It centers around an unlikely romance between Skinner, a veteran of the war in Iraq, and Zou Lei, a Uyghur from China. Lish told Here & Now‘s Robin Young that the book’s title has significance for both characters.
Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 1:22 pm
Today's announcement that Cuba freed USAID contractor Alan Gross as a humanitarian gesture came with news of a separate prisoner exchange: Three convicted Cuban spies were traded for a U.S. intelligence asset who spent nearly two decades in Cuban prisons.
President Obama called the unnamed man "one of the most important intelligence agents that the United States has ever had in Cuba."
Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 3:25 pm
Years of efforts to reduce the racial disparities in health care have so far failed to eliminate them. But progress is being made in the western United States, due largely to efforts by managed care plans to identify patients who were missing out on management of chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease.
While management of blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar improved nationwide, African-Americans still "substantially" trailed whites everywhere except the western U.S., an area from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific as well as Alaska and Hawaii.
Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 12:32 pm
D'Angelo has built a considerable reputation on the basis of three albums: 1995's Brown Sugar, 2000's Voodoo, and now Black Messiah, unexpectedly released early Monday morning. The singer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalist has been widely praised for connecting many decades of different rhythm & blues styles, and Fresh Air rock critic Ken Tucker says Black Messiah is as adventurous as any fan could hope for.
Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 3:26 pm
Last month, American aid worker Peter Kassig was executed in Syria by the Islamic State militant group. The 26-year-old emergency medical technician had worked in hospitals, clinics and refugee camps throughout the region for more than two years. He was known for treating anyone who needed him, regardless of political affiliation. In a country like Syria, that kind of openness is both a statement of integrity and a huge personal risk.
Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 12:48 pm
The man at the eye of the storm in Saudi Arabia is Ahmad Aziz Al Ghamdi. He's a religious scholar, the former head of the religious police in Mecca, a group officially known as the Committee for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.
Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 1:41 pm
Updated at 2:39 p.m. ET
President Obama announced today the most significant change in U.S. policy toward Cuba in more than 50 years, paving the way for the normalization of relations and the opening of a U.S. Embassy in Havana.
Obama said "we will end an outdated approach that for decades has failed to advance our interests and instead we will begin to normalize relations between our two countries."
Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 3:27 pm
Sandra Lopez and her Chihuahua, Coco, were inseparable. He followed her everywhere, and kept Lopez's mood up when she was in pain — which was often.
On Oct. 15, 2014, Lopez died at age 49 of melanoma that had slowly spread throughout her body over the course of two years.
Lopez was in and out of the hospital in 2014, but during the months she was home, a hospice nurse from the Metropolitan Jewish Health System visited once a week to help manage the pain, backed up by a 24-hour, nurse-staffed phone line that Lopez called often.
Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 3:27 am
In what The Associated Press called a "final flurry of accomplishment" Tuesday night, lawmakers were able to push through a bill that extended a package of tax breaks, which had expired at the end of 2013, and confirmed 12 more judicial nominees. NPR's Ailsa Chang reported the confirmations also marked a big accomplishment for the Obama administration.
Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 12:22 pm
Citing the statute of limitations, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office says it won't pursue child sexual abuse charges against comedian Bill Cosby, who has been the subject of numerous allegations made by more than a dozen women.
Prosecutors "noted the statute of limitations at the time of the alleged incident was three years," The Los Angeles Times says.
Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 1:46 pm
Many of us are making lots of trips to the mall right now, but what if you could only go shopping for just a few hours once a month? That's what life is like for container ship crews who bring the vast majority of consumer goods from Chinese factories to stores in the U.S.