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3:34 pm
Sat October 12, 2013

The Surprising Story Of 'Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an'

Originally published on Sun October 13, 2013 2:53 pm

Thomas Jefferson had a vast personal library reflecting his enormous curiosity about the world. Among his volumes: a Quran purchased in 1765 that informed his ideas about plurality and religious freedom in the founding of America.

In her book Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an: Islam and the Founders, author Denise Spellberg draws parallels between the beliefs of the founding father and religious tolerance in the United States today.

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The Two-Way
1:51 pm
Sat October 12, 2013

Crime Ring That Used Kids In Robberies Gets Jail Time In France

Adults who ordered children to commit dozens of robberies have been sentenced to jail terms in France, after a court found members of three Croatian Roma families guilty of using the kids to carry out the crimes.

The court convicted 26 members of three families for the crimes, handing down sentences of between two and eight years in prison.

From the Agence France-Presse:

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The Two-Way
12:48 pm
Sat October 12, 2013

Senate Democrats Visit Obama; Boehner Says Talks Are Over

Speaker of the House John Boehner leaves after discussing the government shutdown with his fellow Republicans on Capitol Hill Saturday. Boehner reportedly told his colleagues that talks with the White House had ended without a deal.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 6:02 pm

President Obama hosted the Senate's leading Democrats at the White House for more than an hour Saturday afternoon, in a session that came the same day that Majority Leader Harry Reid met with Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell.

No details were available about the Democrats' discussion, which is one of several lines of communication that are aimed at reaching consensus on a budget deal. Earlier Saturday, House Speaker John Boehner said negotiations with the White House were over, after the president rejected the GOP's most recent plan.

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The Two-Way
11:47 am
Sat October 12, 2013

Grand Canyon And Other National Parks Reopen, On States' Dime

Tourists stop on the roadside near Mount Rushmore, after their visit was canceled due to the government shutdown. South Dakota and other states have reached an agreement to fund operations to reopen the parks.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Thanks to agreements between the Department of the Interior and several states, a dozen popular national parks are open again, at least temporarily. The parks range from the Statue of Liberty to the Grand Canyon; the states are paying to keep them open for up to 10 days.

State officials say it's particularly important to have the parks open during the Columbus Day holiday weekend. National Park Service employees began opening some facilities Friday; others will reopen today or Monday.

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The Two-Way
9:46 am
Sat October 12, 2013

Kerry And Karzai Meet To Discuss U.S. Presence In Afghanistan

Ahead of an expected — and repeatedly delayed — news conference, an Afghan worker leaves the area where Secretary of State John Kerry and Afghan President Hamid Karzai were expected to speak Saturday in Kabul.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 11:12 am

The U.S. desire to maintain a military presence in Afghanistan is the subject of talks today in Kabul, where Secretary of State John Kerry is in prolonged discussions with President Hamid Karzai. Most of the U.S. troops would continue training Afghan forces, while another contingent works against terrorist groups.

As for how many Americans would be posted to Afghanistan, NPR's Sean Carberry says a precise number hasn't emerged, but he adds that "through conversations and comments by military officials, the range is about 5,000 to 10,000."

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Fresh Air Weekend
9:03 am
Sat October 12, 2013

Fresh Air Weekend: Tom Hanks, Ben Franklin's Sister, Daniel Radcliffe

Daniel Radcliffe tells Fresh Air that his parents were initially hesitant about letting him play Harry Potter.
Warwick Saint

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 11:51 am

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:

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The Two-Way
8:41 am
Sat October 12, 2013

Cyclone Phailin Hits India With 120 MPH Winds; Thousands Flee

A man covers himself with a plastic sheet as a shield as he walks to a safer place near Gopalpur in eastern India Saturday. Hundreds of thousands of people living along India's eastern coastline took shelter from the massive powerful cyclone Phailin.
Biswaranjan Rout AP

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 3:35 pm

Cyclone Phailin has struck India's east coast in the Bay of Bengal, where more than 500,000 people have evacuated from vulnerable areas along the coast. Phailin reportedly packed sustained winds of more than 120 mph when the eye of the storm hit; strong winds will likely persist for hours to come.

Update at 3:15 p.m. ET:

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Asia
7:36 am
Sat October 12, 2013

'This Chap Has Been A Colossus': Indian Cricket Star To Retire

Students hold a poster of Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar in March at school in Chennai, southern India.
AP

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 3:31 pm

Sachin Tendulkar is not only perhaps the best batsman to ever play cricket, he is considered an icon. Thursday, he announced his plan to retire.

It's almost impossible to find an American sports analogy for how huge Tendulkar is in India, where interest in cricket tends toward obsessive, says Indian Parliament member Shashi Tharoor.

"He is certainly the greatest Indian to ever wield a cricket bat, and possibly one of the greatest in the history of the entire sport worldwide," Tharoor explains to Weekend Edition host Scott Simon.

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All Tech Considered
7:36 am
Sat October 12, 2013

Red Cross Wants Video Games To Get Real On War Crimes

A gamer plays a war game at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles in June. The ICRC wants war games to spread understanding of the rules of armed conflict.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 9:46 am

There aren't universal laws of war when it comes to video games. Players can disregard the rules of the Geneva Convention without encountering any consequences. The International Committee of the Red Cross wants to change that.

ICRC spokesman Bernard Barrett says that for the past two years, a special unit of the Red Cross has been working with video game producers to help them simulate real-world sanctions for virtual war crimes.

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Politics
7:36 am
Sat October 12, 2013

Shutdown's Reach Extends To South Pole

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 8:05 am

Research season was just getting started when the government shutdown put McMurdo Station into "caretaker" mode, halting data collection. Host Scott Simon speaks to Gretchen Hofmann, a professor at University of California, Santa Barbara, about the government shutdown's impact on research in Antarctica.

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