This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, the barbershop guys are in to talk about what's in the news and what's on their minds. But first, it's time for "Faith Matters." That's the part of the program where we talk about matters of faith and spirituality. Today, we want to take a look back at Pope Francis' history making trip to Brazil. By now, you've probably heard that His Holiness made headlines with a comment about gays in the priesthood.
Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 6:28 pm
The U.S. State Department has issued a worldwide travel alert because of an al-Qaida threat that is particularly significant in the Middle East and North Africa.
"Current information suggests that al-Qaida and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks both in the region and beyond, and that they may focus efforts to conduct attacks in the period between now and the end of August," State said in a statement. "This Travel Alert expires on August 31, 2013."
When Big Country founder and lead singer Stuart Adamson died in 2001, most would have assumed that the Scottish band was finished. But in 2007, the group reunited for a 25th-anniversary tour with a new lead singer in its lineup. Though Adamson was a hard man to replace, Big Country found comfort in recording and playing with Mike Peters, formerly of The Alarm.
The South American country's response to incessant drug-related violence in the region signals a quest for alternatives to the U.S.-led war on drugs, and a rethinking of official U.N. anti-drug policy, which has been in effect for more than half a century.
It's our 150th episode of Pop Culture Happy Hour — in case you want to visit the "Sesquicentennials" section of your local greeting-card store — and we've celebrated by scattering to the four winds. Host Linda Holmes is still in Los Angeles at the Television Critics Association press tour, while Trey Graham missed this week's taping for daring to visit out-of-town family.
After some 20 trials over two decades, Italian media tycoon Silvio Berlusconi received his first definitive conviction Thursday for evading almost $10 million in taxes while he was prime minister.
After more than seven hours of deliberations, Judge Antonio Esposito read the ruling of the five Supreme Court judges: "In the name of the Italian people," the judge declared, "Berlusconi's conviction and prison term are irrevocable."
Edward Snowden has chosen where to live in Russia, which granted him asylum Thursday, his lawyer said. Here, Snowden is seen at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport on July 12. At left is WikiLeaks' Sarah Harrison.
Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 11:20 am
NSA leaker Edward Snowden, who spent more than a month at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport before being granted a one-year asylum Thursday, has picked out a place to live in Russia, his attorney there says.
Snowden is wanted on charges of espionage by the United States for leaking classified documents about secret U.S. surveillance programs. His departure from the Moscow airport ended, temporarily at least, weeks of uncertainty over his fate. He had applied to several other countries for asylum, as well.
Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 4:46 pm
Few details have emerged about the U.S. plan to shut down embassies that would normally be open this Sunday. A senior State Department official says that the U.S. facilities may be closed for more days, as well. The closures are being described as "precautionary steps" that are being taken "out of an abundance of caution."
When you check social media and you're not caught up on your favorite TV show, say, you never know when you might encounter a spoiler. Somebody on Twitter, some blog says too much about what happened in a plot line. My big spoiler moment came when I saw a post about a death on "Downton Abbey" and I thought that everything was just ruined. But is it really that bad when this happens? NPR's Neda Ulaby has this encore story about how spoilers might actually make you enjoy something more.
In Spain, efforts at economic recovery are being overshadowed by a bribery scandal. Top politicians have been accused of taking under-the-table cash from construction companies. The ruling party's former treasurer is in jail. And yesterday, the prime minister had to explain himself in parliament. Lauren Frayer reports from Madrid.
Zimbabweans remember well that 2008 presidential election, when many in the opposition were rounded up, tortured, and scores were killed. Ultimately Robert Mugabe stayed in power - 33 years now and counting. Fungai Machirori, who's 29 years old, is part of a generation that grew up under Mugabe. She's a poet and the founder of Her Zimbabwe, a not-very-political platform for women to share their stories.
Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 7:54 pm
Now that the dust has settled somewhat on the rhetorical skirmish between Rand Paul and Chris Christie over NSA data-gathering, it's easier to see the irony of the confrontation.
We witnessed not just the punching and counterpunching of politicians considered likely contenders for the 2016 GOP nomination. It was also a clash between men who each possess a key to winning the White House.
Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 10:15 am
It's hard to tell who seems more lost in Paul Schrader's The Canyons. There's Lindsay Lohan, who to her credit appears to at least be trying really, really hard to remember how to act naturally. (Of course, when the effort's so clearly visible, you're pretty much not succeeding.) Her character, Tara, a Hollywood career climber who has hitched her fortunes to an emotionally abusive film producer and party boy, is equally adrift.
Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 6:57 am
Edward Snowden's father, Lonnie, had a dramatic change of heart this week: Back in June, he sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder in which he told him that if the U.S. promised not to detain or silence Edward before a trial, his son would be willing to return to the United States.
Hypermacho but tongue-in-cheek, the first 20 minutes of 2 Guns are enormous fun. Tough guys Bobby and Stig (Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg) bicker and flirt — with a pretty diner waitress, and with each other — while casing a small-town Texas bank.
Then they set the diner on fire, don masks, and knock over the bank for $43 million, all while taking care to save any cops from getting hurt and even kissing an available baby. The heist, it would seem, has gone according to plan. Yet something's a little off.
Hollywood Bowl amphitheater, all lit up. On stage are members of the LA Philharmonic, Pink Martini - including BOTH of the band's lead singers, China Forbes (green dress) and Storm Large (white) - as well as the "Japanese Barbra Streisand," Saori Yuki.
Credit Melissa Kuypers / NPR
Pink Martini taking a bow at the end of the show. Bandleader Thomas Lauderdale in the red bowtie, Saori Yuki in pink, China Forbes in green, Storm Large in white, clarinetist Norman Leyden next to Storm. And back row center, our own Ari Shapiro.
Credit Melissa Kuypers / NPR
NPR White House Correspondent Ari Shapiro trying to "woo" back Pink Martini's Storm Large (seated, left, in the amazing dress) with the song "But Now I'm Back."
Credit Melissa Kuypers / NPR
The Hollywood Bowl is so large it requires Jumbotron-like screens for a good view of the show. Here is full-size Ari Shapiro, singing "Yo Te Quiero Siempre."
Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 9:09 am
Summer in Los Angeles isn't complete without a trip to the Hollywood Bowl. This outdoor concert venue seats just over 17,000 people and holds a variety of concerts from The Sound of Music sing-a-longs and Classical performances with the LA Philharmonic to contemporary acts like Vampire Weekend, vocalist Natalie Cole and everything in between.