It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.
It's been more than a day now since news broke of a blind Chinese dissident's dramatic escape from house arrest. It's now thought that Chen Guangcheng secretly traveled 300 miles to the capital, Beijing, and is being sheltered on the grounds of the U.S. embassy there.
NPR's Beijing bureau chief is Louisa Lim, and she joins me now from there. Louisa, first off, is it clear that he is actually on embassy grounds?
More than a decade after 9/11, heightened security at U.S. airports has become routine, yet some religious and minority groups say they're unfairly singled out for even more screening. Well, now there's an app for that.
The mobile app is called FlyRights. Travelers who suspect they have been profiled take out their smartphone, tap a finger on the app and answer about a dozen questions. Then they hit "submit" and an official complaint is filed immediately with the Transportation Security Administration.
Since winning American Idol in 2005, Carrie Underwood has become one of the most popular country artists in the business. At the age of 29, she is tied with country legend Reba McEntire as the Female Country Artist with the most number one hits on the Billboard charts. Not bad for a girl from Checotah, Okla.
Joel Osteen is one of the most influential religious figures in the world.
He's a New York Times best-selling author. His television program reaches more than 10 million households in the U.S. and is seen in more than 100 nations across the globe. On Sunday night, he's hosting America's Night of Hope at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.
There was news this week that Ernest "Chick" Callenbach had died. His 1975 cult-classic, Ecotopia, was beloved by environmentalists and science fiction fans. Originally self-published, it went on to sell more than a million copies in many languages. The utopian novel, which imagined a new nation made up of Northern California, Oregon and Washington state, is told from the point of view of a visiting reporter from the United States.
The U.S. Congress doesn't win any popularity contests. Approval ratings for the legislative branch run the gamut from dismal to embarrassing. Nine percent at their lowest, and all the chaos and discord in the 112th Congress have distressed a lot of its members too. Democratic representative Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri called the last-minute deal to raise the debt ceiling, quote, "a sugar-coated Satan sandwich. If you lift the bun, you will not like what you see."
Originally published on Sat April 28, 2012 12:22 pm
SCOTT SIMON, HOST:
Time now for Your Letters.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
SIMON: Many of you were moved by our story about the Soldier Ride, a four-day cycling event organized by the Wounded Warriors Project. Iraq War veteran Sergeant Michael Owens spoke about why he rides.
SERGEANT MICHAEL SULLIVAN: I think it's really important for warriors and veterans like myself to be able to know that we can still do the same things we did before, or new things that we never tried before.
Originally published on Mon April 30, 2012 10:14 am
I don't remember who told me this tale, but it begins with a little boy, maybe 4 or 5, who is given a book. He opens it, begins to read, curls into it, won't look up, can't stop, looks at the pictures, turns the pages, keeps turning, turning, turning, until all too quickly, he's done, finished.