Jason Mraz's 2008 single "I'm Yours" was a multiplatinum global hit. In fact, it set a record by staying on Billboard's Hot 100 chart for 76 weeks — more than any other song in the magazine's 51-year history.
Although Mraz's new record, Love Is a Four Letter Word, was written on the heels of a breakup, the songs are mostly sunny and positive. Mraz says he was more interested in making something relatable than in zeroing in on his own experiences.
Although it always seems fashionable to forecast the downfall of classical music, enterprising musicians both young and not so young continue to make deeply satisfying recordings. For this visit to weekends on All Things Considered, I was delighted to uncover the little known (at least in this country) Jorge Luis Prats, a terrifically talented Cuban pianist whose once uncertain career appears to be resurging — at 55, he has signed a handsome record deal. Then there's The Knights, a young chamber orchestra with a postmodern take on Schubert.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has left China after a diplomatic roller coaster of a trip fraught with human drama. Now, this revolved around the fate of Chen Guangcheng, the blind dissident who is still in a Beijing hospital. But last night, China indicated that it would let Mr. Chen apply for permission to study overseas, hinting at a way out of the crisis that had overshadowed the summit Secretary Clinton had gone to China to attend. Our Beijing correspondent Louisa Lim joins us. Louisa, thanks for being with us.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The federal corruption trial of John Edwards continued this week in Greensboro, North Carolina. Government witnesses painted an ugly portrait of the former senator and presidential candidate. But the prosecution may have been less successful in making the case that he deliberately violated campaign finance law. North Carolina Public Radio's Jeff Tiberii was in the courtroom.
President Obama tried to best the face on yesterday's jobs report. He told students at a Virginia high school that private employers have added more than four million jobs over the last two years, but he acknowledge recovery is not happening fast enough.
This week, the British Parliamentary committee that was convened to investigate accusations of phone hacking and executive misconduct at Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., delivered its findings. And the headlines it created make uncomfortable reading for a media magnate who has been under the microscope for 18 months now.
MPs accused News Corp. as a whole of what they call willful blindness. And they went on to make some further damning observations on Rupert Murdoch's own competency.
Another football tragedy this week renews questions about the safety of the game that made many stars rich, but at some cost. Also, it may be closing time for one of the all-time greats. Over in hockey playoffs, are they going Hollywood? Host Scott Simon talks with Howard Bryant of ESPN.
People wait in a line at a job fair on April 10, 2012, in Gresham, Ore. Employment grew by 115,000 last month, but the unemployment rate dip was likely due to people leaving the workforce rather than people getting hired, analysts say.
For the second month in a row, weak job growth numbers unsettled nerves in the White House and on Wall Street.
It's obvious why the number of jobs added to the economy in April was disappointing. Employment grew by just 115,000. That followed a disappointing job gain in March. Together, the March and April average was only about half the 250,000 jobs added monthly in December, January and February.
Again, economists suggested the warm winter weather might have boosted job growth during the winter months, which left fewer jobs to be added in the spring.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who goes before a military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on Saturday, has claimed to be the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks and multiple attempted attacks against the U.S.
The appearance of Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four other men in a military courtroom at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, ends a nearly decade-long back and forth over how best to try the men the U.S. says helped plan, pay for and execute the Sept. 11 attacks.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed — or KSM, as he is known — has claimed that he was the mastermind of the attacks "from A to Z." But his ties to terrorism, by his own admission, go beyond that one plot. KSM saw himself as the sun around which his network revolved.
Head outside at sunset tonight and look up at the sky. If the full moon seems a tad larger than normal to you, that means one of two things: You are exceptionally perceptive, or you were already expecting to be dazzled, after hearing some of the buzz about this year's "supermoon."
It turns out that all full moons are not created equal. That's because the moon's orbit around the Earth isn't a perfect circle — it's an ellipse. And tonight, we're in luck.
Antonis Samaras, leader of the conservative New Democracy Party, addresses an election rally in Thessaloniki Wednesday. One of two dominant parties in Greek politics, New Democracy has lost support to a new nationalist party.
It's anyone's guess what the Greek government will look like on Monday, but analysts predict a fragile coalition that must still stick to austerity to keep getting international bailout loans.
The country's early parliamentary elections Sunday are set to be the most divisive in recent history. Voters who are tired of austerity measures are rejecting mainstream politics and turning instead to fringe parties.
The conservative New Democracy Party and the Socialist Party, PASOK, have dominated Greek politics for three decades. This election, enthusiasm is waning.
When the gates fly open at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., on Saturday, all eyes will be on the 20 racehorses that launch themselves into the 138th Kentucky Derby. That's a lot of horses, and a special challenge for the men charged with getting them into the starting gate safely.
Caleb Hayes, 24, has been part of the 12-man start crew for the past six years. The 9-to-5 life isn't for him, he says — he loves his job and likes working the gate side by side with the older guys.
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 infield at Churchill Downs can get pretty beer-soaked, as this scene from the 2011 Kentucky Derby proves. But this year, things could get even more crazy: The Derby falls on another of America's favorite "alcoholidays," Cinco de Mayo.
America is not a two-party country — it's a multiparty extravaganza.
We turn every possible pause from work into a party: New Year's Day, the Super Bowl, Mardi Gras, St. Patrick's Day, Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Eve.
And on Saturday, many Americans will play overtime by reveling in a pair of nationwide celebrations — Cinco de Mayo and the Kentucky Derby. Establishments everywhere will be mashing up Mexico and the Bluegrass State.
The archbishop of Philadelphia announced that five priests were "not suitable for ministry." It was the Catholic Church's first action since it suspended 27 priests last year when a grand jury report accused church officials of ignoring allegations of sex abuse.
The AP reports that Archbishop Charles J. Chaput said three other priests would return to the ministry and that one priest died in the process of the investigation. Chaput did not immediately announce the fate of the 17 others investigated.
I can't remember exactly when I received the first flower email, but I do remember it was sometime in 2005.
At the time, I had no idea why my old friend Darryl Pitt had sent it, but I didn't think too much about it. A flower. OK. That's nice. But then the flowers continued to arrive day after day after day — and soon a modest digital bouquet turned into a meadow, and that meadow into a hillside of, as always, flowers.
Jamaica's Usain Bolt shattered world records in the 100 and 200 meter races at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Shown here in the 200 meters at Beijing, he's looking to repeat this summer at the London Olympics and add another chapter to Jamaica's great tradition of sprinting.
Credit Alexander Hassenstein / Bongarts/Getty Images
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce waves after competing in the 100-meter semifinal at the World Athletics Championships in South Korea last year. Fraser-Pryce won gold at the 2008 Olympics, and is viewed as a hero by the Jamaican children she sometimes shares a track with.
Credit Viet Le / NPR
Top Jamaican sprinters, including Olympic gold medalist Asafa Powell (in blue), practice at Kingston's National Stadium on one of the country's few synthetic tracks.
Credit Viet Le / NPR
Jamaican teens and preteens compete in the island's track championships at the National Stadium in the capital, Kingston.
When it comes to sprinting, Jamaica reigns supreme.
At the Beijing Olympics in 2008, a Jamaican man — Usain Bolt — and a woman — Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce — took home the golds in the 100-meter race, and at this summer's London games, they're hoping to do it again.
If you visit the Caribbean island nation, you'll hear a lot of explanations for why they're so good, but let's start with the obvious: In Jamaica, kids really like to run.
Egyptian presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh is welcomed by supporters upon his arrival at a meeting north of Cairo, on April 26. He was formerly a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, but was kicked out of the organization.
Credit Amr Nabil / AP
Mohammed Morsi is the candidate for the Muslim Brotherhood, the group that got the most votes in parliamentary elections. He's shown here at a campaign rally in Cairo on April 30.
The field of horses charges down the stretch in the seventh race at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., on June 19, 2009. The day marked the first night racing at the storied track in its 135-year history. Track superintendent Butch Lehr is retiring after Saturday's race. He's been maintaining the track since 1982.
Credit Ed Reinke / AP
Lehr rolls in a section of a mosquito trap which is set up near the turf course at the track Aug. 13, 2002, in Louisville, Ky.
The surface on which Kentucky Derby horses will race Saturday is a special piece of real estate, built for high performance and safety. The track is generically described as dirt, but is actually a careful mixture of river sand, silt and clay.
In this photograph of a courtroom sketch, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, charged with orchestrating the Sept. 11 attacks, attends a court hearing at Guantanamo in 2008. He's expected to appear in a military court Saturday.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other men charged in the Sept. 11 attacks were supposed to be tried six years ago in a military tribunal created by the Bush administration.
But that system — which allowed hearsay evidence, among other things — faced questions about its fundamental fairness. When President Obama came into office, he put all the proceedings at Guantanamo on hold and asked that the commission system be revamped.
Since then, there has been an effort to make sure the trials at Guantanamo are credible, with both Congress and the Supreme Court weighing in.
Political tensions are rising in Egypt ahead of the presidential elections later in May. Deadly protests in the capital are jeopardizing the already fragile transition process that started a year ago after the ousting of former President Hosni Mubarak. Robert Siegel talks to Egyptian parliament member Amr Hamzawy for more.
News of a possible way out of the diplomatic impasse over Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng has again overshadowed other events in Beijing. The Chinese Foreign ministry says Chen might be allowed to leave China to study abroad. Meanwhile about 200 U.S. officials from the State Department and the U.S. Treasury are in China to discuss other matters vital to the U.S.-China relationship.
Robert Siegel talks to actor Bill Nighy about his role in the new film, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. The movie follows a group of British retirees who move to the less-expensive and more-exotic India. Expecting a luxury development, they arrive to discover a hotel filled with dusty sheets and birds nesting in the rafters. Their experiences transform the way they see the world and themselves.