This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Secretary of State Kerry is back in Turkey today, this time for a meeting on the worsening crisis in Syria. A group called Friends of Syria will consider increasing aid to opposition factions who are trying to oust the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but the pressure for increased assistance, including calls to arm the rebels, comes amid growing concern about the presence of armed Islamist fighters in Syria.
Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 3:55 pm
D.A Mishani is an Israeli literature scholar who specializes in the history of detective fiction. And recently he became a novelist as well — his debut, The Missing File, was published in the U.S. in March. Its hero is police inspector Avraham Avraham, a lonely character who, on most nights, eats dinner in front of his TV. Only Avraham's parents call to wish him mazel tov on his birthday, and he can't solve the case at the center of the story because he refuses to suspect anyone. He is also one of the few detectives ever written in Hebrew.
How do you write something like Partita for 8 Voices, the a cappella vocal piece that is this year's winner of the Pulitzer Prize for music?
"Very late at night," says the composer, Caroline Shaw, speaking with NPR's Scott Simon. "Sometimes it comes from having a sound in your head that you really want to hear, that you've never heard before, and struggling to make that sound happen in any way you can."
Twenty years ago, federal agents clashed with David Koresh's Branch Davidian community near Waco, Texas. The standoff ended with a raid and fire that killed some 80 people. It's remembered as one of the darkest chapters in American law enforcement history.
Two decades later, some of the Branch Davidians who survived the raid are still believers, while a new church group has moved onto the land.
With the house-to-house search over and the living and dead largely accounted for, the town of West, Texas, began the transition from shock and disbelief to communal grieving.
On Friday night, mourners gathered at St. Mary Church of the Assumption to remember the dead. Many of the dead were first responders who were fighting a roaring fire for 30 minutes before the explosion, which was felt 80 miles away in Fort Worth.
Texas Sen. John Cornyn caused a stir when he suggested that there might be many more people missing than thought.
When Superstorm Sandy hit New York City last fall, the publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux, like most everything else, totally shut down. It was a week before power returned to FSG, according to Brian Gittis, a senior publicist. When he got back to his office, he began sorting through galleys — advance copies of books. And one of them caught him off guard.
Its cover had an illustration of the Manhattan skyline half-submerged in water.
"It was definitely sort of a Twilight Zone moment," Gittis recalls.
Big cheers in Watertown, Massachusetts, tonight and this tweet from the Boston Police Department, captured with three exclamation points, the hunt is over, the search is done, the terror is over, and justice has won, suspect in custody. We've been gathering a lot of information all day on the bombing suspects' backgrounds. NPR's Laura Sullivan reached three women who were roommates with a longtime girlfriend of the older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
Well, Robert McFadden is senior vice president of the Soufan Group. He's a 30-year veteran of U.S. federal law enforcement, and he spent many of those years in counterterrorism, and Mr. McFadden, a question I have for you is now that this very important suspect is in custody, what do you do? How do you question him? What do you do now?
As we've reported, the hunt for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother led masses of police and SWAT teams to Watertown, the Boston suburb west of Cambridge. Last night's confrontation there was dramatic and frightening for many residents, including Kayla Depaulo(ph). Here's how she described what happened when we spoke earlier this afternoon.
Sen. Joe Manchin, the West Virginia Democrat who lent his name to bipartisan legislation that would have extended background checks for gun purchasers to gun shows and online sales, isn't letting go.
At least not yet.
To Manchin, the bipartisan compromise he co-sponsored with Sen. Pat Toomey, a Pennsylvania Republican of consistent conservative credentials, fell victim to a steady stream of misinformation spread by some gun rights absolutists, including the National Rifle Association.
And as we continue to cover the events in the Boston area, we want to also talk about one other story, Boeing 787. The jet known as the Dreamliner will be back in the air soon. This afternoon, the FAA approved Boeing's redesign of the plane's battery system. Fifty 787s have been grounded for the last three months following two serious battery failures, one which led to a fire.
Robert Siegel talks to Leon Aron, director of Russian studies at the American Enterprise Institute, about Chechnya. Many may not know the long and troubled history of terrorism in this region, and the disturbing link between Chechen rebels, al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden. According to information from multiple reports, the suspects are from Russia's North Caucasus region. They look at a Facebook-like social media site that the suspects posted on.
We're going to touch briefly now on another dramatic story, the deadly explosion at a fertilizer plant in the small Texas town of West. Authorities now confirm that the death toll has risen to 12. That's how many bodies have been recovered so far. The cause of the fire and subsequent blast on Wednesday night are still unknown. From West, here's NPR's Wade Goodwyn.
Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 11:39 am
Just before Red Tails dropped last year, George Lucas went on The Daily Show and said that he had a hard time getting studios to bankroll and distribute his film about the Tuskegee Airmen, the pioneering black fighter pilots from World War II.
"It's because it's an all-black movie," Lucas said. "There's no major white roles in it at all. ... I showed it to all of them and they said, 'No. We don't know how to market a movie like this.' "
Fresh Air pays tribute to Boston with a 1988 performance by the late jazz pianist Dave McKenna. From 1981 to 1991, McKenna had a standing gig at Boston's Grand Dame Copley Plaza Hotel. He was also a loyal Red Sox fan. He died in 2008.