A group of activists in Saudi Arabia has launched a campaign to overturn a court ruling against a woman who defied the kingdom's ban on driving by women. The woman was sentenced to 10 lashes with a whip after she defied the ban in her home city on the Red Sea Coast. Melissa Block talks with NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson for the details.
In Tucson, Arizona, a federal judge has sent Jared Lee Loughner back to a prison hospital for more treatment. Loughner is the 23-year-old charged with the January shooting rampage in Tucson that killed six and left 13 wounded, among them Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Loughner was in court today for a hearing to assess his competency to stand trial. A psychologist told the judge that Loughner's condition has improved with antipsychotic medication and that he could be made competent with more treatment.
Melissa Block talks to Irish Times reporter Ronan McGreevy about the interesting mix of candidates in this year's presidential election in Ireland. Among those in the race: a gay rights campaigner, a former IRA commander and a singer who won the Eurovision song contest back in 1970.
When Dan Zanes became a father 16 years ago, he took seriously the decision of which song to play to his newborn daughter first. He chose the 1968 Jamaican hit "Little Nut Tree." Now, after more than a decade of recording music for families, the godfather of the kids' music renaissance has released a new album called Little Nut Tree on his own label.
Imagine you're trekking through the concrete jungle of just about any Southeast Asian city. The first thing you notice is the smorgasbord of smells, some enticing, others downright rank. Amid the urban odor-rama, one sweet herbal fragrance stands out. It's lemongrass. And it's just about everywhere.
Over the weekend, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia announced that women will get the right to vote and to run in municipal elections, but not until 2015. And King Abdullah said women will be appointed to the Shura Council, which advises the monarchy. This in a country where women still don't have the right to drive.
Now that fall is officially here, many of us are trying to cool off from a long hot summer. But commentator Andrei Codrescu is just getting warmed up.
ANDREI CODRESCU: It's been a year like a ride in hell's own at Disney World. From weather the politics, the world seems bent out of shape. But this may be the result of extensive coverage, rather than an unusual number of disasters.
I watched an episode of "The Hour," set in the days of the Cold War and remembered just how different things used to be.
New York state is poised to implement new rules that could have a major impact on the global shipping industry. Invasive species sometimes move from place to place in "ballast water" — that's the water ships suck in and discharge to level their loads. Officials in New York want all that ballast water treated to kill any "living pollution" before it reaches their harbors. But the treatment technology is expensive and untested. Because the state serves as a gateway to the Great Lakes and ports in New Jersey, other states and countries are disputing the new rules.
Usually, the whispers start after rock groups have been around for a while, as die-hard fans begin to worry about their beloved band getting stale. Despite its incredibly long run, Wilco has escaped that fate, and managed to stay fresh since 1994. It just released its eighth studio album in 17 years, and the first issued on Wilco's own dBpm Records label. The Whole Love represents a new peak for the critically acclaimed sextet.
As an evangelical Christian, Rachel Held Evans often heard about the importance of practicing "biblical womanhood," but she didn't quite know what that meant. Everyone she asked seemed to have a different definition.
Evans decided to embark on a quest to figure out how to be a woman by the Bible's standards. For one year, she has followed every rule in the Old and New Testaments. Her project will end next Saturday.
Short story writers, your time is short! The deadline for this round of our contest Three Minute Fiction is Sunday at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time. The rules set by this round's judge, writer Danielle Evans, are simple: One character must come to town and, one character must leave town. And remember, your story can't longer than 600 words. Enter here.
In 1989, Dominique Durand left her home in Paris to live in New York. Her goal was simple: to learn English. But fate took over, and five years later she became the frontwoman for the indie pop band Ivy.
Carrie Brownstein helped start Sleater-Kinney, the celebrated punk trio, when she was still in college. That band split in 2006, and though Brownstein kept busy — as a blogger and commentator for NPR Music, among other things — she says that by the end of 2010, she was feeling antsy.
A federal loan program to build more fuel-efficient cars became the latest budget flash point, with House Republicans wanting to raid the fund to help pay for FEMA disaster aid. Senate Democrats refused to go along. The standoff comes in a bill that would fund the entire government beyond next week.
Top executives of Solyndra, a bankrupt solar-energy company, have declined to testify in a congressional hearing Friday, invoking their Fifth Amendment rights. The company is under investigation for a half-billion dollar government loan guarantee it received.
We reported on the variables that make it hard to, even at this late date, predict exactly when and where a dead 6-ton NASA satellite will fall to Earth. The Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, or UARS, will be the biggest NASA spacecraft to crash back to Earth, but it's now baffling scientists as its descent toward Earth slows — delaying its ultimate crash until the early part of the weekend. The space agency is now predicting the satellite will crash down to Earth late Friday or early Saturday, Eastern Time.
Originally published on Fri September 23, 2011 1:00 pm
The president of the Palestinian Authority has asked the U.N. to recognize his state. The Israelis say such a move would violate past agreements and are threatening retaliation. U.S. and European diplomats are scrambling to head off what could be a diplomatic train wreck.
The Republican candidates for president will gather for another debate tonight, this time in Orlando, Florida. It's sponsored by Fox News and YouTube, and some of the questions will be submitted by homemade video from voters. The debate also comes as a new two-man dynamic is emerging in the race: Texas Governor Rick Perry versus former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.
MICHELE NORRIS, Host:
NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson is in Orlando and she joins us now.
To make the point that America's infrastructure is in need of repair and the federal government should do it, President Obama traveled to the Brent Spence Bridge. It runs over the Ohio River, and it connects House Speaker John Boehner's Ohio to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's Kentucky. Melissa Block talks to NPR's Ari Shapiro for more.