Ukraine's interim government is facing major obstacles: a separatist uprising in the east of the country, an economy in tatters and a presidential election next month.
But the leadership is also facing a longer-term challenge, one that will shape the future of the country: the creation of a new constitution.
The task will be complicated by pressure from Russia, which has already made clear what kind of constitution it thinks Ukraine should have. Russia's foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, laid out Russia's position in an interview last month.
Just a few words can hold a world of meaning. John Paul Stevens, the retired Supreme Court justice, has written a short new book in which he proposes a few words here and there that would create some sweeping changes.
The book, Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution, details the half-dozen ways Stevens thinks the Constitution could be improved, changes that he says are worth the trouble of the arduous amendment process.
The remains of a western Kentucky man who disappeared during World War II have found their way home after almost 70 years. The body of William Carneal was discovered last year in Japan, along with his dog tags and his high school ring. He was buried yesterday in his hometown of Paducah.
Whitney Jones at member station WKMS has our story.
The debate on approving new drugs to treat pain can sometimes get as polarized as abortion or drunk gun control as the number of people who become addicted or who have died from overdoses of legal painkillers increases. Several states are now trying to ban Zo-hydro, the newest FDA-approved painkiller. If you're a patient from who suffers from chronic pain and live in a state with regulatory barriers, it can be nearly impossible to get a doctor to prescribe anything for long-term relief.
Saba Khan is a high school sophomore whose life is turned upside down in a flash - a mysterious fire that destroys her family's apartment on the North Side of Chicago. The Khans are Americans of Pakistani descent. Were they victims of a hate crime? Saba's high school rallies behind her family.
Health officials in Columbus, Ohio, are calling the city's mumps outbreak the biggest since the development of the mumps vaccine in the 1940s.
Columbus generally gets an average of one case of mumps a year, but since February, there have been 244 cases reported in an outbreak that began on the Ohio State University campus. Most had already been vaccinated.
Jonathan Henderson of New Orleans-based Gulf Restoration Network is flying Louisiana's coast looking for oil. As usual, he's found some.
"I just noticed something out of the corner of my eye that looks like a sheen that had some form to it," he says. "We're going to go take a closer look and see if there's a rainbow sheen."
It's a target-rich environment for Henderson, because more than 54,000 wells were planted in and off this coast — part of the 300,000 wells in the state. They're connected by thousands of miles of pipelines, all vulnerable to leaks.
And it's time for sports. Today, the NBA playoffs begin, and several teams that normally steal the spotlight are nowhere in sight. Meanwhile, some old guys from San Antonio are again looking like contenders. We're joined by Howard Bryant of ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine. He's at the studios of New England Public Radio. Good morning.
Sao Paulo is one of the biggest cities in the world and one of the economic engines of South America. Its center is known for its fancy malls, posh departments and even helicopter landing pads. The outlying areas where the vast majority of the workforce live are known for poverty and crime, less often for poetry and high culture. NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports on efforts to change that.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Wade Goodwyn. This week, the NCAA voted to allow colleges to provide their student athletes with as much food as they like. It may sound like a bizarre move, but what the NCAA allows athletes to eat on the college's dime is subject to its own set of rules. And they can sometimes border on the absurd. The move by the NCAA comes at a time when the organization is facing a bit of second-guessing about the way it's gone about its traditional role of policing college athletics.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. I look forward all week to saying it's time for sports. The tigers without master - the Masters without Tiger? You know, it's so hard to imagine, I can barely say it. And the Indiana Pacers are swooning like Justin Bieber fans this week. We're joined now by NPR's Tom Goldman. Good morning, Tom.
TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Hi, Scott.
SIMON: So there was a slight glimmer of hope that the Pacers could be coming out of a tailspin, but alas...
Lucky Santangelo is a household name — at least, in those households where the shelves are packed with Jackie Collins novels. And considering there are more than 500 million copies sold, well, Santangelo's certainly got a fan base.
The next time you're in a bookstore, take a look at the nonfiction shelf. See all those celebrity autobiographies — the memoirs of actors, athletes and politicians? Chances are, they're the work of a ghostwriter.
David Fisher is one of those invisible authors. He's ghostwritten over 70 books, adopting the voices of quarterback Terry Bradshaw, attorney Johnnie Cochran and actor and comedian Leslie Nielsen, among others.
In Iran, hardline critics are waging a campaign against President Hassan Rouhani to limit his campaign pledge of opening Iran to more social and cultural freedoms.
The "culture wars" are as old as the Islamic revolution that swept conservative clerics to power more than three decades ago. The latest chapter comes as Rouhani is negotiating a nuclear deal with six world powers. He has the backing of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, to continue the nuclear discussions, but cultural hardliners are stepping up the domestic pressure.
Paul Rusesabagina is a figure from history — a terrible history.
He was the manager of the Diplomat Hotel in Kigali, Rwanda, 20 years ago, when the genocide of Rwanda's Tutsi people began. More than 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus would be killed in just three months.
At age 86, Peter Matthiessen has written what he says "may be his last word" — a novel due out Tuesday about a visit to a Nazi extermination camp. It's called In Paradise, and it caps a career spanning six decades and 33 books.
Matthiessen is the only writer to ever win a National Book Award in both fiction — for his last book, Shadow Country, and adult nonfiction for his 1978 travel journal, The Snow Leopard.
It's a case that has stunned California's political community: A prominent Democratic lawmaker has been accused in a federal complaint of participating in an elaborate conspiracy involving guns, gangs, drugs and bribery.
State Sen. Leland Yee was known as a champion of open government and gun control, but not any more. A 137-page federal affidavit accuses the lawmaker of soliciting and taking bribes from an undercover FBI agent in exchange for political favors.
While global attention has been focused on Malaysia Airlines' missing 777 this week, Boeing's best-known aircraft, the 747, was also in the news. The Federal Aviation Administration ordered Boeing to immediately fix a software glitch that could cause problems during landing.
The software flaw is not the only problem for the enormous 747. Over four decades ago, it was the original "jumbo jet," but the newest version of Boeing's iconic plane has not sold well. On Monday, Japan's All Nippon Airways announced it will officially retire its aging 747 passenger fleet.
Would Tennessee whiskey by any other name taste as sweet?
A debate in Tennessee simmers over a legal definition of what makes Tennessee whiskey "Tennessee."
The state legislature passed a bill last year saying whiskey can be labeled "Tennessee" only if it's made in the state from a mash that's 51-percent corn, trickles through maple charcoal, and is aged in new, charred oak barrels.