Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 11:42 am
Hassan Rouhani, Iran's newly elected president, is being sworn-in on Sunday, succeeding the controversial Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose focus on the country's nuclear program proved a constant source of tension with the West.
Rouhani, 64, is viewed as a moderate and has pledged greater openness on the country's nuclear program. However, the former chief nuclear negotiator for Tehran appeared late Saturday to be reading from the same script as his predecessor:
The Department of State has issued a travel alert over the continued potential for terrorist attacks, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa. NPR's Dina Temple-Raston speaks with Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin about the threat of more attacks.
This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. If you watched "Saturday Night Live" in the 1990s, you might remember this:
(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE")
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As announcer) And now, deep thoughts by Jack Handey.
JACK HANDEY: Maybe in order to understand mankind, we have to look at the word itself, mankind. Basically, it's made up of two separate words: mank and ind. What do these words mean? It's a mystery, and that's why so is mankind.
In Uganda, local activists have been fighting a bill that might be one of the most punitive and anti-gay measures in the world. It's actually called the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, and that's just one vote away from becoming law.
NPR's Gregory Warner is in Kampala. Welcome to the program, Greg.
GREGORY WARNER, BYLINE: Thanks, Rachel.
MARTIN: So, it's Gay Pride Week in many countries around the world. How is it being marked in Uganda, especially in light of this pending legislation?
The former president will be charged with the murder of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who was killed at a rally in 2007. Host Rachel Martin talks to Hameed Gul, former director general of the ISI, Pakistan's intelligence service, about the political deterioration in Pakistan.
That music should instantly transport you to the realm of British sci-fi and the world of "Dr. Who." If it doesn't, then bear with us and listen closely. The cult BBC TV show, about a doctor who travels though time and space in a blue policeman's telephone booth, is 50 years old this year. Still with me?
Love is a burning thing that makes a fiery ring. That, my friends, is musical poetry. OK, maybe not, but it is the opening line to one of Johnny Cash's biggest hits. "Ring of Fire" turns 50 years old this year.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "RING OF FIRE")
JOHNNY CASH: (Singing) Love is a burning thing, and it makes a fiery ring.
Comedy is something we tend to think of as universal. If a joke's funny, it's just funny, right? Not really. Turns out humor can be really culturally specific. And today, we're going to look at what happens when comedians try to cross over from one cultural to another. Our next guest has some experience with that. His name is Ryan Ha. He's a Chinese-American who lives in Beijing. And he is the CEO of something called Comedy Club China. He's joined us in our studios this morning. Hey, Ryan. Thanks for coming in.
When country violinist Amanda Shires goes on tour, she meets a lot of interesting people. Once after a show in Tampa, Florida, a fellow calling himself Tiger Bill handed her a mysterious bag — whose contents, he said, would make her "bulletproof."
"And I opened it and looked inside of it," Shires recalls. "And it was whiskers and claws and teeth and fur."
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni's latest book is Oleander Girl.
I was about 12 when I first encountered The Moonstone — or a Classics Illustrated version of it — digging through an old trunk in my grandfather's house on a rainy Bengali afternoon. I loved the Classics Illustrated series (the graphic novels of my youth that simplified famous novels for children), presenting us with swashbuckling plotlines, and heroes and villains that were unmistakably, unashamedly, what they were supposed to be.
Scottish singer-songwriter KT Tunstall made her latest album in Arizona, of all places. Working with musician and producer Howe Gelb, she recorded the first six songs in the spring of 2012, and the last six in November. But a lot changed for Tunstall in the months between.
To be a folk musician these days, there's no requirement that you be some sort of rambling wanderer. But it can't hurt, right?
Gregory Alan Isakov was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. He didn't stay there long: He moved to Philadelphia, then around the East Coast, switching schools every couple years. As an adult, he's found a more stable home: a remote part of Colorado. And in his music, he writes from the perspective quite happy to be away from any big cities.
It's finally happening, folks. This year, the average time Americans spend with digital media each day will surpass traditional TV viewing time. That's according to eMarketer's latest estimate of media consumption among adults.
The average adult will spend more than five hours per day online and on non-voice mobile activities (read: texting, apps, games). That's compared to an average four hours and 31 minutes each day of TV watching.
On-air challenge:This week's puzzle is called "What's in a Name?" Every answer consists of the names of two famous people. The last name of the first person is an anagram of the first name of the last person. Given the non-anagram parts of the names, you identify the people. For example, given "Madeleine" and "Aaron," you would say "Kahn" and "Hank."
Last week's challenge: In three words, name a product sold mainly to women that has the initials N-P-R. The answer is a common phrase.
At the peak of fighting in Afghanistan's Helmand Province, there were 20,000 Marines battling the Taliban. Now there are 8,000 — and more are heading home every month.
Among the latest to pack up was Regimental Combat Team 7.
At their mission's recent closing ceremony, several hundred Marines gathered in the scorching desert heat at Camp Leatherneck in Helmand Province. Their tan, pixelated fatigues blended in amidst the vast expanse of sand-colored tents and buildings of the largest Marine base in Afghanistan.
Monday, the FBI announced the success of a three-day, multicity child sex trafficking operation. The seventh and largest of its kind, the raid recovered 106 teenagers and arrested 152 pimps. Aged 13 to 17, almost all of the young people found were girls.
When you hear the word dandy, what do you think of?
Maybe the song "Yankee Doodle Dandy," which dates all the way back to the Revolutionary War, and compares the colonists to foppish, effeminate idiots: the dandies.
But a summer exhibit at the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, closing Aug. 18, aims to reclaim the term. It explores dandyism through the ages, linking to the cutting edge of men's fashion and style. The name of the show is "Artist, Rebel, Dandy: Men of Fashion" — which does still leave you wondering what you might see.
When Robert Klein was a busboy in the Catskills, he saw the best Jewish comedians of the day. From Rodney Dangerfield and Mel Brooks, to comedy in its modern form, Klein was there to see the evolution of what makes us laugh. It made him the perfect person to narrate the documentary that opened this week in New York City, When Comedy Went to School. It's a look back at how many famous comedians got their start by spending their summers in the Catskill Mountains of upstate New York.
The Thai Elephant Orchestra is, remarkably, just what it sounds like. At a conservation center in Thailand, made for former work animals with nowhere to go, a group of elephants has been assembled and trained to play enormous percussion instruments, holding mallets in their trunks and sometimes trumpeting along.
The U.S. State Department issued a warning to Americans traveling abroad this weekend, as well as to many embassies and consulates, that it has learned of the possibility of a terrorist attack. Host Jacki Lyden speaks with James Fallows of The Atlantic.