Israel made a decision last week that supporters are calling game-changing. Men and women will be allowed to worship together at the holiest place where Jews can legally pray. This could lead to other changes in Israel.
Batya Kallus, who helped negotiate the deal that led to the government decision, is jubilant.
"This is groundbreaking," she says. "We've reconceived what the Western Wall includes."
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is known for being one of the most disliked men in Washington. As he tries to win over voters, his wife Heidi Cruz is trying to vouch for his character and show people that he has a softer side.
Readers have waited almost 15 years for a second novel from the acclaimed Alexander Chee, following the highly-praised Edinburgh. The wait is over.
The Queen Of The Night is sprawling, soaring, bawdy and plotted like a fine embroidery. Lilliet Berne is the most famous soprano in the French opera. She is offered the role of a lifetime: an original part written for her. But then she sees that the opera must be based on a part of her life she's kept under wraps.
When you think of Iowa, you probably think — lots of white people. And, that's true, but the state is also home to a growing number of Latinos.
Hispanics now make up 5.6 percent of the state's population, according to 2014 estimates from the Census Bureau. To put that in perspective, that means the Hispanic community in Iowa these days is twice the size it was during the 2000 caucuses.
And, this year, for the first time, Latinos in Iowa are trying to systematically organize themselves to caucus.
It's easy to get cynical about the presidential campaign, especially so close to the first round of voting, when many candidates are on the attack.
But see it up close and personal, and the process can feel a bit more charming. That's what a class from Indiana's Manchester University found as it traveled across Iowa last week, taking in the caucuses.
Vermont musician Jamie Masefield has been improvising on the jazz mandolin for decades. He's recorded six albums, including one with Blue Note Records, and brings everything from folk and funk to the literature of Leo Tolstoy to the stage. But some years back, his eclectic creativity brought him to an unexpected second career.
When I meet Masefield at work, he's chipping away at some pinkish stone with a small hammer. "In the industry we call it 'rainbow stone,'" he offers. "It's very nice to work with."
[Update: Since this story aired, listeners have come forward with new information on the identity of "Prince" Nazaroff — including some members of the musician's family. Hear Jon Kalish's follow-up piece.]
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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:
Sometimes, a good idea and fate collide to create an interesting opportunity. That's what happened with "All American Boys," a young adult novel whose co-authors chose a contentious subject, racial profiling.
In the face of growing protests, police departments across the country are pledging to try to reduce the use of deadly force.
This week, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said his police department will double its supply of Tasers and will train officers to use them.
The Fayetteville, N.C., police department will spend the next year and a half trying to implement 76 recommendations issued in December by the Department of Justice. Those recommendations range from better record keeping and better information-sharing to trying to reduce the racial disparity in traffic stops.
Now that we've all had a wonderful time over the holidays, we can begin thinking about the election. Let me begin by saying that there are few things more exciting to me than an election year. Back in the day, I'd be headed for Iowa or maybe New Hampshire about now. Because coming right up are the first real judgments by real people. Over several months, we get to hear what ought to happen from our fellow Americans in states in all parts of the country — in places very different from Iowa and New Hampshire.