At 8:30 p.m. last Friday, Mark Andrew Gravel was watching nervously as 40-odd assembled diners in the exposed brick basement of the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn plunged their forks into a plate of food he had just served.
This plate was piled with a curious combination of sunchoke (known to some as Jerusalem artichoke), olive, cattail heart, buttermilk, and whey.
Sports talk is loaded with hyperbole. This is not hyperbole: Yesterday was the biggest day in the history of the Phoenix Coyotes. The often abysmal NHL team defeated the Nashville Predators last night and advanced to the conference finals for the first time ever. And three years after the team's last owner declared bankruptcy, the league announced that it likely has found a new owner, one that will keep the team in the area.
Besides his influence on generations of children and adults, author Maurice Sendak was also a personal mentor to a number of writers. Sendak, who died Tuesday at age 83, told NPR in 2005 that he felt it was his duty to pass on everything he'd learned.
"This big gorilla head that's stuffed full of experience — I want to give it away before I'm gone," he said. "I want to give it away to young artists who are as vehement and passionate about their lives and work as I was and am."
Now that former candidates Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum are endorsing Mitt Romney to be the Republican nominee for president, the GOP is working to get the rank and file to fall in line.
That's especially important in swing states like Florida. But in the primary, Romney struggled in the Panhandle of the Sunshine State — a bastion of conservative voters. And it might take more convincing for them to really get behind the former Massachusetts governor.
Palestinian protesters rally in east Jerusalem on May 5, 2012 to demand the release of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons, many of whom are currently on hunger strike.
Credit Hazem Bader / AFP/Getty Images
A Palestinian woman holds pictures of jailed relatives during a demonstration in the West Bank city of Hebron on Tuesday, May 8. Palestinians are protesting in solidarity with some 1,500 prisoners on hunger strike who are demanding an end to Israel's practice of detention without trial as well as more frequent family visits, among other issues.
Credit Saif Dahlah / AFP/Getty Images
Israel released Khader Adnan, a senior member of Islamic Jihad, in February after a 66-day hunger strike. Now, he is helping rally support for Palestinian prisoners currently on hunger strike. He's shown here in the West Bank on April 18.
At least 1,500 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails are on hunger strike in a growing protest movement that has captured the imagination of the Palestinian public. Daily demonstrations are taking place in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in solidarity with the hunger strikers.
The protest outside the West Bank's Ofer prison this past weekend is now familiar scene. For the past two weeks there have been daily rallies there, and across the West Bank. Some joke that holding the protests close to the prison makes it easy for Israeli authorities to arrest and detain them.
Now, to politics here in the U.S. Today, Indiana voters are deciding the fate of long time Senator Dick Lugar in a Republican primary. Wisconsin is choosing a Democratic opponent to run against Republican Governor Scott Walker. And North Carolina is considering whether to add a ban on gay marriage to the state constitution.
Joining us to review the prospect for today's votes is NPR's senior Washington editor, Ron Elving. Hey, Ron.
The stakes are high in the U.S. Supreme Court's consideration of the 2010 health law, as countless commentators have observed. In some circles, however, the gambling metaphor has been pushed to its logical conclusion.
Manullah Ahmadzai, 27, lost the sight in his right eye while serving as a front-line soldier in the Afghan military. Ahmadzai is one of many soldiers who have been severely injured and say promised government benefits don't always arrive.
Last month, the Taliban carried out their largest coordinated attack across Afghanistan, including three sites inside the capital Kabul. It took an 18-hour gunfight to end the assault.
But even as they took cover, Kabul residents saw something new: their own soldiers taking the lead, with limited help from NATO. Television footage showed Afghan soldiers moving confidently into the building where the militants were holed up, avoiding reckless gunfire that might have endangered civilians in the crowded city.
U.S. troops are training Afghan soldiers to take more responsibility in the war against the Taliban. But the Afghans still depend heavily on the Americans. Here, an Afghan solider fills up gas cans with diesel fuel from a U.S. Army tanker in southern Afghanistan.
Credit David Gilkey / NPR
U.S. Army Lt. Adam Mancini is working with Afghan troops in the Panjwei District in southern Afghanistan. It's part of a program to wean Afghan troops off American assistance.
Credit David Gilkey / NPR
Afghan army Maj. Gen. Ahmed Habibi signs a logbook for diesel fuel he received from a U.S. Army tanker at a base in southern Afghanistan.