World

Science
5:11 pm
Sat March 9, 2013

Scientists Make Plans To Blast Threatening Asteroids

Originally published on Sat March 9, 2013 7:41 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "ARMAGEDDON")

STANLEY ANDERSON: (as the President) What is this thing?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It's enormous.

BILLY BOB THORNTON: (as Dan Truman) It's an asteroid, sir.

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

In the 1998 film "Armageddon," the character played by Bruce Willis saves the Earth by knocking aside an asteroid headed straight for us. Pure fiction, right? Well, maybe not.

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Analysis
5:11 pm
Sat March 9, 2013

Week In News: Responding To China's Pollution Problem

Originally published on Sat March 9, 2013 6:04 pm

Regular contributor and The Atlantic national correspondent James Fallows is in Shanghai, China, this week. Weekends on All Things Considered host Jacki Lyden speaks with him about all things China, including the country's response to the pollution problem and the hopes pinned to their new president.

Music
5:11 pm
Sat March 9, 2013

Orchestra Helps Deaf 'Feel' Its Music

Originally published on Sat March 9, 2013 6:04 pm

The National Orchestra of Wales has come up with a way to make music more inclusive: by opening it up to the deaf community. Freelance musician Andy Pidcock worked with the Orchestra to come up with a "sound box." Through vibrations, it transmits music to deaf people who can put their hands on it or even lie on top of it. Pidcock talks about it with Weekends on All Things Considered host Jacki Lyden. And, through an interpreter, Kate Galloway describes what it is like to feel music in this way.

Jazz
3:22 pm
Sat March 9, 2013

Tadd Dameron, A Jazz Master With A 'Lyrical Grace'

Tadd Dameron (smiling at center) was an important figure in American jazz and bebop. He is shown here with Fats Navarro on trumpet, and Charlie Rouse and Ernie Henry on saxophone.
William Gottlieb Library of Congress

Originally published on Sun March 10, 2013 6:30 am

In the 1940s and '50s, Tadd Dameron worked with everyone who was anyone in jazz, from Miles Davis to Artie Shaw, Count Basie to John Coltrane. Everything Dameron touched had one thing in common, says Paul Combs, author of Dameronia: The Life and Work of Tadd Dameron.

"A penchant for lyricism," Combs says. "Almost everything that he writes has a very lyrical grace to it."

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All Tech Considered
3:11 pm
Sat March 9, 2013

How Kenya's High-Tech Voting Nearly Lost The Election

An Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission official carries closed ballot boxes to be counted in Mombasa.
Ivan Lieman AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 9, 2013 5:10 pm

It was supposed to be the most modern election in African history. Biometric identification kits with electronic thumb pads, registration rolls on laptops at every polling station, and an SMS-relayed, real-time transmission of the results to the National Tallying Center in Nairobi.

Ambitious? Of course. Only 23 percent of the country has access to electricity.

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Middle East
12:14 pm
Sat March 9, 2013

A Chat With A Radical Fighter In Syria

Members of Jabhat al-Nusra clean their weapons, in Aleppo in December. The Islamist rebel group has become an increasingly powerful force in Syria's civil war.
Ahmed Jadallah Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 6:51 am

The Islamist rebel group Jabhat al-Nusra has been secretive, keeping to itself and refusing to meet Western journalists. The group has been designated a terrorist organization by the Obama administration and was thought to be made up mostly of foreign fighters, working alongside Syrian rebels.

But lately, members are starting to open up as more Syrians join the group and they make more gains on the ground in the fight against the Syrian government.

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All Tech Considered
11:50 am
Sat March 9, 2013

Could This Robot Save Your Job?

Baxter is billed by its makers as a "collaborative manufacturing robot." It can work alongside humans to do simple, repetitive tasks.
© Stephen F. Bevacqua Courtesy of Rethink Robotics

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Latin America
8:18 am
Sat March 9, 2013

Venezuela Remembers Chavez, Inaugurates His Ally

Host Scott Simon speaks with NPR's Juan Forero about Venezuela's mourning period for its late president, Hugo Chavez.

This Is NPR
8:13 am
Sat March 9, 2013

Jonathan Levine Loves NPR

Melissa Kuypers NPR

Director Jonathan Levine talked to All Things Considered host Audie Cornish about his new movie, the zombie romantic comedy called Warm Bodies. Zombies are often used as a metaphor for mindless consumption, but Levine sees them as a metaphor for adolescence, where you're trapped in your own body, totally incoherent and inarticulate when faced with a beautiful girl you want to impress. Warm Bodies is not unlike a John Hughes movie, really.

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Middle East
7:10 am
Sat March 9, 2013

From The U.S., Watching Syria's Slow And Brutal Spiral

Originally published on Sat March 9, 2013 8:18 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Not every Syrian American can go to the lengths that Abu Ahmed did, but here in the United States, they are watching the conflict closely. Muna Jondy was born in this country, but her father's family is from Daraa where the first protest back in 2011 began. She's an immigration lawyer in Flint, Michigan and president of a group called United for a Free Syria. She joins us from Michigan Radio in Ann Arbor. Thanks for being with us.

MUNA JONDY: Thank you for having me, Scott.

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Middle East
7:10 am
Sat March 9, 2013

Unrest Boils As Egyptian Court Confirms Death Sentences

Originally published on Sat March 9, 2013 8:18 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. A court in Egypt today upheld the death sentences of 21 soccer fans from Port Said for murder during a bloody soccer riot that occurred there last year. And the court's decision apparently enraged the city.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: (foreign language spoken)

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Middle East
7:10 am
Sat March 9, 2013

Syrian-Americans Contribute To Rebels' Cause

Originally published on Sat March 9, 2013 8:19 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

For nearly two years, Syrians living in the United States have watched their home country fall apart. Now in a moment, we'll hear the story of one Syrian-American who's watched the conflict from her home in Michigan, but who hasn't escaped tragedy. First, we bring you an encore broadcast of a report from NPR's Kelly McEvers.

She told us the story of one man who used his vacation time to travel from California back to Syria. His plan: to help the rebels bring down the government.

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Religion
7:10 am
Sat March 9, 2013

Pope News Leaks From Factious Conclave

Originally published on Sat March 9, 2013 8:18 am

Host Scott Simon talks with reporter and author John Thavis about the divisions among cardinals voting at the conclave to select a new pope for the Catholic Church. Thavis is the author of The Vatican Diaries.

Middle East
7:10 am
Sat March 9, 2013

When Insects Go Biblical: Swarms Head Toward Israel

Originally published on Sun March 10, 2013 8:47 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

If it just sounded like this, might not be all that bad.

(SOUNDBITE OF GRASSHOPPER)

SIMON: That's a grasshopper, and this is the sound of what happens when grasshoppers go biblical, and become a swarm of locusts.

(SOUNDBITE OF SWARM OF LOCUSTS)

SIMON: Just such a swarm of locusts have entered Israel's Negeve desert on Friday and that's bad news for farmers because the insects eat everything that's green.

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Latin America
5:40 am
Sat March 9, 2013

Venezuelan Oil Subsidies Still Buoy Neighbors, For Now

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Leonel Fernandez, the president of the Dominican Republic, sign an agreement in 2010. The Dominican Republic gets about 40,000 barrels of oil a day from Venezuela.
Manuel Diaz AP

Originally published on Sat March 9, 2013 2:06 pm

Venezuela's late president, Hugo Chavez, was a tremendous supporter of Latin American countries, especially those sympathetic to his socialist ideals.

The country's vast oil reserves are a key source of economic aid, but the Chavez didn't just help out his ideological peers like Cuba and Nicaragua. He was also a great benefactor to key U.S. allies in the Caribbean — many of whom now worry whether their vital oil lifeline is about to be shut off.

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Africa
5:39 am
Sat March 9, 2013

A Big Battle Over A Tiny Isle In The Nile

An Egyptian farmer drinks tea near his home on Qursaya island, in the Nile River, next to Cairo, in January. The Egyptian military says it is the registered owner of the island's land, a claim disputed by the farmers and fishermen who live there.
Nasser Nasser AP

Originally published on Sat March 9, 2013 8:18 am

It's not easy to get to Qursaya island, a tiny bit of land in the middle of the Nile River in Cairo, Egypt's capital. You have to take a boat from the riverbank. There are no cars on the island, and it's only had running water for a few years.

It's a quiet 70-acre patch of agricultural land amid a megacity, where mooing cows provide the soundtrack, and farmers and fishermen have lived for generations.

But not all is as bucolic as it seems: The island is at the heart of a yearslong legal battle between those farmers and the government.

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Asia
5:39 am
Sat March 9, 2013

How Credible Are North Korea's Threats?

North Korea's rhetoric has been particularly aggressive recently, but analysts say it remains difficult to gauge the country's intentions and its military capabilities.
Pedro Ugarte AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 8:18 am

When it comes to talking a big game, no one does it better than the North Koreans.

Just this week, Pyongyang vowed to turn Seoul, the capital of archrival South Korea, into a "sea of fire," promised to launch a "pre-emptive strike on the headquarters of the aggressors" (read: the United States) and called on its army to "annihilate the enemy."

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The Two-Way
5:02 am
Sat March 9, 2013

With Hagel In Afghanistan, Explosion Hits Near Defense Ministry

Afghanistan National Army soldiers and security personnel walk at the site of a suicide attack next to the Ministry of Defense main gate in Kabul on Saturday.
Massoud Hossaini AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 9, 2013 2:38 pm

A bomb exploded near the Defense Ministry in Kabul on Saturday morning as U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was visiting in Afghanistan. The Taliban claimed responsibility, calling it a message to the new Pentagon chief.

Update At 10:49 a.m. ET: Hagel Not Surprised

Hagel was nowhere near the attack, but the AP reports he heard the blast:

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
10:05 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Limericks

Originally published on Sat March 9, 2013 10:50 am

Transcript

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Coming up, it's Lightning Fill in the Blank, but first it's the game where you have to listen for the rhyme. If you'd like to play on air, call or leave a message at 1-888-Wait-Wait, that's 1-888-924-8924. You can click the contact us link on our website waitwait.npr.org.

There you can find out about attending our weekly live shows here at the Chase Bank Auditorium in Chicago and our shows in Rockford, Illinois at the beautiful Coronado Theater there on April 4th. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
10:05 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Bluff The Listener

Originally published on Sat March 9, 2013 10:50 am

Transcript

BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ-Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!, the NPR News quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis, filling in for Carl Kasell. We're playing this week with Paula Poundstone, Roy Blount Jr., and Firoozeh Dumas. And here again is the host, at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

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