This week, music is bringing Americans and Russians together in a way that policy discussions never can. And don't call that a cliche in front of the music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
If U.S. relations with Russia have hit a sticky patch over Syria and other issues lately, that didn't stop the Chicago Symphony from thrilling a Russian audience this past Wednesday night, just as it did on its last visit — to the then-Soviet Union in 1990.
Girls perform a traditional dance while celebrating Thingyan, Myanmar's new year water festival, in Yangon, on April 15. The new year has brought new hope as the country undergoes rapid political change.
Credit Soe Zeya Tun / Reuters/Landov
Par Par Lay, a member of the Moustache Brothers vaudeville troupe whose show includes biting political satire, performs recently in Mandalay, in northern Myanmar. Par Par Lay, who had been imprisoned, says he is not yet convinced the reforms are real.
Credit Michael Sullivan for NPR
A supporter cheers on Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar opposition leader, as she visits her constituency during new year festivities in Kawhmu outside Yangon on April 17.
In Myanmar, there are signs in the most unlikely places that people are starting to believe recent political reforms are for real, and aren't just a trick.
Take a recent performance of the Moustache Brothers vaudeville troupe in the northern city of Mandalay.
The troupe performs in the family home — it's not allowed to perform in public. Its biting political satire, aimed at the generals and their cronies, has made the troupe a favorite of Western tourists and diplomats.
A video appeal to the wife of Syrian President Bashar Assad asks her to persuade her husband to stop the killing. The campaign for Asma Assad to "stand up for peace" was started by the wives of British and German ambassadors to the United Nations. Melissa Block talks with Joan Juliet Buck, the last American journalist to spend time with the Assad family before the latest civil strife began in Syria.
Tuesday night, Colorado Rockies pitcher Jamie Moyer became the oldest pitcher to win a Major League Baseball game at the age of 49. He pitched the Rockies to a win of 5-to-3 over the San Diego Padres. Melissa Block talks to Moyer about the game and his career.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
Bipartisanship is rare on Capitol Hill these days but one bill is gaining support from both Republicans and Democrats. There's a problem, though, the Obama administration is leery of it.
As NPR's Michele Kelemen reports, the bill involves human rights abuses in Russia. And U.S. diplomats are worried it could complicate relations at a time when the U.S. needs Russia's backing on a range of issues.
If diet is destiny, then modern humans should thank our ancestors for their ability to eat just about anything.
Two new studies peek into the distant past to try to figure out just how big a role food played in human evolution. One says that eating meat made it possible for early human mothers to wean babies earlier and have more children.
Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 10:08 am
A Dutch virologist is considering his full range of legal options if his government refuses to lift the restrictions it has put on his controversial bird flu research, and matters could quickly come to a head after a meeting next Monday that will be attended by U. S. observers.
Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 10:58 am
Of Monsters and Men is an Icelandic sextet specializing in catchy folk-pop. The group came together in 2009 when singer Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir began recruiting backups for her acoustic solo act. In 2010, Of Monsters and Men gained national fame when it won an annual Icelandic battle of the bands; since then, the buzz has only grown.
There's another bit of tragic news to report today: 43 people are dead after a truck crashed into a passenger bus in eastern Mexico today. Authorities told the AFP that the incident happened after a trailer came loose and hit a bus carrying agricultural workers headed to work.
Jean-Luc Melenchon, the Left Front presidential candidate, draws huge crowds, rivaling those of mainstream candidates Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande. Here, he delivers a speech during a campaign meeting on April 1 in Grigny, outside Paris.
Credit Bertrand Langlois / AFP/Getty Images
French presidential candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon gives a speech at the Bastille square in Paris on March 18.
Credit Thomas Samson / AFP/Getty Images
An estimated 100,000 Melanchon supporters gathered to hear the candidate speak at a rally at Paris' Bastille monument last month.