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.
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.
The U.S. Forest Service has a cow problem: six dead cows. They were discovered inside a cabin, piled up and frozen solid in the Colorado backcountry. The cabin is at Conundrum Hot Springs at 11,200 feet, accessible only by a precipitous hike. And rangers are trying to figure out how to get rid of the carcasses before they decompose.
Scott Snelson is district ranger for the Aspen-Sopris District at the White River National Forest where the cows were found. And he joins me now.
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.
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.