NPR's business news starts with some European optimism.
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WERTHEIMER: The president of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, says he expects to see a gradual economic recovery in the eurozone nations this year. Speaking in Shanghai yesterday, he acknowledged the region still faces challenges, including record unemployment, but he cited growing European exports and rising regional stock markets as factors indicating better times ahead. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne. We're going to get a glimpse from the front lines of the civil war in Syria now. That war is expected to be the focus of peace negotiations, in the coming weeks. The U.S. is pressing for those talks after brutal fighting, fighting that's begun to spread to neighboring countries.
When the North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il died two years ago, his son Kim Jong Un rose to power. The world knew practically nothing about the young and untested leader. In fact, nobody knew exactly how young he was until his birth date was revealed by a man who goes by the pseudonym Kenji Fujimoto, Kim Jong Il's former sushi chef and longtime confidante.
The U.N. says hundreds of wounded, along with thousands more civilians, are trapped inside the embattled Syrian town of Qusair. The Syrian army, along with fighters from the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, have the town surrounded. Up until recently Hezbollah's involvement in the fight was kept secret. But now, as NPR's Kelly McEvers reports, the group's supporters are readying for what could be a bigger, more regional fight.
The Saturday morning fog was burning off above the part of Santa Monica's beach known as the Inkwell. It's the stretch of sand to which black Southern Californians were relegated by de facto segregation until the 1960s.
Men, women and children walked across the sand in wet suits, carrying surfboards. They're part of the Black Surfers Collective, which aims to get more people of color involved in surfing.
They had gathered to honor pioneer Nick Gabaldon, a legendary surfer who is remembered as the area's first documented board man of African-American and Mexican heritage.
Protesters march during a rally in support of Army Pfc. Bradley Manning outside Fort Meade, Md., on Saturday. Manning, who is scheduled to face a court-martial beginning Monday, is accused of sending hundreds of thousands of classified records to WikiLeaks while working as an intelligence analyst in Baghdad.
In the three years since his arrest, Bradley Manning, the slight Army private first class with close-cropped blond hair and thick military glasses, has become less of a character than a cause.
"Bradley Manning is a very polarizing figure. People either think that he is a hero or they think he's a traitor," says Elizabeth Goitein, who co-directs the liberty and national security program at the Brennan Center for Justice. "I actually think that he's somewhere in between."
Michelle Williams (center) and two daughters visit the grave of her mother, Judy Williams, at Fairview Cemetery in Hyde Park, Mass., on May 11. Judy died in 2011.
Credit Ellen Webber for NPR
Michelle Williams (center), at home in Dorchester, Mass., talks with grandchildren Ayniah Williams (pink dress) and Drequain Smith (far left). At right are her daughters Vanessa "Nessa" Williams (far right) and Margaret Williams. Both Michelle and Ayniah had latent TB infections and have been treated.
Credit Richard Knox / NPR
Robert Williams, 42, holds a photo of his late mother, Judy Williams.
Detroit's finances are so tight that unclaimed bodies can wait months or years for a pauper's burial. To help, Perry Funeral Home in Detroit has been holding free memorial services and cut-rate burials for unclaimed remains for years, like this service in 2009.
Credit Quinn Klinefelter / WDET
T.C. Latham became homeless after losing his job years ago. He died in September, but with no one to pay for his burial, he has not yet been laid to rest.
Shrinking government budgets are changing not only how people live, but also how some municipalities deal with death. In Detroit, funding is so tight that when a homeless person dies, it can take a year or more to receive even a simple pauper's burial.
I met T.C. Latham several years ago, panhandling in downtown Detroit. He was short with a scraggly beard, bent glasses missing one lens and, for the most part, on the good side of the police.
Many victims of sexual assault in the military say only one experience comes close to the pain of the actual crime, and that's going to court to bring charges against the attacker.
This is believed to be one reason why so few victims come forward and report these crimes, and now the Air Force is hoping a new team of lawyers will help to change that.
At Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama, a tall three-star general stands in front of a class of JAG officers — Air Force lawyers. He tells them they are pioneers in a new field, and then lays a heavy responsibility on them.
Surf Air CEO Wade Eyerly stands in front of one of the airline's turboprop planes in Burbank, Calif. Eyerly boasts that Surf Air will offer frequent commuters a corporate jet experience for not much more than regular airline prices.
A new airline with an innovative, "all you can fly" business model is about to take off. Federal regulators have just given California-based Surf Air permission to begin passenger service.
Surf Air is a big idea with small planes. For a flat monthly fee, subscribers will be able to take all the trips they want among four California cities: San Francisco, Monterey, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles.
The airline's co-founder and CEO Wade Eyerly boasts that Surf Air will offer frequent commuters a corporate jet experience for not that much more than regular airline prices.
When Garfield High School in Los Angeles stopped suspending students for "willful defiance" several years ago. Tuesday, the Los Angeles Unified School District board voted to follow suit in all Los Angeles schools.
On a three by five index card, you scrawled in heavy black permanent marker letters, "YOU NOW OWN MY SOUL." Initialed under that. Today's date under that. It's a neat little binding contract. I bet it would hold up in the highest court, even if you meant it as a joke. You shouldn't be so cavalier with your immortal essence. I spied it between a wad of chewing gum and a mangled plastic bottle. Anyone could have found this card where it laid half-in, half-out of the gutter with the collected effluvia of a thousand passers-by.
She was cleaning out the closet, looking for items to give to Goodwill, when she found it. It was balled up at the back of the top shelf and had sat, collecting dust, for how long? Eight years? Nine? At least since they'd moved into the house and Will was a baby. It was Ted's old shirt from his single days, part of his "going out" outfit that he thought was so retro hip and cool, but which was really just fugly.
NPR's Bob Mondello and Susan Stamberg read excerpts of two of the best submissions for Round 11 of our short story contest. They read Litter by Kalad Hovatter of Orange, Calif., and The Shirt by Jennifer Anderson of Shorewood, Wis. You can read their full stories below and find other stories on our Three-Minute Fiction page or on Facebook.
When freelance journalist Anna Badkhen returned to Afghanistan in 2011, she set her eyes on a region so remote it doesn't exist on Google Maps.
In her new book, The World Is A Carpet: Four Seasons in an Afghan Village, Badkhen chronicles her time in Oqa - a rural, rainless village of 240 people and "40 doorless huts."
For many of its residents, survival hinges on the fingers of women and children. They engage in the local tradition of carpet weaving, earning about 40 cents a day for carpets that eventually sell for $5,000 to $20,000 abroad.
And if you're just joining us, this is WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Wade Goodwyn.
Jean Stapleton will always be known as Edith Bunker, the subservient housewife with the high-pitched voice on the TV show "All in the Family." The character was a saint compared to the bigoted, close-minded Archie Bunker played by Carroll O'Connor. People who knew her said Stapleton put a lot of herself into the character of Edith. Jean Stapleton passed away on Friday. Kyle Norris has this remembrance.
Arthur Geisert is the author of more than two dozen children's picture books. Three of his titles have won The New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book Award. He's most famous for his intricate illustrations of the Midwest — sprawling prairie, family farms and his signature mischievous pigs.
Detroit doesn't have to wait for Antiques Roadshow to come to town to know the city owns priceless treasures. The city-owned Detroit Institute of Arts holds works by van Gogh, Matisse, Renoir and other artists that could bring in tens of millions of dollars each.
And they just might sell. With the city more than $15 billion in debt, Kevyn Orr, the state-appointed emergency manager trying to straighten out Detroit's finances, has asked the museum to inventory its works with an eye toward potentially selling them off.
Code-switching can be far from empowering. When I was 2 1/2, I was adopted from Korea. I went from one culture to another, one language to another. For me, code-switching wasn't a freedom, or a choice. It was a one-way street.
This morning central Istanbul was quiet. It was still reeling from two days of anti-government rallies that led to violent confrontations with police. NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Turkey that some 900 people were arrested across the country and several hundred were wounded.
Peter said officials "are beginning to ask questions about who ordered the fierce police crackdown on peaceful demonstrators that triggered the massive anti-government reaction."
Wildfires in California and New Mexico forced the evacuation of hundreds of homes Saturday evening.
The Los Angeles Times has a riveting account of how the Powerhouse fire near a hydroelectric plant in Santa Clarita burned through a few homes.
Patty Robitaille, 61, was forced to leave her home. She grabbed a few documents, pictures and her pit bull. Then, she looked back: "Driving away, you could see the town burning up," she told the paper. "I don't think there's going to be much left."