George R.R. Martin prepares to introduce author Neil Gaiman and performer Amanda Palmer at charity benefit at his newly renovated Jean Cocteau cinema in Santa Fe, N.M., on Sept. 29. Reopening the old movie house has been a passion project for the Game of Thrones author — but for some of his fans, it's one more distraction that's come between them and Martin's unfinished epic.
Credit Grayson Schaffer for NPR /
The Cocteau theater was dark for seven years until Martin purchased and renovated it. It reopened in early August.
Credit Helen Sloan / HBO
Ygritte (Rose Leslie) and Jon Snow (Kit Harington) in HBO's Game of Thrones. The show's most recent season covered roughly the first half of the third book; Martin has published five of a projected seven novels so far.
George R.R. Martin's hit fiction series A Song of Ice and Fire has sold more than 25 million copies and sparked an HBO adaptation, Game of Thrones, that won two Emmys in 2013, bringing its total to 10.
But many fans are grumbling that Martin hasn't been spending enough time of late in his mythical kingdom of Westeros and its surroundings. On the list of things Martin is doing instead of writing the next Game of Thrones book? Reviewing the latest episodes of Breaking Bad, editing a sci-fi series and writing a novella.
Libyan protesters burn a replica of the U.S. flag on Monday during a demonstration against the capture of Abu Anas al-Libi. U.S. forces seized him Saturday in the Libyan capital Tripoli. He is accused of involvement in two U.S. embassy bombings in Africa in 1998 and is being held on a U.S. Navy ship in the Mediterranean Sea.
Abu Anas al-Libi was captured by U.S. forces in Tripoli, Libya, on Saturday. He's described as a long-time member of al-Qaida and is wanted in the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.
Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 9:45 am
After seizing terror suspect Abu Anas al-Libi in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, U.S. forces took him to a ship in the Mediterranean where he could be interrogated for weeks or even months to come.
Why a ship?
In short, this allows the U.S. to hold and question al-Libi about his alleged role in a pair of 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in Africa without putting him in the U.S. civilian court system, which could limit or halt efforts to interrogate him.
Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 5:56 pm
China — which holds nearly $1.3 trillion in U.S. securities (pdf) — is asking the U.S. to get its finances in order and not allow a political stalemate to cause the country to default on its obligations for the first time in history.
The United States is expected to run out of money by Oct. 17, so the Treasury needs Congress to extend its credit limit before then. As has happened before, the House and Senate are at odds and the prospects of a compromise look shaky.
Geography is destiny in Jhumpa Lahiri's new novel, The Lowland. Her title refers to a marshy stretch of land between two ponds in a Calcutta neighborhood where two very close brothers grow up. In monsoon season, the marsh floods and the ponds combine; in summer, the floodwater evaporates. You don't need your decoder ring to figure out that the two ponds symbolize the two brothers — at times separate; at other times inseparable. But there's still more meaning lurking in this rich landscape.
Prior to filming, director Paul Greengrass kept the pirate crew and the boat crew separate to make the hijacking scenes feel more authentic. "The hair did stand up on the back of our heads," says Tom Hanks, above.
Credit Jasin Boland / Columbia Pictures Industries
Director Paul Greengrass says he thought the film would feel more authentic if it was all shot at sea. He had personal motivations, too: "My father was in the Merchant Marine and was at sea all his life so I wanted to explore his world," he says.
Credit Hopper Stone, SMPSP
Greengrass says it was important to him to find young Somali actors to play the part of the pirates. He held auditions in Minneapolis -- where there is a large Somali community -- and hundreds of actors showed up.
In April 2009, Somali pirates boarded an American-flagged container ship and took its captain, Richard Phillips, hostage on a small lifeboat. That led to a five-day drama at sea, much of it covered on television, as a U.S. Navy destroyer tailed the lifeboat and Navy SEAL sharpshooters eventually freed the captain. In 2010 Phillips wrote a memoir called A Captain's Duty and the harrowing experience has now been adapted into a film called Captain Phillips.
A woman carries a sack of food aid on her head in Ghouta, Syria, earlier this month.
A bombed-out building in Zamalka, a neighborhood in east Ghouta, Syria. The destruction seen in this picture was caused mostly by government air raids months before the Aug. 21 chemical attack on the neighborhood.
Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 9:46 am
The author is a Syrian citizen in Damascus who is not being further identified for safety reasons.
The boy on the bicycle wasn't old enough to have facial hair. His feet barely reached the ground as he stopped and moved, circling the soldier manning the government checkpoint in east Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus.
"Please, just one bag of bread," the boy, lips quivering, said to the soldier. "Just one."
"I told you, no. No means no, young man," the soldier replied. "No food is allowed inside." He seemed somewhat pained at having to deprive a child of food.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. They call it The People's Opera, but after this month, the New York City Opera will exist only in the history books. The renowned company is closing after 70 years. The New York City Opera failed to raise the $7 million it needed to cover its debts and will file for bankruptcy protection.
Upheaval in countries like Egypt and Syria is often discussed in political terms, but how do artists see it? Guest host Celeste Headlee talks about arts and the Arab Spring with Egyptian-American poet Yahia Lababidi and Syrian-American doctor Dr. Zaher Sahloul.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. We're going to spend some time talking now about Egypt, where more than 50 people were killed over the weekend in clashes between the military and supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi. In a moment, we'll speak to an Egyptian-American who has written poetry inspired by the unrest there.