Rapper Blitz the Ambassador explains to Tell Me More for the occasional series "In Your Ear," that his favorite songs are the ones that helped shape his sound. "I keep these songs really close because they always remind me of where it all begins, and what makes me the artist that I am," he says.
As his name suggests, Blitz sees himself as an ambassador for Africa and hip-hop.
A woman carries a sack of food aid on her head in Ghouta, Syria, earlier this month.
A bombed-out building in Zamalka, a neighborhood in east Ghouta, Syria. The destruction seen in this picture was caused mostly by government air raids months before the Aug. 21 chemical attack on the neighborhood.
Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 7:46 am
The author is a Syrian citizen in Damascus who is not being further identified for safety reasons.
The boy on the bicycle wasn't old enough to have facial hair. His feet barely reached the ground as he stopped and moved, circling the soldier manning the government checkpoint in east Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus.
"Please, just one bag of bread," the boy, lips quivering, said to the soldier. "Just one."
"I told you, no. No means no, young man," the soldier replied. "No food is allowed inside." He seemed somewhat pained at having to deprive a child of food.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. They call it The People's Opera, but after this month, the New York City Opera will exist only in the history books. The renowned company is closing after 70 years. The New York City Opera failed to raise the $7 million it needed to cover its debts and will file for bankruptcy protection.
Upheaval in countries like Egypt and Syria is often discussed in political terms, but how do artists see it? Guest host Celeste Headlee talks about arts and the Arab Spring with Egyptian-American poet Yahia Lababidi and Syrian-American doctor Dr. Zaher Sahloul.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. We're going to spend some time talking now about Egypt, where more than 50 people were killed over the weekend in clashes between the military and supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi. In a moment, we'll speak to an Egyptian-American who has written poetry inspired by the unrest there.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Coming up, diplomats around the world continue to pay close attention to the events in Syria and Iran, but one scholar explains why we shouldn't forget about Egypt. That's in a few minutes.
From left: Randy Schekman, Thomas Suedhof and James Rothman shared the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
Credit Reuters /Landov
The three winners of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2013 discovered how cells package and ship material, like insulin and dopamine, to other cells.
Credit Courtesy of the Nobel Prize
How does insulin get into the blood? The hormone (dark blue) is carried to the cell surface in a bubble-like compartment, called a vesicle. When the vesicle binds with the cell membrane, it pops open and releases the insulin.
The three scientists who shared this year's Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine all made discoveries that illuminate how the body's cells communicate.
The research has sweeping implications for our understanding of how nerves in the brain transmit signals, how the immune system attacks pathogens and how hormones, like insulin, get into the bloodstream.
Bioengineers have already harnessed the discoveries to manufacture new vaccines and improve the quality of insulin for diabetics.
Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 1:16 pm
"Ugh, I have to visit my aunt out in the boondocks this weekend."
How often have you said or heard something similar? For more than half a century, Americans have used the phrase "the boondocks" or "the boonies" to indicate that a place was in the middle of nowhere. However, few people realize that the phrase is a relic of American military occupation in the Philippines, and that it was later brought to mainstream attention because of a now largely forgotten, fatal training accident on Parris Island.
M-Block cube robots rest on a work table in the Distributed Robotics Lab in CSAIL at MIT in Cambridge, Mass. The robots are 50mm cubes that can reconfigure themselves into various arrangements using self-propulsion and magnets.
With J.D. Salinger in the news three years after his death (and the new documentary and biography must have that obsessively private author spinning in his grave), I'm reminded of my conversations in the 1970s about Salinger with the editor of The New Yorker, William Shawn.
The airline's president, Yoshiharu Ueki, said the order was unrelated to Boeing's problems with the 787, but the huge order is seen as a major coup for the Toulouse, France-based manufacturer at the expense of its American rival.
Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 7:49 am
Israel is mourning a legendary political and spiritual figure, after Rabbi Ovadia Yosef died in Jerusalem on Monday. He was 93.
The longtime spiritual leader of Sephardic Jews, Yosef also was a founder of Shas, the ultra-Orthodox political party that has played crucial roles in governing coalitions. The daily Haaretz called him a "kingmaker of Israeli politics and Jewish law."
Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn speaks on CBS's <em>Face the Nation</em> on Sunday. Cornyn said the partial federal government shutdown cannot end unless President Obama sits down with congressional Republicans.
People who for years had planned to be boating down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon right about now instead found themselves on Saturday camping in a parking lot because of the government shutdown.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. This time it was the bear who broke in. It seemed no one was at home so a Russian bear decided to taste what was on the stove of a Siberian country cottage. Not too hot, not too cold, the pot of borscht was just right. The bear devoured the entire pot of the beet root soup before the owners spotted him, called the police, and the bear, like Goldilocks before him, fled into the forest. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 12:00 pm
More details are emerging after a pair of U.S. commando raids over the weekend that targeted alleged terrorists in Libya and Somalia.
In Libya, Abu Anas al-Libi, a top al-Qaida operative accused by Washington of involvement in the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, was snatched from a street in the capital, Tripoli, in an operation on Saturday.
A blackout delayed last season's Super Bowl as the Baltimore Ravens defeated San Francisco. As the Raven's coach was taking questions Sunday, the room was plunged into darkness. Quarterback Joe Flacco accidentally leaned on a light switch. Later, linebacker Terrell Suggs did the same thing.
Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 12:42 pm
Two Americans, James Rothman and Randy Schekman, and German-born researcher Thomas Südhof have won the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for "solving the mystery of how the cell organizes its transport system," according to the Nobel committee.
Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 3:30 am
As the partial government shutdown nears the start of its second week, Democrats say the only way out is for House Republicans to pass a clean spending bill to re-open the government with no changes to the Affordable Care Act. Some Republicans agree. So why don't moderate House Republicans rise up, and do something to end the shutdown?
Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 3:22 am
A partial shutdown of the federal government is now in its seventh day. At the heart of the impasse is a political battle. For the government to re-open, Republicans are insisting on big changes to President Obama's signature health care law. This is not the first time there's been GOP resistance to a new social welfare program that was advocated and signed into law by a Democratic president.
The Federal Reserve estimates that up to two-thirds of all U.S. C -notes are circulating abroad at any given time. The bill is also the most counterfeited. Federal officials are confident the new bill will be much harder to fake.
Leaders of Asia-Pacific countries are wrapping up an economic summit in Indonesia. Much of the talk in the region over the weekend focused on the event's big no show: President Obama. Because of the partial government shutdown in the U.S., the president decided to stay at home and monitor developments.
Japan Airlines has announced it's ordering 31 wide-body jets from Europe's major airplane manufacturer. It's a deal worth $9.5 billion. It's a huge sale for Airbus and a big blow for America's Boeing, which for decades has dominated sales to Japanese airlines.
It's always a bit sad to say goodbye to summer corn and tomatoes, and settle into fall.
There are consolations, though — like the new crop of pears. Over 80 percent of America's fresh pears are grown in the Pacific Northwest, and this year's harvest is slated to be one of the biggest on record.
But some of the fruit is rotting in the orchards because there aren't enough workers to pick them.
Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 3:23 am
More than 50 people are dead after security forces and Islamist protesters clashed. Supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi and backers of the military that deposed him poured into the streets and turned on each other. Sunday's death toll was the highest on a single day since Aug. 14 when security forces raided two sit-in protest camps by Morsi supporters, killing hundreds.