Russia's neighbor, Ukraine, is experiencing a linguistic rift. Ukraine's president, Viktor Yanukovych, has signed a law making Russian one of the country's official regional languages. Russian is spoken primarily in the country's east and south; Ukrainian is spoken in the west and center. And Ukrainian speakers fear that Russian could crowd out Ukrainian, as it did in Soviet times. David Stern reports from Kiev.
DAVID STERN, BYLINE: Ukraine is country that is sometimes united by its two main languages.
Cooking on hot summer days tends to be something we either do outside, or try not to do at all. But at the same time, we are in the season of wonderful food. And if you're lucky enough to live near farm stands in the country or farmers markets in the city, real tomatoes, fresh corn and new potatoes are all around. For inspiration, I get out a worn, stained paperback book written by an Englishwoman, Elizabeth David, in the 1950s. It's called "Summer Cooking."
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer. The race for the White House is nearly in full swing. The presumptive Republican ticket is now set. Both parties are gearing up for their respective conventions, which are coming right up. Both President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney are waging a tough battle over the future of Medicare. In Florida yesterday, Romney's running mate, Paul Ryan, enlisted an important ally.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.
Four years ago, American voters were presented with a unique choice and elected Barack Obama the first African-American president. Now, for different reasons, the choice is again unique. This year, for the first time since the founding of the republic, there is no white, Anglo-Saxon Protestant represented on either major presidential ticket. What might that mean? Is the face of the American ruling class changing?
We talked to voters in Virginia this week in Henrico County, a tossup county in a swing state. On state maps, Henrico County seems to be draped over north Richmond like a shawl. It's a critical region for both parties. President Barack Obama was there in mid-July. He carried Virginia last time and wants to hold on. Both Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan were in Henrico County in the last couple of weeks.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.
Once again, taxes will be a major part of the battle for the 2012 election. Conservative ads out last week seek to savage what they call Obama's Tax Hike, a reference to letting the Bush tax cuts for wealthier families expire at the end of the year.
(SOUNDBITE OF A POLITICAL AD)
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Liberals say raise taxes on the rich. But Reid's Senate passed Obama's tax hike, hurting so many small businesses.
On-air challenge: This week's puzzle is called "Anagram K-pers." Every answer is a familiar word starting with the letter "K." You identify the words from their anagrams. For example, K + vane will make "knave."
Last week's challenge: Name two insects. Read the names one after the other. Insert an "H" somewhere in this string of letters, and you'll complete a familiar word that is the opposite of what either of these insects is. What word is it?
In an alley in Little Village on Chicago's West Side, the faint sound of music from a Spanish-speaking radio station wafts in the air and garbage cans are sprayed with gang graffiti. They look like the tattoos on 17-year-old Elias Roman's arms.
"This [alleyway] right here is where I caught my first gun case," says Elias, who was born and raised in the neighborhood, home to a large Mexican-American community.
The weak economy is helping to drive thousands more college graduates into the U.S. military.
Since the recession began in 2007, there's been a steady increase in the number of college graduates joining the armed forces. The Navy and Army have seen the biggest jumps. About 60 percent more college grads joined the Navy last year than in 2007.
For some of them, it's a job some would never have imagined for themselves just a few years ago.
It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Cheryl Corley. Guy Raz is away.
Over the last two years, Wisconsin seems to have suddenly become an epicenter of national politics and, even more so, conservative politics. Governor Scott Walker survived a hotly contested recall effort following a big battle with the unions.
Hope Solo is generally regarded as the best women's goalkeeper in the world. Fresh off winning her third-straight Olympic gold medal with the U.S. national team, Solo has been as busy off the field as on it, releasing an autobiography titled Solo: A Memoir of Hope.
The memoir details her rise as an international celebrity, but it also focuses on the complicated relationship she had with her father, who taught her to play soccer.
If you ever listened to jazz vocalists and wondered if you could ever in your life scat like them, there's someone who's willing to teach you. The vocalist Rhiannon has long held the importance of improvisation as a personal credo, and in her career has blended that art form with jazz, world music and storytelling.
Some Oklahoma City parents use the Capitol Hill public library as a babysitting center. They drop children off when the library opens; they pick them up when it closes.
Certain librarians might see this as a nuisance. My girlfriend, Jennifer Jones — the children's librarian — sees it as an opportunity. And she is developing the Safari After-School Project, a program for the kids that includes mentoring and tutoring.
There are roughly 21 funerals a day at Arlington National Cemetery. The majority are simple graveside burials. But for those soldiers who have earned "full honors," the casket is brought to the grave by a team of horses pulling a caisson.
These horses are the subject of a new series of portraits by 35-year-old Dutch photographer Charlotte Dumas now on view at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. The horses seem sad, and Dumas says that's what drives her work.
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:
Jazz Vocalist Susie Arioli Goes 'All The Way': Listen to an in-studio concert and conversation with the Canadian singer and her longtime guitarist, Jordan Officer.
Aamir Liaquat, 41, is one of Pakistan's most famous and controversial TV hosts. During the holy month of Ramadan, he broadcasts live for 11 hours a day while fasting and drawing record audiences. Back in 2008, remarks he made about a religious minority in Pakistan were followed by a wave of deadly violence. He was fired and recently rehired.
Credit Courtesy of Geo TV
Liaquat has recently returned to Geo TV, Pakistan's top TV channel, amid much fanfare and an even bigger salary. The president of Geo TV, Imran Aslam, says one condition of Liaquat's rehiring is that he sign a new code of ethics.
Credit Courtesy of Geo TV
Mohammad Aslam Bhatti, 34, shares photos of himself taken after he was shot in the head, torso and arm by militants he says were motivated by Aamir Liaquat's TV program.
As Pakistan's media has expanded in recent years, there's been a rise in Islamic preachers with popular TV call-in talk shows. And they've had their share of scandal. One famous TV host fled the country after embezzlement allegations. Others are accused of spewing hate speech.
That's the case for Pakistan's most popular televangelist, Aamir Liaquat, who's just been rehired by the country's top TV channel despite accusations that he provoked deadly attacks in 2008.
The Valomilk was once advertised as "the 5-cent candy bar with the 50-cent taste." And while the price has changed, the product has not.
For more than 80 years, the family-owned Russell Sifers Candy Company has been using the same recipe to churn out a rich concoction of chocolate and creamy marshmallow goo.
The candy-making machines are busy on the factory floor in Merriam, Kan., just southwest of Kansas City. This is the headquarters of the century-old company, where Russell Sifers himself is a fourth-generation candy maker.
Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent of New York state's Department of Financial Services, got British bank Standard Chartered to pay a $340 million settlement over allegations that it schemed with the Iranian government to launder billions of dollars.
Banking industry officials say it's unheard of: A state regulator, flying solo, threatens to take away the state license of a global bank — and then secures a very public settlement.
That's exactly what happened in New York this past week, when the state's Department of Financial Services reached a settlement with Britain's Standard Chartered Bank over allegations that it schemed with the Iranian government to launder billions of dollars.
A memorial marks the site of the 1890 Wounded Knee Massacre in Wounded Knee, S.D. The town is located on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, home to the Oglala Sioux Tribe.
Credit Kristi Eaton / AP
In 1973, members of the American Indian Movement occupied the town of Wounded Knee, S.D., on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. They were protesting the murder of an Oglala Lakota man and the failed impeachment of a tribal president that AIM members accused of corruption. The protests escalated into a deadly standoff that lasted 71 days.
In the late 1960s, Native Americans fed up with what they saw as years of mistreatment by the federal government formed an organization known as the American Indian Movement.
Founded in Minnesota, the group followed in the footsteps of the civil rights movement and took up protests across the country. One of those protests took place in 1973, when some AIM members occupied the South Dakota town of Wounded Knee, located on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
Originally published on Sat August 18, 2012 7:58 am
If you toss a corn dog at a state or county fair this summer, you may bonk a politician.
Congress is in recess, but for politicians, it's not recess of the kind they have in grade school. Many pols, especially in a close election year, spend the summer shaking hands at meet-and-greets. They cock their heads to pay rapt attention during listening tours and community meetings, raise money, make speeches, hurl charges, countercharges and ask for votes.
Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa (right) flips pork chops at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines while Terry Aupperle of Wiota watches. Aupperle lives in Cass County. He can't vote for King anymore because of redistricting.
Credit Clay Masters / Iowa Public Radio
Former Iowa first lady Christie Vilsack speaks at a political soapbox at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines.
One of the country's toughest congressional races is in Iowa between Republican Rep. Steve King and the state's former first lady, Christie Vilsack.
Iowa is losing a seat in the House after the election, due to redistricting. Now ultra-conservative King is facing a more moderate electorate as he runs in the newly redrawn 4th Congressional District against a political newcomer.
Egypt's new president, Mohammed Morsi, has promised to improve the lives of ordinary Egyptians during his first 100 days in office. But Morsi, shown here in July, is dealing with multiple challenges, including an economy that has been struggling since last year's revolution.
Egypt's new Islamist president, Mohammed Morsi, has made sweeping promises to the Egyptian people, saying he'll improve the quality of their lives during his first 100 days in office.
Morsi has been busy on several fronts, but he has only a few weeks left to fulfill those big pledges.
His promises have come in nightly radio broadcasts during the holy month of Ramadan. A decent loaf of bread is a demand for us all, he declared in one of those broadcasts, saying subsidized bread will be more widely available and of better quality.
The quayside at Compagnia della Vela in Venice, Italy, is largely deserted. Authorities have targeted yacht owners as part of a crackdown on tax evasion, and many boat owners have sailed to other countries in the Mediterranean.
Credit Bloomberg via Getty Images
A foreign yacht is berthed at Porto Santo Stefano. Italian police have been raiding ports to check if yacht owners have been paying enough taxes.
Italy has a public debt of nearly 2 trillion euros, and it's cracking down on its notoriously wily tax evaders. Owners of luxury yachts are a prime target, with tax police launching dockside raids to see how individual tax files line up with owning and maintaining an expensive boat.
But yachts are mobile assets. In response, many boat owners are simply weighing anchor and setting course for more tax-friendly Mediterranean marinas.
Summertime is beach time in Southern California, even at night. Locals gather around bonfires, roast marshmallows and enjoy each other's company. On some very special nights, there's even sex — at least for the fish.
The grunion run happens only in the spring and summer months. Late at night, under the full and new moons, thousands of tiny, silvery fish swim to shore for a very peculiar mating ritual.