On-air challenge: The theme of today's puzzle is May. Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name in which the first word starts with MA and the second word ends with Y. Example: Alcoholic beverage made from fermented mash: Malt Whiskey
Last Week's Challenge: Name a famous actress of the past whose last name has two syllables. Reverse the syllables phonetically. The result will name an ailment. What is it?
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. And we take you now to southwestern Virginia, where a small struggling church is getting a second life thanks to a new pastor who's mixing old-time Appalachian culture with a new style of worship. Robbie Harris brings us the story of the Wild Goose Church in Floyd County, Va.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PACK UP YOUR SORROWS")
PASTOR EDWIN LACEY: (Singing) No use crying, talking to a stranger. Naming the sorrow you've seen.
In earlier times, white missionaries traveled from Europe and America to sub-Saharan Africa to save souls.
Today, the trend has reversed. Evangelists from the global south are targeting Americans and Europeans they say are ripe for Christian renewal.
There is no greater example than the Redeemed Christian Church of God. This ambitious Nigerian denomination has established its North American headquarters in Texas, and its goal is nothing less than becoming the next major global religion.
Pope Francis visits the Mideast next week, including Israel, where Christians make up just 2 percent of the population.
But since the last papal visit to the Holy Land five years ago, the number of Christians in Israel has increased, and the makeup of the Christian population has continued to shift.
The vast majority of Israeli Christians have always been Arab and they still make up three-quarters of the 160,000 Christians living in Israel. But tens of thousands of Christians have come to Israel from Asia and Africa — both legal workers and undocumented migrants.
Francine Prose's new novel "Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932" was inspired by a picture taken by the famous Hungarian photographer Brassai. It shows a lesbian couple at a club in Paris before World War II. One of the women in the photo is dressed in a tuxedo. Her hair is short and slicked back like a man. She was Violette Morris, an athlete and racecar driver whose career was cut short because she was a cross-dresser.
Few people know the ins and outs of power politics in the nation's capital better than Richard A. Clarke. He served three presidents and as national coordinator for security and counterterrorism, he was instrumental in developing the nation's armed drone program.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Lynn Neary. Primary races are picking up ahead of the midterm elections this fall. On Tuesday, voters in six states will go to the polls, making it one of the most important primary election days of the year.
Among the races to watch is a Tea Party challenge to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. To give us a lay of the land is NPR political editor Charlie Mahtesian. Charlie, welcome to the program.
And it's time now for sports. There are only four basketball teams left competing for this year's NBA title. Later today, the Miami Heat will play the Indiana Pacers, and tomorrow the San Antonio Spurs will take on the Oklahoma City Thunder.
But the road here has been long and bumpy, marred by some controversial calls. And that's brought attention to instant replay, a system that allows referees to look back at what happened but not call fouls retroactively. To tell us more about this, slate.com's Mike Pesca. Good morning, Mike.
Monday is the final day of voting in India's election, the biggest democratic exercise in the world.
India is home to more than 1 billion people, 13 percent of them Muslims. Their mistrust of Narendra Modi, the Hindu nationalist leader running for prime minister, can tell us a great deal about India, a democratic country with a long history of religious violence between the Muslim minority and the Hindu majority.
Louis C.K. has made a career in comedy by going places others won't. He can be shockingly crude and deeply insightful in the same sentence.
In his Emmy-award winning TV show called Louie, the comedian basically plays himself — a divorced standup comic in New York with two kids. Season 4 of the show kicked off last week.
Louie is "right where I started him, really," he tells NPR's Rachel Martin. "Some stuff happened, but he ended up back where he was, which sort of is the way things work. It's a zero-sum game, at times."
The new film "The Double" is a comedy and a love story, but a very dark one. It's based off an 1846 Dostoyevsky novella. "The Double" focuses on a guy named Simon James. He is, by all accounts, rather nondescript - the kind of guy who fades, mostly intentionally, into the background. He stammers halfway through sentences, his boss can't remember his name and he can't seem to make any impression on the girl of his dreams. Then one day at work, things get worse when Simon James' boss makes an announcement.
Tori Amos has been looking at a lot of artwork lately, and on a new album, she's found ways to turn the visual into the musical. Unrepentant Geraldines is a return to a familiar pop form for Amos, who has been crisscrossing the boundaries of style in recent years — as well as an artistic self-evaluation from a performer who turned 50 last year. She recently spoke with NPR's Rachel Martin about "standing by the creations" that make up her identity at midlife. Hear their conversation at the audio link.
If you're a golfer not named Tiger Woods you have surely experienced days out on the course where it felt like the hole was the size of a penny. Rather than hurl your clubs, now you can try big-hole golf. It's a new twist on a very traditional sport where the hole is the size of an extra-large pizza. Intrigued?
To hear more, we are joined by John Paul Newport. He's the gold columnist at The Wall Street Journal and recently played a round of golf with the bigger bull's-eye. Hey, John Paul. Thanks for being with us.
This past month in North Korea, Will Phillipps was one of a group of foreign amateur runners who were allowed to participate for the first time in the Pyongyang marathon. Phillipps is a British expat living in Beijing. And he wrote about his experience for the Roads and Kingdoms online travel magazine. We reached them via Skype, and he told us that, as you can imagine, there were a few restrictions for participants.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. We are six months away from this year's midterm elections, and Democrats and Republicans are ramping up campaign messaging. Both parties agree women could hold the key to victory in November. And many of the most endangered incumbents and high-profile challengers are also women.
The writer Michael Cunningham is probably best known for his book "The Hours," which won him a Pulitzer Prize and was made into a film. Like "The Hours," Cunningham's new novel, "The Snow Queen," explores inner lives and family dynamics. But the characters in this new book also plunge into the metaphysical world. When I spoke with Michael Cunningham this past week, I asked him to read from a section of his new novel. It's a scene where one of the main characters, a man named Barrett, sees an ethereal light in the skies above N.Y.
Oregon has been "all in" on health reform. Its embrace of the Affordable Care Act includes a very successful Medicaid expansion, a $2 billion federal experiment to show the state can save money by managing patients' care better, and, of course, the state's own online marketplace to sell Obamacare insurance.
Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.
Iraq is suffering the worst spate of violence in many years — some say the worst since the height of the U.S. war in 2008. On Friday, dozens of people were killed at an election rally in Baghdad. This Wednesday, Iraqis will go to the polls in the first parliamentary election since the U.S. pulled combat troops out in 2011.
Eliza Griswold has reported from Afghanistan for more than a decade, writing news features for the New York Times magazine and other publications. She thought she had a pretty good grip on the country's politics and culture, but it wasn't until she started exploring Afghan women's poetry that she discovered a different side of women's lives there. What she found was a complex world of rage, empowerment, sorrow and sex.