's forces did not use chemical weapons.
Ballerina Misty Copeland is one of the greatest dancers performing today; she's a soloist at the American Ballet Theater, and she's accomplished all this despite starting ballet at the age of 13. By that age, most kids who dream of dancing have already given it up and resigned themselves to a career in public radio.
We've invited Copeland to play a game called "Hey Nonny Nonny" — three questions about a form of English folk dancing called Morris dancing, which scholars believe originated one night in the Middle Ages when some guys got really, really drunk.
Now onto our final game, Lightning Fill in the Blank. Each of our players will have 60 seconds in which they can answer as many fill in the blank questions as they can. Each correct answer now worth two points. Carl, can you give us the scores?
CARL KASELL, BYLINE: Brian Babylon has the lead, Peter. Has three points. Kyrie O'Connor and Roy Blount Jr. are tied for second. Each has two.
While the Supreme Court this month took another step in freeing up big political donors, another set of federal restrictions on political money is celebrating its 20th anniversary. The so-called pay-to-play rules — enforced by the Securities and Exchange Commission — are a narrow but powerful way to control political cash.
Think "pay to play" and you might think of video games or high school sports. But in politics, "pay to play" refers to something totally different — a particular kind of political corruption.
Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 3:51 pm
New York City is 20 times more likely to flood during a storm than it was in the mid-1800s, partly owing to sea-level rise linked to global climate change, according to a new study.
The maximum water height at New York Harbor during storms such as Hurricane Sandy has risen nearly 2.5 feet since 1844, says the study, which was published in a recent issue of Geophysical Research Letters.
There was a time when rum was considered rotgut. Blackbeard the pirate liked to mix his cane alcohol with gunpowder and light it — rum and croak.
Fast-forward a few centuries to rum respectability — specifically, to Rob Burr's patio deck in Coral Gables, in South Florida.
From the waterfall pond to the tiki bar, Burr's deck sets a mood not for swilling rum, but for tasting it. Not the way spring-breakers chug Captain Morgan, but the way cognac drinkers sip Napoleon: Not with Coke (or gunpowder) but neat, in a snifter.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish. Verticals, context blogs, explainers, those are the buzzwords of the news business. From some of the nation's oldest papers to the newest digital news startups, there's a rush to create sites that emphasize context rather than good old-fashioned scoops. The focus now is to blend fresh writing, number crunching and striking graphics. NPR's David Folkenflik reports on this evolution.
People are storing more and more stuff online: photos, music, personal documents — even books. The business of cloud storage is growing 30 percent a year, Forrester Research says. But if you're storing your digital belongings in the cloud, you should know you're giving up some rights.
A year ago, I talked to Kyle Goodwin about one of those scary computer moments — he was saving important videos from his business to an external hard drive.
"Right in the middle of a save, I knocked it off my coffee table and it hit the floor and it's destroyed," he said.
Aribert Heim was a Nazi doctor at the Mauthausen concentration camp. He gained notoriety there for operating on healthy patients, often killing them painfully in the process. Heim, however, evaded prosecution after World War II, spending the last 30 years of his life on the run and ultimately dying in Cairo in 1992. Nicholas Kulish, co-author of The Eternal Nazi, tells the story.