Mali's popular Festival of the Desert, held each year near Timbuktu, attracts both local and international music stars. The festival took place in January, but the Islamists who have taken control of the area have since banned all entertainment.
Credit Serge Daniel / AFP/Getty Images
A Tuareg band from Mali, Tinariwen, performs in Nice, France, in July. The band has developed an international reputation and won a Grammy this year. <a href="http://www.npr.org/event/music/144431409/tinariwen-tiny-desk-concert">See them perform at NPR headquarters.</a><strong></strong>
Credit Valery Hache / AFP/Getty Images
This video still shows Islamist militants destroying an ancient shrine in Timbuktu on July 1. The International Criminal Court warned their campaign of destruction was a war crime.
Mali is a country rich in culture, both old and new.
The banging of hammers on silver echos through the main crafts market in Bamako, Mali's capital. It's usually teeming in a place where you can buy anything, from silver earrings to batik fabric, all of it handmade.
And despite its remote location, Mali has enhanced its cultural reputation in recent years with an annual international music and arts festival in the Sahara Desert near Timbuktu, drawing both African and Western artists.
No one's entirely sure where the Southern treat called the Goo Goo Cluster got its name.
The iconic candy from Nashville, Tenn., celebrates its 100th birthday this year. The confection of marshmallow, peanuts and caramel wrapped in milk chocolate may owe its longevity in part to another Nashville icon: the Grand Ole Opry.
Goo Goo Cluster sponsored the venue's radio broadcasts from 1966 until 2006. In one popular advertisement, stage performers crooned, "Go get a Goo Goo ... it's gooooooood!"
This week, the world's largest democracy experienced the world's largest power outage. Nearly 700 million — that's more than half a billion — Indians were said to have been without power Tuesday. No air conditioning. No traffic lights. No metro system.
Most of the power is back now, but the outage had resonance for me from the long-ago years when I lived in New Delhi and experienced power failures almost as regularly as I did steaming cups of dark, sweet Indian tea.
Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 9:43 am
The stock market rallied on Friday's jobs report, with the Dow Jones industrial average jumping more than 200 points. But what do the numbers mean for the political stocks of President Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney? That's harder to measure.
Scorched pastures are spreading across central Illinois and the rest of the Midwest. Technology and techniques developed from previous droughts like the Dust Bowl are helping to save some of today's crops, but there's no substitute for water.
Credit Scott Olson / Getty Images
Charles Hildenbrand surveys the family's corn crop outside Thawville, Ill. He doesn't remember much from the Dust Bowl days, but says technology has saved what little corn the farm does have this year.
Credit David Schaper / NPR
A gigantic dust cloud engulfs a ranch in Boise City, Okla., in 1935.
This summer's drought continues to wilt and bake crops from Ohio to the Great Plains and beyond. Under a baking, late-afternoon sun just outside of the tiny east-central Illinois town of Thawville, John Hildenbrand walks down his dusty, gravel driveway toward one of his corn fields.
"You can see on the outer edge, these are a lot better-looking ears on the outside rows. Of course, it's not near as hot as it is inside the field," he says.
The Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet, left to right: Ginny Carr, alto; Robert McBride, tenor; Holly Shockey, soprano; and Andre Enceneat, bass. The group's new album, <em>Hustlin' for a Gig</em>, came out in May.
The Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet has been serenading audiences in its native Washington, D.C., across the country and even as far as France for more than two decades. But its members are finding ways to bring something new to their performances. Bandleader and co-founder Ginny Carr says she wrote the words and music to all 10 songs on the quartet's new album, Hustlin' for a Gig — a relative rarity in a jazz world defined by time-tested standards.
Many of our commenters look to America's rich history of immigration in order to form their opinion of the 'English-Only' debate. Interestingly enough, this approach facilitated conclusions on both sides of the issue.
"John G" believes that, "Society, not law, determines the specific language used."
Pharmacist Kristy Hennessee administers a vaccination against whooping cough in Pasadena, Calif., in 2010. Vaccinations are the most powerful weapon for slowing the epidemic, but there are growing concerns that the current vaccine doesn't last as long as expected.
Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 7:29 pm
Whooping cough is getting a foothold once again in the U.S., and it seems to be getting stronger. More than 20,000 cases have been reported so far this year, compared with only about 8,500 last year, and Washington State has already declared a whooping cough epidemic.
It's nearly time to set The Torch to "dim" for the night, but we must note something historic that happened today: Wojdan Shaherkani competed for Saudi Arabia in the Olympics, becoming the first woman ever to do so.
Shaherkani wasn't a threat to win her match against Puerto Rico's Melissa Mojica. After all, Shaherkani is only 16, and her highest level of achievement in judo is a blue belt. Their match only lasted 1 minute and 22 seconds.
Former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman has been sentenced to 78 months in prison.
It means Siegelman is headed back to prison after he was freed to appeal his case. The AP gives us some background:
"Siegelman, 66, and former HealthSouth chief Richard Scrushy were convicted in 2006. They arranged $500,000 in contributions to Siegelman's campaign for a state lottery in exchange for the governor appointing Scrushy to an important hospital regulatory board.
Jeremy Renner stars in <em>The Bourne Legacy</em>, the latest in a franchise previously fronted by Matt Damon. But when an actor departs a Hollywood cash cow, it can be less a death knell than a chance for rejuvenation.
Credit Mary Cybulski / Universal Pictures
Now Jeremy Renner takes over the franchise (though not as Jason Bourne) with <em>The Bourne Legacy</em>, which opens on Aug. 10.
Credit Mary Cybulski / Universal Pictures
Richard Harris' tenure as Professor Dumbledore in the Harry Potter series was cut short by his death in 2002.
Credit AFP / AFP/Getty Images
Daniel Craig has played Bond since 2006's <em>Casino Royale</em>. Six actors have played the licensed-to-kill agent on the big screen.
Credit MGM/United Artists / The Kobal Collection
Matt Damon played Jason Bourne three times, starting in 2002 with <em>The Bourne Identity</em> and ending in 2007 with <em>The Bourne Ultimatum</em>.
Credit Jasin Boland / AP
Sean Connery, seen here in Tokyo filming 1966's <em>You Only Live Twice</em>, was the first actor to play James Bond in 1962's <em>Dr. No.</em>
The Bourne Legacy, which opens in theaters this week, is the fourth thriller in the series, and the first without either Jason Bourne or the star playing him, Matt Damon. They're suddenly not necessary, even though the series is named for Bourne? Why am I not surprised?
Marilyn Monroe, a global symbol of beauty, glamour and sex, died on Aug. 5, 1962. Fifty years later, she's still in style — and making more money than ever. Monroe's come-hither expression is emblazoned on posters, T-shirts and refrigerator magnets. She's become a multimillion-dollar brand, but that may never have happened if not for the will she left behind, a document that reveals a much quieter — and more complicated — side to her legacy.
The British sprint team of Philip Hindes (front), Jason Kenny and Sir Chris Hoy won a gold medal Thursday, but remarks by Hindes caused concerns about athletes' ethics to resurface. The IOC says it will not investigate.
If one thing is clear at these London Games, it's that not doing one's best is not only uncool — it's not allowed. Witness the badminton-to-worstminton scandal that erupted earlier this week, when players turned the tournament structure into a "farce" by attempting to lose in order to manipulate their seeds in the next round.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish. The job market is finally showing signs of improvement after months of disappointing numbers. The Labor Department said today that employers added 163,000 jobs to their payroll in July. That's the best performance since February. Of course, it wasn't all good news. With the jobs increase also came an uptick in the overall unemployment rate to 8.3 percent. As NPR's Jim Zarroli reports, that underscores just how tenuous the recovery remains.
A new report in the New York Times suggests that the arms upper hand the Syrian regime has had over rebel fighters is deteriorating quickly. Audie Cornish talks with Joseph Holliday, a former American intelligence officer who is now with the Institute for the Study of War.
More now on the political implications on those jobs numbers, plus the rest of the week in politics. We're joined, as usual, by David Brooks of the New York Times and sitting in for E.J. Dionne is Jennifer Granholm. She's host of the War Room on Current TV, a columnist for Politico and former Democratic governor of Michigan. Governor Granholm, welcome.
Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 3:08 pm
In one of the last showcase days for swimming at the 2012 Summer Olympics, American athletes Michael Phelps and Missy Franklin hit the pool at London's aquatic center Friday. Each of them were on a mission to end their individual event schedules with gold medals.
Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 9:10 am
Scientists are starting to discover that the standard way of measuring calories, established more than 100 years ago, may not be terribly accurate when it comes to higher fat, high-fiber foods like nuts. But when it comes to almonds, the count may be off by a whole lot.
Food scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently published a new study that finds almonds have about 20 percent fewer calories than previously documented.
Colton Tucker gives water to a pig to be shown at the California State Fair in Sacramento in July. Federal health officials say most of the cases of a new flu virus in Indiana, Ohio and Hawaii after kids came in direct contact with pigs at agricultural fairs.
To find out what the London Olympics are like for the average fan, we asked Morning Edition executive producer Madhulika Sikka — a Brit who's vacationing in London — to describe it for us. Sikka received tickets through the lottery.
Congratulations, you've secured tickets for an Olympic event, and London 2012 awaits you. So, what's it like to navigate a city that has been bracing itself for the throng of Olympic visitors?
Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 11:23 am
Jacqueline Keavney Lader and Don Lader survived the Aurora shooting. But the day after, the military couple did something courageous: They returned to an area theater to finish watching the latest Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises.
Holy mackerel, it's the holy site edition of the podcast. NPR's Ron Elving and Ken Rudin look back at the memorable — and controversial — moments of Mitt Romney's foreign trip, and then look ahead to the upcoming Republican and Democratic conventions.
Also, a new Tea Party star is born in the Lone Star State.
This month we are collecting your stories about the good things Americans are doing to make their community a better place. Some of your contributions will become blog posts and the project will end with a story that weaves together submissions to make a story of Americans by Americans for Americans.