Israeli army Capt. Barak Raz climbs a metal staircase to the top of a high concrete wall that is part of Israel's West Bank barrier. From his perch, he overlooks both the Palestinian village of Bil'in and Modin Illit, the largest Jewish settlement in the West Bank, with some 50,000 residents.
The barrier here used to be a fence. After many confrontations with Israeli soldiers, Palestinian villagers won a court case, and the fence was moved off some of their land. But since the barrier was moved closer to an Israeli settlement, it was rebuilt as a wall.
After five marathon sessions debating 150 proposed amendments, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a landmark rewriting of the nation's immigration laws this week — and the bill emerged largely intact.
Three Republicans voted with the panel's 10 Democrats on Tuesday night to forward the bill to the full Senate. That strong showing followed a wrenching choice for Democrats on the committee: whether to risk shattering support for the bill by amending it to recognize equal rights for same-sex couples.
George Plimpton boxed with Archie Moore, played quarterback for the Detroit Lions, and played percussion for the New York Philharmonic. He did these jobs, and many others, as an amateur. Plimpton was a professional writer. A new documentary about his life makes the case that Plimpton's best story was his own story, as NPR's Joel Rose reports.
JOEL ROSE, BYLINE: When you listen to George Plimpton's voice, it's like hearing echoes of a New York that no longer exists.
Mount Moriah is a rock band formed around the duo of guitarist Jenks Miller and singer Heather McEntire. Its second full-length album, the recent Miracle Temple, combines the strum and twang of Southern rock with vocals that hit hard emotionally.
On this installment of World Cafe, host David Dye discusses with McEntire the complexity of Mount Moriah's sound, as well as her push to explore the nuances in her vocals.
Finally today, I'm still thinking about that massive Powerball jackpot last weekend. That caused me to think about what's wrong with Powerball — the most important thing, of course, being the fact that I didn't win. You know you feel the same way. I'm sure I would have been a good winner. Like Oprah, I would use my powers for good and not evil. Like, I might buy a Bentley out of the showroom window, just to prove to myself that I could. But then I'd settle down and endow scholarships, and fix up blighted storefronts, and invest in local businesses.
Chuck used to sell marijuana in California. But the legalization of medical marijuana in the state meant he was suddenly competing against hundreds of marijuana dispensaries. So he moved to New York, where marijuana is still 100 percent illegal. Since making the move, he says, he's quadrupled his income. (For the record: His name isn't really Chuck.)
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. Immigration reform heads to the Senate floor, ex-congressman Weiner guns for Gracie Mansion, and Senator Inhofe on the distinction between disaster aid for a superstorm and tornados. It's Wednesday, and time for a...
Scientists have completed an unusual survey: a census of the fungi that inhabit different places on our skin. It's part of a big scientific push to better understand the microbes that live in and on our bodies.
"This is the first study of our fungi, which are yeast and other molds that live on the human body," says Julie Segre, of the National Human Genome Research Institute, who led the survey.