Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 10:33 am
Berklee College of Music graduate Ali Amr grew up in the Palestinian territories, where music was literally what kept him off the streets. He's translated that into a prepossessing command of the 72-string instrument called the qanun, and at Berklee, he's found a way to blend it into in a fluid, jazz-based improvising context. Like Robert Glasper, Amr calls his hybridized band the Experiment; that word has a different connotation in his hands.
The historic Michigan factory where the iconic Rosie the Riveter and thousands of other women built B-24 bombers during World War II could face the wrecking ball two months from now.
A modest nonprofit is trying to raise enough money to salvage some of the massive plant, which Ford sold to General Motors after the war. The Yankee Air Museum figures the factory is the perfect place to start anew, after a devastating fire destroyed its collections in 2004.
Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 11:16 am
HAL 9000 he's not. But Kirobo, the first-ever talking robot in space is heading to the International Space Station this week ahead of his human companion, Japanese astronaut Kochi Wakata, who takes over as ISS commander in November.
U.S.-Russia relations hit a new low this week, when Moscow ignored U.S. requests and gave temporary asylum to a man who leaked classified documents on U.S. government surveillance programs.
Many in Congress are complaining that the Edward Snowden case is just the latest example of how the Kremlin is thumbing its nose at the White House.
The Obama administration famously reset relations with Russia when Dmitry Medvedev was president. But now that Russian President Vladimir Putin is back in the Kremlin, it seems to be having a more difficult time.
Hear the full interview with FBI's Ron Hosko on "Weekend Edition"
Ron Hosko, the assistant director of the FBI's Criminal Investigative Division, tells NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday that the Internet has become a key tool for recruitment of child prostitutes and that cutbacks at the federal and local levels have made it harder to clamp down on the problem.
Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 5:31 am
A speeding car plowed through a crowd at Los Angeles' popular Venice Beach boardwalk, killing one person and injuring 11 others before he fled the scene. The driver apparently surrendered to police later.
The Associated Press reports that security video shows the driver of the black Dodge initially parked his car along the boardwalk on Saturday, and then minutes later got back in the vehicle and sped through the crowd. Hundreds of pedestrians were sent scrambling.
Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 2:46 pm
Update At 4:40 p.m. ET:
State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki says Sunday that the embassy and consulate closures will be extended:
In a statement, Psaki says the decision was taken "out of an abundance of caution" and the it was "not an indication of a new threat stream, merely an indication of our commitment to exercise caution ... to protect our employees."
Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 9:42 am
Hassan Rouhani, Iran's newly elected president, is being sworn-in on Sunday, succeeding the controversial Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose focus on the country's nuclear program proved a constant source of tension with the West.
Rouhani, 64, is viewed as a moderate and has pledged greater openness on the country's nuclear program. However, the former chief nuclear negotiator for Tehran appeared late Saturday to be reading from the same script as his predecessor:
This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. If you watched "Saturday Night Live" in the 1990s, you might remember this:
(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE")
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As announcer) And now, deep thoughts by Jack Handey.
JACK HANDEY: Maybe in order to understand mankind, we have to look at the word itself, mankind. Basically, it's made up of two separate words: mank and ind. What do these words mean? It's a mystery, and that's why so is mankind.
Sixteen years ago, Rob Sheffield had everything going for him. He was young, ambitious, working as a music critic in Charlottesville, Va., and married to the woman he thought he'd spend the rest of his life with.
All that changed suddenly when his wife died of a pulmonary embolism. Sheffield was a widow and not yet 30 years old.
There were many factors that helped him dig himself out of the deep depression that followed: moving to a new city, the simple passage of time. But the most unexpected antidote for his grief came in the form of karaoke.
In Uganda, local activists have been fighting a bill that might be one of the most punitive and anti-gay measures in the world. It's actually called the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, and that's just one vote away from becoming law.
NPR's Gregory Warner is in Kampala. Welcome to the program, Greg.
GREGORY WARNER, BYLINE: Thanks, Rachel.
MARTIN: So, it's Gay Pride Week in many countries around the world. How is it being marked in Uganda, especially in light of this pending legislation?
The former president will be charged with the murder of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who was killed at a rally in 2007. Host Rachel Martin talks to Hameed Gul, former director general of the ISI, Pakistan's intelligence service, about the political deterioration in Pakistan.
Comedy is something we tend to think of as universal. If a joke's funny, it's just funny, right? Not really. Turns out humor can be really culturally specific. And today, we're going to look at what happens when comedians try to cross over from one cultural to another. Our next guest has some experience with that. His name is Ryan Ha. He's a Chinese-American who lives in Beijing. And he is the CEO of something called Comedy Club China. He's joined us in our studios this morning. Hey, Ryan. Thanks for coming in.
The Department of State has issued a travel alert over the continued potential for terrorist attacks, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa. NPR's Dina Temple-Raston speaks with Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin about the threat of more attacks.
A lot of sports have all-star games: baseball, basketball, hockey - the best of the best facing off against each other. But football's all-star game, well, it's having a little bit of trouble. The Pro Bowl, as it's called, has struggled for audiences. So, this past week, the NFL and the player's union declared new rules which they hope will fix the problems. And it just so happens that NPR's Mike Pesca has some thoughts about all of this. Hey, Mike.
One hundred children were rescued in the recent three-day sting. Host Rachel Martin talks with Ron Hosko, assistant director of the FBI's criminal investigations division, about child sex trafficking the U.S.
The NSA surveillance programs have raised questions about the balance between privacy and national security. Much of the debate has focused on something called the FISA court, named after the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. It was this court that approved the NSA spying programs that have caused such a stir. This past week, a group of Democratic senators put out a plan to change how the court works. Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico is one of those lawmakers. He told me that the problem with the court is that it's secret.
When country violinist Amanda Shires goes on tour, she meets a lot of interesting people. Once after a show in Tampa, Florida, a fellow calling himself Tiger Bill handed her a mysterious bag — whose contents, he said, would make her "bulletproof."
"And I opened it and looked inside of it," Shires recalls. "And it was whiskers and claws and teeth and fur."
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni's latest book is Oleander Girl.
I was about 12 when I first encountered The Moonstone — or a Classics Illustrated version of it — digging through an old trunk in my grandfather's house on a rainy Bengali afternoon. I loved the Classics Illustrated series (the graphic novels of my youth that simplified famous novels for children), presenting us with swashbuckling plotlines, and heroes and villains that were unmistakably, unashamedly, what they were supposed to be.
Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 12:55 pm
At the beginning of 2013 — with only a year before soccer's crown jewel event, the World Cup in Brazil — all was not rosy with the U.S. Men's National Soccer Team. There was that 0-0 tie with Canada, and then a 2-1 loss to Honduras in a World Cup qualifier.
On-air challenge:This week's puzzle is called "What's in a Name?" Every answer consists of the names of two famous people. The last name of the first person is an anagram of the first name of the last person. Given the non-anagram parts of the names, you identify the people. For example, given "Madeleine" and "Aaron," you would say "Kahn" and "Hank."
Last week's challenge: In three words, name a product sold mainly to women that has the initials N-P-R. The answer is a common phrase.
It's finally happening, folks. This year, the average time Americans spend with digital media each day will surpass traditional TV viewing time. That's according to eMarketer's latest estimate of media consumption among adults.
The average adult will spend more than five hours per day online and on non-voice mobile activities (read: texting, apps, games). That's compared to an average four hours and 31 minutes each day of TV watching.
At the peak of fighting in Afghanistan's Helmand Province, there were 20,000 Marines battling the Taliban. Now there are 8,000 — and more are heading home every month.
Among the latest to pack up was Regimental Combat Team 7.
At their mission's recent closing ceremony, several hundred Marines gathered in the scorching desert heat at Camp Leatherneck in Helmand Province. Their tan, pixelated fatigues blended in amidst the vast expanse of sand-colored tents and buildings of the largest Marine base in Afghanistan.
When you hear the word dandy, what do you think of?
Maybe the song "Yankee Doodle Dandy," which dates all the way back to the Revolutionary War, and compares the colonists to foppish, effeminate idiots: the dandies.
But a summer exhibit at the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, closing Aug. 18, aims to reclaim the term. It explores dandyism through the ages, linking to the cutting edge of men's fashion and style. The name of the show is "Artist, Rebel, Dandy: Men of Fashion" — which does still leave you wondering what you might see.