In Syria, anyone who speaks out against the regime of President Bashar Assad risks harassment, detention and sometimes worse. One famous cartoonist who'd lampooned Assad was pulled out of his car last summer by pro-regime thugs and had his hands broken.
Public figures like singers and actors are under much pressure to keep silent. Even a small and critically acclaimed group of Syrian painters is not immune — but that might be attracting buyers outside Syria to their work.
There have been hints that the obesity epidemic's rise has slowed a bit among certain populations, but for the most part, it continues to dominate American health. One third of children and teenagers are now overweight or obese. And researchers forecast as many as half of our nation's population could be obese — not overweight but obese — by 2030.
Six months before the presidential election, the Florida ground game is already under way.
In political terms, the ground game is the process of mobilizing voters and getting them to the polls. And the first step is registering people to vote.
But in Florida this year, there are tough new restrictions on groups that conduct voter registration drives. The restrictions already appear to be having an impact on the number of people who are registering to vote.
You may think of surfers as slackers. But in Santa Cruz, Calif., they're city council members and business owners. And they're also conservationists — who just got their piece of the central California coast named a World Surfing Reserve.
Long before surf music topped the charts and long before surfers had crazy nicknames, surfers have been riding the waves in Santa Cruz.
Fifty years ago, Johnny Carson became the host of TheTonight Show. During his 30 years as host, he reached a nightly audience of 15 million people and became one of the most trusted and famous men in America.
But Carson was intensely private off-screen, and very few people — including members of his own family--really knew him. Documentary filmmaker Peter Jones wanted to try and change that. Once a year, for 15 years, Jones sent Carson a letter, begging him for permission to make a documentary on his life.
One week ago today, an enormous chalkboard popped up on a busy street here in Washington, D.C. And at the very top corner painted in huge letters, just three words: Before I Die. The board was like a magnet to passersby to write their greatest wishes, their wildest dreams, the things they want to accomplish before they die. Think of it as a crowd-sourced bucket list.
And if you're just joining us, this is WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.
In North Carolina this past week, voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union between one man and one woman. A solid majority of the state's African-American voters backed it as well.
The very next day, President Obama publicly endorsed same-sex marriage. But will that affect black turnout in support of the president in November? Here's Tanner Latham from member station WFAE in Charlotte.
Voters in Germany's most populous state, North Rhine Westphalia, have delivered a major blow to the ruling party, the Christian Democrats, led by Chancellor Angela Merkel. Weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz talks with Michael Kolz, the chief political reporter for German station Phoenix, about why the results in North Rhine Westphalia matter and what they mean for the left-wing Social Democrats.