Libyan protesters burn a replica of the U.S. flag on Monday during a demonstration against the capture of Abu Anas al-Libi. U.S. forces seized him Saturday in the Libyan capital Tripoli. He is accused of involvement in two U.S. embassy bombings in Africa in 1998 and is being held on a U.S. Navy ship in the Mediterranean Sea.
Credit Esam OmranAl-Fetori / Reuters/Landov
Abu Anas al-Libi was captured by U.S. forces in Tripoli, Libya, on Saturday. He's described as a long-time member of al-Qaida and is wanted in the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.
Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 7:45 am
After seizing terror suspect Abu Anas al-Libi in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, U.S. forces took him to a ship in the Mediterranean where he could be interrogated for weeks or even months to come.
Why a ship?
In short, this allows the U.S. to hold and question al-Libi about his alleged role in a pair of 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in Africa without putting him in the U.S. civilian court system, which could limit or halt efforts to interrogate him.
Geography is destiny in Jhumpa Lahiri's new novel, The Lowland. Her title refers to a marshy stretch of land between two ponds in a Calcutta neighborhood where two very close brothers grow up. In monsoon season, the marsh floods and the ponds combine; in summer, the floodwater evaporates. You don't need your decoder ring to figure out that the two ponds symbolize the two brothers — at times separate; at other times inseparable. But there's still more meaning lurking in this rich landscape.
Prior to filming, director Paul Greengrass kept the pirate crew and the boat crew separate to make the hijacking scenes feel more authentic. "The hair did stand up on the back of our heads," says Tom Hanks, above.
Credit Hopper Stone, SMPSP
Director Paul Greengrass says he thought the film would feel more authentic if it was all shot at sea. He had personal motivations, too: "My father was in the Merchant Marine and was at sea all his life so I wanted to explore his world," he says.
Credit Jasin Boland / Columbia Pictures Industries
Greengrass says it was important to him to find young Somali actors to play the part of the pirates. He held auditions in Minneapolis -- where there is a large Somali community -- and hundreds of actors showed up.
In April 2009, Somali pirates boarded an American-flagged container ship and took its captain, Richard Phillips, hostage on a small lifeboat. That led to a five-day drama at sea, much of it covered on television, as a U.S. Navy destroyer tailed the lifeboat and Navy SEAL sharpshooters eventually freed the captain. In 2010 Phillips wrote a memoir called A Captain's Duty and the harrowing experience has now been adapted into a film called Captain Phillips.
Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 3:56 pm
China — which holds nearly $1.3 trillion in U.S. securities (pdf) — is asking the U.S. to get its finances in order and not allow a political stalemate to cause the country to default on its obligations for the first time in history.
The United States is expected to run out of money by Oct. 17, so the Treasury needs Congress to extend its credit limit before then. As has happened before, the House and Senate are at odds and the prospects of a compromise look shaky.
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.