Philadelphia may be called the City of Brotherly Love, but author Solomon Jones sees the sadder, more complex side of the city.
Jones' books feature Philly police detective Mike Coletti. When we meet him in The Last Confession, he's on the verge of retirement, but before he can head off into the sunset, he's got to confront some demons from his past and catch a serial killer calling himself the Angel of Death.
Nearly a year and a half ago, Jeff Moyer donated a kidney. It's something he says changed his life forever. "Transplant surgery is a miracle," marvels Moyer. "I mean, to think that my kidney saved someone else's life — that's staggeringly wonderful."
If you listen to my story on Morning Edition, you'll understand the generational divide that has led to my fear of making a pie crust.
So when I decided to overcome my fear, I did it the right way. I hopped on a train to the Culinary Institute of America, the nation's premier cooking school, in Hyde Park, N.Y. There I learned the foolproof pie crust formula that chef George Higgins teaches his students. "It starts with 3, 2, 1," he explains.
"We had two shows that night," says Bobby Womack, recounting a recent concert in Houston. "It was a small theater, about 5- or 6,000 people. The second show, I was just out of it; they had to take me to the hospital."
It was a serious scare for the 68-year-old singer-songwriter — who has also lived through drug addiction and the deaths of two sons — and it didn't end that night.
When Michelle Obama's great-great-great grandmother was 8 years old, her life underwent a dramatic change.
Melvinia Shields was a slave who grew up at a South Carolina estate with a relatively large community of slaves she knew well. But then she was moved to a small farm in northern Georgia where she was one of only three slaves; most white people in the area didn't own any.
On a week monopolized by important political news, many of you still took time out to comment on our National Geographic inspired poll, which asked "Which president, would-be president or movie president would do the best job if extraterrestrials come to visit?"
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.
Mexico, a country so scarred by drug violence, is electing a new president today. And voters appear ready to reject the ruling party led by outgoing President Felipe Calderon. In the eyes of many Mexicans, his anti-drug campaign has done more harm than good, claiming the lives of more than 50,000 people over the last six years. But the candidate who appears on the verge of victory is from a party that ruled Mexico with an iron fist for decades.
As Carrie said, the war on drugs is not the primary campaign issue in Mexico. But it has been at the heart of outgoing President Felipe Calderon's agenda. The bloodiest battlefield in that war has been Ciudad Juarez, which is right across the border from El Paso, Texas. And the presidential election has not put residents there in a hopeful mood.
As Monica Ortiz Uribe, of member station KJZZ reports, many in Juarez have little faith that a new president can bring peace.
Everyone who lost a home to the Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado seems to have a story about stuff: the stuff they grabbed as they fled, the treasures they forgot to pack. Colorado Public Radio's Megan Verlee reports on what it means to start over.
Recently, people in the small western town of Bethel, Alaska, got very excited when they saw flyers announcing the opening of a Taco Bell. But then, residents got the sad news: the flyers were a hoax. But the people of Bethel will not go taco-less.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene. Since the Supreme Court's ruling that upheld President Obama's signature health care law, it has been hard to separate substance from rhetoric. This has been one important theme coming from the White House.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I know there will be a lot of discussion today about the politics about all of this, about who won and who lost. That's how these things tend to be viewed here in Washington. But that discussion completely misses the point.
About 250 million people will tune in Sunday to watch Italy and Spain duke it out in the Euro 2012 final in Kiev. As always with European soccer, this battle has laid bare more than just skills on the field. Guest host David Greene talks with ESPN's Roger Bennett about the national undercurrents.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene. The United States reached an agreement with Russia and other world powers yesterday to try to create a transitional government in Syria after months of bloodshed. But Russia, a close ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, opposed U.S. insistence that the Syrian leader should go. The deal was quickly dismissed by the Syrian rebels. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton came back from Geneva last night but before she got on her plane, she sat down with NPR's Michele Kelemen.
So much of the news out of Europe these days is about debt and countries struggling to pay their bills. Well, there is a bit of calm in that storm, and, of course, it's in Paris. There's no Greek-style austerity in France. And as Eleanor Beardsley tells us, in the City of Light, people are still enjoying the good life.
James L. Oberstar was riding pretty high in Congress. Over the course of 18 elections, the Democrat had never received less than 59 percent of the vote in his northeastern Minnesota district, and he had finally realized a longstanding ambition by chairing the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
Then, he voted for the big health care bill in 2010. Oberstar soon lost his seat, along with 63 other House Democrats.
He doesn't regret it.
"The Supreme Court decision is vindication in spades for me and I hope for others who voted for it," he says.
Royal Dutch Shell could drill several exploratory oil wells into the waters off the north shore of Alaska this summer. The potential prize is huge, but so is the risk, should there be an oil spill in this pristine and remote region. And that risk is on everyone's mind since the BP blowout in the Gulf of Mexico two years ago.
Shell is now training hundreds of workers to confront oil in icy waters. But for now, the training is taking place in the calm, ice-free waters far to the south, near the port of Valdez.
Earlier this week, Taiwanese-American attorney Grace Meng won the Democratic primary for New York's newly redrawn 6th Congressional District. She says she thinks of herself as an all-American kid, even if others didn't always see her that way.
"Growing up as a kid in Queens, there weren't really many Asians at all," Meng says. "I remember one day, my mom gave me dumplings to bring to school, and people were all like, 'What is that?'"
Meng says she would have preferred peanut butter and jelly.
The eastern shore of Lake Erie is known as the "Sponge Candy Crescent." During the region's long winter months, this crunchy, chocolatey candy is a mainstay — especially for large gatherings and holidays. But come hot weather, you can't get the temperamental treat.
Ko-Ed Candies sells a lot of chocolate Easter bunnies, candy bars and other sweets, but co-owner Sandy Whitt says her customers mostly crave sponge candy.
The sanctions noose around Iran is set to tighten Sunday as the European Union imposes a total embargo on all purchases of Iranian oil.
The new sanctions are aimed at putting pressure on the Islamic Republic to make concessions on its nuclear program. Iran insists the program is limited to peaceful, civilian purposes, but many Western nations believe Iran has nuclear weapons ambitions.
The move against Iran comes at a time when oil prices have been dropping for the past couple of months.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Oh, Balotelli. Mario's moment to shine.
SULLIVAN: That was the call on ESPN of the heroics of 21-year-old Mario Balotelli. He scored both of Italy's goals in their win over Germany in the Euro 2012 soccer tournament. The Italians now advance to the final tomorrow.
Weekends on All Things Considered guest host Laura Sullivan talks with Heidi Cullen, chief climatologist at Climate Central, a non-profit science journalism organization in Princeton, New Jersey. They discuss wildfires and extreme heat in the Midwest this week and how these climate conditions are tracked by Earth-observing satellites.
Billy Lynn is a 19-year-old college dropout living in the small Texas town where he grew up. After he's arrested for trashing the car of his sister's ex, he's given two choices: face jail time or enlist in the Army.
He chooses the Army. And Iraq.
Author Ben Fountain's debut novel, Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, is the story of what happens to Lynn after he joins Bravo Company in the early years of the Iraq war.
Weekends on All Things Considered guest host Laura Sullivan talks with James Fallows, national correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly. They discuss the decision of the Supreme Court to uphold the Affordable Health Care act, Chief Justice John Roberts' role on the court and what the decision means in this election year.