In 2003, in a song called "Earthbound," singer Rodney Crowell name-checked a writer he admires a lot: Mary Karr, who has written searing memoirs, including the best-seller The Liars' Club, as well as several books of poetry.
Supporters of Mubarak in Cairo chant slogans and carry his portrait as they demonstrate in February during his trial, outside the police academy.
Credit Mohammed Abed / AFP/Getty Images
An Egyptian man paints the national flag on the arm of a friend as they stand in front of graffiti showing the morphed faces of ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak (right) and military ruler Hussein Tantawi, defeated presidential candidate Amr Moussa (second from left), and current candidate Ahmed Shafiq (left) near Cairo's central Tahrir Square last month.
An Egyptian court plans to announce the verdict Saturday in the trial of former President Hosni Mubarak, and regardless of which way the decision goes, it could prompt a public outpouring of emotion at a sensitive moment for the country.
Mubarak is charged with corruption and complicity in the deaths of hundreds of protesters during the revolution last year that ousted him.
If convicted, he could face the death penalty. But some are predicting he'll be acquitted, and that could set off another round of protests and possibly violence.
A jury found former Democratic Sen. John Edwards not guilty on one count of campaign finance fraud and was deadlocked on five other counts. The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, D.C., filed an amicus brief in the Edwards corruption case, asking that it be thrown out. Melanie Sloan, executive director of the group, offers her insight.
Mitt Romney shakes hands as he walks into the House Chambers during inaugural ceremonies at the State House in Boston in 2003. the Obama campaign sought to focus attention on Romney's tenure as Massachusetts governor.
Credit Jessica Rinaldi / Reuters /Landov
David Axelrod, the Obama campaign's senior strategist (center), stops to shake a demonstrator's hand as he leaves a news conference at the Massachusetts State House in Boston on Thursday.
In Texas recently there was a grand opening for what is now the largest refinery in the U.S. Shell and Saudi Arabia's national oil company, Saudi Aramco, have more than doubled the capacity of their Port Arthur refinery.
The refinery business has been going through a tough period in recent years. Americans are buying less gasoline and other petroleum products — about 10 percent less than in 2005, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney picked up two big endorsements this week from GOP foreign policy luminaries: former Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and George Shultz.
At this point in the presidential race, endorsements are pretty routine. But these particular endorsements are important, since Romney has encountered some skepticism from foreign policy experts in his party.
Some Republicans expected the long, bloody wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to alter their party's traditional interventionist view. Those Republicans are disappointed in Romney.
What is it about Brandi Carlile's voice that gets right inside you? The power? Her range? It may be the way she can crack open a note, as she does in her best-known song, "The Story," which was prominently featured on Grey's Anatomy.
This month, NPR's Backseat Book Club hits the high seas for an adventurous novel called Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus. The book begins in 1841, and is based on the sprawling true-life tale of Manjiro, whose destiny was almost determined before birth as a son in a long line of fishermen. But a storm blew his life on a new course, and he became one of the first Japanese to set foot in America.
A student in Pamplona, holding a sign in the Basque language, protests cuts Thursday in education and other public services by the government. Spain's financial position is weakening and there are fears the country will need a bailout.
Spain's borrowing costs hit record highs this week and European stock markets have slumped over fears Madrid can't afford the price tag required to prop up its ailing banks. It's looking ever more likely the country will need some kind of bailout.
After watching Greece from afar for years, many Spaniards now believe Spain's number is up.
A tourist in Madrid might wonder where the crisis is. Traffic is heavy and the tapas bars are packed.
But listen in on some of the conversations, and it's clear that Spaniards are scared.
In this photo from 2009, Syrian President Bashar Assad (left) stands with then-Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh during a welcoming ceremony for Saleh at the presidential palace in Damascus. As the violence continues in Syria, the U.S. and other countries are hoping to convince Assad to step down from power, as Saleh did.
Credit / AP
This frame grab made from an amateur video provided by Syrian activists on Monday purports to show the massacre in Houla on May 25 that killed more than 100 people, many of them children. The level of violence may erode Russia's support for Assad's regime.
Republican Mitt Romney is running on the strength of his business background. He says he knows how to fix the economy, in part because of his success at Bain Capital. But history is not necessarily on Romney's side. Very few businesspeople have made it to the White House.
The transition from business to politics isn't necessarily an easy one.
Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber is leading a $2 billion health care experiment in the state, aimed at changing the way the sickest people in Oregon get health care. Here, he speaks during a press conference in Portland earlier this month.
President Obama greets diners at Reid's House Restaurant in Reidsville, N.C., last fall. While there, he talked to a college student about the importance of education — one of the ideas Obama comes back to often.
NPR is examining what the American dream means to our culture, our economy and our politics. On Morning Edition, we'll explore what Republicans think of the American dream. In this installment, the view from President Obama.
The American dream — the idea that in this country anyone can rise from humble beginnings and succeed — is deeply woven into our national psyche. It's a promise that draws immigrants to our shores. And it's a staple on the campaign trail.
There was a time when U.S. House colleagues Bill Pascrell and Steve Rothman, Democrats from neighboring congressional districts in northern New Jersey, called themselves friends.
But congressional redistricting means Pascrell and Rothman will face off in the state's Democratic primary on Tuesday for one congressional seat. And despite their long friendship, the race has been anything but collegial.
Franz Kafka (shown here circa 1905) is considered one of the 20th century's most influential writers. Before his death in 1924, he had published only short stories and a single novella, The Metamorphosis.
Credit Natan Dvir / Polaris
Franz Kafka, who died in 1924, studied Hebrew in Germany during the last two years of his life. This is one of eight notebooks of his Hebrew studies that are part of the Israeli National Library's collection. Israel and an elderly Israeli woman are wrangling over Kafka documents that may include unpublished manuscripts.
Credit Natan Dvir / Polaris
Eva Hoffe, shown here in a garden near her home in Tel Aviv, has Kafka's papers, but has not allowed outsiders to see them.
The author Max Brod was Kafka's friend, literary agent and biographer. Kafka wanted him to burn his papers upon his death. But Brod published some of the work and bequeathed the remainder to his secretary, Esther Hoffe (shown here).
A mountain-born treasure of American folk music, Doc Watson, died Tuesday in North Carolina at age 89.
His manager said in a statement that Watson died at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, after abdominal surgery last week.
Watson was born in Deep Gap, N.C., in the Blue Ridge Mountains, in a three-room house he shared with eight brothers and sisters. He revolutionized not just how people play guitar but the way people around the world think about mountain music.
Congress is considering legislation allowing the government to search through Internet traffic for early warnings of cyberattacks. The bills are controversial — worries about government surveillance have led to protests online.
The government does have a tool that could calm fears about this kind of legislation — it just doesn't use it.
America is the land of opportunity — that's the bedrock of the American dream. Many expect each generation to do better than the last.
That dream of economic mobility is alive and well for Pam Krank and her husband, Brian McGee. The two are proud owners of The Credit Department Inc., a successful business in the Minneapolis suburb of Mendota Heights.
"Mostly manufacturing companies around the world will hire us to study their customers and tell them how much ... unsecured credit they should grant to each customer," Krank explains.
It's a long, detailed look at how the president has "placed himself at the helm of a top secret 'nominations' process to designate terrorists for kill or capture, of which the capture part has become largely theoretical."
For the past two months, the Philippines and China have been locked in a standoff over territory in the South China Sea that both countries claim.The Philippine navy accused Chinese boats of fishing illegally in the area. Protesters in the Philippines are shown here marching in Manila earlier this month.
Credit Philippine Navy / AP
Filipino naval personnel look at giant clam shells onboard a Chinese fishing vessel at the disputed Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea last month. Both countries claim the area, but say they are seeking a diplomatic solution.