If reality TV has a redeeming value, it's that it teaches you to be suspicious of claims that you're seeing real people doing real things. This is especially so in an age when memoirs bristle with made-up events, and everyone from the Kardashians to the Obamas orchestrate their media coverage. These days, it's hard to tell whether an article, book or TV show is showing you the real person or only a performance.
A relatively high-profile black man came out this week. And with it, a hardy old narrative got another moment in the sun.
When Jason Collins, a journeyman NBA center, announced that he was gay, many commentators who applauded his disclosure still nodded to the idea of heightened opposition to gay rights among black people.
Construction workers applauded Thursday as a crane raised the flag-draped spire of One World Trade Center to the top of the skyscraper.
When they install the spire at a later date, it will cap the structure at a symbolic 1,776 feet. The Port Authority says the spire, which acts as a fixture for various antennas, will bump the 104-story building to be the tallest in the Western Hemisphere, reports New Jersey's The Star-Ledger.
Eritrea's President Isaias Afwerki, shown on a visit to Libya in 2010, has been widely criticized by human rights groups. Eritrean exiles have organized passive protests, calling on people to stay home Friday.
Credit Geert Vanden Wijngaert / AP
Map of Eritrea
Credit CIA World Factbook
Eritrean farmers herd a team of donkeys into the capital Asmara for the main weekly Saturday market in 2007.
In the aftermath of the Boston bombings, some critics said investigators should have used harsh interrogation techniques with the surviving suspect. Host Michel Martin speaks with counterterrorism expert and former FBI Agent Joe Navarro about how attitudes about torture have evolved, and what really are the most effective ways to interrogate.
The recent appointment of Italy's first black Cabinet minister was greeted with racist comments from a handful of political leaders. That has raised questions about whether the nation has a broader problem with bias. Host Michel Martin gets the latest from NPR's Sylvia Poggioli.
Arbor Day celebrations have come and gone, but winter weather is gripping the Plains and Upper Midwest. The storm that dumped snow in the Rockies a day earlier is threatening to blanket parts of the region with up to 8 inches of snow on Thursday.
The National Weather Service warns: "Significant accumulations of snow continue to be reported across portions of southeast Minnesota and northeast Iowa, with over 15 inches already in Dodge Center, (Minn.)."