Six months ago, Michel Martelly was "Sweet Mickey" — a pop star known for his bald head and big parties. Now, he's the president of Haiti. He spent the last week in New York, mingling with world leaders and wooing new investors. Weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz speaks with President Martelly about his new job, and where billions of relief dollars have gone in the earthquake-stricken nation.
The AP is reporting that Diana Nyad, the 62-year-old endurance swimmer, has given up her attempt to swim from Cuba to Florida. The cause? Painful man o' war stings, which medics warned her could be life-threatening. CNN says:
Nyad was pulled out of the water shortly after 11 a.m. following injuries sustained Saturday evening and strong cross-currents that were pushing her off course, her team Captain Mark Sollinger said. The 62-year-old swam more than 67 nautical miles — about two-thirds of the distance.
Saudi King Abdullah said Sunday women in his country will be allowed to vote for the first time ever in nationwide elections scheduled four years from now.
The king in a televised speech to his advisory council said women will be able to run as candidates and cast ballots in the next municipal elections scheduled for 2015. He also pledged to appoint women to his advisory council.
Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander, a seasoned dealmaker in the Senate, announced his intention to step down from a key leadership role this week. It's prompted a question going around Washington: Are the best deal-brokers giving up? If so, what does that mean for the future of political compromise? Host Audie Cornish speaks with Rutgers University Political Science Professor Ross Baker, former Republican Utah Sen. Bob Bennett and former Democratic North Dakota Sen. Byron Dorgan.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry's campaign speeches often note that he's from Paint Creek, Texas, a place in the flat, dusty, west-central part of the state that's so small it's barely on the map. NPR National Political Correspondent Don Gonyea headed there this week, and along the way watched Perry's old high school play a football game.
The Palestinian push for statehood recognition has sparked fears of new violence in the West Bank. Neither Palestinians nor Israelis appear content with the security provided by their own governments, and "Neighborhood Security Watch" groups have been formed by both groups. While settlers are trained by the Israeli Defense Forces, Palestinians are forming teams to monitor, document and detain settlers they believe will seek out attacks. Sheera Frenkel reports.
Syria's government is quashing protest online as well as in the streets. Host Audie Cornish talks to NPR's Deb Amos in Beirut to expand on what the success of the Syrian Electronic Army means for the momentum of the opposition protests and the state of play inside Syria.
Three years ago this month, chaos ruled in financial markets.
Huge financial companies, such as Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch and AIG were stumbling, and government officials were scrambling to prevent a global financial meltdown. They threw together bailouts and pushed weak companies to merge with stronger ones.
The central bankers, Treasury officials and lawmakers eventually did manage to reassure investors enough to restore order in the financial system. However, the aftershocks of the crisis are still being felt today.
When President Obama addressed the U.N. General Assembly in New York, he held up the example of South Sudan as the right way to join the world body — through a peace process and an independence vote.
"One year ago, when we met here in New York, the prospect of a successful referendum in South Sudan was in doubt," he said, "but the international community overcame old divisions to support the agreement that had been negotiated to give South Sudan self-determination."