Swiss guards march prior to a swearing-in ceremony at the Vatican on Sunday. This year, 26 Swiss men are joining the oldest standing army in the world, swearing to give up their lives to protect the pope. The ceremony is held every May 6 to commemorate the day in 1527 when 147 Swiss Guards died protecting Pope Clement VII during the sack of Rome.
Maybe you've heard of the sack of Rome? Not a paper or cloth bag, but more in the way a quarterback experiences it — attacked and plundered.
On May 6, 1527, mutinous troops of Charles V, head of the Holy Roman Empire — which is sometimes described as neither holy, Roman nor an empire — surpassed the horrors of earlier barbarian invasions. Churches and palaces were looted, nuns assaulted and citizens tortured and killed.
When Hilary Mantel's new book opens, the spark has gone out of Henry VIII's second marriage. His roving eye leaves Anne Boleyn and begins to settle on Jane Seymour, another woman at court. The monarch doesn't go to a marriage counselor or divorce lawyer, not when Thomas Cromwell is his chief adviser.
Bring Up the Bodies is the sequel to Wolf Hall, which won the Man Booker Prize and worldwide acclaim. Itis also the latest in a planned trilogy about Cromwell.
North Carolina's African-American voters could be crucial in Tuesday's vote over the proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage and civil unions. Blacks make up a little more than 20 percent of the state's population, and some polls show they strongly favor a ban.
While activists on both sides make phone calls and put up yard signs, many African-Americans are struggling with the issue inside their churches and homes.
And in case you missed it, the Libertarian Party held its national nominating convention in Las Vegas yesterday and chose a former Republican named Gary Johnson as its presidential nominee. Meanwhile, in Sparks, Nevada, supporters of Republican presidential contender Ron Paul dominated the state's GOP convention with Paul himself addressing the gathering. NPR's David Welna has more.
Philadelphia has its cheesesteak sandwich, Buffalo its wing. Now, Tampa has officially claimed the Cuban sandwich. The Tampa, Florida city council last month passed a resolution designating the Historic Tampa Cuban Sandwich and specifying its ingredients. From member station WUSF in Tampa, Bobby O'Brien found that claim has drawn ridicule from Miami's Cuban community.
(SOUNDBITE OF CUTTING AND PAPER UNWRAPPING)
BOBBY O'BRIEN, BYLINE: An authentic Tampa Cuban starts with the bread.
Author Julia Alvarez was born in New York City but raised in the Dominican Republic. Her personal experience of those worlds has shaped much of her writing. Alvarez talks to host Rachel Martin about her new book, A Wedding in Haiti, about the mother-son relationship she fosters with a young Haitian migrant worker.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.
This morning, voters in two European countries hit hard by the continent's crippling economic crisis are going to the polls. In a moment, we'll speak with NPR's Sylvia Poggioli in Greece. But first, we turn to France where incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy has been campaigning against the background of widespread discontent and a strong Socialist opponent, Francois Hollande.
People are going to the polls on Sunday to cast their ballots in what has become a referendum on international loan agreements. The election is the most unpredictable in recent history and could produce a hung parliament. NPR's Sylvia Poggioli talks to host Rachel Martin from Athens.