In Ivory Coast on Saturday, after months of violence and political turmoil, Alassane Ouattara was inaugurated as president. NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton discusses with host Guy Raz the challenges Ouattara faces: pacifying a country, uniting a fractured military and delivering on campaign promises of economic reform.
Around sunset today, May 21, the Rapture is scheduled to begin — at least according to a Christian evangelist named Harold Camping and his followers. When the moment arrives, they say, believers will go to heaven and nonbelievers will endure five months of hell on Earth.
But there's a crucial question for those who are saved: Who'll take care of their loyal pets?
Well, Bart Centre says he'll be there. For $135 (plus $20 for each additional critter; PayPal accepted), he promises to look after your dog or cat or hamster or even llama once you are spirited away to heaven.
It's graduation season. Politicians, philanthropists, philosophers and movie stars fan out for the next few weeks to give commencement speeches: Bill Clinton was at NYU on Wednesday, Stephen Colbert goes to Northwestern in three weeks, Tom Hanks visits Yale tomorrow. I wonder if Mr. Hanks can resist saying, "Life is like a box of chocolates . . ."
President Obama got his hands deep into the conflicts and turmoil in the Middle East this week, giving a speech about the Arab Spring and the questions it raises for stability in the region. NPR White House Correspondent Ari Shapiro has this roundup of the week's events.
President Obama's speech on Middle East issues earlier this week drew a lukewarm response from Israel; Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu quickly rejected some of the president's proposals. Is there any common ground left on which the U.S. and Israel can build a dialogue? Host Scott Simon speaks with Dr. Marc Lynch, director of the Institute for Middle East Studies and of the Project on Middle East Political Science at George Washington University.