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The Two-Way
5:02 am
Sun February 10, 2013

Chinese 'Pingpong Diplomacy' Player Dies

The Chinese table tennis player who was instrumental in the pingpong diplomacy that paved the way for President Nixon's groundbreaking visit to China has died. Zhuang Zedong was 73.

Here's more from the BBC about the 1971 incident that led to pingpong diplomacy:

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The Two-Way
2:03 am
Sun February 10, 2013

Islamists Make Sufi Shrines A Target In North Africa

A woman tries to salvage items from a burnt out Sufi shrine outside the Tunisian capital, Tunis, last October. Hard-line Islamists, known as Salafists, have attacked many Sufi shrines in Tunisia recently.
Fethi Belaid AFP/Getty Images

When radical Islamists lash out at cultural sites they consider un-Islamic, a frequent target is Sufi Islam shrines.

Islamists in Tunisia have attacked almost 40 Sufi shrines in recent months, Sufi officials told AFP.

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The Two-Way
2:03 am
Sun February 10, 2013

Will Syria Become An Islamist State?

A Syrian rebel prays on a street in the northern city of Aleppo in January. Many Syrians are debating what role Islam should play in Syria if the current secular government is toppled.
Muzaffar Salman Reuters/Landov

The author, a Syrian citizen living in Damascus, is not being identified by NPR for security reasons. Many Syrians interviewed for this piece asked that their full names not be used, for their safety.

In most every Arab country where there's been an uprising in the past couple of years, Islamists have gained influence or come to power. Is the same thing destined to happen in Syria if President Bashar Assad's secular government is ousted?

Syrians may not know the answer, but they certainly are talking about it.

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Business
1:36 am
Sun February 10, 2013

Bloomingdale's Lays Out Welcome Mat To Chinese Shoppers

To mark the Lunar New Year, Bloomingdale's is catering to affluent Chinese tourists with an array of pop-up shops.
Courtesy of Bloomingdale's

Originally published on Sun April 7, 2013 3:04 pm

A number of luxury retailers are rolling out tactics this year to mark the beginning of the Lunar New Year. For Bloomingdale's in New York City, though, reaching out to Asian shoppers during the cultural celebration is a decades-long tradition.

The upscale department store's marketing strategy traces back to 1971, the year President Nixon lifted the U.S. trade embargo with the People's Republic of China. Immediately, Marvin Traub, then-president of Bloomingdale's, decided he wanted to sell Chinese goods in his flagship store on the Upper East Side.

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Digital Life
12:33 am
Sun February 10, 2013

To Foster Communication, Bay Area Boss Cut Off Email

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 12:15 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Digital Life
12:05 am
Sun February 10, 2013

Raising Personable Children, Even If They're Glued To Phones

The Jordans use an iPad to talk to their daughter, Kelly, who's at school in Chicago.
Marie McGrory for NPR

Originally published on Sun February 10, 2013 11:00 am

Weekend Edition Sunday is taking a look at how technology affects personal relationships. Along with romantic and workplace connections, family dynamics are shifting.

The Jordans are a classic example of a family trying to figure out how to use technology without feeling disconnected from one another. Sue and David have five kids: two off at college and three still at home.

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Digital Life
12:04 am
Sun February 10, 2013

'We Need To Talk': Missed Connections With Hyper-Connectivity

Sherry Turkle is a professor of the social studies of science and technology at MIT.
Courtesy of Sherry Turkle

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 10:23 am

For Valentine's Day, maybe you'll post a photo of your loved one on Facebook, tweet out a love poem or text-message your secret crush. But as we make those virtual connections, are we missing something?

Weekend Edition Sunday is exploring a few of the places in our lives where technology can actually drive us apart and make real intimacy tough: in our romantic relationships, with our kids, even in the workplace.

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U.S.
12:41 pm
Sat February 9, 2013

Amid Daily Struggles, Gay Rights Movement Embraces Watershed Moments

Chris (right) and Renee Wiley pose for a wedding photo on Times Square in New York in December. Same-sex marriage in New York state became legal in July 2011.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat February 9, 2013 5:22 pm

From the sparks lit at the Stonewall Inn in 1969 to the whirl of same-sex marriage laws, the gay rights movement has made a lot of advances. But has it now reached a plateau?

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Author Interviews
12:32 pm
Sat February 9, 2013

Manufactured On YouTube, Teen Pop Star Searches For His True Voice

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat February 9, 2013 1:51 pm

In Teddy Wayne's new novel, YouTube sensation Jonny Valentine has the sugar-sweet pipes of a teen heartthrob. But he also has a controlling manager-mom, a missing father, a retinue of people who work for him and a record label that's leaning on him to move the merchandise — fast.

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Animals
12:32 pm
Sat February 9, 2013

Vultures Beware: Virginia Town Targets Flock Of Unwanted Visitors

Turkey vulture droppings can strip paint, kill grass and sicken pets. The droppings also smell really bad.
Holly Kuchera iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 2:34 am

It sounds like a horror story: Every few years, usually in the winter months, residents of the town of Leesburg, Va., come home from work to find their backyards overrun with turkey vultures. Not just a few birds, but hundreds of them. Everywhere.

Lt. Jeff Dube is with the town's police department. For a whole week, he spent every evening driving around town, looking for the latest vulture hotspots.

"They like Leesburg. There's really no rhyme or reason. Every three to five years they come back en mass, like this year, 2- to 300," Dube says.

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The Two-Way
10:31 am
Sat February 9, 2013

From Making Snow Angels To Sledding, Finding Ways To Have #FunInTheSnow

The Northeast's latest winter storm, which the Weather Channel named Nemo, is winding down, but it has left behind more than 30 inches of snow in some places. It's also left a lot of people stranded, either #CoopedUp indoors or stuck in cars overnight on the Long Island Expressway.

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The Two-Way
5:53 am
Sat February 9, 2013

Knights Of Malta Celebrates 900th Anniversary At Vatican

Knights of the Order of Malta walk in procession toward St. Peter's Basilica to mark the 900th anniversary of the Order of the Knights of Malta, on Saturday at the Vatican.
Andreas Solaro AFP/Getty Images

Pilgrims and tourists visiting the Vatican received a special treat Saturday, when some 4,000 members of the Knights of Malta marched in procession to the tomb of St. Peter.

The last of the great chivalrous orders is celebrating the 900th anniversary of its official recognition by Pope Paschal II. On Saturday, the Knights attended Mass in St. Peter's Basilica and received an audience with Pope Benedict XVI.

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News
5:27 am
Sat February 9, 2013

An Accused Killer Seeks An Audience With Everyone

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck speaks at a press conference on the manhunt for Christopher Dorner.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun April 7, 2013 3:05 pm

From: Christopher Jordan Dorner

To: America

That's the header on a 14-page letter attributed to Christopher Dorner. The former Los Angeles police officer is the focus of a massive manhunt spanning California, Arizona, Nevada and Mexico after he allegedly shot and killed three people — including a police officer — and wounded several others during a shooting spree.

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The Salt
5:18 am
Sat February 9, 2013

What To Do With All That Snow? Cook It

For a "Cooking With Snow" class taught through Knowledge Commons DC, instructor Willie Shubert made baobing, a shaved ice dessert from China.
Courtesy of Rachel Sadon

Two feet of snow can be a major inconvenience. We feel for you, friends in the Northeast. To help you work through that serious snow surplus, we shuffled through our virtual recipe box for snow cuisine.

It's like being given lemons and making lemonade, though you definitely don't want to be doing anything with lemon-colored snow you find outside.

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The Two-Way
5:11 am
Sat February 9, 2013

The Blizzard 'Nemo' Highlights The Hype Cycle Of Storms

Two women look for a taxi in New York's Times Square on Friday.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat February 9, 2013 8:53 am

If you've wondered why the blizzard dumping snow on the Northeast has a name, look no further than The Weather Channel. At the start of this storm season, the 24-hour-weather network announced, much to the chagrin of The National Weather Service, that it would give names to winter storms.

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The Salt
2:47 am
Sat February 9, 2013

British Outrage Grows As Horsemeat Pops Up In More Foods

Frozen-food company Findus recalled its beef lasagne meals earlier this week because they contain horsemeat.
Scott Heppell AP

Originally published on Sat February 9, 2013 3:42 am

They like riding them. They like racing them. They bet on them, hunt on them and patrol the streets on them.

But to most who live in the land of the Beefeater, the idea of eating a horse in peacetime is as generally repugnant as grilling one the queen's corgis and gobbling it up with ketchup and fries.

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Sports
2:00 am
Sat February 9, 2013

Week In Sports: NBA Season Hits Halfway Point

Originally published on Sat February 9, 2013 7:11 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. You know what gets me through the week sometimes? The chance to say time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: Halftime in the NBA just a week away. The Lakers look like they could use a snooze. Hear about A-Rod's anti-aging clinic in South Florida; doesn't just take care of fine lines and wrinkles, and NPR Sports correspondent Tom Goldman joins us now. Morning, Tom.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Hello, Scott.

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Around the Nation
1:37 am
Sat February 9, 2013

Blizzard Batters Northeast with Heavy Snow, High Winds

Originally published on Sat February 9, 2013 7:11 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. A winter storm in New England has dumped more than two feet of snow and left 650,000 homes and businesses without power. Right now, authorities are closely watching the shoreline as huge waves from the powerful storm cause flooding. High tide hit a bit earlier today. NPR's Jeff Brady has been monitoring developments from Boston and he joins us now. Jeff, thanks for being with us. What can you tell us?

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Economy
1:37 am
Sat February 9, 2013

Effects Of Postal Service Cuts Could Ripple Through Middle Class

Originally published on Sat February 9, 2013 7:11 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The continued downsizing of the U.S. Postal Service has especially hit African-Americans and armed forces veterans. These are two groups that have long relied on postal jobs for a good income, job security and a path to the middle class. For more, we're joined by Philip Rubio. He's a former letter carrier who's now an assistant professor of history at North Carolina A&T State University and author of the book, "There's Always Work at the Post Office: African American Postal Workers and the Fight for Jobs, Justice and Equality."

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Around the Nation
1:37 am
Sat February 9, 2013

Despite Shadow Of Sandy Hook, Schools Considered 'Safe'

Originally published on Sat February 9, 2013 7:11 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

And of course, members of Congress aren't alone in reconsidering their position on guns and public safety. Schools across the country have been increasing security since the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary. As one school official in suburban Washington, D.C. said, Newtown changed school security the way 9/11 changed air travel. A high school in Illinois recently staged a lockdown drill with administrators shooting blanks in the hallways while the kids huddled in the classrooms with the doors locked and lights off.

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Around the Nation
1:24 am
Sat February 9, 2013

NYC Labor Chorus Tries To Hit Right Note, Attract New Voices

The New York City Labor Chorus performs in 2011 at the Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi in Old Havana.
Courtesy of NYCLC

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 12:15 pm

Union membership is at its lowest point since the 1930s. New figures show a drop, and only about 11 percent of workers belong to unions today.

But these numbers don't deter the New York City Labor Chorus, which has been singing in praise of unions for more than 20 years.

Jana Ballard, the choral director of the labor chorus, is one of the youngest in the group. She's 38. The average age of the 80 members is about 65.

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Music News
12:45 am
Sat February 9, 2013

Frank Ocean's Big Year, And What Hasn't Changed In Hip-Hop

Frank Ocean performs at the MTV Video Music Awards in September 2012.
Kevin Mazur WireImage

Originally published on Sat February 9, 2013 7:11 am

Frank Ocean is set to take a victory lap at this year's Grammys. He's up for six awards for his album Channel Orange, including best new artist, and he'll be performing as well. But just a few months ago, Frank Ocean's music wasn't the story — his sexuality was.

To review: After a listening party for Channel Orange last July, a BBC journalist pointed out that a few of the love songs referenced a "him" where you might have expected to hear "her."

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Economy
12:09 am
Sat February 9, 2013

For Rural Towns, Postal Service Cuts Could Mean A Loss Of Identity

Brookfield, Vt., residents fear that Postal Service changes will eventually lead to the closing of their small town post office. About 1,300 people live in Brookfield, according to 2010 U.S. Census figures.
Steve Zind Vermont Public Radio

Originally published on Sat February 9, 2013 7:11 am

In rural Vermont, the U.S. Postal Service decision to discontinue Saturday letter delivery is yet another blow to an institution that's long been a fixture of village life.

Last year, the U.S. Postal Service abandoned plans to close thousands of small post offices, opting instead to cut hours. But there are fears the cuts will continue until the rural post office is no more.

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Afghanistan
12:09 am
Sat February 9, 2013

Afghanistan, Pakistan Seek A Fatwa Against Suicide Attacks

Afghan police and officials visit the site of a suicide attack in Kabul in September. A suicide bomber blew himself up alongside a minivan carrying foreigners on a major highway leading to the international airport in the Afghan capital, police said, killing at least 10 people, including nine foreigners.
Massoud Hossaini AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat February 9, 2013 5:21 pm

The Muhammad Mustafa mosque sits in a fairly well-off part of Kabul where government employees and some high-ranking officials live. Muhammad Ehsan Saiqal, a moderate, 54-year-old Muslim who welcomes girls into his Quran classes, is the imam. The slight, gray-bearded cleric preaches against suicide bombings.

"Islam doesn't permit suicide attacks," he says. "If someone kills any Muslim without any cause, under Shariah law [Islamic law] it means that he kills the whole Muslim world."

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Reporter's Notebook
12:08 am
Sat February 9, 2013

For Some In Minneapolis, National Gun Debate Hits Close To Home

President Obama greets law enforcement officers after speaking on ideas to reduce gun violence at the Minneapolis Police Department Special Operations on Monday.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Sat February 9, 2013 7:11 am

The shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., in December revived a national debate about gun violence. It's one that is emotional and often highly personal, and it's happening in places far from the halls of Congress. Earlier this week, President Obama was in Minneapolis advocating new limits on guns; no law or set of laws, he said, can keep children completely safe. NPR's David Welna was there for the visit and sent this reporter's notebook about the voices he encountered.

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It's All Politics
12:07 am
Sat February 9, 2013

Public Pressure, Background Checks Central To Obama Gun Control Strategy

President Obama speaks about his gun control agenda before law enforcement officials in Minneapolis on Monday. The president was doing what his aides say he didn't do often enough in his first term: getting outside of Washington to build public support for legislation.
Ben Garvin Getty Images

Originally published on Sat February 9, 2013 7:11 am

Gun control historically has been one of the most divisive issues in Congress, between the parties and even inside the Democratic coalition. Yet some in President Obama's own party say he has put together a gun agenda that is sweeping without being too painful for most Democrats to support.

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The Two-Way
1:17 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

Review Of Deadly Attack On Base In Afghanistan Finds Troops Let Guard Down

A Marine Corps review of the deadly Taliban attack on an allied base in Afghanistan last September found that some guard towers were unattended, and the insurgents "got lucky" by cutting through the fence at a remote area of the base in Helmand Province, Capitol Hill sources tell NPR.

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Asia
12:06 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

Show Me The Money In Your Lunar New Year Envelope

A man counts yuan to fill red envelopes in Beijing. Many families celebrate the Lunar New Year by exchanging small envelopes filled with money.
Lizzie Chen NPR

Originally published on Sun April 7, 2013 3:06 pm

Many Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean and other Asian immigrant families are preparing to celebrate the Lunar New Year by filling small envelopes with money.

Exchanging cash gifts with relatives and friends is an annual holiday tradition that can test one's cultural knowledge and, sometimes, bank account.

Allen Kwai, 36, and Debbie Dai, 31, first met a decade ago during church choir practice in New York City's Chinatown. They finally tied the knot last October.

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Around the Nation
12:06 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

Growing University Highlights Connecticut's Water Woes

The expanding University of Connecticut is looking at the Farmington River as a water source, but some say recent weather fluctuation paints an uncertain picture for the river.
Neena Satija WNPR

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 6:03 pm

Lack of water supply isn't just an issue in hot spots like Texas, Colorado and the Mississippi; it has also become a problem in the Northeast, where rivers are drying out in the summers and infrastructure developments are competing more for resources.

One of the area's biggest public universities, the University of Connecticut, needs more water. But plans to obtain it are generating controversy in a region where the availability of water is becoming more and more unpredictable.

The Water Source

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Law
12:06 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

Former LAPD Officer Accused Of Killing Three People Spent Time In The Navy

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 2:09 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. Police in Southern California are still searching for Christopher Dorner. He's the fired LA police officer who's wanted for three murders and other shootings since the weekend. At last word, the search had led police into the San Bernardino Mountains where Dorner's Nissan pickup truck was found torched. Police are going door to door in search of Dorner, who is a 33-year-old, 6-foot tall, 270 pound African-American.

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