Taiwan might be known to most Americans for its export economy, but it's also been importing musical styles — from avant garde jazz to hip-hop. I first learned about Taiwan's thriving music scene from Joshua Samuel Brown. He's a travel writer who authored the last two editions of Lonely Planet: Taiwan.
Frank Kameny, a pioneer in the gay rights movement, died Tuesday at 86. In 1957, Kameny was fired from his job as an astronomer for the U.S. government because he was homosexual. He fought his dismissal in court for years and in the 1960s, began picketing outside the White House, calling for equal rights for gays and lesbians. In 2009, the government issued him a formal apology for his firing.
A day after announcing they had uncovered an Iranian terror plot — the Obama administration is moving quickly to try to drum up more international pressure on the Iranian regime. But some Iran watchers are raising doubts about the US storyline — and wonder if the US can get the sort of diplomatic mileage it wants out of this case.
The Nigerian man charged with trying to blow up an airliner on Christmas Day in 2009 pleaded guilty today. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab had tried to detonate a bomb hidden in his underwear. Tuesday, on the first day of trial, the government presented its case, including details of what happened on the flight that day. Then Wednesday, Abdulmutallab abruptly pleaded guilty to all eight counts against him. NPR's counter-terrorism correspondent Dina Temple-Raston talks to Robert Siegel.
American banks have, for years, been accustomed to making risky bets — not only on behalf of clients but also with their own money. But many are now protesting, and preparing for, a new measure in the works that would reign in what's called proprietary trading: The Volcker Rule. Robert Siegel talks with Ben Protess of the New York Times about a new rule intended to reign in this behavior on the part of banks.