The end of Round 8 of our Three-Minute Fiction contest has finally arrived. With help from our readers at the Iowa Writers' Workshop, New York University, the University of Oregon and the University of Texas, at Austin, we've read through more than 6,000 stories.
Submissions had to be original works of short fiction — no more than 600 words. They also had to begin with this sentence: "She closed the book, placed it on the table, and finally, decided to walk through the door."
It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.
Twelve countries joined to form the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO, 63 years ago. The purpose: to keep Soviet expansion in check. General Dwight D. Eisenhower was the first supreme commander.
It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.
The Roger Clemens perjury trial continues tomorrow. And for a sixth day, the prosecution's star witness will be back on the stand. Brian McNamee, Clemen's one-time trainer, is the only witness who has directly linked the former baseball pitcher to steroid use. Clemens, of course, is a seven-time Cy Young Award winner who's accused of lying to Congress when he denied ever using performance-enhancing drugs.
Friends and relatives take part in the funeral ceremony of Sergei Magnitsky at a cemetery in Moscow in 2009. The tax lawyer was arrested after he began investigating fraud at Hermitage Capital, which had been seized by the Russian tax police. He later died in prison.
Credit Mikhail Voskresensky / Reuters/Landov
Magnitsky's mother, Nataliya Magnitskaya, holds a photo of her son in Moscow, in 2009.
And if you're just tuning in, this is WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.
Here's a terrible statistic: Once a veteran is home from Iraq or Afghanistan, he or she is more likely to die by suicide than from injuries sustained in the combat theater. There is new research that suggests those injuries may actually be contributing to the suicides.
At first, Deborah Kogan of New York says, she thought it would pass. Her 4-year-old son's fever had been on the rise for hours, and he was looking puffy. Kogan took Leo to the pediatrician, who thought it might be strep throat. It wasn't.
A few days later, Leo "woke up, and he looked as if he was one of the characters in The Nutty Professor. His face ballooned about twice its normal size." She posted a photo of Leo on Facebook. That's when the crowdsourced diagnosis took shape.
World leaders are meeting with President Obama in his hometown of Chicago for a two-day NATO summit focused heavily on Afghanistan.
Obama warned of the difficulty ahead as the summit confronted questions about Afghanistan's future. The summit kicked off on Sunday with a meeting between Obama and Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai, the two key players to determine that future.
"We still have a lot of work to do and there will be great challenges ahead," Obama said. "The loss of life continues in Afghanistan and there will be hard days ahead."
Host Rachel Martin talks with China scholar Perry Link about activist Chen Guangcheng's arrival in the U.S. Link has followed the lives of Chinese dissidents involved with the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests.
Out West Sunday, it will start getting dark earlier than normal, but just for a little while. A major solar eclipse, although not quite total, will spread across the skies in a 200-mile swath from Oregon into west Texas. Longtime Washington, D.C., meteorologist Bob Ryan has traveled the world chasing eclipses with his wife. He joins host Rachel Martin.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. World leaders are gathered in Chicago for a two-day NATO summit, which starts this morning. The summit agenda centers on Afghanistan, specifically figuring out how to meet a 2014 withdrawal deadline while shoring up Afghanistan's security forces. We'll hear a view from the White House in a moment. But we begin with this report from NPR's Jackie Northam in Chicago.
Egyptians are getting ready for an historic vote, their first real presidential election since former President Hosni Mubarak was ousted during the Arab Spring. Twelve candidates are in the running. One them, former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq, is already dividing voters ahead of Wednesday's vote. Many consider Shafiq a corrupt holdover from the old regime.
But as NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports from Cairo, he is gaining widespread support from Egyptians fed up with the growing insecurity in their country.
And when Egyptians head to the polls this week, many will be looking to celebrate the end of military rule, which began some 50 years ago. Observers warn that it won't be easy to send a deeply entrenched military back to its barracks, and they point to Turkey's experience as an example.
So as we just heard, this NATO summit will be crucial when it comes to working out who's going to put up the money needed to support and train Afghan security forces in the years to come. The White House is leading the charge, so next we go to Ben Rhodes, White House spokesman on national security issues. Ben Rhodes, thanks so much for joining us.
Host Rachel Martin takes a moment to remember William Henderson Foote, a black federal agent in Mississippi in the late 1800s. He was honored this week by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Last fall, Abe Lincoln lost his sword. A copper blade went missing from atop President Abraham Lincoln's burial site in Illinois. Authorities eventually recovered it, but in two pieces. Now, as Rachel Otwell reports, the artifact has been replaced.
RACHEL OTWELL, BYLINE: Lincoln's tomb is at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois. It's a massive structure with statues of Union soldiers that reach far into the sky. Mikle Siere works at the historic site. He describes the statue the sword was taken from.
Writer Paul Theroux can't shake Africa. Almost 50 years ago, he lived in the small central African nation of Malawi. Theroux was there for four years teaching English as a Peace Corps volunteer, and some of the most visceral details have stayed with him.
Let's turn now to how all of this is playing out on the ground. And for that, we're joined now by our two correspondents in the region. Julie McCarthy is in with us on the line from Islamabad in Pakistan and Quil Lawrence is in the Afghan capital Kabul. Good morning to you both.
When a bookmobile broke down last winter in rural Vermont, patrons, especially preschoolers, really missed it. Then a donor, who heard an NPR story about the rolling library's demise, came up with over $100,000 for a replacement. The town can't believe its good fortune. Vermont Public Radio's Charlotte Albright reports.
If life is a ballgame, then NPR's Mike Pesca is the guy in the stands, carrying his own stat-sheet and searching out empirical evidence. Host Rachel Martin speaks with Pesca about what the numbers have to say about injuries.
Behind the opening notes of "Welcome to the Jungle" was a musician with a sound and look all his own. Slash was the lead guitarist of the legendary band Guns N' Roses. His new album is called Apocalyptic Love.
Slash's given name was Saul Hudson. When he was a teenager, his friend's dad dubbed him "Slash" and it stuck. With a name like that, he was destined for rock stardom.
For years, it's been hard to find a picture of him without shades and a hat on.
The teachers' staff-room is a charming thatched building adjacent to the classrooms overlooking the dusty recreation and assembly ground at Good Hope Basic Primary School in Bentiu, the capital of oil-rich Unity State in South Sudan.
Bentiu is near the disputed border with Sudan and within striking distance of Sudanese fighter jets and warplanes.
At the G-8 summit Saturday, French President Francois Hollande said he wanted Greece to stay in the eurozone and expected the country to meet its commitments. In saying so, Hollande identified the difficult debate which has gripped Greece for months now.
Most Greeks want to keep the euro as their currency. Most also want to cancel the eurozone-imposed austerity measures that come with the billions in international bailout loans keeping the country solvent.
U.S. diplomats are breathing a sigh of relief Sunday after a human rights activist sheltered briefly by the U.S. embassy in Beijing was allowed to leave China and come to the United States. Chen Guangcheng arrived Saturday night with his wife and two children. He has a fellowship to study at New York University.
Chen appeared briefly before the cameras Saturday night in New York's Greenwich Village, where he will be living with his family and studying law.
On-Air Challenge: This week's challenge is a twist on "Characteristic Initials." We will gives clues for some famous people, past and present. The initial letters of the clues are also the initials of the answers.For example "Wrote Sonnets" would be "William Shakespeare."
Last Week's Challenge: Name a state capital. Change one of the vowels to another vowel and say the result phonetically. You will name a revered profession. What is it?
Following JP Morgan's disclosure of a $2 billion loss, a small but increasingly vocal group of lawmakers and economists are arguing that a 60-year-old piece if financial legislation should never have been repealed in 1999.
They say the law, known as the Glass-Steagall Act, was so consequential that there's a direct link between its repeal and both the 2008 financial meltdown and JPMorgan's huge loss.
Chinese legal activist Chen Guangcheng, center, arrives at Washington Square Village on the campus of New York University on Saturday in New York. Chen escaped from his village in April and was given sanctuary inside the U.S.
Update At 7:47 P.M. ET. Chen Guangcheng Addresses A Crowd Outside New York University:
Addressing a crowd outside New York University, Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng said he was grateful to the U.S. Embassy staff in Beijing for providing him a "safe haven." Through an interpreter, he said he was gratified that the Chinese government was handling his situation with "restraint and calm" and thankful for the opportunity to leave China to study at NYU.
Chen said he hoped Beijing would keep its promise to protect the family he had left behind.