Originally published on Sun September 15, 2013 4:29 pm
In the weeks since Iran's President Hasan Rowhani was elected this summer, he and President Obama have swapped letters, Obama says. The U.S. president discussed the exchange for the first time publicly in an interview with George Stephanopoulos that aired on ABC's This Week Sunday.
Originally published on Sun September 15, 2013 3:56 pm
Sometimes presidents have to make things up as they go along.
President Obama's decisions have had an improvisational air these past three weeks. His course on Syria kept shifting, at times seemingly guided by offhand remarks.
But the results are what count.
"If it works out in the end, the president's allowed to be uncertain," says Tim Naftali, a former director of the Nixon presidential library. "Oftentimes, the judgment you get during the crisis is not the judgment you get at the end."
Cyclist Graeme Obree, 48, has set a new world speed record for prone bicycles, as the man known as the Flying Scotsman topped 56 mph during a session at the just-completed World Human Speed Championships, held at Battle Mountain in the Nevada.
Pedaling with his nose less than an inch away from the front wheel of his custom-built, smooth-skinned bike, Obree finally succeeded Friday, after early runs failed to break the record of 54.9 mph set by Steve Ball in 1983.
Originally published on Sun September 15, 2013 12:00 pm
From the east and the west, two storm systems are closing in on Mexico, bringing strong winds and heavy rains. Hurricane Ingrid is moving toward the country's east coast in the Gulf of Mexico; Tropical Storm Manuel is closing in on the southwest coast in the Pacific Ocean.
Originally published on Sun September 15, 2013 12:06 pm
One day after the United States and Russia announced a deal to rid Syria of its chemical weapons, the first official reaction has emerged from the Syrian regime, which calls it a "victory." Syria's rebels are criticizing the plan, saying it doesn't punish President Bashar Assad.
MARTIN: NPR's Mike Pesca was in Buenos Aires last week for the International Olympic Committee's big announcement of who will host the 2020 Olympics. It's Tokyo, by the way. While he was there, it really set in for him that the Olympics has a problem. He thinks he knows a way to fix it. He joins us now. Hey, Mike.
MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: I just talked to smart, informed people. I didn't really come up with it...
The language we speak affects much of how we understand the world and probably in more ways than you think. Keith Chen is a professor of economics at UCLA and he's been studying some examples of this. He's found that the way language is structured can influence our eating habits, our likelihood of smoking, even the way we spend or save our money. Keith Chen, welcome to the program.
WEEKEND EDITION's travel segment Winging It aims to bring you advice and ideas about different ways to spend your free time and profiles of people embarking of adventures of all kinds. A few months, ago we introduced you to Rebecca Hall. When we spoke with her, Hall was getting ready to set out on an unusual journey - traveling from Greece to Hong Kong on a cargo ship.
On-air challenge: Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name with the initials M.N. For example: Be pleasant in order to appease someone? Answer: Make Nice.
Last week's challenge: Name a famous person in history — four letters in the first name and six letters in the last. Move the first letter of all this to the end. The result will be a two-word phrase that might be defined as "beeline." Who's the famous person, and what's the phrase?
We're going now to Brazil. That's where we find ALL THINGS CONSIDERED host Melissa Block. She's working on a series of stories that will air starting tomorrow. She joins me now from the city of Recife, along the Atlantic Coast in northeastern Brazil with a preview of her series. Hi, Melissa.
MELISSA BLOCK, BYLINE: Hey, Rachel.
MARTIN: So, you are on the coast right now, on the beach. Is that right?
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Israel for a few hours today meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Later today, Kerry will travel to Paris to try to drum up international consensus on the Syria plan with the French, British and the Saudis.
I fell in love with Shirley Hazzard in 1980, when her great book Transit of Venus came out. I was completely dazzled by the beauty and authority of her writing, and by the effortless way she created this world.
The novel opens with a description of a storm. The air is charged with unthinkable violence, a sense of atmospheric threat which will recur throughout the book:
There are a lot of fascinating details hiding below the surface in the world of color. For instance, scientists once thought the average color of the entire universe was turquoise — until they recalculated and realized it was beige.
In Japan, you wait at a stoplight until it turns from red to blue, even though it's the same green color as American stoplights.
And in World War II, the British painted a whole flotilla of warships pinkish-purple so they'd blend in with the sky at dusk and confuse the Germans. That's right — pink warships.
The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show featured a fearless flying squirrel and his slow-witted moose sidekick. They did battle with two scheming but incompetent Soviet spies named Boris and Natasha.
The cartoon is an American classic, beloved for a wry sense of humor that appeals to kids and their parents. It originally aired from 1959 until 1964, but has been in syndication ever since, most recently on the Cartoon Network and Boomerang.
Scientists watching Antarctica's Pine Island Glacier from space have noticed with some alarm that it has been surging toward the sea.
If it were to melt entirely, global sea levels would rise by several feet.
The glacier is really, really remote. It's 1,800 miles from McMurdo, the U.S. base station in Antarctica, so just getting there is a challenge. Scientists have rarely been able to get out to the glacier to make direct measurements.