Syrian refugees in Lebanon are casting their votes ahead of Syria's presidential election next week. The election is seen as Bashar Assad's rigged bid for legitimacy — but many refugees believe that if they don't vote, they'll never be allowed back home.
Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
Farther west in Africa, in Congo, Brazzaville, scientists have found a remarkable peat bog - a vast expanse of decaying plant material. The discovery could tell them about the whole planet's atmospheric history. It is a rare, tropical peat bog. It's the size of Pennsylvania. The thick layer of carbon it traps may offer clues to what was in the air over 10,000 years ago. Dr. Simon Lewis of the University of Leeds led the research team, and he joins us now to tell us about this little-studied region. Welcome to the program.
This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. The Cannes Film Festival, the most important international film festival, concluded this past weekend. Getting an award at Cannes gives a new film the kind of pedigree that helps ensure good international distribution. FRESH AIR's critic-at-large, John Powers, who is also the film critic for Vogue, reported on the festival, as he's done many years.
In her memoirs, Maya Angelou explored how race and gender affected her life. Her first memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, was published in 1969 and describes growing up in the segregated South. It includes the story of how, as a child, Angelou was raped by her mother's boyfriend. After the rape, she withdrew into herself and went through a long period of not speaking.
Since this is a day when we are mourning the loss of the consummate story teller Maya Angelou, I will start by telling you a story. You might remember that before I came to NPR, I worked at ABC News, for the most part for the late night program Nightline, anchored by Ted Koppel. And I was thinking about a story he sent me to cover about a high ranking African-American police officer from Miami who got into an altercation with a white cop from Orlando. This was after the Orlando officer pulled the Miami officer over, who was on his way to his vacation house.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We'd like to pay tribute now to the legendary author and poet Maya Angelou. She died this morning at the age of 86. Here is a clip of her reading part of one of her most beloved poems "Phenomenal Woman."
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later this hour we will hear tributes and reflections about the late Maya Angelou, the beloved poet - writer who died this morning at the age of 86. But first, we return to this very disturbing story out of Santa Barbara - the shooting of a number of people this weekend. We want to get a different perspective that you might not have heard, but we think you will want to.