Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 11:58 am
Extremist Sunni group ISIS has announced a plan to rule the territory it has carved out of Iraq and Syria in recent months, in a declaration that touches on public services, salaries and compensation for damages from the violence.
The plan was unveiled as Iraq's central Shiite government tries to retake the city of Tikrit, in its first major operation against the insurgents.
Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.
Last week, the Obama administration announced historic regulations to limit carbon dioxide emissions. Policies to address climate change have been a tough sell among some Republicans on Capitol Hill, but also in many Christian congregations around the country.
Dan Brown does a lot of complicated historical research for his novels like The Da Vinci Code and The Lost Symbol. Sometimes, a simple raw number just jumps out at him, and onto the page.
"A couple years ago," he told me on WNPR's Where We Live, "I heard a statistic that just sort of floored me: In the last 80 years, the population on the planet Earth has tripled. I thought, 'That can't be right.'"
Three out of four Americans believe the Bible is the word of God, according to a new Gallup poll; some say the literal word, others that a supreme being inspired the text. But an increasing number also view the book as simply a collection of fables, legends and history.
Author Dan Brown has written some of the biggest blockbuster books, from The Da Vinci Code to his latest book, Inferno. He’s coming to Hartford next month to talk with John Dankosky at the Bushnell. This hour, he joins us for a preview of that conversation.
Long a welcoming haven for jazz, Asylum Hill Congregational Church embraces Duke Ellington’s sacred music Sunday, May 18, at 4:00 pm as it presents "The Best of the Duke Ellington Sacred Concerts" with full-scale, soulful re-creations blessed with four mighty choirs singing, a powerhouse jazz band swinging, and a tap dancer tapping in the historic Hartford church’s majestic sanctuary.
The group that took more than 200 girls from a Nigerian school last month released what it says is a video of the girls, along with demands that the government release militants from prison. The group's leader, Abubakar Shekau, says the video shows around 130 of the girls.
In the undated video released Monday, a crowd of girls is seen outdoors, arranged as if for a class photo. They are wearing the full-length hijab; some portions of the footage show them praying.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, is the religious version of recession food. Since the end of the Civil War, the Mormon membership numbers have grown every single year, and quite often they've grown at an astonishing pace. In the late 1970's and 80's, they added members at a rate of 5-6% a year. Today, their worldwide membership is around 15 million.
Dave Daley sees Sterling and Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy as part of a pattern. I don't. Not exactly, anyway. Dave also talks about Thomas Piketty, the first rock star economist in, well, a really long time.
Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 12:03 pm
America is less religious than ever before. The number of Americans who reported no religious affiliation has been growing rapidly, doubling since 1990. That kind of rapid change matches another societal trend — growth in Internet use. The percentage of Americans who say they used the Internet went from nearly zero in 1990 to 87 percent this year.
Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 7:19 pm
The New York Police Department said Tuesday it would disband a special unit charged with detecting possible terrorist threats by carrying out secret surveillance of Muslim groups.
The squad that conducted the surveillance, known as the Demographics Unit, was formed in 2003. It brought the NYPD under fire from community groups and activists who accused the force of abusing civil rights and profiling.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said his administration has promised "a police force that keeps our city safe, but that is also respectful and fair.
Originally published on Sun April 13, 2014 12:03 pm
After speaking to a crowd that was estimated at 100,000 people Sunday, Pope Francis moved through the audience in his popemobile — and then delighted some of those in attendance by getting out of the vehicle and posing for photos with them.
Francis posed for photos several times during his circuit through St. Peter's Square, where throngs of the faithful had gathered to hear him speak on Palm Sunday.
"After the ceremony, the pope hopped onto his popemobile and moved through the crowd, often getting off to pose for selfies with young people," NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports.
Scientists say the papyrus that mentions a wife of Jesus is not a forgery. Stephen Colbert will take over when Letterman leaves. I'm not saying the two things are connected, but maybe our weekly culture roundtable The Nose will find a common thread.
It might seem like a small thing - the departure of Stephen Colbert from his late night role in which he depicts a strutting, preening, right-wing media star. In the last analysis, who cares who takes over the Letterman show?
Thomas Moore was, for 13 years, a Servite monk. In 1992, he burst onto the national scene with "Care of the Soul", which combined the psychotherapeutic of Jung and James Hillman with ancient and contemporary religious and spiritual ideas. It was number 1 on the New York Times best seller list, and stayed on the list for a year.
Moore's central premise is that part of ourselves cannot be fully nourished through purely rational modern thought. We have needs that cannot be met by science and social theory. His new book is kind of a toolkit for people who have that sense - that they need something they're not getting. They may not be comfortable sitting in a pew to get it, so can they make it themselves?
Obama, who has seen his approval numbers decline since he took office in 2009, met for about 50 minutes with the pope, who has become one of the world's most popular leaders since becoming leader of the Roman Catholic Church a year ago.
Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 11:36 am
Editor's note: To hear our full interview with Jimmy Carter, tune into Weekend Edition on Sunday, March 23.
President Jimmy Carter has written more than two dozen books over the course of his career, about everything from the art of aging to how to achieve peace in the Middle East. All his writing is anchored by a deep-seated belief in the equality of all people.
Mark Oppenheimer writes about religion and a whole bunch of other things. Today, he'll be talking about the difficulty Orthodox Jewish women face in obtaining a certain form of cooperation from their husbands and how that difficulty spawned a black market in coercion and violence.
Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 11:43 pm
Google intends to fight a court order to remove a controversial anti-Muslim video from YouTube in the U.S.
The company plans to file for a hearing before a full nine-judge panel of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals after two of three judges on a smaller panel forced the company to take down the film, Innocence of Muslims, which caused uproar in the Islamic world in 2012.
Dr. Alveda King has taken up the civil rights mantle of her uncle, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. But her driving issue is abortion, and she has a vehemently pro-life stance. She says her uncle would agree with her.