Aaron Gwyn has written a novel about modern man at war on horses. He calls it a mideastern. "Wynne's War" is the story of a U.S. Army Ranger from Okla., Elijah Russell, whose stellar horsemanship gets him assigned to train Green Berets for a special mission in Afghanistan, a horseback raid on the Taliban in treacherous mountain territory.
There was a near-miss in the skies above Tallahassee recently. According to a Federal Aviation Administration official, an American Airlines regional jet nearly collided with a "small, remotely piloted aircraft" — a drone — cruising 2,300-feet above sea level.
Exactly who was flying the unmanned aircraft remains unknown, but drones are becoming increasingly common in U.S. skies. This week in North Dakota, the FAA began allowing tests of drones for agricultural purposes.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Neurosurgery is a stressful occupation. So is being a neurosurgical patient. With their superior eyes and hand skills, some neurosurgeons are turning to making art, and several are getting exposure at art exhibits throughout the country - including at this year's annual meeting of neurosurgeons. From member station KQED in San Francisco, April Dembosky sent us this audio postcard.
And, by the way, BG Lederman didn't write a single one of those songs. But he does write our theme music, including this one that says it's time for sports.
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SIMON: Post season - sorry, basketball. Forget about it, hockey. For theatrics, we're watching football's off season. The spectacle that is the NFL draft enters its third day today and America wants to know, can it be as good as the Kevin Costner film? NPR's Tom Goldman joins us - any Kevin Costner film. Thanks for being with us, Tom.
Hollywood starlets will mingle with politicians and even humble reporters in Washington on Saturday night. That can only mean one thing: the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner. The black-tie event has evolved into a glitzy celebrity roast, but it began as a simple chance for journalists to break bread with the presidents they cover.
This year, the White House Correspondents' Association is celebrating its 100th anniversary, and it plans to posthumously honor the first African-American reporter to cover a presidential news conference.
Basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar says he believes the entire LA Clippers corporate organization is better off now that owner Donald Sterling has lost his standing with the NBA.
Sterling was banned for life from the NBA last week for racist remarks made on a recording released by TMZ Sports. Abdul-Jabbar says the punishment announced by NBA commissioner Adam Silver is wise and just, and has given the team confidence.
The favorite for Saturday's Kentucky Derby is a flashy red horse with a big white blaze down his face. California Chrome is of humble origin, and he'll be taking on expensive horses with Kentucky bluegrass connections, but he also comes with a lot of quirks that have folks rooting for him.
At age 77, trainer Art Sherman has finally hit the jackpot.
The world is in a terrible fix. Drones are zipping. Threats are flying. Secrets are leaking. The president of the United States is in the crosshairs of crisis. Only one person can help - Chloe O'Brian. Oh, and her friend, Jack Bauer. But not everyone's happy.
Ukraine's interim government is facing major obstacles: a separatist uprising in the east of the country, an economy in tatters and a presidential election next month.
But the leadership is also facing a longer-term challenge, one that will shape the future of the country: the creation of a new constitution.
The task will be complicated by pressure from Russia, which has already made clear what kind of constitution it thinks Ukraine should have. Russia's foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, laid out Russia's position in an interview last month.
Just a few words can hold a world of meaning. John Paul Stevens, the retired Supreme Court justice, has written a short new book in which he proposes a few words here and there that would create some sweeping changes.
The book, Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution, details the half-dozen ways Stevens thinks the Constitution could be improved, changes that he says are worth the trouble of the arduous amendment process.
The remains of a western Kentucky man who disappeared during World War II have found their way home after almost 70 years. The body of William Carneal was discovered last year in Japan, along with his dog tags and his high school ring. He was buried yesterday in his hometown of Paducah.
Whitney Jones at member station WKMS has our story.
Saba Khan is a high school sophomore whose life is turned upside down in a flash - a mysterious fire that destroys her family's apartment on the North Side of Chicago. The Khans are Americans of Pakistani descent. Were they victims of a hate crime? Saba's high school rallies behind her family.
Health officials in Columbus, Ohio, are calling the city's mumps outbreak the biggest since the development of the mumps vaccine in the 1940s.
Columbus generally gets an average of one case of mumps a year, but since February, there have been 244 cases reported in an outbreak that began on the Ohio State University campus. Most had already been vaccinated.
Jonathan Henderson of New Orleans-based Gulf Restoration Network is flying Louisiana's coast looking for oil. As usual, he's found some.
"I just noticed something out of the corner of my eye that looks like a sheen that had some form to it," he says. "We're going to go take a closer look and see if there's a rainbow sheen."
It's a target-rich environment for Henderson, because more than 54,000 wells were planted in and off this coast — part of the 300,000 wells in the state. They're connected by thousands of miles of pipelines, all vulnerable to leaks.
And it's time for sports. Today, the NBA playoffs begin, and several teams that normally steal the spotlight are nowhere in sight. Meanwhile, some old guys from San Antonio are again looking like contenders. We're joined by Howard Bryant of ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine. He's at the studios of New England Public Radio. Good morning.
Sao Paulo is one of the biggest cities in the world and one of the economic engines of South America. Its center is known for its fancy malls, posh departments and even helicopter landing pads. The outlying areas where the vast majority of the workforce live are known for poverty and crime, less often for poetry and high culture. NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports on efforts to change that.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Wade Goodwyn. This week, the NCAA voted to allow colleges to provide their student athletes with as much food as they like. It may sound like a bizarre move, but what the NCAA allows athletes to eat on the college's dime is subject to its own set of rules. And they can sometimes border on the absurd. The move by the NCAA comes at a time when the organization is facing a bit of second-guessing about the way it's gone about its traditional role of policing college athletics.
In Iran, hardline critics are waging a campaign against President Hassan Rouhani to limit his campaign pledge of opening Iran to more social and cultural freedoms.
The "culture wars" are as old as the Islamic revolution that swept conservative clerics to power more than three decades ago. The latest chapter comes as Rouhani is negotiating a nuclear deal with six world powers. He has the backing of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, to continue the nuclear discussions, but cultural hardliners are stepping up the domestic pressure.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. I look forward all week to saying it's time for sports. The tigers without master - the Masters without Tiger? You know, it's so hard to imagine, I can barely say it. And the Indiana Pacers are swooning like Justin Bieber fans this week. We're joined now by NPR's Tom Goldman. Good morning, Tom.
TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Hi, Scott.
SIMON: So there was a slight glimmer of hope that the Pacers could be coming out of a tailspin, but alas...