After visiting the jail cell on South Africa's Robben Island where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years in prison during the long struggle against apartheid, President Obama wrote on Sunday about the bravery of Mandela and others who demanded their rights.
In a message he added to the island's visitors book, the president said:
Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 12:37 pm
There's no evidence that he wrote anything obscene.
His messages could be easily erased.
And they don't seem to have upset many, if any, people.
But in San Diego, 40-year-old Jeffrey Olson is on trial for expressing his opinions on sidewalks outside three Bank of America branches. He's charged with 13 counts of vandalism. Jury deliberations began Friday, our colleagues at KPBS say. If convicted on all counts, they add, he faces up to 13 years in prison.
Thousands of protesters who oppose Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi were in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Sunday.
Credit Mohamed Abd El Ghany / Reuters/Landov
Egyptians gather in Tahrir Square during a demonstration against President Mohammed Morsi in Cairo on Sunday. Hundreds of thousands of Morsi opponents poured out onto the streets across much of Egypt, launching an all-out push to force him from office on the first anniversary of his inauguration.
Embassy Row — otherwise known as Massachusetts Avenue — in Washington, D.C., is decorated with flags of every nation, flying in front of impressive embassy buildings.
In front of the embassies, there are often statues of national heroes. Winston Churchill graces the grounds of the British Embassy. Outside the Indian Embassy, Mahatma Gandhi looks as though he's in full stride, clad in loincloth and sandals.
And now, there's a Hindu goddess. Saraswati just arrived. She stands in a garden in front of Indonesia's embassy, glowing white and gold, with her four arms upraised.
Taj Mahal has a degree in animal husbandry and agronomy, and planned to be a farmer. Music was just something he did.
"No matter what went down, music was always going to be a part of my life," the guitarist and singer says. "What ultimately happened is that, over a period of time, I just kind of looked around and when like, 'Wow! I'm actually making a living doing this.'"
If you sample the first few notes of guitarist John Scofield's new album, Uberjam Deux, you might mistake it for something out of West Africa. But a spin through the tracks takes you to another hemisphere with a sound right out of Jamaica, then to American shores with a soulful homage to Al Green.
You can't say they didn't warn you. On Monday, Google Reader will no longer be available. The search behemoth is putting its RSS reader to rest, leaving millions of dedicated users scrambling to find other platforms for organization of their news feeds and content exploration.
They can watch us, of course. We knew they could. We suspected. But to have it confirmed, to discover that exactly this and precisely that, these emails we sent, those calls we made, are neatly documented and filed away (just in case there should be a future cause for concern, of course, don't worry yourself, it will probably never be you) ... that's a little uncomfortable.
Growing up in apartheid South Africa with widespread state censorship, it was hard to get to know our political leaders. The first time I actually saw a photograph of Nelson Mandela was in high school in the mid-1980s.
A braver classmate had managed to sneak a few grainy images into our school — a full-face, younger Mandela, his fellow Robben Island inmate Walter Sisulu and the South African Communist Party leader Joe Slovo.
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 <em>Arab Idol</em> 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.
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.
Credit Dean Jensen's collection / Courtesy Crown Publishing Group
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.
Carl Brisson stars as sideshow boxer "One Round Jack" in Alfred Hitchcock's 1927 film <em>The Ring</em>. That and eight more of the master's early silent features have restored by the British Film Institute.
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.