The way that Israelis vote and the policies that motivate those decisions will be watched closely from this country as well.
For more on what this election and events in the Middle East mean for the United States, I'm joined by Aaron David Miller. He's a vice president and distinguished scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington. He's also a former Middle East negotiator. He joins us now.
President Obama takes the oath of office for a second term on Sunday and Monday. By the time he is through Monday, he and President Franklin D. Roosevelt will be the only two presidents to have taken the presidential oath four times — Roosevelt because he was elected four times, and Obama because he will have taken the oath twice the first time and twice the second.
Obama took the oath twice in 2009 because he and Chief Justice John Roberts messed it up a bit the first time and redid it a second time in private to quell any questions about Obama being president.
First lady Michelle Obama waves after addressing the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Sept. 4.
Credit Jae C. Hong / AP
<strong>Diplomacy with style:</strong> The Obamas pose with Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip at Buckingham Palace ahead of a state banquet on May 24, 2011. Michelle's gown was designed by American fashion designer Tom Ford.
Credit Chris Jackson / AFP/Getty Images
<strong>In the garden:</strong> Michelle holds up broccoli as she participates in the White House Kitchen Garden Fall Harvest with students on the South Lawn of the White House on Oct. 20, 2010.
Credit Charles Dharapak / AP
<strong>Typical American:</strong> Michelle leaves a Target department store in Alexandria, Va., after doing some shopping on Sept. 29, 2011. Her style choices range from expensive, high-end designers to discount stores like Target.
Credit Charles Dharapak / AP
<strong>Let's move:</strong> Michelle and a group of children try to break the Guinness World Record for the most people doing jumping jacks in a 24-hour period, at the White House on Oct. 11, 2011. Michelle's anti-obesity campaign, Let's Move, focuses on teaching children good nutrition and regular exercise.
Credit Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP
<strong>Aww:</strong> Obama sneaks an extra smooch after kissing Michelle for the "Kiss Cam" at the basketball game between U.S. and Brazil, on July 16, 2012, in Washington, D.C.
Credit Alex Brandon / AP
<strong>First family:</strong> Obama walks on stage with his family to deliver his victory speech on election night on Nov. 6, 2012, in Chicago.
Credit Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
<strong>First lady:</strong> Michelle Obama waves after addressing the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Sept. 4, 2012.
Credit Jae C. Hong / AP
<strong>On the campaign trail:</strong> Michelle greets supporters at Broward College in Davie, Fla., on Oct. 22, 2012, where she rallied grass-root supporters and spoke of what's at stake in the election for Floridians. Michelle was seen as an asset on the campaign trail, where she often drew large crowds.
Credit Alan diaz / AP
<strong>First dance:</strong> Newly sworn in President Obama and the first lady dance during the inaugural ball on Jan. 20, 2009, in Washington, D.C.
Credit Mark Wilson / Getty Images
First lady Michelle Obama paints a bookshelf at Burrville Elementary School in Washington, D.C., as part of the National Day of Service on Saturday.
Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 12:28 pm
Ask yourself this question: How weird would it be if you changed your hair and it was on the news?
No, seriously. Pull back from everything you know about celebrity and pretend it's about you. You change your hair. You decide, "Hey, you know what? It's been long for a while; what if I went a little shorter?" And so you go a little shorter. And then it is on the news.
On-air challenge: You will be given the first names of two famous people, past or present. The first person's last name, when you drop the initial letter, becomes the second person's last name. For example, given "Harold" and "Kingsley," the answer would be "Harold Ramis" and "Kingsley Amis."
Last week's challenge: Think of two familiar, unhyphenated, eight-letter words that contain the letters A, B, C, D, E and F, plus two others, in any order. What words are these?
Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 11:19 am
Editor's note: NPR's Corey Dade recently traveled to New York to interview the Rev. Al Sharpton about the unusual arc of his checkered career, from pugnacious street fighter for racial justice to savvy insider with ties to CEOs, a successful television show and the the ear of a soon-to-be second-term president.
Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 9:17 pm
Once upon a time, in the long ago world of high school reading, Holden Caulfield was perhaps the epitome of angst: a young man suddenly an outcast in the world he thought he knew. The antihero of J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye was about to enter a perilous journey of self-discovery.
The scene is Paris in the 1920s. The stars are three women: Esther Murphy, a product of New York high society who wrote madly but could never finish a book; Mercedes de Acosta, an insatiable collector and writer infatuated with Greta Garbo; and Madge Garland, a self-made Australian fashion editor at British Vogue. All three were lesbians.
Their histories burst onto the literary scene this summer in the biography All We Know: Three Lives by Wesleyan University professor Lisa Cohen.
It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden. An international hostage drama has come to an end in Algeria. After four days, the Algerian army ended the bloody siege of a remote oil and gas facility where Islamist militants were holding dozens of Western hostages. The brutal assault was launched Thursday morning. Many people are dead, up to 23 captives and at least 30 Islamists, according to the Algerian state media.
Tacoma, Wash., tops <em>The Advocate</em> magazine's list of "Gayest Cities in America." It was followed by Springfield, Mass., and Spokane, Wash. <em>Advocate</em> editor Matthew Breen says marriage equality gave the advantage to cities in Washington state this year.
(SOUNDBITE OF PRESIDENT OBAMA'S 2009 INAUGURAL ADDRESS)
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: My fellow citizens, I stand here today humbled by the task before us.
JACKI LYDEN, HOST:
The newly minted President Obama from his 2009 inaugural address. Another speech is surely coming together right now for Monday's inauguration. James Fallows of The Atlantic joins us, as he does most Saturdays. Hello there, Jim.
Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 6:51 pm
The four-day standoff in the Algerian desert came to a bloody end Saturday morning when Algerian forces stormed the gas plant where Islamist militants were holding foreign hostages.
Seven hostages were killed in the assault, as were 11 militants, Algeria's state media reported. In total, 32 militants and 23 other people died in the conflict, the Algerian interior ministry said in a statement.
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:
The hostage-taking drama at an Algerian gas and oil plant in the Sahara desert is in its fourth day. The Algerian army has reportedly laid siege to the facility and is fighting a remaining group of entrenched jihadists who have hostages. Host Scott Simon gets the latest from NPR's Eleanor Beardsley in Paris.
What's the big fuss about Guinea worm, a parasite that now infects just a few hundred people? Well, the public health community finally has the nasty bug's back against the wall.
There were only 542 cases of Guinea worm worldwide last year, the Carter Center said this week. That's 48 percent less than in 2011. And it's a mere blip compared to the 3.5 million cases back in 1986.
Four years later, Eisenhower (far right) "doffed his homburg and bowed" to Miss Burma, the Republican elephant mascot from Ohio.
What's so odd about President Bush giving the "Hook 'em, 'horns" salute of the University of Texas Longhorns during the inaugural parade in 2005? Nothing, unless you were in Norway, where people thought his gesture was a salute to Satan.
Credit J. Scott Applewhite / AP
In 1961, when President John F. Kennedy was inaugurated, dogs were again part of the show. This time, Alaskan huskies pulled the State of Maine float along Constitution Ave.
That's right. During Dwight Eisenhower's inaugural parade in 1953, the president was lassoed by cowboy Monte Montana.
It was an "oops!" moment for first lady Nancy Reagan in 1985 when she forgot to introduce President Ronald Reagan during an inaugural event. It was too cold for an outdoor parade that year, so instead participants were invited to the Capital Center in Landover, Md.
Credit Scott Stewart / AP
Incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel makes a face before President Barack Obama's inauguration in 2009. The person behind him does not look amused.
Credit Timothy A. Clary / AFP/Getty Images
A topless protester braved the Washington, D.C., winter in 2001 during President George W. Bush's inaugural parade.
Credit Robert F. Bukaty / AP
Maybe in color this image of fireworks in front of the Washington Monument would be fun and festive instead of kind of eerie? As you can probably tell, this display honored the inauguration of President Harry Truman in 1949.
Credit Washington Star / AP
In a less choreographed moment that same year, Vice President Richard Nixon laughed as a stray dog joined the parade.
Credit Marion S. Trikosko / U.S. News & World Report/Library of Congress
The presidential inauguration is a solemn and important occasion, of course, steeped in history and pomp. But it's also a time for parades and balls — and, sometimes, a bit of tomfoolery. As we prepare for President Obama's second inauguration on Monday, a look back at a few funny and unusual moments: