"Never Would Have Made It" is the biggest gospel hit of the past decade, and the man who sings it, Marvin Sapp, is quite possibly the biggest name in gospel today — a development that still surprises the Michigan pastor.
"I'm blown away by how that song has had the impact that it has had on so many people," Sapp tells NPR's Guy Raz. "All of us, I've learned, have gone through 'never would have made it' moments, and that's the reason why I believe that it resonates so strongly in so many people's lives."
And now, let's turn our attention to the world of sports.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE BALL GAME")
WYNONA CARR: (Singing) Life is a ball game being played each day. Life is a ball game...
GREENE: Life is a ball game, isn't it? Well, at least that's how Mike Pesca sees it. He is NPR's sports correspondent and also WEEKEND EDITION's guide to those intersections of sports and life. And he joins us now.
Now, back here in Washington, D.C., President Barack Obama will host Japan's prime minister, Yoshihiko Noda, at the White House tomorrow. It's been more than three years since a Japanese head of state attended a White House summit.
One of the Arab world's most popular comedic actors is facing jail time in Egypt after a judge ruled he insulted Islam in some of his past film roles. The case worries those already concerned about the growing influence of Islamists in Egypt. NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson has that story from Cairo.
A mural in Cairo depicts the split faces of Egyptian military ruler Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, left, and ousted president Hosni Mubarak accompanied by Arabic that reads, "who assigned you did not die, No for gas export to Israel, the revolution continues."
Ever since Egypt's revolution last year, many Israelis have wondered what it might mean for the peace treaty that the two countries signed in 1979 – the first such agreement between Israel and an Arab state.
Israel's embassy in Egypt was attacked last September and badly damaged. Islamist parties sharply critical of Israel have proved popular, including the Muslim Brotherhood, which won Egypt's parliamentary elections.
Twenty years ago Sunday, Los Angeles erupted into destructive riots after the verdict in the Rodney King trial. The violence lasted six days and left more than 50 dead and over $1 billion in damage. NPR's Karen Grigsby Bates remembers; she lived in the one of the neighborhoods that went up in flames.
Several years ago, I interviewed Karl Fleming for the 40th anniversary of the Watts riots. He was a veteran journalist who'd covered the civil rights movement in the in the 1960s for Newsweek.
Bedouins watch flames rise in July 2011 after masked gunmen blew up a terminal of the Egyptian natural gas pipeline to Israel and Jordan. It was one of many attacks on the pipeline since the popular uprising that ousted longtime Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak last year.
Chris Colfer, writer and star of <em>Struck By Lightning</em>, at the Tribeca Film Festival, where the film is playing.
Credit Larry Busacca / Getty Images
Carson Phillips (Chris Colfer) and Malerie Baggs (Rebel Wilson) try to drum up support for their school's literary magazine in the dark comedy <em>Struck By Lightning</em>, for which Colfer wrote the screenplay.
Chris Colfer, one of the stars of the hit TV show Glee, is known for his portrayal of Kurt, a confident and openly gay high school student (who also possesses pipes like a diva). In the new film Struck By Lightning, which Colfer wrote, he plays a very different character: Carson Phillips, an ambitious high school student who starts a literary magazine in order to get into Northwestern University. The character is arrogant and not exactly well-liked, so how does he collect submissions? By blackmailing the popular kids, of course.