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1:50 pm
Sat May 25, 2013

Stunned By Military Sex Scandals, Advocates Demand Changes

President Obama speaks at the commencement ceremony for the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., on Friday. The president urged new graduates to exhibit honor and courage in tackling incidents of sexual assault as they assume leadership positions in the military.
Patrick Semansky AP

West Point alum Donna McAleer was at her Utah home last week when she got a call asking if she'd "seen the latest."

A male Army sergeant, a friend told her, had just been charged with secretly photographing and videotaping at least a dozen female cadets at McAleer's alma mater.

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The Two-Way
11:32 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Obama Forgets To Salute; Sparks Debate On Presidential Tradition

President Obama greets a Marine after forgetting to salute him while boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 12:55 pm

As President Obama boarded Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House on Friday, he didn't return the salute of the Marine standing at the base of the stairs.

Obama realized it once he got into the helicopter, so he turned around and shook the Marine's hand. Here's video of the moment:

As happens with anything to do with the presidency, Obama's forgetfulness unleashed scrutiny and criticism.

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The Salt
10:40 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Meet London's Master Architects In Jell-0

Sam Bompas (left) and Harry Parr made names for themselves with spectacular gelatin creations.
Courtesy of Sam Bompas

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 11:05 am

Banana-flavored vapors? A pineapple island?

These may sound like the makings of a Roald Dahl children's book (he of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory fame). But at London's Kew Gardens, visitors can now immerse themselves in such fantastic-sounding experiences like rowing down a blue-dyed boating lake to the aforementioned island, which features a 15-foot replica pineapple towering over a banana grotto.

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StoryCorps
9:16 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Sole Survivor: Iraq Rescue Mission Ended In Tragedy

In 2005, Lance Cpl. Travis Williams lost his squad to an IED. He was the only survivor.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 1:52 pm

Lance Cpl. Travis Williams, 29, is an Iraq War veteran — and the only post-9/11 Marine to lose every other member of his 12-man squad. It happened in August 2005, when Williams and his teammates were sent on a rescue mission in Barwanah, Iraq.

"That morning, we loaded into the vehicle," Williams recalls. "And I get tapped on the shoulder, and I got told that I need to bounce up to the next vehicle. I said, 'Catch you guys on the flipside.' And that was the last thing I ever said to them."

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The Two-Way
9:04 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Missouri Train Collision Injures 7, Collapses Overpass

Two freight trains collided in Scott County, Mo., early Saturday morning, leaving seven injured and collapsing an overpass.

KMOV-TV reports:

"Scott County Sheriff Rick Walter says a Union Pacific train t-boned a Burlington Northern train that had just made it through an intersection.

"The collision caused one of the trains to derail and hit a pillar under the overpass causing it to collapse. At least a dozen train cars derailed.

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The Two-Way
8:03 am
Sat May 25, 2013

One Hit Wonder? Another Anibal Sanchez No-Hit Bid Spoiled

Anibal Sanchez of the Detroit Tigers reacts after striking out Justin Morneau of the Minnesota Twins to end the game on Friday.
Duane Burleson Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 3:03 pm

You've gotta feel for Detroit right-hander Anibal Sanchez.

He was cruising toward a no-hitter against the Minnesota Twins Friday night. It was the ninth inning, two outs to go, the count was 1-1 on Joe Mauer.

For his 121st pitch, Sanchez hung a pitch over the heart of the plate. Mauer delivered a bullet to center field, spoiling Sanchez's no-hit bid.

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The Two-Way
7:13 am
Sat May 25, 2013

'We Need Help Bad': 911 Calls Reveal Chaos In Tornado's Wake

An American flag flies over the rubble of a destroyed neighborhood on May 24 in Moore, Okla.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

Authorities in Moore, Okla., just released some of the calls that were made to 911 during the EF-5 tornado that devastated the city.

They're harrowing and they offer a glimmer of the chaos and emotion that followed the storm.

During one of the calls, a man tells the dispatcher that the tornado has "cremated" a daycare.

"We need help bad," the man says. You can hear the sounds of children crying in the background. "We need help bad. We got tons of babies in here."

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Fresh Air Weekend
7:03 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Fresh Air Weekend: Soderbergh, Sarah Vaughan, Julianne Moore

Michael Douglas and Matt Damon star as Liberace and his young lover, Scott Thorson, in Steven Soderbergh's new HBO biopic Behind the Candelabra.
Claudette Barius HBO

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 9:08 am

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:

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Code Switch
6:03 am
Sat May 25, 2013

'Las Caras Lindas': To Be Black And Puerto Rican In 2013

Puerto Rican hip-hop artist Tego Calderón is seen in his studio, El Sitio, in Santurce, San Juan, Puerto Rico. Behind him, a portrait of Ismael Rivera.
Coburn Dukehart NPR

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 7:20 pm

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The Two-Way
5:48 am
Sat May 25, 2013

School Bus Fire Kills 15 Children In Pakistan

A relative of one of the children who died after a fire on a school bus, cries over the coffin, on the outskirts of Gujrat.
Mohsin Raza Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 6:42 am

A fire onboard a school bus left at least 15 children dead in Pakistan Saturday morning.

The New York Times reports the private school bus caught fire near the town of Gujrat, when the driver tried to switch from using gasoline to natural gas.

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From Our Listeners
5:08 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Three-Minute Fiction Readings: 'Geometry' And 'Snowflake'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 3:39 pm

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 Snowflake by Winona Wendth of Lancaster, Mass., and Geometry by Eugenie Montague of Los Angeles. You can read their full stories below and find other stories on our Three-Minute Fiction page or on Facebook.

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Three-Minute Fiction
5:06 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Geometry

iStockphoto.com

I found your journal in my car. A slim, Moleskin, six by ten centimeters, soft cover, blue, curving upwards at the edges like an incredibly shallow bowl, or a key dish. By the concavity in its form, the book seemed to be suggesting it was capable of carrying something. Something real. Not much. A few pennies. A handful of nails. One heavy pen cradled at that depression in the center, which had dropped out of the flatness of the book from riding around in the back pocket of your jeans.

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Three-Minute Fiction
5:05 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Snowflake

iStockPhoto.com

She found the photograph early in the day, while she was cleaning for spring, pulling a winter's collection of domestic detritus out from under the bed. Ticket stubs, grimy grocery notes, coffee-stained lined paper, and dead pens. Their life: movies, food, and books. She didn't like housecleaning, but the weather had changed, and something moved her to sweep around, put things in order, clean them up.

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Middle East
5:02 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Kerry Acknowledges 'Years Of Disappointments' In West Bank

Originally published on Sun May 26, 2013 6:29 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Secretary of State John Kerry met with political leaders in Israel and the Israeli-occupied West Bank this week in his effort to try to restart direct peace talks between the two parties. NPR's Emily Harris is in Jerusalem. Emily, thanks for being with us.

EMILY HARRIS, BYLINE: My pleasure, Scott.

SIMON: So if not a concrete plan, is somebody pouring the concrete?

(LAUGHTER)

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The Salt
4:30 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Gals Who Grill: What Will It Take For Women To Man The Q?

Ladies, why are we letting the menfolk dominate the grilling?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 9:36 am

There's a lot of innovation in grilling — everything from fancy briquettes to gadgets that help grill veggies to perfection.

But according to survey data from the NPD Group, one thing that's not changing is who's firing up the grill.

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Theater
3:55 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Equity At 100: More Than Just A Broadway Baby

His statue may be a Theater District landmark now, but George M. Cohan caused no small amount of trouble for Actors' Equity early in its history. The union marks its 100th anniversary this year.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 11:19 am

"Don't put your daughter on the stage," Noel Coward famously cautioned his imaginary Mrs. Worthington, and no wonder: Stage acting is one of the toughest professions imaginable. For all the potential triumph, there's hardly any job security — and more than a little potential for heartbreak and disappointment.

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Author Interviews
3:55 am
Sat May 25, 2013

'Steal The Menu': A Chronicle Of A Career In Food Coverage

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 11:19 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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StoryCorps
3:55 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Prepare For Takeoff With 'Cockpit Confidential'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 11:19 am

With summer travel season just over the horizon, millions of Americans are poised to take off for family vacations. But before they reach their destinations, they'll likely endure security lines, luggage fees, tiny bags of pretzels and unexplained delays.

Patrick Smith, an airline pilot and columnist, has written a new book for curious fliers. It's called Cockpit Confidential: Everything You Need to Know About Air Travel: Questions, Answers and Reflections.

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Author Interviews
3:55 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Gateway Arch 'Biography' Reveals Complex History Of An American Icon

The Gateway Arch "is really a monument to the 20th century and to the height of American power," says historian Tracy Campbell.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 11:19 am

The iconic Gateway Arch — overlooking the Mississippi River from the St. Louis side — took almost a generation to build, but the 630-foot monument hasn't transformed the city as hoped in the four decades that have followed.

Conceived in the 1940s and completed in the 1960s, the history of the signature American symbol is described in Tracy Campbell's new book, The Gateway Arch: A Biography. The story has some surprising twists — including, Campbell says, a very early vision of an arch by the Mississippi:

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The Two-Way
3:55 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Gnomes Crash Distinguished Garden Show In England

Despite the change in policy, some gardens maintained a more traditional appearance this year, such as the East Village display.
Ben Stansall AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 11:19 am

Gnomes marched their way into one of England's most prestigious gardening events this year. The 100th annual Chelsea Flower Show, which ends Saturday, opened its gates to the flower-friendly creatures for the first time.

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Politics
3:55 am
Sat May 25, 2013

IRS Hearings Highlight Ambiguity Of Nonprofits In Politics

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 11:19 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News, I'm Scott Simon. In the two weeks since the Internal Revenue Service scandal erupted, the acting commissioner has been ousted, the head of the relevant section has been put on administrative leave. The Justice Department has begun investigating the scrutiny given to conservative groups that sought tax exempt status and three congressional committees have held hearings bombarding IRS officials with questions.

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National Security
3:55 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Obama Keeps Distance From Torture Debate, At Least For Now

President Obama delivers a speech on national security Thursday at the National Defense University at Fort McNair in Washington.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 12:12 pm

In his national security speech Thursday, President Obama discussed drone warfare and the Guantanamo detention camp. But a third controversial issue went largely unmentioned: the use of interrogation methods that are tantamount to torture.

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Parallels
3:55 am
Sat May 25, 2013

In India, More Women Are Playing Matchmaker For Themselves

A bride and groom exchange rings during a traditional Indian wedding ceremony. Although most marriages in India are still arranged, a growing number of women are taking matters of the heart into their own hands, using social networking clubs and matrimonial websites.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 12:52 pm

In India, some of the most entertaining reading on a Sunday afternoon is found in the classified ads. Page after page, the matrimonial section trumpets the finer qualities of India's sons and daughters.

Parents looking to marry off their children often place ads such as this one: "Wanted: Well-settled, educated groom for fair, beautiful Bengali girl, 22, 5'3"."

The matrimonial ads are a hallowed tradition in the quest to find a life partner — part of the institution of matchmaking that is as old as the country itself.

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Europe
3:55 am
Sat May 25, 2013

War Of Words: France Debates Teaching Courses In English

Demonstrators in Paris protest Thursday against a measure to teach more university courses in English.
Jacques Demarthon AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 3:13 pm

Will teaching in English at France's universities undermine the French language? That's up for debate in the country now, and the argument is heated.

The lower house of parliament approved a measure Thursday that would allow courses to be taught in English, something that is currently against the law.

Those in favor of the proposal say it will attract more international students and improve English language skills of French students. But opponents say the move will only impoverish and marginalize the country's tongue.

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U.S.
3:55 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Chasing Okla. Storms: 'Technology Can Only Go So Far'

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 11:19 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

When huge tornadoes, like the one that hit Moore, churn, swirl and scream, most people run for cover. Then there are people like Val Castor, who jumps into his truck and heads straight towards it. Mr. Castor is the senior storm tracker for Channel 9 News in Oklahoma City. He's been covering Oklahoma's temperamental and often treacherous weather for the last 22 years. Val Castor, we had the honor of spending a little time with you in your truck a couple of years ago. Thank you for being with us today.

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Law
3:55 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Tough Arizona Sheriff Gets Judicial Reprimand

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 11:19 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. A federal judge in Arizona has ruled against the man who calls himself America's toughest sheriff. The judge ruled that the Maricopa County Sheriff's Department has used racial profiling to enforce the state's tough immigration laws. Sheriff Joe Arpaio has maintained that his department has the authority to round up undocumented immigrants. NPR's Ted Robbins has been following the case and joins us now. Ted, thanks for being with us.

TED ROBBINS, BYLINE: You're welcome.

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Around the Nation
3:55 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Baptist Church In Oklahoma Churns Out Meals For Victims

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 11:19 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Hundreds of volunteers have come to Moore, Okla., this week to help the community after Monday's deadly tornado. Some people are cleaning debris, others are bringing out water and supplies to people whose lives have been turned upside down. NPR's Kirk Siegler stopped by one volunteer-powered relief group that's working east of town.

(SOUNDBITE OF PEOPLE SPEAKING)

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Around the Nation
3:55 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Pentagon's Historical Displays Honor Americans' Sacrifices

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 11:19 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This Memorial Day weekend, tens of thousands of tourists are descending on the nation's capital. Many will spend time inside of Washington, D.C.'s free museums. Only a small fraction will take the drive across the Potomac River to a museum of a different sort, that's in the Pentagon. NPR's Shula Neuman reports.

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The Deadly Tornado In Moore, Okla.
3:55 am
Sat May 25, 2013

'Please, No More Clothes': Relief Groups Ask For Cash

Relief agencies like the American Red Cross say monetary donations give them the greatest flexibility to address victims' needs.
Erik Lesser EPA/Landov

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 2:38 pm

The tornado that devastated much of Moore, Okla., has drawn loads of donations from across the country: food, clothing, medical supplies, toys. Much of it is needed by the victims, but not everything.

After every disaster, relief groups usually ask for one thing: money. But writing a check or texting a donation isn't always that satisfying for those who want so desperately to help.

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Deceptive Cadence
3:55 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Then The Curtain Opened: The Bracing Impact Of Stravinsky's 'Rite'

An image from the 2013 production of Le Sacre du Printemps by the Joffrey Ballet, Chicago, reflects the hard jumps and stamps of Vaslav Nijinsky's original choreography.
Herbert Migdoll Joffrey Ballet

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 11:19 am

One hundred years ago this week, a ballet premiered that changed the art world. Igor Stravinsky's Le Sacre du PrintempsThe Rite of Spring — was first seen by the public on May 29, 1913, in Paris. As the orchestra played The Rite's swirling introduction, the audience at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées began to murmur. Then the curtain opened.

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