For a seminal work of art, Twentysix Gasoline Stations doesn't look like much. It's a small, thin paperback book resembling an old industrial manual â€” just 26 black-and-white photos of gas stations that Los Angeles artist Ed Ruscha self-published 50 years ago, when he was 26.
"If I showed the book to somebody who worked in a gas station, they might be genuinely interested in it, saying, 'Oh yeah, I remember that place out on the highway.' "
The extremist group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for a deadly attack on a mall Saturday in Nairobi, Kenya. Just to the east of Kenya, Somalia has been desperately trying to drive the Islamist group out of its towns and cities.
Omar Hammami grew up in the small of town of Daphne, Ala., but ended up in southern Somalia on the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorist list. Last week, Hammami was reportedly killed by members of al-Shabab, the al-Qaida-linked militant group, after a falling out with its leadership.
The death of a long-time, part-time professor in Pittsburgh is gathering the attention of instructors nationwide. The trend of relying on part-time faculty has been in the works for decades, and Margaret Mary Vojtko's story is seen by some as a tragic byproduct.
Last spring, months before her death, Vojtko showed up at a meeting between adjunct professors at Duquesne University and the union officials who had been trying to organize them. The professors are trying to organize a union affiliated with the United Steelworkers.
Wadjda, being touted as the first feature film shot entirely in Saudi Arabia â€” a country with no movie theaters and a relationship with cinema that's complicated at best â€” tells the story of a defiant 10-year-old pushing back against the social expectations that define her life as a young Saudi woman.
Wadjda's source of independence comes in the form of a green bicycle she wants to buy for herself. But girls in Saudi Arabia don't ride bicycles, so she has to be creative.
President Obama isn't known as a schmoozer like Bill Clinton or a back-slapper like George W. Bush. But he does know that a personal touch can woo allies and soften adversaries.
Right now, domestic and international crises are looming on all sides of the president. Although a little tenderness might come in handy, Obama is repeatedly passing up opportunities to wage a charm offensive.
It might seem like the only TV serious viewers are paying attention to right now is Breaking Bad, but on Sunday night, just as Walter White's penultimate episode is unfolding on AMC, we'll be finding out over on CBS whether his show, his portrayer Bryan Cranston, or other personnel will be taking home Primetime Emmy Awards.
A court in East China sentenced former top Chinese official Bo Xilai to life in prison for corruption after one of the highest-profile political trials of recent years.
Media coverage of the court hearings transfixed audiences with details of murder, a love triangle and lavish official life styles. The case may prove to be a political Pandora's box that could bring down even higher-ranking officials and widen divisions over the country's future direction.
Stephen Crohn, a man best known for staying alive during the early days of the AIDS epidemic, died Aug. 23 at age 66. Throughout his lifetime, the New York artist helped researchers uncover vital clues about HIV and how to stop it.
Crohn's partner was one of the first people to die from AIDS in 1978. Over the years, Crohn watched boyfriends and acquaintances die from the disease. But he never got sick.
Knowing that there was something unique about himself, Crohn volunteered to be studied.
From NPR West, it's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Arun Rath.
It's one of the monuments of American literature, Herman Melville's "Moby Dick." The Los Angeles library system posed a challenge to Twitter followers recently. Send us your best 140-character summary of the novel. Among the responses they received: Epic pale whale fail, Ishmael goes fishing with Ahab who has male fish issues and: We're going to need a bigger metaphor. Those three were submitted by comedian Patton Oswalt.
Our first show from NPR West in Southern California coincides with another grand occasion, the reopening of the iconic Chinese Theater on Hollywood Boulevard. It's been refurbished and reconfigured. And as NPR's Sam Sanders reports, it has a new name too.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell...
SAM SANDERS, BYLINE: Since 1927, stars have been parading down the red carpet and making their marks here.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Arun Rath.
An upscale mall in Nairobi turned into a battleground today when armed gunmen stormed into the mall in the busy lunchtime hour. The Kenyan president says more than 30 people have been killed, many more injured, including some of his own relatives.
In a city with 6,500 miles of blacktop, one stretch of road might be the most legendary in Los Angeles: the Sunset Strip. It's where the vibrant L.A. music got its vibe; imagine The Doors blaring through the gates of one club and The Byrds softly strumming just a few doors down. From one decade to the next, from folk to metal to hip-hop, iconic music was born there.
The first time Jackson Landers spotted a black widow spider on his front porch, he was transfixed. The nature writer grew curious about the poisonous arachnids and even kept one as a pet in a jar for months.
"When you're confronted by this deadly, venomous thing day after day, you can't help but become interested in it," Landers tells NPR's Arun Rath.
For the third year in a row, the poverty rate has remained stuck at about 15 percent. Nearly one in six Americans was living in poverty in 2012, according to a new report by the Census Bureau. Despite a slow-moving economic recovery, these latest numbers show that for poor Americans, there are few signs of any recovery.
Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 3:39 pm
The U.S. and Russia have been taking lots of jabs at each other.
Russian President Vladimir Putin criticized President Obama's plan for a military strike in Syria, and the Russian leader then denounced American "exceptionalism" in a biting op-ed in The New York Times.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., fired back Thursday with his own op-ed in the Russian paper Pravda, entitled, "Russia Deserves Better Than Putin."
Originally published on Sat September 21, 2013 1:54 pm
A chance for families in South and North Korea to meet their long-lost relatives has been put off indefinitely, as North Korea canceled reunions that were to take place in the coming week. A South Korean official called the decision "inhumane" Saturday.
"The North's postponement shattered the thrill and hopes of nearly 200 families overnight and deserves denunciation as an inhumane act," Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Eyi-do said, according to The Korea Herald.
Originally published on Sat September 21, 2013 2:04 pm
In Baghdad's Sadr City, a bombing attack that struck during a funeral has killed dozens of people, with the death toll continuing to rise Saturday. Multiple reports are citing at least 65 deaths in the attack, one of several in Iraq today.
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:
Originally published on Sat September 21, 2013 9:34 am
SCOTT SIMON, HOST:
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. An upscale shopping mall in Nairobi is the scene of a deadly standoff.
(SOUNDBITE OF SCREAMING AND CRYING)
SIMON: Kenyan armed forces are battling gunmen who stormed that mall earlier today. The Red Cross says that at least 20 people have been killed in the attack. NPR's Gregory Warner is on the scene. Greg, thanks for being with us.
Originally published on Sat September 21, 2013 9:44 am
Syria has delivered documents about its arsenal of chemical weapons, meeting a deadline set in the framework agreement between the U.S. and Russia that was announced Sept. 14. The deal calls for destroying all of the weapons by June of 2014. But the country's civil war is showing no sign of slowing down.
Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 4:28 am
Updated Sunday 5:46 a.m. ET
The death toll at an upscale shopping mall in Nairobi has increased to at least 52, and civilians are still inside as militants exchange sporadic barrages of gunfire with Kenyan security troops outside.
"The priority is to save as many lives as possible," Joseph Lenku, Kenya's Interior cabinet secretary told AP early today. Kenyan forces have already rescued about 1,000 people, he said.
He said that five to 15 attackers are involved in the standoff, but declined to estimate the number of hostages.
The motion picture Blue Caprice seems to be about a boy who's been abandoned by his mother and aches for a father. He meets a man who can no longer see his own children, and who longs for a son. They find each other â€” but what follows is anything but a happy ending.