Originally published on Mon July 29, 2013 10:41 am
As the ailing Nelson Mandela turned 95 this month, the international community celebrated his legacy and rooted for his recovery.
Just to the north in Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe, 89, is running for re-election this week. He's looking to extend his 33 years in power, which have been marked by authoritarian rule, economic collapse and international isolation.
The Quinta de Boa Vista park is far away from the celebrations in Copacabana Beach, where three million people gathered Saturday to hear Pope Francis speak. But the park is attracting a crowd of young people.
Kiosks for religious orders like the Carmelites, the Franciscans and the Legion of Mary line the park. It looks like a job fair, and in a way, it is.
Nuns from the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady of Lourdes dance around in front of their stand, to the banging of drums and the strumming of guitars.
In Egypt, protests against the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi turned deadly Saturday, after Egyptian security forces launched the most violent crackdown yet on those demonstrators.
The Egyptian Health Ministry says around 80 people were killed — most of them in Cairo. The Muslim Brotherhood, from which the deposed president hails, put the death toll at nearly twice that number. Hundreds more were injured.
It's been too long since we simply sat up and pointed out a few of the many new releases worth a set of ears. Luckily, the staff on weekends at All Things Considered thought the same. They invited me to sit down with host Jacki Lyden and play a few cuts for them.
Here's music from an elder statesman of piano, a trumpeter who understands creole music personally, a drummer who writes tunes with a payoff, and a singer in her early 20s with maturity and kick.
Jenni Fagan was born in Livingston, Scotland. Earlier this year, she was <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/04/15/177360576/grantas-best-of-young-british-novelists-shows-a-disunited-kingdom">recognized</a> on <em>Granta</em>'s Best of Young British Novelists issue.
During the 19th century, a panopticon was a prison or asylum with an all-seeing eye. Some of the C-shaped prisons with central watchtowers still stand in the U.S. and Europe.
Jenni Fagan's new book borrows the panopticon idea as the setting for a gritty, often poetic, novel. The story is based loosely on Fagan's own experience growing up in the Scottish foster care system for 16 years.
And as we mentioned earlier in the show, singer-songwriter J.J. Cale has died. If you're not familiar with his name, you've probably heard some of his music. He penned hits from the 1970s and '80s that were recorded by Eric Clapton, Lynyrd Skynyrd and many others. The success of those songs gave him the freedom to release his own albums for more than four decades. NPR's Dan Bobkoff has this remembrance.
The film The Act of Killing is the most talked about movie of the year. It's a film that is both fiction and nonfiction. Filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer talked to the old men in charge of the death squads in Indonesia in the 1960s that killed somewhere between 500,000 to 2 million civilians in the name of thwarting communism.