Near the end of his 27 years in prison, Nelson Mandela was taken to secret meetings with government officials and for drives around Cape Town. Here, he returned to his Robben Island prison cell for a visit in 1994, shortly before he became South Africa's first black president.
Credit Louise Gubb / Corbis
Mandela and other inmates faced harsh conditions during his many years at Robben Island prison. In the final year of his detention, the South African authorities put him in a private cottage where he had a swimming pool and a cook. Mandela is shown here during a return visit to his old Robben Island cell in 1994.
There's a backstory for just about everything in Gore Verbinski's The Lone Ranger, including what drives the title character (Armie Hammer) to don the mask — and what's up with that dead crow Tonto (Johnny Depp) wears on his head.
Credit Peter Mountain / Walt Disney Pictures
If Johnny Depp's in the film, can Helena Bonham Carter (and a bustier) be far behind? In this Ranger, she plays Red, the madam of a Texas brothel who offers aid and comfort to Tonto and his masked companion.
A Tunisian appeals court has freed rapper Ala Yaacoubi, who last month was sentenced to two years in prison for insulting police officers with his song "The Police Are Dogs."
Critics had said the arrest of Yaacoubi, 25, who performs under the name Weld El 15, was a sign of repression in Tunisia, where mass rallies overthrew former leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali at the start of the Arab Spring in 2011. As NPR reported that summer, several rap songs became anthems for that shift.
Producers throw a bunch of people into a house, where they're stuck for about three months. All day and all night, they're watched by cameras, and they can be watched online — these are the so-called "live feeds," which are sort of like watching the security cameras in the most boring juice bar in Los Angeles. (I wrote about touring the house in 2010; it's very creepy.)
This morning, as I perused the headlines, I saw a few items about the new Lone Ranger movie, and rather than being struck by interesting thoughts about the racial politics of Johnny Depp's Tonto, I abruptly remembered this joke: "Where does the Lone Ranger take his trash?" "To the dump, to the dump, to the dump dump dump." You know, because of the music?
And then I thought, "Who built the Lone Ranger's luxury apartment building?"
"Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump Trump Trump."
For historians, and for much more casual students of the Civil War, the battle of Gettysburg 150 years ago holds seemingly limitless fascination — a search for "Gettysburg" on Amazon turns up over 7,500 books — and similarly limitless opportunity for debate. Did the Confederacy's iconic commander, Gen. Robert E. Lee, bring defeat to his own army by reaching too far in ordering Pickett's fateful — and disastrous — charge? Did Gen.
Dayna Stephens is a patient musician. The 34-year-old tenor saxophonist and composer fashions supple, searching improvisations that brim with melodic cogency. His compositions often exude a widescreen sensibility with languid, narrative-like passages, suspenseful interludes and sumptuous harmonies.
With about 24 hours to go before the deadline set by Egypt's military to work with opponents and craft a roadmap that moves the country past its political problems or have one created for him by the army, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi is under intense pressure. He must either "reach some kind of compromise" with those protesting against his government "or step aside," NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson tells our Newscast Desk.
Good morning, I'm David Greene. Florida's Department of Transportation ordered a new sign for Interstate 95. It read: Exit 344, University of Florida, Florida State College South Campus. Only one issue. Both times, Florida was spelled wrong. It read: Flordia. The sign manufacturer in Arkansas made that mistake. According to First Coast News, the company has agreed to fix the sign for free. They also might want to get off at that exit and head back to school.
David Rakoff was a mainstay on public radio's This American Life, and the best-selling author of Fraud, Don't Get Too Comfortable, and Half Empty. He died of cancer in 2012 at the age of 47, shortly after finishing Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish, a short novel in verse that jumps from decade to decade, tracking a panoply of American characters across the 20th century: 1920s slaughterhouse workers, 1950s office girls, AIDS victims and '80s yuppies.
A country girl from Grabtown, N.C., Ava Gardner arrived in Hollywood in 1941 knowing she couldn't act but, gorgeous as she was, she never had to let that slow her down. Her beauty — which reportedly intimidated Elizabeth Taylor — won her not just film roles and studio-paid acting lessons, but the attentions of all-American boy Mickey Rooney, whom she married and divorced before she turned 21. She had a similarly brief union with bandleader Artie Shaw — she called those two her "starter husbands" — before a tempestuous, headline-making marriage to Frank Sinatra.
Check out the video at the bottom of the page to see how this box transforms ...
Credit Muhammad Hamed / Reuters/Landov
Millions of refugees, such as these at the Zataari camp in Mafraq, Jordan, call the canvas tents provided by the UNHCR home. But the tents are hot during the day, cold at night, afford little privacy, and only last about six months. Ikea and the U.N. refugee agency are working together to come up with an alternative.
Credit Ikea Foundation
...into a temporary shelter that is designed to last up to three years and provide electricity via solar panels.
The saga of Edward Snowden feels like a page-turner, the story of an international fugitive no one wants. Snowden is the former NSA contractor trying to avoid prosecution in the U.S. for leaking classified documents.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
Snowden has been weighing his options as he languishes in a Moscow airport. He's requested asylum in at least 20 countries now. According to the website WikiLeaks, Snowden's legal advisor submitted those requests by hand to diplomatic missions in Moscow.
Europe is in an uproar over revelations that U.S. intelligence services are spying on the European Union mission in New York and its embassy in Washington. The new allegations come from the latest secret U.S. National Security Agency documents leaked by Edward Snowden.
David Greene talks to Farah Halime, a Cairo-based financial journalist who writes about Egypt's economy. Whether President Morsi caves to protesters' demands to step down, whoever ends up running the country will have to deal with a terribly deteriorating economy. Halime's blog is called the RebelEconomy.com.
I always wondered where some of those stock market symbols came from.
To Europe now. Portugal's finance minister - the architect of the country's economic bailout deal with the European Union - has resigned. In stepping down, he cited the backlash against the policies he imposed at the urging of European lenders.
NPR's Lauren Frayer reports on this latest turn in the debate over whether severe budget austerity does more harm than good.
All week, we are looking at demographic changes in the currently very red, very Republican Lone Star state. Democrats hope the growing size and potential voting clout of the Latin population will turn Texas blue.
Whether that happens or not, the Texas Democratic Party already bears little resemblance to what it looked like when it last dominated Texas politics decades ago.
NPR's Don Gonyea brings us the latest in our series Texas 2020.
And farther south on the African continent, President Obama is wrapping up a three-country tour. He's in Tanzania now, on the coast of the Indian Ocean. NPR's Ari Shapiro is travelling with the president and reports on Obama's first day in the Tanzanian city of Dar es Salaam.
President Obama announced, last week, a hugely ambitious plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and push the country towards cleaner energy. Right now, just nine percent of our energy consumption comes from renewable sources.
Former U.S. secretary of energy Steven Chu would like to see us get to 50 percent by the middle of the century. Chu left the cabinet in April, but even before that, he began talking to utility companies could adopt a radically different business model.
This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
The Chicago-based Tribune Company, newly out of bankruptcy, is trying to sell off its newspaper holdings. Yet even as the company withdraws from print media, it's making a big push into local television, following the lead of other major media players.
MONTAGNE: Steinway Musical Instruments announced Monday that it would be acquired by the private equity firm Kohlberg and Company in a deal worth $438 million. Kohlberg says it plans to build on Steinway's 160 years of piano-making tradition and expand its sales globally.
Johnny Depp says that with his portrayal of Tonto in The Lone Ranger, he tried to "right the wrongs of what had been done with regards to the representation of Native Americans in cinema."
Adorned with a dead black crow, headband and face paint, Depp said he knew his Tonto would need to go "against the grain of what had been done before, [he] knew it would require a very, very important iconic look."
Some critics aren't fans of Disney's Tonto and think that the character is a major setback for the Native American image.
Credit M.J. Alexander
Johnny Depp pauses on the red carpet before the Comanche Nation premiere of The Lone Ranger.
The Lone Ranger has long been a fictional hero, taming the Wild West with his trusty Indian guide, Tonto. The faithful companion helps the white man fight bad guys, and does so speaking in pidgin English.
Tonto made his first appearance on the radio in the 1930s, voiced by a non-Native American actor, John Todd. In the series, Western settlers face down what they call "redskins" and "savages." And trusty Tonto is always on hand to interpret the smoke signals.