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.
Blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng and his family are due to arrive in Newark this evening after a surprise early-morning flight from Beijing. Host Guy Raz gets the latest from NPR's Michele Kelemen, who's been following the story.
NPR's Scott Horsley talks about what some are terming the "diplopaloozaa" this weekend, when President Obama hosts the G8 conference at Camp David on Saturday and the next day plays host to two dozen NATO heads of state in Chicago.
John Mayer is one of the biggest-selling artists of the last decade — and with love interests like Jessica Simpson and Jennifer Aniston, one of its most pursued by the media. In 2010, he gave a pair of interviews to Rolling Stone and Playboy that shocked readers with sexually aggressive and racially insensitive language. Mayer seemed to be self-destructing in full view of his fans.
At 73, Tamae Watanabe is the oldest woman to summit Mount Everest — again. The last time she made the record, she was 63.
She reached the top with four other team members Saturday morning after an all-night climb, Asian Trekking says. The Japanese mountaineer was leading Asian Trekking's International Everest Expedition 2012.
The world leaders at the G-8 Summit meet at a time of many urgent concerns, including the shaky world economy. But an article on ForeignPolicy.com says that the nations represented at the summit lack the power to lead right now, and questions what the G-8 can accomplish at this meeting or in the future. Ian Bremmer is the author of that article. His is the president of the Eurasia Group, an international consulting firm, and he joins us from New York. Mr. Bremmer, thanks for being with us.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. A tall white rocket is still standing on a launch pad at Cape Canaveral in Florida. The rocket belongs to a company called SpaceX, and it was supposed to blast-off this morning, send an unmanned capsule on a mission to the International Space Station - the first time a personal spacecraft will try to visit the station. But the launch attempt fizzled out this morning in the last seconds of the countdown.
Katie Beckett has died in Cedar Rapids, Iowa at the age of 34. She was just 3 years old when her case changed health care law. NPR's Joseph Shapiro has more.
JOSEPH SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Katie Beckett died Friday morning in the same hospital where she'd once made history. In 1981, Katie Beckett was living at St. Luke's Methodist Hospital in Cedar Rapids. She was stuck there because of a clash between advancing medical technology and antiquated health care law.
The Olympic torch has arrived in Britain, ahead of this summer's Games in London. The torch, lit at the original location of the Games at the ancient Greek site of Olympia one week ago, flew in from Athens yesterday. Just a few hours ago, the historic flame began its tour of the UK. Vicki Barker reports from London.
This afternoon, the 137th running of the Preakness takes place at the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. Kentucky Derby Winner, the horse called, I'll Have Another, will try to capture the second jewel in the Triple Crown of Horse Racing, something only 10 horses have done since 1978. I'll Have Another, its trainer and owner all come from Southern California, and hopes are high that a big win will give a much-needed boost to horse racing in the California. NPR'S Carrie Kahn reports.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Stock in Facebook went on sale for the first time yesterday, the largest initial public offering of stock for an Internet company, and the sale instantly created scores of millionaires in Silicon Valley, about half a dozen or so billionaires. NPR's technology correspondent Steven Henn joins us. He's followed it all from Silicon Valley. Steve, thanks for being with us.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.
Chen Guangcheng, the blind, Chinese human rights lawyer, is on a plane headed for America right now, according to his friends and supporters. Chinese authorities gave Mr. Chen a passport today and drove him to an airport in Beijing. His departure caps a remarkable few weeks that included a daring escape from house arrest and high-stakes, diplomatic negotiations.
NPR's Frank Langfitt has been following the story from Shanghai. Frank, thanks for being with us.
The Facebook IPO hasn't just sent a jolt of excitement through Silicon Valley, there are many average individual investors who are also thrilled. NPR's Sonari Glinton has more.
SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: All right. It's a little after 9:30 on Friday. The bell just rang on the NASDAQ, and I'm gonna check in with some regular investors. I'm gonna start with Nelly Sai-Palm. She's a student at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business, and I'm going to give her a call.
In the race for the Republican presidential nomination, only one candidate remains to challenge presumptive nominee Mitt Romney: Texas Rep. Ron Paul.
Even Paul has said he will no longer campaign in states that have yet to hold their primaries. And Paul has always been considered a long shot to win. But that hasn't deterred many of his hard-core supporters, including the Silicon Valley billionaire who has bankrolled the superPAC backing Paul.