Blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng and his family are due to arrive in Newark this evening after a surprise early-morning flight from Beijing. Host Guy Raz gets the latest from NPR's Michele Kelemen, who's been following the story.
At 73, Tamae Watanabe is the oldest woman to summit Mount Everest — again. The last time she made the record, she was 63.
She reached the top with four other team members Saturday morning after an all-night climb, Asian Trekking says. The Japanese mountaineer was leading Asian Trekking's International Everest Expedition 2012.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.
Chen Guangcheng, the blind, Chinese human rights lawyer, is on a plane headed for America right now, according to his friends and supporters. Chinese authorities gave Mr. Chen a passport today and drove him to an airport in Beijing. His departure caps a remarkable few weeks that included a daring escape from house arrest and high-stakes, diplomatic negotiations.
NPR's Frank Langfitt has been following the story from Shanghai. Frank, thanks for being with us.
For decades, Muslims around the world have been unofficially boycotting Islam's third holiest site, the Al-Aqsa mosque Jerusalem.
Many Muslims believe that visiting legitimizes Israel's claim to the site, which also sits atop the holiest place in Judaism. The Palestinians, meanwhile, are seeking a state with a capital in east Jerusalem, where the mosque is located.
But Palestinian religious authorities at Al-Aqsa and Palestinian officials are now calling on Muslims to visit the shrine, a change that is creating controversy within the Palestinian community.