Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 12:25 pm
Stephen Klineberg polishes off a spicy lamb mint burger, mops his brow and recalls the Houston he moved to as a young professor in the 1970s.
"It was a deeply racist, deeply segregated Southern city," he says; an oil boomtown of black and white Americans.
There were no restaurants like Pondicheri, where Houston chef Anita Jaisinghani's hip take on Indian street food — and the air conditioning's battle with 100-degree heat — conspire to make the Rice University professor sweat.
Palestinians wait for Mohammed Assaf, the first Palestinian winner of the Arab Idol contest, in front of his family home in the southern Gaza Strip last Tuesday. The cheering for Assaf crossed political and ideological divides.
Shortly before midnight last Thursday, in front of a cheering crowd, 31-year-old Hussein al-Deik was picked as the president of Palestine.
It wasn't a real election; just the grand finale of a TV reality series, shot in front of a live audience. Suheir Rasul, co-director of the Jerusalem office of Search for Common Ground, the organization that put on the show, said the goal is to get young people excited about the democratic process.
Afghan official inspects wreckage at the site of a suicide attack near Kabul military airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, on June 10. After a month outside the country, NPR's Sean Carberry returned to find some things that had changed, but many, like insurgent violence, that remain the same.
Credit Ahmad Jamshid / AP
An Afghan policeman stands guard at the scene of a suicide car bomber attack that struck outside the Afghan Supreme Court in Kabul, on June 11.
I've just returned to Kabul after a month out of the country. In a place where it sometimes feels like nothing changes, a lot has changed.
First, a few oddities. An Afghan businessman on my street apparently bought a lion cub and has been keeping it on his roof. I'm not sure if that has anything to do with the fact that I have yet to see any of the ubiquitous, dust-caked street dogs in the neighborhood since I returned, but I don't miss them.
On-air challenge: For the Sunday before the Fourth of July weekend, every answer is the last name of a U.S. president, which comes from their anagrams. For example, "shrub" without R is "Bush."
Last week's challenge: Write down these five words: "aide," "heart," "tough," "gelatin" and "emanate." There is something very unusual they have in common. What is it? And what's another word with this property?
This was a week in which the country was reminded of our continuing struggle with race — and how we're still not quite sure how to talk about it.
The conversation started with the actions of the Supreme Court: A key provision of the Voting Rights Act was dismantled, and the University of Texas was told to re-evaluate its affirmative action policy.
Credit Dean Jensen's collection / Courtesy Crown Publishing Group
Leitzel is remembered as the first true circus diva.
Credit Dean Jensen's collection / Courtesy Crown Publishing Group
Aerialist Lillian Leitzel came from a family of performers. In 1905, she toured Europe as part of the Leamy Ladies circus attraction, which included Leitzel (far left), her aunts Tina and Toni Pelikan, her mother Nellie Pelikan, and Lily Simpson.
Daredevil Nik Wallenda of the famous "Flying Wallendas" family successfully walked on a 2-inch-thick cable across a 1,500-foot gorge near the Grand Canyon last week — without a net.
Back on solid ground, Wallenda says of course he has butterflies, but he doesn't get dizzy and there's no fear. He speaks with weekends on All Things Considered host Jacki Lyden about his latest death-defying walk on the high wire.
Two years ago, in 2011, 90 percent of Lego's consumers were boys. A tough statistic to swallow for those of us who grew up playing with Lego's gender-neutral buckets of bricks. But the statistic came straight from Lego, which was then focused on boys with franchised sets based on properties like Star Wars and The Avengers after weathering a disastrous period in the 1990s that left the company on the brink of collapse.
"Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa said on Saturday the United States had asked him not to grant asylum for former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden in a 'cordial' telephone conversation he held with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden," Reuters writes.
Alfred Hitchcock's early silent films have resurfaced in what's being called the single biggest restoration project in the history of the British Film Institute, and now "The Hitchcock 9" are touring the U.S. this summer.
Hitchcock is best known for his Hollywood suspense films of the post-war era, like Psycho and Vertigo.But the director was born in England and began his directing career there during the silent era. In fact, he loved both seeing and making silent films.
Henry D'Arthenay grew up in Caracas, Venezuela — a country currently rife with political conflict. As lead singer of the Venezuelan alt-rock band La Vida Bohème, D'Arthenay used that chaos for fuel in constructing the band's latest album, Será, which was released in April.
We continue this week to dig into the findings of our poll of African-American communities and how black Americans rate many aspects of their lives. We conducted the poll with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health.
While the gap between the well-off and poor in the U.S. has stretched wide in recent years, we found that black Americans describe their financial divide as a nearly 50-50 split, and it affects how they view their world. NPR's Cheryl Corley reports.
"A long line of fiancés and their families snaked out of the clerk's office" in San Francisco on Saturday, the Chronicle reports, as couples lined up to be among the first to be married now that it's legal again for same-sex couples to be get hitched in California.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Lynn Neary. Two years ago, 90 percent of kids playing with Legos were boys. You heard that right. Nine-zero. That's partly because Lego had turned from gender neutral buckets of bricks to selling heavily franchised sets such as "Star Wars" or "Avengers." For our series about kids and culture, NPR's Neda Ulaby looked at Lego's recent gamble on girls.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Lynn Neary. President Obama is in Johannesburg, South Africa this morning. It's his second stop on a three-country tour of Africa. NPR's Ari Shapiro is traveling with the president. He joins us now. Good morning, Ari.
ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Good morning, Lynn.
NEARY: The president held a press conference with the current South African president Jacob Zuma this morning. Tell us about that.
Over the next few months, you might get a knock on your door from someone volunteering or working for a political campaign. Often, these are college students, eager to explain their candidate's vision, or the virtues of their political cause. But residents of Cambridge, Massachusetts might see a much younger face at their door. From member station WGBH, Anne Mostue reports.
The first atheist monument to be displayed on U.S. government property will be dedicated today in Starke, Florida. The monument is near a black granite display of the Ten Commandments, which was installed in the courtyard of the Bradford County Courthouse last year.
Smith Dobson was one of the most sought-after pianists of the Bay Area when he died in a car crash in 2001. He was part of a musical family — his wife, Gail, a jazz singer; his son a drummer. His daughter, Sasha Dobson, was a scat singer who followed the family's jazz muse until her dad's tragic death.
President Obama may be in South Africa but his attention is also on Egypt. Mr. Obama said today, he's concerned about political protests and clashes between supporters and opponents of President Mohamed Morsi which have left at least three people dead, including one American.
Joining us now is NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson from Cairo. Thanks for joining us, Soraya.
Andrew Pochter, a 21-year-old Kenyon College student from Chevy Chase, Md., is the American who was killed Friday in Alexandria, Egypt, when violence broke out during a protest against the government of President Mohammed Morsi, the college says. He was one of at least three people who died from injuries they suffered.
Citing U.S. Embassy officials as its source for that news, the Ohio school adds that:
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:
Susan Choi's previous novels have pulled from events in the headlines: the Korean War for The Foreign Student; the Patty Hearst kidnapping for American Woman; and the Wen Ho Lee accusations for A Person of Interest. But her latest book, My Education, was inspired by something else — youthful passion.