Telo Tulku Rinpoche, left, prays with Buddhist monks in front of inmates in a prison colony in Kalmykia, Russia, on Sept. 7, 2010. After renouncing his monkhood, Telo Rinpoche can no longer wear traditional robes, but still serves as the region's Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader.
In Philadelphia in 1972, an immigrant couple of Kalmyk origin gave birth to a boy they named Erdne. A few years later, the Dalai Lama renamed him Telo Tulku Rinpoche and identified him as one in a long line of reincarnations of an ancient Buddhist saint. The boy was then taken to a monastery in the mountains of southern India to learn the teachings of the Buddha.
Telo Rinpoche was one of the first of his kind: someone from the West learning thousand-year-old traditions a world away from his family.
Students walk in the hallway as they enter the lunch line of the cafeteria at Draper Middle School in Rotterdam, N.Y. Five states announced in December that they will add at least 300 hours of learning time to the calendar in some schools starting in 2013.
Flotsam and Jetsam: of such things are stories made. Writers use objects to give their stories weight, attachment and verisimilitude, like Gary Paulsen's The Hatchet; Jean Shepherd's Red Ryder BB Gun inspired A Christmas Story; and how about Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon?
A woman tries to salvage items from a burnt out Sufi shrine outside the Tunisian capital, Tunis, last October. Hard-line Islamists, known as Salafists, have attacked many Sufi shrines in Tunisia recently.
Credit Fethi Belaid / AFP/Getty Images
A Sufi man sits during his visit to a shrine in Tunis. Tunisia's government has promised emergency measures to protect Sufi Muslim mausoleums, which have been targeted by radical Islamist groups.
The author, a Syrian citizen living in Damascus, is not being identified by NPR for security reasons. Many Syrians interviewed for this piece asked that their full names not be used, for their safety.
In most every Arab country where there's been an uprising in the past couple of years, Islamists have gained influence or come to power. Is the same thing destined to happen in Syria if President Bashar Assad's secular government is ousted?
Syrians may not know the answer, but they certainly are talking about it.
A number of luxury retailers are rolling out tactics this year to mark the beginning of the Lunar New Year. For Bloomingdale's in New York City, though, reaching out to Asian shoppers during the cultural celebration is a decades-long tradition.
The upscale department store's marketing strategy traces back to 1971, the year President Nixon lifted the U.S. trade embargo with the People's Republic of China. Immediately, Marvin Traub, then-president of Bloomingdale's, decided he wanted to sell Chinese goods in his flagship store on the Upper East Side.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. New England is digging out from as much as three feet of snowfall today, and at least five deaths have been blamed on a powerful winter storm that swept through the region Friday night and yesterday morning. The snow has stopped falling, but more than half a million people still don't have electricity. And in some coastal areas, residents are also dealing with flooding. NPR's Jeff Brady visited the small town of Scituate, Massachusetts.
It's that time of year when dogs put on their best smiles for the judges at the annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin speaks with David Frei, the official commentator at the show. Frie has been the official announcer for more than 20 years and certainly knows his boxers from his bulldogs. The 137th annual dog show starts on Monday, Feb. 11 at Madison Square Garden.
Gun violence and gun control are the topics of a series of hearings currently being held in the U.S. Senate. Since the mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., the White House and gun control advocates have pushed for stricter gun laws to help reduce gun violence, but many congressional Republicans remain skeptical. Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin speaks with Sen. Charles Grassley, a Republican from Iowa and the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The success of President Obama's second term agenda will rest in part on his ability to work with Congress. For more on that, Ross Baker joins us. He's a professor of political science at Rutgers University in New Jersey. He joins us from the studios there.
A whole lot of college basketball went down last night and it seemed like most of it was played by Notre Dame and Louisville. The two colleges went toe-to-toe last night for five overtimes until they had a winner. Notre Dame claimed the victory in the end.
NPR's Mike Pesca caught the whole thing and he joins us to talk about it. Hey, Mike.
This week, President Barack Obama delivers the first State of the Union address of his second term, a key moment in the Washington calendar and in the often difficult relationship between the White House and Congress. NPR White House correspondent Ari Shapiro has a preview and talks with Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin.