Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 6:18 pm
For 62 years, Saudi Arabia has been ruled by sons of the founder of the Kingdom, Abdul Aziz. The new king is a part of this generation, as is the crown prince he has named. But eventually the monarchy will have to pass to the next generation, which is made up of thousands of princes. Robert Siegel talks to Middle East specialist Joseph Braude about Saudi succession.
Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 6:18 pm
Two years ago, the Akron, Ohio, police recruiting video began with pulsing music and an image of police in helmets and camouflage with assault rifles ready. This year, the most prominent video demonstrates how to prepare for the physical tests to be hired.
Joseph Sledge is a free man after 37 years in prison following Friday's decision by a judicial panel in North Carolina to overturn his 1976 conviction in the stabbing deaths of an elderly mother and her daughter.
Originally published on Sat January 24, 2015 10:38 am
Crack the vast menu at any self-respecting beer bar, and you're bound to run into a scientific name among the descriptions: Brettanomyces, affectionately known as Brett.
I've heard American brewers and beer geeks utter "Brett" in hushed, reverent tones before swooshing aromatic liquids made with it across their tongues. But this mysterious, mythic and increasingly popular strain of wild yeast also strikes fear in the hearts of brewers and microbiologists in the industry.
In an update to a story that's become a central topic of the lead-up to the Super Bowl, the NFL says it has found evidence of footballs being underinflated at last Sunday's AFC Championship Game, hosted by the New England Patriots. The Patriots won, 45-7.
For the sixth time since Saudi Arabia's founder, Abdulaziz Ibn Saud, died in 1953, one of his sons has ascended to the throne, and it took place Friday without a hitch.
When King Abdullah died early Friday at age 90, his half-brother, Salman, was named the new monarch within an hour. There's also a new crown prince, Muqrin, who is the youngest surviving son of Abdulaziz and a relative youngster at 69.
The new King Salman quickly sent a message of stability and continuity. But the death of a Saudi monarch has brought the problems facing the country into sharper focus.
Ukraine's Russian-backed separatists appear to have turned their backs on peace talks in the wake of recapturing a key airport in the country's east from government forces.
Reuters says there are signs of an impending rebel offensive against the few areas in the region still under government control and that "One separatist leader said his pro-Russian rebels have launched a multi-pronged offensive and won't join further peace talks - but left unclear whether they would respect this week's agreement to pull back heavy weapons from the front line."
New Orleans music didn't do as well in the 1960s, a few hits notwithstanding, as it had done. Musicians left town, major labels lost interest, and Motown and Memphis took over the black music charts. Nonetheless, the late Cosimo Matassa, who owned the only recording studio in town, kept busy. Fresh Air rock historian Ed Ward has the story today.
Young women these days are encouraged to lean in, to want and have it all. And national polls show the idea that a woman's place is in the home has been losing traction among young people since the 1960s.
Given the option, the majority of young men and women say they would prefer to share both work and domestic duties equally with their spouses, according to a study published in the February issue of the American Sociological Review.
Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez has done an about-face on her initial statements that prosecutor Alberto Nisman's death earlier this week was suicide.
Nisman, 51, had been investigating an alleged government cover-up of Iran's suspected role in the 1994 bombing of the Argentine-Israeli Mutual Association community center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people.
Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 1:19 pm
Each year for the past six years, Bill and Melinda Gates have written a letter about how their foundation is trying to make the world a better place, how they're trying to improve health and education and end poverty. Their 2015 letter was published Wednesday on the foundation's blog. (Note: The Gates Foundation is a supporter of NPR.)
The Transportation Security Administration found more than 2,000 firearms at the nation's airports last year â€” the overwhelming majority of them loaded, the Department of Homeland Security said today.
TSA agents discovered 2,212 firearms â€” or a little more than six a day â€” in carry-on bags; 83 percent of them were loaded, the department said.
Breathtakingly broad as its jurisdiction may be, the U.S. Senate does not usually vote on the validity of scientific theories.
This week, it did. And science won. The Senate voted that climate change is real, and not a hoax. The vote was 98-1.
The vote was about an amendment to the bill approving the Keystone XL pipeline. The near-unanimity of the climate change judgment was notable, because so many senators have cast doubt on ideas of "global warming."
Thai legislators installed by the country's military junta have voted to impeach ousted Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on charges of criminal negligence related to her government's failed effort to prop up the price of rice.
The fate of two Japanese hostages threatened with death by the self-styled Islamic State is unclear after the expiration of a 72-hour deadline imposed by the militants for Japan to pay $200 million to secure its citizens' release.
The Associated Press and Japanese news organizations are reporting that the militants posted a video today with a warning that "the countdown has begun." The AP adds: "The posting which appeared Friday shows a clock counting down to zero along with gruesome images of other hostages who have been beheaded by the Islamic State group."
Saudis are mourning the passing of King Abdullah, who died early Friday at the age of 90 after a long illness.
As NPR's Kelly McEvers reported, he is being remembered as a man who laid the foundation for reform in the conservative Arab country. Dignitaries from around the world, including Vice President Joe Biden, will gather today in Saudi Arabia for Abdullah's funeral. Several Arab countries have declared a day of mourning.