Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 4:48 pm
The prospects of an assault weapons ban emerging as part of any post-Newtown gun control law looks highly unlikely after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid opted not to include it in a Democratic proposal to be offered on the Senate floor in coming weeks.
"My understanding is it will not be [part of the base bill]" to be introduced on the Senate floor, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said after meeting with Reid on Monday, according to Politico. "The leader has decided not to do it."
Ten years after the Iraq War began, NPR is catching up with people we encountered during the conflict. Back in 2008, NPR's armored car was targeted with a so-called sticky bomb in Baghdad. Ali Hamdani, an Iraqi who worked for NPR as a translator and producer, narrowly escaped. Shortly afterward, he left Iraq for the Unites States as a refugee.
Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 10:51 am
Singer-songwriter Iris DeMent makes her eighthappearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, W.Va. DeMent grew up in rural Arkansas with 14 brothers and sisters, immersed in gospel music and traditional country.
In practical terms, a project known as E-1 would provide 3,000 or so new housing units for Israelis in an area between east Jerusalem — which the Palestinians hope will someday be their capital — and the large Israeli settlement of Maaleh Adumim.
But numbers can be deceiving: Palestinians are renewing their objections to the growing number of Israeli settlements, and many fear E-1 could tip the balance in a way that makes an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement impossible.
Politics and rock en Español go hand in hand, and Mexico City's Molotov is a flag-waver for that combination. The band formed in 1995 during an era in which seismic political changes transformed Mexican society; from the start, Molotov's music pointed fingers at economic and political institutions — and even aging rock stars.
Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 2:42 pm
Cyprus lawmakers rejected a $13 billion bailout package that included controversial taxes on bank deposits. The proposed tax would have helped to pay for the bailout of crumbling banks. NPR's Marilyn Geewax explains how the events in Cyprus could affect the global economy and what may happen next.
Colin Wolfe was killed in Iraq in August 2006. A roadside bomb exploded near his vehicle in Anbar province just a few weeks after he arrived. He was one of almost 4,500 U.S. service members killed in Iraq between 2003 and 2012. Nearly seven years later, on the heels of the 10th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, his mother paid tribute to her son with a ballet.
"You're taking something which is horrible ... and turning it into something which is beautiful and life-affirming," Amy Wolfe tells NPR's Lynn Neary. "That's the way art is."
Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 1:53 pm
Some terrific news today: Malala Yousafzai's story has come full circle. If you remember, the Pakistani teenager was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman because she was in favor of girls receiving an education.
Serge Devesa, executive chef at New York's InterContinental Barclay Hotel, prepares bouillabaisse, a specialty from his hometown of Marseille, France. Devesa was just named a master chef by the Maître Cuisiniers de France.
Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 3:08 pm
On the television show MasterChef, amateur chefs compete for a title and go on to open their own restaurants, or ink TV deals. That's the Hollywood version of the master chef, anyway.
But to earn the title in France, chefs must be inducted into the prestigious — and very exclusive — society called Maître Cuisiniers de France. It's more than 60-years-old, and it's one of the highest honors in the country.
Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 2:02 pm
Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky doubled down Tuesday on a previous call for a path to citizenship, telling a major Hispanic business group that his message to the nation's illegal immigrants is: "If you wish to live and work in America, then we will find a place for you."
Conservatives, he told the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, must "become part of the solution" to immigration, including dealing with the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants now living in the U.S. In his Washington speech, Paul said:
With President Clinton presiding, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin (left) and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat signed an interim peace accord at the White House in 1993. Twenty years later, President Obama is heading to the region with peace efforts in the deep freeze.
Credit Ron Edmonds / AP
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Obama are expected to talk about Iran's nuclear program when they meet Wednesday in Israel. The Palestinian issue is currently seen as a lower priority. The leaders are shown here at a March 5, 2012, White House meeting.
Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 9:18 am
Every American president since Harry Truman has wrestled with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, to no avail. Yet they keep trying based on the notion that the Middle East will never be calm until there's peace between these protagonists.
But as President Obama heads to Israel and the West Bank, expectations could hardly be lower. What's more, this long-standing feud, often seen as the holy grail of American diplomacy, no longer seems to hold the same urgency, according to many analysts.
In Chinua Achebe's novel The Anthills of the Savannah, one of the characters says, "Poets don't give prescriptions. They give headaches."
The same is true of novelists, and none more so than Philip Roth. If any writer has ever enjoyed rattling people's skulls, it's this son of Newark, N.J., who's currently enjoying something of a victory lap in the media on the occasion of his 80th birthday. The celebration reaches its peak with a new documentary — Philip Roth Unmasked — that will screen on PBS next week as part of the American Masters series.
Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 2:16 pm
Anaïs Mitchell has a knack for mythology that flies over the heads of most modern songwriters. From her adaptation of the Orpheus myth on Hadestown — an arresting "folk opera" wherein Orpheus and Eurydice struggle through a post-apocalyptic economic depression — to the nuanced interweaving of Biblical and Greek mythology in last year's Young Man in America, she's proven adept at mingling the ancient and the contemporary.