You know, when I was a teenager, I got interested in the Vietnam War. And I found a book in the library, called "Vietnam: A History." It turned out that that searing story of one of America's most tragic wars, was the product of one of the most distinguished reporters in Southeast Asia.
Let's talk next about the uprising in Syria, where many people are asking, what happened to the United States? The U.S. promised practical help to the Syrian opposition, but NPR's Deborah Amos reports that help has not arrived.
DEBORAH AMOS, BYLINE: This was the scene last month in Morocco, at the Friends of Syria meeting. The Obama administration recognized the Syrian National Coalition; so have 130 other nations.
North Korea has ratcheted up its rhetoric about the U.S. to a level that has even surprised seasoned observers. Last week, after the U.N. Security Council unanimously approved new sanctions against North Korea, its new young leader called for, quote, "all out action against America." The U.N. sanctions came in response to North Korea's successful long-range missile tests last month.
PepsiCo's product line ranges from salty chips and its sugary namesake drink to more healthful fare like hummus and yogurt. In 2010, the company announced plans to cut sugar, fat and sodium in its products to address health and nutrition concerns.
Many big food companies are caught in a dilemma these days. They want to rebrand themselves as merchants of health — Coca-Cola's new anti-obesity ads are just the latest example — but many of their profits still come from products that make nutritionists scowl.
If there's one person who symbolizes this tension, it's Derek Yach.
A protester holds a Quran at a Salafi rally for the enforcement of Islamic Shariah law last fall in Cairo's Tahrir Square. Repressed during the rule of President Hosni Mubarak, the country's ultra-conservative Salafis have seen a resurgence since the Arab Spring uprising.
Credit Leila Fadel / NPR
Sheikh Gamal Saber, founder of a Salafi party called Ansar, is banding with other Salafi groups behind a hardline agenda that would ban alcohol, segregate the sexes and require women to wear veils.
Credit Amr Nabil / AP
Female supporters of the Nour Party flash victory signs outside a polling station in Cairo on Jan. 30, 2012.
The uprisings of the Arab Spring unleashed a new political force in the region — Salafis. These ultra-conservative Muslims aspire to a society ruled entirely by a rigid form of Islamic law. Their models are the salaf, or ancestors, referring to the earliest Muslims who lived during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad.
To their critics, the Salafis are religious fanatics who are trying to drag the region back to 7th-century Arabia. But the Salafis maintain that they are offering the purest alternative to the dictatorships that have long dominated the region.
Hemp products for sale in Washington, D.C., in 2010. The U.S. is the world's largest consumer of hemp products, although growing hemp is illegal under federal law. Colorado recently passed a measure that legalizes growing hemp.
Credit Courtesy Michael Bowman
DEA Special Agent Paul Roach says federal law does not distinguish between hemp and marijuana.
With recreational marijuana now legal in Colorado, small-scale pot shops will open up soon in places like Denver and Boulder. But that's not the only business that could get a boost: Large-scale commercial farmers may also be in line to benefit.
Why? When Colorado voters legalized marijuana last November, they also legalized hemp.
Some children's book illustrators might not have gotten a lot of sleep over the weekend. That's because they might have been wondering if this could be the year they win one of the grand prizes of children's literature: the Randolph Caldecott Medal.
This year is the 75th anniversary of the Caldecott, which is given to the most distinguished children's picture book of the year. The winner is being named Monday morning at a meeting of the American Library Association.
In California in the early 1980s, a cracked tooth sent Mike Williams to the dentist's office.
When Williams asked to see the tooth, the dentist said he had a mirror but that there was no camera or anything to show people the insides of their mouths. So, Williams invented one: the first intraoral camera.
His invention was a big success, and it led to other medical technology ventures that made him millions of dollars. Williams' career as an inventor and entrepreneur took off, but it wouldn't last.
Theweekends on All Things Considered series Movies I've Seen A Million Times features filmmakers, actors, writers and directors talking about the movies that they never get tired of watching.
The movie that rapper-actor Common, whose credits include Brown Sugar, American Gangster, Just Wright and LUV — currently playing in theaters — could watch a million times is John Landis' Coming to America.
This week, the Senate passed a rules change to make it just a little harder for members to start a filibuster. Some think it's not enough action, and others think it's too limiting, but most agree that a compromise is better than nothing. Weekends on All Things Considered host Robert Smith talks with political scientist Sarah Binder about how the filibuster grew in to such a road-blocking nuisance in the first place, and asks Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., and Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., what these changes will mean for the senate filibuster.
It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Smith.
Friday was the second anniversary of the uprising in Egypt, the topple of the president there, Hosni Mubarak. The anniversary sparked massive protests against the new government, the Islamist government. The violence has left more than 40 people dead.
In a forceful address to the nation earlier today, Egypt's president declared a 30-day state of emergency in three Egyptian cities. NPR's Leila Fadel joins us to discuss the latest. Hey, Leila.
In 1962, a grisly double murder on a deserted stretch of desert rocked a small community outside Phoenix.
A young couple had been shot to death in a case that stumped Maricopa County investigators. Then, something happened that should have cracked it wide open: A man named Ernest Valenzuela confessed to the crime. But police didn't pursue the lead, just one misstep in an investigation and eventual trial that were rife with irregularities.
Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 4:05 pm
This week marks an important milestone for anyone who swoons at the very mention of Mr. Darcy. Pride and Prejudice is turning 200, and to celebrate its bicentennial, cartoonist Jen Sorensen drew up an illustrated version of the classic.
President Obama, accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden, talks at the White House on Jan. 16 about proposals to reduce gun violence. Obama has called for a ban on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines and is pushing other policies in the wake of the mass shooting last month at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.
Originally published on Sun January 27, 2013 11:46 am
Update at 12:15 p.m. ET Toll Revised
Here's the most-recent information we have on the deadly fire in Santa Maria:
-- Maj. Cleberson Bastianello Braida now says 232 people were killed – and not 245 as had been reported earlier. He said 117 people had been hospitalized. He made the announcement at a news conference in the Municipal Sports Center.
The longest-running Broadway musical ever, Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera, celebrated Saturday another milestone: its 25th anniversary.
When it all started Jan. 26, 1988, Ronald Reagan was president of the United States, a gallon of gas cost about 90 cents and a ticket to The Phantom of the Opera was a whopping $50. It was the hottest ticket in town.
Times have changed, prices have changed, but that disfigured, tortured genius who haunts the Paris Opera House, creating havoc and causing the chandelier to fall, has endured.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. Fisher Stevens is a name you may not know but you've probably seen his face. He was in the 1986 film "Short Circuit" with Steve Guttenberg. Fisher also had a role in the 1995 movie "Hackers."
(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "HACKERS")
FISHER STEVENS: (as the Plague) Last chance to get out of this developed prison sentence. You're not good enough to beat me.
For some historical context on the fighting in Mali, we spoke with Gregory Mann. He's an associate professor of history at Columbia University and he's an expert on North Africa, including the area in northern Mali now controlled by insurgents.
As we just heard, Germans are still figuring out how to live with their military history. We're going to take you back now to the 1960s, when one French singer helped Europeans forgive, if not forget, the horrors of the Second World War. And she did it with this song:
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. The French-led military intervention in Mali is picking up momentum in the campaign to help the Malian government recapture Islamist-occupied strongholds in the north. And while French airpower has tipped the scales in the Malian government's favor, the question now is whether Mali's beleaguered army is up to the fight. NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reports from Bamako, Mali's capital city in the south.
The Pentagon is expanding a program to training Mexican security forces fighting drug cartels. The training incorporates some of the same strategies the U.S. military has used against al-Qaida. Rachel Martin talks with Associated Press reporter Kimberly Dozier, who first reported the story.
After two devastating world wars, Germans recoiled from any prospect of military intervention. But today, German troops are posted in Afghanistan and engage in combat. This week, German lawmakers are expected to extend their country's military's mission in Afghanistan for 13 more months.
The Washington Post reported this week that Italy's effort to promote solar and wind power isn't so clean. A recent sting operation by the Italian government of the renewable energy sector resulted in the arrest of a dozen mafia figures.