Amid chanting and drumming, a crowd gathers in Sao Paulo and waits for the gods to come to them from the spirit world.
They are celebrating a sacred festival day in honor of Omulu, a deity of life and death. The women wear white dresses with crinolines, colorful belts and headdresses. The men wear lace, pajama-style suits. They sing and dance in a circle for hours; the room gets warmer, the chanting more intense.
Suddenly, they are here: Orixas have possessed the chosen among the faithful. They are spirit gods, the deified ancestors who link humans to the other world.
Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 8:10 am
The sprawling Washington Navy Yard, scene of a deadly shooting Monday, is the Navy's oldest shore establishment and has long been considered the "ceremonial gateway" to the nation's capital.
The yard went into operation at the turn of the 19th century. Today, it employs thousands of people and is regarded as the "quarterdeck of the Navy" for its role as headquarters for the Naval District Washington.
Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 3:29 pm
Thousands of North Korean defectors have made their way to the South, but it rarely goes in the opposite direction. So, news that South Korean troops at the border shot and killed a man trying to swim north across the Imjin River is unusual.
Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 3:36 pm
New York City Democrats breathed a sigh of relief late Monday morning when Bill Thompson conceded the mayoral primary to Bill de Blasio, avoiding what could have been a nasty intraparty battle.
Thompson, 60, made his announcement on the steps of New York's City Hall in lower Manhattan, flanked by de Blasio and New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
"I am proud to stand here today and support Bill de Blasio to be the next mayor of the city of New York," said Thompson, a centrist former city comptroller who finished a distant second in last week's nine-candidate primary.
Jazz pianist Art Hodes, born in Russia in 1904, grew up near Chicago. His recording career really took off in the 1940s in New York, where he also hosted a radio show and wrote for the magazine The Jazz Record. Later, he moved back to Chicago and the atmosphere that nurtured him.
The punchy L.A. indie-pop band Wildcat! Wildcat! is made up of three members who've been friends since middle school. They've released a couple of singles — including the latest, "Mr. Quiche" — and recently compiled them on a new EP. Hear a couple of the band's songs on this installment of World Cafe: Next.
Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 12:36 pm
Owen Randolph, 9, is a fourth-grader who lives near Richmond, Va. With the help of his parents, Tim and Amy, and his brother Eli, he pinpointed the four key sounds of his life right now.
What does your life sound like? Please send four sounds that tell the story of your life — at this moment in time — to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name, age and a list of your sounds. You may be contacted for an interview.
We will go to NPR's business news in a moment. Right now, let's get an update on what we do know about a shooting at the U.S. Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. today. We have to begin by being frank. What we do not know exceeds what we do. NPR's Jennifer Ludden is on the scene of that shooting today - or near it - and she's on line. And Jennifer, what have you been learning?
Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 11:26 am
The U.S.-Russia plan to rid Syria of chemical weapons by next summer faces many hurdles and includes "unrealistic" deadlines, says former U.N. weapons inspector David Kay, who worked on efforts to detail chemical weapons in Iraq.
Kay says the plan will require an international military presence — "boots on the ground" — to make sure the weapons don't fall into the wrong hands.
Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 8:41 am
As summer winds down and cool breezes fill the evenings here on much of the east coast, summer never ends in the music of Best Coast. "I Don't Know How" is the new single from the L.A.-based duo, featuring Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno. The song is the last cut from their seven-song EP called Fade Away due out October 22.
NPR's Sylvia Poggioli on the salvaging of the Costa Concordia
The effort to shift the luxury cruise ship Consta Concordia into an upright position has begun, and several news outlets are streaming their coverage of what's said to be the biggest such operation of its kind ever.