Amnon Weinstein first encountered a violin from the Holocaust 50 years ago. He was a young violin maker in Israel, and a customer brought him an old instrument in terrible condition and wanted it restored.
The customer had played on the violin on the way to the gas chamber, but he survived because the Germans needed him for their death camp orchestra. He hadn't played on it since.
"So I opened the violin, and there inside there [were] ashes," Weinstein says.
One hundred years ago this Sunday, the Titanic struck an iceberg and sank into the Atlantic on its maiden voyage. At that very spot today is another luxury liner, there to mark the centennial of the disaster. Writer Lester Reingold is on board the memorial cruise, and he sends us this report.
Fifth District Rep. Melvin Henley and First District Sen. Ken Winters will remain in Frankfort for another week of legislative duty following Gov. Steve Beshear’s call for a special session. Lawmakers adjourned the 2012 regular session without funding a $4.5 billion transportation bill and a bill imposing new regulations on prescription drugs that was left in limbo. Taxpayers will reportedly be stuck with a $300,000 bill to fund another week of legislative action. Henley said he has become used to returning to Frankfort for special sessions during his four terms.
Mammoth Cave is celebrating National Park Week April 21-29 by offering a week of free tours and activities. Mammoth Cave Public Information Officer Vickie Carson says Mammoth Cave wasn’t required to offer free tours during the week—unlike parks that charge admission fees. But officials decided to offer two of the park’s cave tours—the Discovery and Mammoth Passage tours—free of charge on certain days.
In 2010, the University of Kentucky tried an experiment: professors in the College of Arts and Sciences took 20 summer school classes out of the lecture hall and into cyberspace, trying out the school's first large-scale attempt at online education. This summer, there will be 70 classes with more than 3,000 students already signed up. For Arts and Sciences Dean Mark Kornbluh, online summer school classes are less about entering some brave new world of online education and more about getting more students to graduate in four years.
Host Rachel Martin talks with Lester Reingold, a writer and Titanic enthusiast, just after he'll have attended a memorial honoring the 100-year anniversary of the Titanic's sinking from aboard a cruise ship, anchored right where the ship went down.
Several deaths and injuries have been reported following a tornado that rolled across Woodward, Okla. It was just one of the twisters that struck the Midwest on Saturday and overnight. As Kansas Public Radio's J. Schafer reports, more than 100 tornadoes touched down across four states.
We turn our attention now to Syria. United Nations observers are preparing to travel to Syria this week to start monitoring the fragile cease-fire between government forces and rebel fighters. The U.N. Security Council yesterday approved the deployment of a 30-member team. The monitors will have their work cut out for them. As NPR's Grant Clark reports from Beirut, military bombardment is reportedly continuing, despite an agreed truce.
To Istanbul now, where negotiators for Iran and six world powers say yesterday's talks on Iran's nuclear program represent a constructive beginning. They agreed to meet again next month in Baghdad. U.S. officials note there is still a long way to go before the world can be satisfied with Iran's claims that it's enriching uranium only for peaceful purposes. But both sides say they're willing to try a step-by-step approach to resolving the issue. NPR's Peter Kenyon has more.