James Bond has been updated for the 21st century. Now he's a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, drives a Jetta instead of an Aston-Martin and uses iPhone apps instead of spy gadgets. The estate of the late Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond, asked suspense writer Jeffery Deaver to write the book, surprising some fans with their choice of an American author. Host Scott Simon speaks with Deaver about his new book, Carte Blanche, the latest installment in the five-decade-long James Bond series.
Firefighters in Eastern Arizona have started to make progress in battling the wildfires that have ripped unchecked through thousands of acres of forest over the past two weeks. Nearly 10,000 residents have fled the fires, which have destroyed at least 29 homes and 35 other buildings in the area. Host Scott Simon gets the latest from Peter O'Dowd of member station KJZZ in Phoenix.
The Nation's capital is no stranger to scandal. Three decades ago, Mayor Marion Barry was busted smoking crack in a motel. Since then, leaders in Washington, D.C., have worked hard to restore the city's image. But a series of scandals involving the new mayor and nearly half the city council have some questioning if the District is returning to the old days.
While the NATO chief claims Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi could be expelled any day now, others say the situation in Libya has reached a stalemate. Host Scott Simon talks with Dirk Vandewalle, professor of government at Dartmouth, about what's led to the stalemate and the prospects for breaking it.
A big reason the American delegation is on a trade mission in Zambia is China. The world's other economic superpower has fanned out across the African continent in the past decade, building roads, drilling wells and mining minerals. In the long history of foreign influence in Africa, China is the newest and most visible presence. Host Scott Simon talks to NPR East Africa correspondent Frank Langfitt about China's growing investments in Africa.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Zambia to promote trade with Africa. The U.S. is in competition, however, with China, which has been buying up African commodities. NPR's Michele Kelemen reports.
Here's an old joke: I went to a fight and a hockey game broke out. That might not be so far from the truth in the Stanley Cup series between Vancouver and Boston. There's not much love lost between the combatants in the NBA Finals, either. Host Scott Simon talks to NPR's Tom Goldman about the championship series in the NHL and the NBA.
The once-warm relationship between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is deteriorating and could cause Syria to lose a key ally in the region. Host Scott Simon talks to NPR's Deborah Amos, who is monitoring the conflict in Syria from Beirut, about the effects of the dispute on the region.