Over his long academic career, Bernard Lewis has arguably become the world's greatest historian of the Middle East. Now, at 96, Lewis turns his attention inward in a memoir that looks back on his life, work and legacy.
The linguist and scholar's career began before World War II, and in a new memoir he covers more than a few sensitive areas, from race and slavery in Islam, to the clash of civilizations and his long argument with scholar Edward Said, to his role as an adviser to former Vice President Dick Cheney.
"Many black women are fat because we want to be." With those words in a New York Times op-ed, novelist Alice Randall sparked a controversy. Touching on flashpoints of race, weight, politics and gender, her contention prompted a debate and raised serious questions about health, culture and race.
NATO has just asked the Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari to attend the May 20-21 summit in Chicago. The AP says the overture signals that the rift between NATO and Islamabad may be coming to a resolution.
To the average observer, they look like ordinary pigeons, caged into a balcony in a high-rise Beijing apartment. But make no mistake. These cooing birds, according to breeder Yang Shibo, are like top-of-the-line sports cars.
"These are the Ferraris of the bird world," he says. "They're the most expensive, and the fastest."
The price of racing pigeons is soaring sky-high, pushed up by wealthy Chinese buyers.
Americans Elect, the nationwide effort to launch a credible third-party presidential campaign, has money, media attention and — most importantly — access to the ballot in dozens of states.
What it doesn't have is a candidate for president.
So if it follows its own rules, the nonprofit, nonpartisan organization won't field a presidential candidate alongside President Obama and presumed Republican nominee Mitt Romney on Nov. 6, it announced Tuesday.
But the group also left the door open to bending those rules.
Two soundbites from CEO Jamie Dimon at today's shareholders meeting
The Justice Department has begun looking into JPMorgan Chase's $2 billion-and-counting loss from a hedge account, The Wall Street Journal reports. It cites "a person familiar with the matter" as its source.
The Journal adds that "the probe is at an early stage and it isn't clear what possible legal violation federal investigators may be focusing on."
With the economic troubles of the past few years, it's no surprise that the number of people using food stamps is soaring. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that an average of 44 million people were on food assistance last year; that's up from 17 million in 2000.
What might be surprising, though, is one subgroup that's taken a particularly hard hit.
The school year is winding down, and lots of young people are in the market for a summer job. But finding one in this economy can be hard, especially for teenagers. Host Michel Martin speaks with Labor Secretary Hilda Solis about what the Obama Administration is trying to do to help.
Republican Ron Paul is not shuttering his presidential campaign, his chief strategist says in a memo sent this morning to supporters and the news media.
"Let me be very clear," said Jesse Benton, "Dr. Paul is NOT dropping out or suspending his campaign."
"As Dr. Paul has previously stated, he is in this race all the way to the Republican National Convention in Tampa this August," Benton said. The campaign will, though, be "maximizing our resources" by not investing in remaining primary states, he said.
Audra McDonald has starred in stage classics and on TV, where she played a leading role on the ABC drama Private Practice for four seasons. But the actress might be better known for her stunning voice and for her performances in the Broadway productions of Carousel, Master Class and Ragtime, which helped her rack up three Tony Awards before the age of 30. She won a fourth Tony for her performance in A Raisin in the Sun, putting her in the company of Broadway greats Gwen Verdon and Mary Martin.
Already in the spotlight over whether it executed one innocent man — Cameron Todd Willingham — in 2004, the state of Texas now faces questions about whether another man may have been wrongly condemned to death.
If you've got cancer, chances are you'd rather take a pill to fight the cancer cells than sit for hours hooked up to an IV line as the chemotherapy drips slowly into you.
The difficulty is, many of the new cancer pills, which often target cancer cells for destruction but leave healthy cells intact, are pricey, costing tens of thousands of dollars for a course of treatment. And how some insurers pay for treatments means that pills can wind up costing a patient more than chemotherapy given by IV.
It's only for women — and only for one woman at a time, it seems.
But officials in Ichihara City, Japan, claim they've created the "biggest public toilet in the world."
As The Japan Times reports, outside the city's train station there's now a fenced-in, "200-sq.-meter plot of land" with flowers, plants, pathways and — "smack in the middle" — a toilet enclosed in a glass box.
Good morning, I'm David Greene. People who are overweight often say there was that final moment - that's it; I'm sick of it. I'm making a change.
For Nat Ambrose, it was last year at King's Dominion, the Virginia theme park. He tried to get on his favorite ride, Volcano the Blast Coaster, but the harness wouldn't fit his 300-pound frame. He lost 30 pounds in a month. Tried again, still couldn't squeeze in. Finally, nine months later, 105 pounds lighter, Nat Ambrose has conquered the Volcano.
Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep with congratulations to James Peterson who sought the world record for fist pumping. Yes. Mr. Peterson made this gesture of triumph for 16 hours. The Akron Beacon Journal says to maintain proper form he super glued his hand into a clenched fist. Yes. A video crew recorded this feat and sent it to the Guinness World Record people. If they do not accept the record we hesitate to think what gesture Mr. Peterson will try next. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
The town of Stevenage, England, 30 miles north of London, was once a small patch of farmland with a few thousand people. After World War II, the British government created a massive planned community there and hoped it would become a model for public housing for the world.
Gary Younge is a writer for the Guardian newspaper. He grew up in Stevenage and found it to be a mixed blessing. Younge wrote an essay about it for the spring issue of the literary magazine, Granta. We began our conversation by asking him to read us a passage.
The first top editor from Rupert Murdoch's U.K. tabloids to face criminal charges related to the hacking scandal that has rocked his media empire is Rebekah Brooks, who prosecutors allege tried to "pervert the course of justice" last year by seeking to cover up what had been going on at Murdoch's News of the World.
The fact-checking organization PolitiFact looked into a shocking claim in a political ad. The ad said 85 percent of recent college graduates are moving back in with their parents. There was a reason for the ad to make that claim. PolitiFact found that 85 percent figure has been repeated by CNN, the New York Post, U.S. News, and more news organizations. The number fits the notion of a boomerang generation, thrown back home by the economy.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene.
JP Morgan Chase has long had the reputation of being one of the better managed big banks in the country. So how did it make a $2 billion blunder and what does it tell us about banking today, nearly five years after the onset of the financial crisis? When such questions are looming, we often turn to David Wessel, economics editor of The Wall Street Journal.
NPR's business news starts with a price hike for Facebook shares.
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INSKEEP: OK, they're not even on sale yet, but investor excitement over Facebook's upcoming initial public offering has prompted the company to raise the price range for its shares. Sources say the new range will be from $34 to $38 per share. That's up from a previous range of $28 to $35.
California Governor Jerry Brown wants to convince voters to accept two things they don't like: higher taxes and deep spending cuts. The Democrat proposed a budget yesterday which would only be the start of the pain. The other part would come in November with a ballot measure to raise taxes and spare education. Capital Public Radio's Ben Adler reports from Sacramento.
The fallout from banking giant JPMorgan Chase's $2 billion — and counting — loss has made its way into the presidential campaign. The president and presumptive GOP challenger Mitt Romney have very different views about the regulation of Wall Street, in particular the Dodd-Frank financial systems overhaul law.