In December 2009, a would-be terrorist boarded a plane for Detroit with a bomb in his underwear. While the explosive failed to properly ignite and the man was arrested upon landing, the ensuing investigation revealed the bomb in question had been made by al-Qaida leaders in Yemen.
This attempted act of terrorism heralded both the small Arabian country's re-emergence into the international consciousness as a refuge for al-Qaida and the ascendance of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), developments that have grown only more pronounced since.
Four servicewomen along with the American Civil Liberties Union are suing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta over the military's policy to exclude women from combat. The policy, says the ACLU, is unconstitutional.
After years of waiting, the Kennedy Center has a new symphonic organ replacing its old Filene organ. The $2 million project will culminate in the organ's debut on Nov. 27. William Neil (left), the National Symphony Orchestra organist, speaks with NSO Assistant Conductor Ankush Kumar Bahl (center) during the organ's test with the orchestra on Oct. 18.
Jacquelin Rochette, artistic director of Casavant Bros., gives a tour of the labyrinthine organ chamber. The Montreal-based company was founded in 1879 and specializes in building, renovating and installing pipe organs.
Weiler pulls on the "Filene" stop, named after Catherine Filene Shouse, the donor of the first Kennedy Center organ dismantled earlier this year. The wooden console has 103 stops, which are responsible for balancing the treble and bass — the lows and highs of each pipe.
Bahl (left) speaks with Neil (center) and Weiler about the organ's test performance with the orchestra on Oct. 18. After six weeks of toning and tuning, the team just needed to make a few final refinements. "We had to tone it down today. We heard too much organ," said Weiler. "It's much easier to make an organ softer than louder, but the power is there."
After years of waiting, the Kennedy Center has a new symphonic organ replacing its old organ installed in 1972. The $2 million project will culminate in the organ's debut on Nov. 27. William Neil (left), the National Symphony Orchestra organist, speaks with NSO Assistant Conductor Ankush Kumar Bahl (center) during the organ's test with the orchestra on Oct. 18.
It was almost spooky. Each night after 11 p.m., when nothing was stirring in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall, two men would enter. One would sit at the organ, playing a key or series of keys, and the other would crawl around inside the organ pipes, 40 feet off the floor. The process went on for months.
It was the all but final phase of installing a new organ for the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. And on Nov. 27, the organ makes its formal debut.
Have you ever wondered whether music conductors actually influence their orchestras?
They seem important. After all, they're standing in the middle of the stage and waving their hands. But the musicians all have scores before them that tell them what to play. If you took the conductor away, could the orchestra manage on its own?
In 1964, Dolly Parton told her classmates at eastern Tennessee's Sevier County High School that she planned to go to Nashville and become a star.
The whole class burst into laughter.
"Anywhere you go, people say, 'Well, ain't you afraid you'll starve to death?'" Parton tells NPR's Neal Conan. "'Ain't you afraid you'll go hungry?' I said, 'Well I couldn't be any poorer than we've been here. And I'm not a bad-looking girl.'"
Last week, Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi received plaudits from around the world after he brokered a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. Then a day later he issued a decree, giving him near-absolute power. After some times of violent protests and a visit from outraged judges, the president backed off a bit, but many worry that Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood will now dictate Egypt's new constitution and that the revolution just created one strong man for another.
It's Tuesday and time to read from your comments. Several listeners told us they appreciated our segment on what we get from playing first-person shooter games. Kristen(ph) wrote: I don't personally play videogames, but my boyfriend does. He was an infantry scout in Iraq, and the shooter games were actually recommended by his psychiatrist as a way to have him differentiate between what's real and what is not.
A report from the National Council on Disability finds that parents with physical or mental disabilities have a greater risk of losing custody of their children. The study says that the U.S. legal system needs to provide more support for these parents.