Voters in Spain's northern region of Catalonia go to the polls Sunday in a parliamentary election that is shaping up as an unofficial referendum on secession. The current Catalan president has pledged to pursue a move toward independence if re-elected.
The region, which holds 8 million people, is the country's industrial engine. Catalans are resentful that their taxes are being siphoned off for poorer regions. The prospect of secession is opposed both by the Madrid government and the European Union.
Congolese flee the eastern town of Sake, just west of Goma, on Friday. Fighting between rebel and government forces in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo has displaced at least 100,000 people.
Credit John Burnett / NPR
Tariq Riebl, Oxfam humanitarian coordinator in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, meets refugees at the Don Bosco Catholic School, where thousands of displaced persons are setting up camp.
The rebel movement in the Democratic Republic of Congo has set off another humanitarian crisis. Tens of thousands of displaced villagers who fled the fighting are on the march with their belongings, and someone has to take care of them.
Into this sea of need wades Tariq Riebl, a tall 34-year-old German with a shaved head. He is the humanitarian program coordinator for the international charity Oxfam in the rebel-held city of Goma.
"Basically, what we're going to do, we have two teams," Riebl says.
Walk through downtown Chicago and you experience modern architecture to its fullest. There's the Auditorium Building by Louis Sullivan, the Federal Center by Mies van der Rohe and Marina City by Bertrand Goldberg — two towers made even more famous after starring on an album cover by the Chicago band Wilco.
On-air challenge: Every answer consists of a made-up two-word phrase in which the first word starts with CH, and the second word is pronounced the same as the first except with an SH sound. (The spelling may or may not change.) For example, given the clue "some Central African fish," the answer would be "Chad shad."
Cairo's Tahrir Square was nearly empty as the sun rose Saturday. A few demonstrators camped out overnight after mass protests on Friday condemned controversial decrees by Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi.
Earlier this week, Morsi gave himself unchecked powers until a constitution is written and passed by a popular referendum — in about two months. He also decreed that neither the body writing the constitution nor the upper house of Parliament could be dissolved by the courts.
Originally published on Sat November 24, 2012 4:26 pm
JACKI LYDEN, HOST:
I'm joined now by Professor Samer Shehata, professor of Middle East politics at Georgetown University. Welcome to you.
SAMER SHEHATA: Thank you.
LYDEN: So Mohammed Morsi was widely praised for his role in negotiating the cease-fire between Israel and Hamas this last week. And now he appears to be playing the same role on the international stage as his predecessor, Hosni Mubarak, and I mean by that, being an autocrat at home while being an international statesman.
The Department of Homeland Security is examining its policy on deadly force along the U.S.-Mexico border. In less than two years, U.S. Border Patrol agents have killed 18 Mexican citizens there — including eight people who were throwing rocks.
Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:
Stephen Colbert's Most Meaningful Musical Moments: Colbert loves music and loves to sing, so Fresh Air's Terry Gross asked him to bring a few songs that mean a lot to him and tell her why.
France's former first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, auctioneer Francois de Ricqles and former soccer coach Guy Roux preside over the 152nd Hospices de Beaune wine auction Sunday in Beaune, France. The charity auction raised an all-time high of $7.5 million, which goes to area hospitals.
Credit Emmanuel Foudrot / Reuters /Landov
Guests attend a wine tasting in the cellar of Hotel Dieu before the wine auction.
For the last century and a half, the wine season in France's grape-growing region of Burgundy has revolved around one major commercial event. On the third Sunday in November, hundreds of barrels of the recent harvest are sold to the highest bidder in a charity wine auction. The historic event, which took place this year on Nov. 18, has evolved into an A-list rendezvous for the power players in the international wine industry.
Jammed between Gray Thursday, Black Friday and Cyber Monday is yet another day devoted to shopping: Small Business Saturday.
Wallets are expected to open yet again on Saturday — this time for mom-and-pop stores. Main Street in Littleton, Colo., is filled with them. The street is lined with small bars and restaurants along with other businesses, including a spice store and a men's clothing boutique.
Dave Drake owns Colorado Frame and Savvy Stuff, the "savvy stuff" being women's accessories, purses, scarves and decorations.
Originally published on Fri November 23, 2012 5:34 pm
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish. Thousands of protesters flooded into the streets of Egypt today, some in support of the Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, others condemning what they called a power grab by the president that puts Egypt on the path to one-man rule. It is, in short, a nation visibly divided today. NPR's Leila Fadel reports from Cairo.
To escape fighting, thousands of civilians flee the town of Sake in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo on Thursday. Rebels captured Sake and made other advances in the area this week. Eastern Congo and the larger region have been the scene of frequent fighting over the past two decades.
Credit Phil Moore / AFP/Getty Images
Congo rebels from the group known as M23 run toward the town of Sake in the eastern part of the country on Thursday. The rebels captured the town as part of their gains this week.
It's a scene that's become wearily repetitive in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo: An uprising drives out poorly trained government troops, creating havoc and sending large numbers of refugees fleeing for their lives.
This time the rebel group is M23, or March 23. Their revolt began this spring, and earlier this week they took Goma, an important town on the country's eastern border, just across Lake Kivu from Rwanda. The rebels then proceeded to take the next town over, Sake.
William Beal, standing at center, started a long-term study on seed germination in 1879. He buried 20 bottles with seeds in them for later researchers to unearth and plant.
Credit G.L. Kohuth / Michigan State University
Richard Lenski examines the growth of bacteria on a plate on Jan. 12. He began an evolution experiment in 1988 with 12 identical flasks of bacteria to see if the populations would change over time in the same way.
Credit Kurt Stepnitz / Michigan State University
Bottles like this 90-year-old one were filled with seeds and sand, then buried by William Beal. Researchers periodically unearth a bottle and plant the seeds to see if they grow.
Originally published on Sun November 25, 2012 8:06 am
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
The cease-fire between Israel and Hamas is only two days old, and already both sides claim it's been violated. At issue are the circumstances surrounding the killing today of a Palestinian by the Israeli military. NPR's Philip Reeves reports from Gaza City.
It is now the day after and unless your Thanksgiving dishes were completely consumed by family and friends - maybe even licked clean - you've likely got some leftovers in the fridge and possibly a little holiday hangover when it comes to eating the exact same meal again. Katie Workman got us through a pre T-day crunch earlier this week. She's the author of the "Mom 100" cookbook and the creator of the "Mom 100" blog. We're going to ask her for some ideas on what do to with the leftovers. Hey there, Katie.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish. Thousands of protesters flooded the streets of Egypt today, some in support of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, others condemning what they called a power grab by the president that puts Egypt on the path to one-man rule. It is, in short, a nation visibly divided today. NPR's Leila Fadel joins us now from Cairo.
Editor's Note: Throughout the Syrian uprising, the government has allowed few foreign journalists and other outsiders into the country, and there has been limited information about life in many parts of the country. In this essay, a Syrian citizen describes life in the capital, Damascus. For security reasons, NPR is not identifying the author.
Artyom Savelyev, now 9, was sent back to Russia on a plane by his adoptive U.S. mother in 2010. The case stirred anger in Russia.
Credit Natalia Kolesnikova / AFP/Getty Images
Children play in an orphanage in Moscow. While some Russian officials are critical of foreign adoptions, the U.S. and Russia are finalizing an agreement designed to improve the safety and quality of adoptions of Russian children by American families.
Americans have been adopting Russian children in sizable numbers for two decades, and most of the unions have worked out well. But it remains a sensitive topic in Russia, where officials periodically point to high-profile cases of abuse or other problems.
Now, the two countries are putting the finishing touches on a new agreement governing these adoptions. It will make the process costlier and more time-consuming, but it's designed to address a host of concerns.
Some Russian officials still seem to bristle at the very thought of foreigners adopting Russian children.
Originally published on Fri November 23, 2012 12:49 pm
The Ig Nobel Prizes honor scientific research that, in the words of Master of Ceremonies Marc Abrahams, "first makes you laugh, and then makes you think." This year's prizes, awarded in late September, include citations for research into mysteriously green hair, potentially explosive colonoscopies, and the creation of equations that model the back-and-forth swing of a ponytail in motion.
Get out a pencil and paper and your graphic calculator because it's time for a little math review. And we'll warm up with some algebra, move on to imaginary numbers, then the quadratic formula, and we're going to finish up with a bit of vector calculus, how about some probability theory thrown in. No, no, no, I'm just joking. Don't turn off the radio just yet.
Up next, some food for thought as you chomp your Thanksgiving leftovers. Recycling paper and plastic, as you know, is an effective way to save money and energy. So why not recycle all the uneaten food that goes to waste? And there is an awful lot of it. Forty percent of the food in the U.S. today goes uneaten, which means Americans are throwing out the equivalent of $165 billion worth of food each year. But that's not all. Food waste, as it decays in landfills, also produces methane, which is a potent greenhouse gas.
Baby Jane Hudson is now 50 years old — or at least the strange and brilliant movie in which she's the main character is, just released as a beautifully remastered Blu-ray. Robert Aldrich's grotesque gothic tragedy is a cross between Gypsy, with its antithetical show-biz kid sisters, and Sunset Boulevard, with its decayed Hollywood glamour.
Director Ang Lee has a surprising affinity for the Indian hero of Life of Pi — that's his name, Pi, and he's seen at several ages but principally as a 17-year-old boy adrift on a lifeboat in the South Pacific. He's the lone survivor of a shipwreck that killed the crew, his family and a variety of zoo animals his father was transporting to North America for sale.
Actually, Pi is the lone human survivor. He shares his boat and its dwindling food supplies with a man-eating Bengal tiger.
Already this year, 105 women in Italy have been killed by husbands or boyfriends –- present or former.
Vanessa Scialfa, 29, was killed by her partner in Sicily. Alessia Francesca Simonetta, 25, was pregnant when she was stabbed to death by her boyfriend in Milan. Carmella Petrucci, 17, was stabbed in the throat as she tried to defend her sister from her ex-boyfriend.
Police inspector Francesca Monaldi, who heads the gender crime unit in Rome, says the names and the cities change, but the stories are very similar.