There's a public middle school in Brooklyn, N.Y., called Intermediate School 318, or I.S. 318. Like others in the area, it's a Title I school, which means it has a poverty level that's more than 65 percent. But unlike other schools, it's got the highest-ranked junior-high chess team in the nation. In fact, Brooklyn IS 3-18 has won more than 30 national chess titles.
I.S. 318 is the subject of a new documentary called Brooklyn Castle. The film has picked up audience awards at the SXSW and Hot Docs film festivals.
Originally published on Sun November 25, 2012 7:45 am
The Israeli bombardment of Gaza continued Sunday — with one missile strike flattening a two-story building in Gaza City, killing at least 11 people, including women and children; another hit a media building and injured six journalists. Israel says its actions have been prompted by a barrage of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip, targeting Israeli cities. Meanwhile, diplomatic negotiations are under way, but Israel is continuing preparations for a ground invasion.
Fierce fighting has continued in recent days between the Syrian Army and rebels in the suburbs. The Syrian Opposition has been fragmented, but this month its factions reached a new understanding and appointed a leader. Host Rachel Martin discusses latest developments in the Syria crisis with NPR's Deborah Amos and Kelly McEvers.
The election has also triggered some soul searching among evangelical Christian voters. Now, one of the movement's top leaders says it's time to stop the war rhetoric and start reaching out for compromise. Host Rachel Martin talks with Jim Daly, the president and CEO of Focus on the Family, about the post-election direction of the conservative evangelical movement.
Host Rachel Martin speaks with British writer Tessa Hadley about her new collection of short stories, Married Love and Other Stories. Hadley teaches creative writing at the University of Bath in the United Kingdom, and her stories regularly appear in The New Yorker magazine.
Host Rachel Martin speaks with NPR's Shankar Vedantam about the psychology behind the fiscal cliff negotiations. Vedantam says humans evolved as short-term thinkers, which makes dealing with the long-term problem of the national debt particularly difficult.
Isaiah Sheffer, host of public radio show Selected Shorts and the driving force behind Symphony Space in New York, has died. In the late 1970s, Sheffer turned an abandoned theater in New York City into a thriving arts complex. He died after a stroke at the age of 76.
An unusual list of words popped up recently on China's Twitter equivalent, Weibo. The words are in English, but they've gone viral on the Chinese Twittersphere. Chinese "netizens" have come up with satirical misspellings of "democrazy" and "freedamn."
At nearly 80, Willie Nelson remains impressively prolific: lots of songs, lots of kids and, fittingly, lots of autobiographies. The country singer's latest memoir is called Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die, after a song on his Heroes album, released earlier this year. Nelson says those seeking earth-shattering revelations about his life should look elsewhere; that wasn't his intention in writing the book.
Vegetarians don't need your sympathy on Thanksgiving, says Dan Pashman, host of a food podcast and blog called The Sporkful. Pashman is an omnivore, but he spoke to vegetarians and found "it actually makes them feel uncomfortable when a host goes to extreme lengths to make something special just for them."
Americans own an estimated 300 million guns. It's a level of gun ownership that no other country in the world comes close to matching. It's also a source of controversy in the U.S., where groups on both sides of the issue seem to have dug deep into the debate.
Sen. Barbara Boxer says we can finally stop using the term "Year of the Woman" once the Senate reaches a 50-50 split of men and women. "That's the goal," she says.
We're not quite there yet. But in 2013, more women will be serving in Congress than ever before. There will be 20 women in the Senate. When Boxer took her seat in 1993, there were six — and that was after tripling from two the term before.
So what does the California Democrat have to say about the fact that there's still a gender gap? Let's put this in perspective.
On a street corner in Midland Beach on Staten Island, volunteers have set up a makeshift stand. There's no tent here, no corporate logos — just a couple of folding tables and cardboard boxes full of food, clothing and cleaning supplies.
Ross Decker is the guy in charge.
"Anytime we run out of something, I tell the people just come back in 20 minutes, it'll be here," he says.
Decker says the site, badly flooded during Superstorm Sandy, was picked by a handful of local churches. This volunteer operation seems to be stocked mainly through the kindness of strangers.
Special Note:Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, the deadline for this week's puzzle is Wednesday by 3 p.m. Eastern.
On-air challenge: Each clue is a two- or three-word description of a famous person in which the initial letters of the description are also the initials of the person. For example, given the clue "Motown great," the answer would be Marvin Gaye.
It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.
Intensive diplomatic efforts are under way in the Middle East to broker a truce between Israel and Hamas. Those efforts haven't stopped the two sides from escalating their attacks. And if the diplomacy fails, Israel could decide to invade Gaza. NPR's Anthony Kuhn joins us now from Gaza with the latest. Anthony, what's been happening today so far?
The conflict between Israel and the Gaza Strip continues to escalate after Israeli airstrikes flattened key targets in Gaza, and Palestinian rockets threatened deeper into Israel than ever before.
The death toll in Gaza doubled overnight to at least 39 people, NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports from Gaza City. Around 300 airstrikes overnight hit the Hamas prime minister's headquarters, a police compound and a vast network of smuggling tunnels, among other targets.
Director Ang Lee's new film, Life of Pi, tells the story of a 16-year-old Indian boy who is the lone survivor of a terrible shipwreck. Pi Patel finds himself lost at sea, alone on a boat with a Bengal tiger.
The film is based on Yann Martel's fantasy novel of the same name. The book won the 2002 Man Booker prize for fiction and was optioned to be turned into a film even though it was considered by many in Hollywood to be unfilmable: How do you make a movie that takes place almost entirely on a boat? And with a real tiger?
Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 7:30 am
Sarah and Yael Levintin raised their wine glasses to the sky and toasted the Iron Dome system that had just been deployed outside Israel's commercial center.
The two sisters decided to leave their apartment Friday evening after two rockets fired into the Tel Aviv area were successfully intercepted by the system.
"We had stayed home all day because we didn't want to take the chance that, you know, we'd be away from the bomb shelter," said Yael Levintin. "We aren't used to war. I guess we are kind of babies about it."
Former Bears Coach Mike Ditka was hospitalized after suffering a minor stroke on Friday. The Hall of Famer says doctors have assured him the stroke was slight, and he told The Chicago Tribune, "I feel good right now and it's not a big deal." As the Tribune explains: