There's a public middle school in Brooklyn, N.Y., called Intermediate School 318, or I.S. 318. Like others in the area, it's a Title I school, which means it has a poverty level that's more than 65 percent. But unlike other schools, it's got the highest-ranked junior-high chess team in the nation. In fact, Brooklyn IS 3-18 has won more than 30 national chess titles.
I.S. 318 is the subject of a new documentary called Brooklyn Castle. The film has picked up audience awards at the SXSW and Hot Docs film festivals.
Originally published on Sun November 25, 2012 7:45 am
The Israeli bombardment of Gaza continued Sunday — with one missile strike flattening a two-story building in Gaza City, killing at least 11 people, including women and children; another hit a media building and injured six journalists. Israel says its actions have been prompted by a barrage of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip, targeting Israeli cities. Meanwhile, diplomatic negotiations are under way, but Israel is continuing preparations for a ground invasion.
Host Rachel Martin speaks with British writer Tessa Hadley about her new collection of short stories, Married Love and Other Stories. Hadley teaches creative writing at the University of Bath in the United Kingdom, and her stories regularly appear in The New Yorker magazine.
Thanksgiving has its must-haves: potatoes, cranberries, turkey. But cooking the feast with a soul-food style gives the meal a whole new flavor.
Soul food conjures up thoughts of rich dishes full of butter or gravy — comfort foods. But soul food comes out of one of America's darkest chapters. Chef Melba Wilson, owner of Melba's Restaurant and Melba's 125 in Harlem, N.Y., explains that the basis of the cooking comes from the food slave owners gave to slaves.
We turn now to the Israeli side of the border, where sirens have been warning civilians to take cover from incoming rocket fire. It's also where the Israeli military has been gathering ground forces in preparation for a possible invasion. Despite the talk of cease-fire, analysts say it's anyone's guess how much longer this most recent round of hostilities will continue. Reporter Sheera Frenkel is on the border and she filed this report.
Host Rachel Martin speaks with NPR's Shankar Vedantam about the psychology behind the fiscal cliff negotiations. Vedantam says humans evolved as short-term thinkers, which makes dealing with the long-term problem of the national debt particularly difficult.
The election has also triggered some soul searching among evangelical Christian voters. Now, one of the movement's top leaders says it's time to stop the war rhetoric and start reaching out for compromise. Host Rachel Martin talks with Jim Daly, the president and CEO of Focus on the Family, about the post-election direction of the conservative evangelical movement.
Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 6:03 am
College football bowl season is just around the corner, and with it comes the seemingly perennial controversy around the bowl game selection process. Rachel Martin and NPR's Mike Pesca discuss the vagaries of the Bowl Championship Series ranking system, and why you can't just blame it on computers.
Fierce fighting has continued in recent days between the Syrian Army and rebels in the suburbs. The Syrian Opposition has been fragmented, but this month its factions reached a new understanding and appointed a leader. Host Rachel Martin discusses latest developments in the Syria crisis with NPR's Deborah Amos and Kelly McEvers.
An unusual list of words popped up recently on China's Twitter equivalent, Weibo. The words are in English, but they've gone viral on the Chinese Twittersphere. Chinese "netizens" have come up with satirical misspellings of "democrazy" and "freedamn."
At nearly 80, Willie Nelson remains impressively prolific: lots of songs, lots of kids and, fittingly, lots of autobiographies. The country singer's latest memoir is called Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die, after a song on his Heroes album, released earlier this year. Nelson says those seeking earth-shattering revelations about his life should look elsewhere; that wasn't his intention in writing the book.
Pashman presents his Veggieducken. "A banana squash is about 2 feet long; it's one of the largest squashes money can buy," he says. "So this thing is big. It takes a couple hours to cook — it is an event."
Americans own an estimated 300 million guns. It's a level of gun ownership that no other country in the world comes close to matching. It's also a source of controversy in the U.S., where groups on both sides of the issue seem to have dug deep into the debate.
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (left), Indiana Gov.-Elect Mike Pence (center) and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, chairman of the Republican Governors Association, participate in a panel discussion during the 2012 RGA Annual Conference on Thursday in Las Vegas.
Sen. Barbara Boxer says we can finally stop using the term "Year of the Woman" once the Senate reaches a 50-50 split of men and women. "That's the goal," she says.
We're not quite there yet. But in 2013, more women will be serving in Congress than ever before. There will be 20 women in the Senate. When Boxer took her seat in 1993, there were six — and that was after tripling from two the term before.
So what does the California Democrat have to say about the fact that there's still a gender gap? Let's put this in perspective.
On a street corner in Midland Beach on Staten Island, volunteers have set up a makeshift stand. There's no tent here, no corporate logos — just a couple of folding tables and cardboard boxes full of food, clothing and cleaning supplies.
Ross Decker is the guy in charge.
"Anytime we run out of something, I tell the people just come back in 20 minutes, it'll be here," he says.
Decker says the site, badly flooded during Superstorm Sandy, was picked by a handful of local churches. This volunteer operation seems to be stocked mainly through the kindness of strangers.
Special Note:Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, the deadline for this week's puzzle is Wednesday by 3 p.m. Eastern.
On-air challenge: Each clue is a two- or three-word description of a famous person in which the initial letters of the description are also the initials of the person. For example, given the clue "Motown great," the answer would be Marvin Gaye.
It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.
Intensive diplomatic efforts are under way in the Middle East to broker a truce between Israel and Hamas. Those efforts haven't stopped the two sides from escalating their attacks. And if the diplomacy fails, Israel could decide to invade Gaza. NPR's Anthony Kuhn joins us now from Gaza with the latest. Anthony, what's been happening today so far?