This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. A double-switch on gay marriage, Sanford back in the South Carolina sun, and you think Reince Priebus has been listening to the show? It's Wednesday and time for a...
REINCE PRIEBUS: Stuffy old men.
CONAN: ...edition of the Political Junkie.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDINGS)
PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.
VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: Where's the beef?
The red line is a form of ultimatum in diplomacy, one that's been used by kings, presidents, prime ministers to say do this and we will be forced to respond. Syria, as we mentioned, may have crossed one this week when chemical weapons reportedly killed dozens of people outside of Aleppo. Iran may cross another so-called red line this year over growing concerns the government is developing nuclear weaponry. A presidential threat carries grave weight. It also carries grave risk.
The release last year of a 2007 reunion by the late Sam Rivers' trio confirmed what a creative drummer Altschul is. He has been one for decades. Altschul was a key player on the 1970s jazz scene, when the avant-garde got its groove on. Now, as then, he's great at mixing opposites: funky drive with a spray of dainty coloristic percussion, abstract melodic concepts with parade beats, open improvising and percolating swing. He's a busy player, but never too loud — he's also busy listening.
"I know of young women who have been returned to their families by their husbands because, as you say, they did not bleed on defloweration," Shereen El Feki tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.
El Feki, the author of the new book Sex and the Citadel: Intimate Life in a Changing Arab World, spent five years traveling across the Arab region asking people about sex: what they do, what they don't, what they think and why.
You can find our next guest on most Monday nights at the Laugh Factory in Los Angeles, where he is part of Comedy Bazaar and he offers his signature riffs on his particularly interesting cross-cultural dilemmas.
TEHRAN VON GHASRI: My name is Tehran. It's like the capital city of Iran. You're, like, wondering, what were my parents thinking, naming me Tehran, right? But I'm half black, half Iranian, which comes with a lot of advantages. I have a lot of fun at the airport. It's true. Homeland Security knows me on a first name basis.
This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR news. I'm Michel Martin. Today, we are going to spend some time across North Africa and the Middle East. It's the first day of spring, and that means it's the Persian New Year. We are going to celebrate Nowruz later in the program, with a comedian who's putting a new spin on the holiday. That's in just a few minutes.
Rap and hip-hop were both a driving force, and a coping mechanism, for people in the Middle East and North Africa during the Arab Spring. In particular, the music of Tupac Shakur resonates with Arabs, long after the U.S. rapper's own death. But why? Michel Martin looks for an answer, along with Khaled M, a Libyan-American rapper.
A new public service announcement in New York City aimed at preventing teen pregnancy is raising eyebrows. Ads feature young children with captions such as, 'Got a good job? I cost thousands of dollars each year.' Host Michel Martin asks the beauty shop ladies if the ads are helpful or just a shame campaign.
A lot of photographers are revisiting 2003 this week — the year the U.S. invaded Iraq — and sharing photos from the years of war that followed. Even more literally, Associated Press photographer Maya Alleruzzo revisited various sites photographed during the war to see what has changed and what hasn't.
One scene speaks volumes: Today, shoppers pass through a busy shopping district in Baghdad. But in the 2008 photo, taken by Hadi Mizban for AP, the sidewalk is covered in fresh stains from a bombing that killed 22 people.
Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 10:37 am
When you read the words of Clotaire Rapaille, a "French-born psychiatrist-turned-marketer" quoted in yesterday's interesting Slate article about the marketing of cars to women, it's hard not to read them in a voice that's sultry and French and not entirely serious, as if he's some kind of sales expert crossed with Pepe Le Pew (despite the fact that this doubtless has no basis in reality).
Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 1:43 pm
Um Ahmed holds her infant daughter outside a United Nations registration center for Syrian refugees in Al Mina, a northern Lebanese city near the Syrian border. She is among a group of dozens of Syrians waiting for their names to be called.
Um Ahmed tries to coax her screaming infant daughter to take a bottle. The baby is hot — the slight brown curls of her hair are matted to her head with sweat, and the bottle offers no comfort. She keeps crying. She's been here before.
"The first time I came they didn't accept us," Um Ahmed says. "They told us I need documents."
Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 9:02 am
NPR Science Correspondent Richard Harris traveled to Australia's Great Barrier Reef to find out how the coral reefs are coping with increased water temperature and increasing ocean acidity, brought about by our burning of fossil fuels. Day 2: The good news is life could get better for seaweed.
Picture a coral reef and the first things likely to come to mind are brilliantly colored fish swimming among stout branches of coral. Let your mind wander a bit more and you might imagine some sea turtles, stingrays and sharks.
Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 12:25 pm
The future doesn't look so bright for China-based Suntech, one of the world's largest makers of solar panels: On Wednesday, it was forced into bankruptcy after missing a $541 million payment to bondholders.
Don't tell Chicago, Buffalo or Minneapolis — which will see high temperatures just in the 20s, today — but at 7:02 a.m. ET., the Earth's axis was neither tilted from nor toward the sun, marking the beginning of spring in the northern hemisphere.
Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 12:12 pm
Say you buy a textbook in another country, where textbooks are cheap. Then you bring the book back to the U.S. and sell it at a profit. Did you break the law?
No, you didn't. In a ruling that came down yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a student who had his friends and relatives buy textbooks in Thailand which he later re-sold in the U.S. on eBay.
Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 11:53 am
I grew up in the South, where every home cook I admired kept a can of bacon grease in the refrigerator. That grease was used to launch many fine dishes. One friend's mother made biscuits with butter and bacon fat. Needless to say, I was a husky child.
Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep, with an update on Sparky, the Arizona State Sun Devil. The university mascot is a devil with a pitchfork and horns. He got a makeover with help from Disney. But as we've reported, this effort to make a friendlier, more accessible devil created a monster. Many students hate the new Sparky with an almost religious fervor, so the university has surrendered. Authorities will re-redesign the devil costume and let alumni and others vote on the design.
Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 6:31 am
The race to fill South Carolina's 1st Congressional District has gotten quite a bit of attention. Mostly because of the cast of politicians vying for the seat vacated when Tim Scott was appointed to Senate by Gov. Nikki Haley.
We hear, occasionally, about a flea market find that turns out to be a valuable work of art. This morning the tale of a tiny Chinese bowl, pretty and looking like an open blossom. It was bought for $3 at a tag sale in New York. The bowl sat for several years on a mantel before the owner wondered where it came from, turns out the Song Dynasty a thousand years ago. Yesterday, the bowl sold at auction for $2.25 million.
It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 6:48 am
Cypriot politicians are busy trying to come up with an alternative plan to raise the cash needed to stave off a collapse of its banking sector after they unanimously rejected an international bailout package that would have imposed a levy on the nation's savings accounts.
Here's a quick look at some of Wednesday's developments:
Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 7:20 am
President Obama landed in Israel this morning, marking the first time he visits the country as president.
"I see this visit as an opportunity to reaffirm the unbreakable bond between our nations, to restate America's unwavering commitment to Israel's security and to speak directly to the people of Israel and to your neighbors," Obama said during a welcoming ceremony at the Tel Aviv airport.
NPR's Larry Abramson, who's at the airport, just spoke to our Newscast unit. He said Obama was welcomed by Israeli President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Let's go next to Turkey, where the PKK, the Kurdistan Workers Party, has released several captives. That development has given new hope to efforts to negotiate an end to Turkey's nearly three-decade battle against the PKK.
Now attention turns to hopes for a ceasefire and a new push to recognize Kurdish rights in Turkey, as NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Istanbul.