Fifty years ago, the notorious Alcatraz prison shut its gate behind guard Jim Albright as he escorted the last inmate off the island on March 21, 1963.
"As we're going out, I know, when I come back from this trip, I don't have a job, I don't have a home anymore," Albright remembers. "I didn't want the island to close, I didn't want to leave. I liked it there."
Last year, Weekends on All Things Considered guest host Laura Sullivan spoke with a deacon at St. Joseph Abbey in eastern Louisiana, where monks have been making simple pine caskets for more than 100 years. Now, for the first time, the brothers are able to legally sell their caskets to the Louisiana public after a court ruling.
The mostly forgotten explorer Paul du Chaillu introduced the world to gorillas. His methods were attacked and his work discredited during his lifetime, but he also experienced fame and redemption.
Author Monte Reel illuminates the little-known tale of the 19th century explorer in his new book Between Man and Beast: An Unlikely Explorer, the Evolution Debates, and the African Adventure That Took the Victorian World by Storm.
Chic Gamine is a Canadian band giving a new spin to the classic '60s girl group sound: Its roster is four vocalists, a drummer ... and that's it. Chic Gamine's leader Andrina Turenne spoke with NPR's Laura Sullivan about the group's latest album, Closer. Click the audio link on this page to hear their conversation.
About 60 dump trucks full of debris from the fallen World Trade Center will be sifted for victims' remains beginning Monday. The debris was collected for the past two and a half years from construction sites in the neighborhood.
Originally published on Sun March 31, 2013 3:34 pm
After nearly five hours of questioning, the satirist known as the "Egyptian Jon Stewart" was released on bail Sunday.
Bassem Youssef is charged with insulting Islam and President Mohammed Morsi. He's among the most prominent critics of Egypt's Islamist president to be called in for questioning recently, prompting concerns that the president is cracking down on his detractors and members of the opposition.
Originally published on Sun March 31, 2013 2:36 pm
The FBI, Texas Rangers and local police are investigating the killings of a Texas district attorney and his wife, who were found dead on Saturday. The slayings come two months after an assistant district attorney for the same county was shot dead in a parking lot a block from his office.
Director Cristian Mungiu on the set of his new film, <em>Beyond the Hills</em>. As in his earlier <em>4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days</em>, the filmmaker focuses on two young women adrift in the post-Soviet wilderness of Romania.
Credit Sundance Selects
A group of nuns shares a meal in <em>Beyond the Hills</em>. Though the director is hesitant to underline metaphors in his film, contemporary observers won't find it hard to discover what seems like suggestive references to the Romania of dictator Nicolai Ceaucescu.
Cristian Mungiu became the poster boy for the Romanian New Wave when his film 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days took the top prize at the Cannes International Film Festival in 2007. Like that film, Mungiu's latest turns an unblinking camera on two troubled young women in a dysfunctional society. Beyond the Hills is now opening in theaters across the U.S.
Like its predecessor, Beyond the Hills was a prizewinner at Cannes: Its two young stars shared the best actress prize last year, and Mungiu won best screenplay.
After celebrating Mass along with more than 250,000 faithful, Pope Francis delivered a plea for peace in his first Easter Sunday message to the world, decrying the seemingly endless conflicts in the Middle East and on the Korean Peninsula.
Credit AFP/Getty Images
Argentinian flags waved for the pontiff; Pope Francis is from Buenos Aires, Argentina, the first pope from the Americas.
Credit Alberto Pizzoli / AFP/Getty Images
Since the start of his papacy on March 13, Francis has repeatedly put his concern for the poor and suffering at the center of his messages, and the Easter speech he delivered from the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica reflected his push for peace and social justice.
Credit AFP / AFP/Getty Images
The sun competed with clouds in the sky, but the square was a riot of floral color in Rome, where chilly winter has postponed the blossoming of many flowers. The pope advised people to let love transform their lives, or as he put it, "let those desert places in our hearts bloom."
Credit AFP / AFP/Getty Images
Aboard an open-topped popemobile, Francis took a lighthearted spin through the joyous gatherers, kissing babies and patting children on the head.
Credit Alberto Pizzoli / AFP/Getty Images
Pope Francis wished a "Happy Easter" greeting could reach "every house and every family, especially where the suffering is greatest, in hospitals, in prisons." Francis prayed that Christ would help people "change hatred into love, vengeance into forgiveness, war into peace."
Credit Vatican Press Office / AFP/Getty Images
After the Mass in St. Peter's Square, Francis shared in the crowd's exuberance.
Credit Gregorio Borgia / AP
Before delivering his Easter message, Pope Francis celebrated Easter Mass on the esplanade in front of the basilica.
Credit Dan Kitwood / Getty Images
Tens of thousands gathered to hear Pope Francis' blessing.
Credit Alessandra Tarantino / AP
Pope Francis celebrates the Easter mass on Sunday at the Vatican.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. The struggle for Syria continued this past week. Since the conflict has now moved beyond the two-year mark, hopes for a political solution have ebbed and flowed with no clear end in sight while tens of thousands of people have died. This week, the violence continued even on the campus of the main University of Damascus when a mortar attack killed at least 10 students at an outdoor cafe.
In recent months, there have been bipartisan calls for more transparency in the Obama administration's drone program. Host Rachel Martin talks with Gregory McNeal, a professor of national security law at Pepperdine University's School of Law, about proposals to bring more openness and accountability. One idea is the creation of a "drone court" that would review decisions to target and kill suspected militants.
New York City has nearly 11,000 pay phones, and a new campaign is trying to turn about 5,000 of them into time capsules. Host Rachel Martin talks with David Droga, creative chairman of ad agency Droga5, about the "Recalling 1993" campaign.
Phil Ramone was a violin prodigy; he played for Queen Elizabeth when he was 10. As a fledgling recording engineer, he manned the booth for "Alice's Restaurant." And as a producer, he recorded hits for Frank Sinatra, Billy Joel and Paul Simon. As NPR's Sami Yenigun reports, Ramone died Saturday at the age of 79.
Rachel Kushner's new novel, The Flamethrowers, begins with a crash. A young woman named Reno is trying to set a record on her motorcycle at a racetrack at the Bonneville Salt Flats. She wants to photograph the tracks she leaves in the sand, as an art project. But her crash takes Reno in a different direction. Her artistic ambition thrusts her in the middle of New York's chaotic art scene in the 1970s, and eventually, Reno finds herself embroiled in a radical political movement in Italy.
The American Society of Clinical Oncology is launching a project to collect data on the care of hundreds of thousands of cancer patients for use in the treatment of other patients. Host Rachel Martin talks with Dr. Sandra Swain, president of the group, about CancerLinQ.
Abdulghani Sankari is a doctor who grew up in Syria. He's been living and working in Detroit now for the past 13 years. But this past January, Dr. Sankari visited his homeland and he found that the country's entire health care system has essentially been destroyed. Sankari and a team from the Syrian American Medical Society visited hospitals on the Syrian border, in Turkey and Jordan, to bring medical aid to those caught up in the war. The team also managed to get inside northwest Syria. Dr. Sankari described what he saw there.
It is hard to imagine that after three years of acrimony and debate we could still be so confused about President Obama's Affordable Care Act.
Is it actually possible Americans know less about Obamacare now than they did three years ago? Apparently that is the case, and the news comes just as the most sweeping effects of the law are about to kick in.
If you're just joining us, you're listening to WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Laura Sullivan.
Quick trivia question: Name a global superpower technology company, that is the world's biggest seller of smartphones headed by a charismatic CEO surrounded by a cult of personality. I'm guessing most of you just said Apple, right? You would be wrong. The answer is Samsung.