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Consider the plight of Syria's many minorities — the Christians, the Druze, the Ismailis and many others.

On one hand, they face threats by extremists like the self-proclaimed Islamic State, which considers their beliefs heretical. On the other hand, joining forces with President Bashar Assad's regime could mean dangerous military deployments and antagonizing the Sunni Muslim majority.

It's taken the street-racing movie Furious 7 only 17 days to reach $1 billion in worldwide box office grosses, according to Universal Pictures. On its opening weekend, the movie reportedly made $143.6 million in the U.S. It's the last in the Fast and Furious franchise to feature the late actor Paul Walker.

Universal says the movie is the studio's first to cross the billion-dollar mark during its first run in theaters, putting Furious 7 above films such as Jurassic Park, Despicable Me and the Jason Bourne movies.

It fought in World War II and was used in two atomic bomb tests. Now, 64 years after it was scuttled, the USS Independence has been located by an undersea survey team led by NOAA and the U.S. Navy.

A new image of the ship suggests it's in good shape for a craft that was damaged by shock waves, heat and radiation in the Pacific Ocean.

Small theaters' claims that large cinema chains keep them from screening first-run movies have reportedly prompted a Department of Justice investigation. News of a federal inquiry comes as arguments over preferential treatment and exclusivity have been heating up in recent years.

NPR's Mandalit del Barco reports:

In a series of early-morning raids, Australian counterterrorism police arrested five men in the Melbourne area Saturday, over their possible involvement in a plot to attack police officers at an upcoming World War I remembrance ceremony.

Three of the men were later released; police say that Sevdet Ramdan Besim, 18, "has been charged with conspiracy to commit acts done in preparation for, or planning, terrorist acts."

From Sydney, Stuart Cohen reports:

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

The Story Behind Mark Ronson's Hit Song 'Uptown Funk': The producer says there was a moment when his co-writers thought, "Maybe this song wasn't meant to be." He also describes working with Amy Winehouse and Bruno Mars.

In what could be the first attack in Afghanistan by the self-proclaimed Islamic State, the extremist group has reportedly said it is behind Saturday's deadly attack in Jalalabad. Media outlets and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani have noted the claim, which has not been independently verified.

A weekend of planned vigils and marches to mark the one-year anniversary of the deadly Sewol ferry sinking in South Korea has turned into tense clashes between demonstrators and police.

We are moving into the election season — feels like we're moving faster and faster, candidates are already in the early states — notably the newly announced Hillary Clinton. She headed right to Iowa for some close encounters with voters. Republicans, reportedly a score or so, are in New Hampshire this weekend, taking turns shaking hands with voters,

Limericks

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Lightning Fill In The Blank

8 hours ago
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PETER SAGAL, HOST:

All right, it is time to play our final game, Lightning Fill In The Blank. Each of our players will have 60 in which to answer as many fill-in-the-blank questions as he or she can. Each correct answer now worth two points. Bill, can you give us the scores?

Prediction

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Now, panel, where and when will we see a Gyrocopter again now that we finally know what one is? Maz Jobrani.

On weekend afternoons, Craig Adams Jr. plays for tourists on the streets of the French Quarter.

He gigs with different bands, bringing whatever's needed: trumpet, trombone, saxophone — he plays six or seven instruments in all. There's a white plastic bucket on the sidewalk so people can drop in cash as they browse the T-shirts and Mardi Gras masks.

Craig is 18, and there's music in his blood: "I had my uncle, my grandfather, and my dad to teach me." His father, Craig Adams Sr., leads a group called the Higher Dimensions of Praise Gospel Band.

Hillary Clinton is inauthentic, not transparent and will have trouble connecting with younger voters. And Republican economic theory is "bull- - - -."

That was essentially the argument Martin O'Malley made in an interview with NPR for why voters should choose him to be president over Clinton — the overwhelming favorite for the 2016 Democratic nomination — as well as whichever candidate survives the Republican primaries.

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and alongside bales of deep-discounted Easter candy is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, thoughts on buskers, tipping and etiquette.

Holly R. writes via email: "How much of a tip is good for the street-side musician with a cup at his feet? What about for one playing in a bar?"

The village of Distomo is tucked into the foothills of central Greece, near the ancient city of Delphi. Had recent history been kinder to it, the village might have been known for its 10th-century Byzantine monastery or its postcard scenes of grandfathers like Lukas Pergantas, tending their small vineyards.

But Pergantas says his hometown is defined by a horrific massacre by Nazi forces on June 10, 1944.

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Advertisements don't need any words to say a lot about a culture.

That's one of the messages that shines through in the work of artist Hank Willis Thomas. In 2008, Thomas removed the text and branding from ads featuring African-Americans, creating a series he called Unbranded, which illustrated how America has seen and continues to see black people.

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Panama, like its Central American neighbors, is struggling with a rise in gangs. A recent census by the country's security forces put the number of criminal organizations operating in Panama now at about 200.

One neighborhood, in the capital's historic district, is taking on its gang problem with a group of strange bedfellows.

First, meet K.C. Hardin.

"I moved to Panama 12 years ago just to surf and do nothing for a couple years, I thought," says Hardin.

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It's time now for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Why Water Markets Might Work In California

8 hours ago
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Editor's Note: This is a reporter's notebook from NPR's Tamara Keith, who is covering the Hillary Clinton campaign.

The e-mail from the Clinton campaign came late on Monday. Meet at the Panera Bread in Davenport, Iowa, at 9:45 in the morning. I was to be one of about a dozen reporters in a press pool given access to an unpublicized stop. What we quickly learned was that the restaurant was a decoy. The unannounced meet-and-greet was happening at a small coffee shop 20 minutes away in Le Claire.

Political life is full of comeback stories, but few are quite as dramatic as the boomerang that Scottish nationalists have experienced over the last six months.

Last September, the Scottish National Party lost a vote on whether to break away from the United Kingdom.

Now, membership in the SNP has quadrupled, and that unexpected turn of events means that this party, dismissed as a loser last fall, could determine who becomes the next prime minister after British elections in a few weeks.

In his home in Lahore, Pakistan, Saleem Khan holds up his late father's violin. There are no strings, the wood is scratched and the bridge is missing.

"There was a time when people used to come to Lahore from all over the world to hear its musicians," the 65-year-old violinist says in the new documentary, Song of Lahore. "Now we can't even find someone to repair our violins."

Earlier this week, members of Congress and their staffs were greeted by a makeshift golf expo set up in the Rayburn House Office Building.

The event included golf shot simulators, certified golf instructors and a putting challenge between Democrats and Republicans. It was all part of National Golf Day, an annual event organized by the industry that promotes the economic and health benefits of the sport.

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