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.
Mention the recent surge in oil and natural gas production in the U.S. and one word comes to mind for a lot of people: "fracking." Hydraulic fracturing is a controversial technique that uses water, sand and potentially hazardous chemicals to break up rock deep underground to release oil and natural gas.
But there's another technology that is just as responsible for drilling booms happening across the country: horizontal drilling.
Larry Selman devoted more than half his life collecting money for multiple charities, on the streets of New York, from total strangers. He did this for nearly 40 years, despite the fact he was developmentally disabled. Selman became the subject of filmmaker Alice Elliott's Oscar-nominated documentary, The Collector of Bedford Street. He died Jan.
In Colonial Virginia, oysters were plentiful; Capt. John Smith said they lay "thick as stones." But as the wild oyster harvest has shrunk, Weekend Edition food commentator Bonny Wolf says the market for farm-raised oysters is booming.
The local food movement is expanding from fertile fields to brackish waters.
Along the rivers and bays of the East Coast, where wild oysters have been decimated by man and nature, harvests of farm-raised oysters are increasing by double digits every year. At the same time, raw oyster bars are all the rage.
Teddy Wayne is the author of the novel The Love Song of Jonny Valentine.
One afternoon when I was 13, I discovered, in our house's airless attic, an aged paperback copy of the French novel Emmanuelle. The cover featured a woman's lips opened provocatively over a black background and this text: "The great French erotic novel now a sensational film. With 25 photographs from the film."
I was 13 years old, and this was the pre-Internet age: I flipped straight to the photos.
Two camels fight during the Camel Wrestling Championship in the town of Selcuk, near the western coastal city of Ismir, Turkey, on Jan. 15, 2012. It's the biggest event of the camel-wrestling season in Turkey.
Credit Nathan Rott / NPR
Two camels wrestle at the annual Camel Wrestling Championship near the village of Selcuk, Turkey. There are over a dozen camel wrestling tournaments on Turkey's Aegean Coast in the winter months and Selcuk's is the biggest. More than 120 bull (male) camels paired off.
Credit Nathan Rott / NPR
Two camels wrestle in front of a raucous crowd of nearly 10,000 spectators at Selcuk's Camel Wrestling Championship on January 20, 2013.
Credit Nathan Rott / NPR
Officials scramble to break up two camels after a match is whistled dead. Camel owners and officials are quick to break up combating camels when a match is called to prevent injury to the animals.
Credit Nathon Rott / NPR
Ismail Egilmez shows off his prize camel, Cilgin Hasan, the day before his championship bout. In the winter, Ismail spends over six hours a day with Cilgin. "My camel is like my son," he said.
Credit Tolga Bozoglu / EPA /Landov
People watch wrestling camels as they enjoy a meal and the Turkish national drink raki during the Camel Wrestling Championship in Selcuk, on Jan. 15, 2012.
On-air challenge: You will be given some sentences with two blanks. Add the letters E and Y to the word that goes in the first blank to get a new word that goes in the second blank to compete the sentence.
Last week's challenge: Take the last name of a famous world leader of the past. Rearrange the letters to name a type of world leader, like czar or prime minister. What world leader is it?
Masked and armed men guard a roadblock near the town of Ayutla, Mexico, on Jan. 18. Hundreds of men in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero have taken up arms to defend their villages against drug gangs.
Credit Carrie Kahn / NPR
A man who identifies himself as a lower commander in Ayutla's self-defense brigade says residents had no choice but to take up arms.
On the main road into the Mexican town of Ayutla, about 75 miles southeast of Acapulco, about a dozen men cradling shotguns and rusted machetes stand guard on a street corner. Their faces are covered in black ski masks.
The men are part of a network of self-defense brigades, formed in the southern state of Guerrero to combat the drug traffickers and organized crime gangs that terrorize residents.
The brigades have set up roadblocks, arrested suspects and are set on running the criminals out of town.
The Barclays Center in New York, the new home of the Brooklyn Nets, was built partially with investment from overseas donors seeking U.S. citizenship. A little-known immigration program allows wealthy investors to get a green card in exchange for funding American businesses.
The traditional immigrant story is a familiar one.
Someone who longs for a better life makes the tough journey, leaves behind the hardships of his or her native land and comes to the United States to start again. That story, in a lot of ways, helped build this country.
These days, however, there's a very different kind of immigrant who wants to come to this country — the rich — and they have a different set of dreams.
Anthony Korda was a barrister, or lawyer, in England who vacationed frequently in the U.S. with his family.
In the early 2000s, the get-rich-quick scheme of choice for young college dropouts was poker — and not your grandfather's poker, with clinking chips on green felt tables. Online poker. For a few years it was a national obsession for a generation of young men who grew up playing hours and hours of video games.
Many of these players couldn't get into casinos because they were underage, but they used their brains and introductory statistics courses to rake in millions, often playing 10 or more games simultaneously on huge computer monitors.
Hey, thanks for sticking with us. It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Smith.
Opening this week in New York City, you can see a musical that demands a little something extra from its audience: endurance. The show is called "Life and Times," and it is more than 10 hours from start to finish. It's a production of Soho Rep at the Public Theater. And before the musical starts, the audience has that focus that you only see in marathon runners, preparing for the long haul.
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.
For actor Jeffrey Wright, whose credits include Basquiat, Syriana, W. and Broken City (currently playing in theaters) — the movie he could watch a million times is Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now.
I don't know about you, but there's been something wrong in the United States this week. It felt a little bit - I don't know - more poor, less fabulous. Ah, of course, of course, the rich and powerful folks of the world and the United States are all in Davos, Switzerland, attending the World Economic Forum. That's where the big names in business and politics get together in the Alps.
Less than a week into his second term, President Obama has already met with resistance over procedural matters, such as his use of the recess appointment to circumvent the Senate confirmation process. Weekends on All Things Considered host Robert Smith speaks with James Fallows, national correspondent for The Atlantic.
Thirty years ago, Guy Kawasaki went to work for a computer company that was trying to change the business with a product named after a fruit. Since helping launch the Macintosh computer, Kawasaki has been a venture capitalist, an author and a business consultant.
CARL KASELL: From NPR and WBEZ-Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!, the NPR News quiz. I'm Carl Kasell. We're playing this week with Maz Jobrani, Amy Dickinson and Roy Blount, Jr. And here again is your host, at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.
Earlier this week, hundreds of thousands of people came to the National Mall for the inauguration. Many had been walking since dawn and were in place along the west front of the Capitol where flags snapped in the sun.
JOSEPH MCCOGGLE: It's a feeling we just want to be here, you know. Definitely want to be in the hype, you know, and to see people of all races, and races from all over the world.
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:
'Going Clear': A New Book Delves Into Scientology: Lawrence Wright's Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief looks at the world of the controversial church and the life of its founder, L. Ron Hubbard, who died in 1986.
Spain's economic woes have forced municipalities across the nation to cut back on all kinds of basic services. In the small town of Montserrat, 20 miles inland from the Mediterranean, not even the school bus was spared.
To restore service, neighborhood mothers came up with a rather racy idea to raise money: They transformed themselves into calendar girls.
This essay by NPR correspondent Eleanor Beardsley was borne out of the personal exasperation of living in a beautiful city with one thing she found very, very wrong.
When you walk down the grand boulevards of the City of Light, you have to be careful where you step.
Every day, my senses are assaulted by the piles I have to dodge in the Parisian streets. There are the fresh ones that leave me feeling angry, and the ones from the previous days that have begun to smear down the street on the bottoms of people's shoes.
Credit Larry French / AP/National Chamber Foundation
Hundreds of veterans and military spouses meet with prospective employers at the Hiring Our Heroes job fair at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., in December. Veterans say they're still having trouble finding jobs and getting other types of assistance.
As thousands of troops are set to return from Afghanistan over the next two years, veterans on the homefront say they want to see increased reintegration support this year.
The latest jobs report — and the first of the new year — shows a dismal picture for the nation's newest veterans. Unemployment among those who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan stands at 10.8 percent — far higher than the national rate of 7.8 percent.
It's a number that has veterans and their advocates concerned.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The Egyptian military's been deployed to the streets of Port Said today. Riots erupted in that city last night just northeast of Cairo after a controversial court verdict. At least 25 people have been reported dead. The violence comes amid mass street protests in Egypt against the ruling Muslim Brotherhood.