George Plimpton boxed with Archie Moore, played quarterback for the Detroit Lions, and played percussion for the New York Philharmonic. He did these jobs, and many others, as an amateur. Plimpton was a professional writer. A new documentary about his life makes the case that Plimpton's best story was his own story, as NPR's Joel Rose reports.
JOEL ROSE, BYLINE: When you listen to George Plimpton's voice, it's like hearing echoes of a New York that no longer exists.
Ibrahim Shomali, a Palestinian priest, offers Communion under the olive trees of the Cremisan Valley in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. This is part of a regular protest against Israeli plans to build a section of its West Bank barrier here, which would separate Palestinians from their agricultural lands.
Credit Emily Harris / NPR
Israeli army Capt. Barak Raz stands on a concrete wall that is part of the barrier separating Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank. Soldiers climb to this spot during Palestinian protests to disperse crowds with tear gas or a foul-smelling liquid nicknamed "skunk."
Israeli army Capt. Barak Raz climbs a metal staircase to the top of a high concrete wall that is part of Israel's West Bank barrier. From his perch, he overlooks both the Palestinian village of Bil'in and Modin Illit, the largest Jewish settlement in the West Bank, with some 50,000 residents.
The barrier here used to be a fence. After many confrontations with Israeli soldiers, Palestinian villagers won a court case, and the fence was moved off some of their land. But since the barrier was moved closer to an Israeli settlement, it was rebuilt as a wall.
It's time now for your letters, and we got many about our coverage of the tornado that devastated Moore, Oklahoma. Several were praise for our story yesterday about survivors who lost most of their possessions but considered themselves lucky.
CHRISTINE PARRISH: They were digging her out while we were looking through our stuff. And we thought they were looking for their dogs, and it was her. And they found her, and she was passed.
What is the case against Wisconsin farmer Vernon Hershberger really about? It depends on whom you ask.
To hear the prosecution, it's about licensing, not raw milk: Hershberger, a dairy farmer hailing from the town of Loganville, is on trial this week for operating without three licenses. He's also accused of continuing to sell raw milk to members of his private club after he was ordered not to.
If convicted, the father of 10 faces more than a year in jail and more than $10,000 in fines.
"I'm shocked by the optimism here," Howard Yana-Shapiro, the chief agricultural officer for Mars Inc. said Tuesday to the audience of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs' Global Food Security Symposium in Washington, D.C.
Seated there before him were some of the leaders from the wealthiest international organizations and multinational companies of the fight to end hunger. And Shapiro told them they weren't even close.
A British driver who struck a cyclist with her car — and who then bragged about the incident on Twitter — has issued an apology. The incident caused an uproar after the collision Sunday.
"Definitely knocked a cyclist off his bike earlier - I have right of way he doesn't even pay road tax! #bloodycyclist," tweeted Emma Way, in a message that has been widely circulated despite her apparent attempts to delete it, and seemingly her Twitter account, @EmmaWay20.
During a tornado, the safest place to protect yourself is usually underground, but that's not an option for the large majority of people in southern Oklahoma. If you look just at new construction, fewer than 1 percent of homes in the area hit by the tornado have basements. Here to help explain why is NPR's Scott Neuman, who's written about this for our Two-Way blog.
And Scott, where I come from, a basement is a really common thing to have under the house. Not so in Oklahoma. Why not?
Another day, another heated hearing on Capitol Hill about the IRS. The agency's leadership has faced angry questions over its flagging of conservative groups applying for tax exempt status. At today's hearing, the most anticipated witness answered no questions. Instead, she took the Fifth, as we hear from NPR congressional correspondent Tamara Keith.
On this day, two years ago, just after 5:30 p.m., a tornado roared into Joplin, Missouri. It cut a nearly straight line through town, splintering everything in its path. About 160 people were killed. Some 7,500 homes were damaged or destroyed.
Mike Woolston was the mayor at the time. He's now a city councilor in Joplin, and he joins us from Joplin to talk about his experience two years ago and how it might inform the task ahead for Moore, Oklahoma. Mike Woolston, welcome to the program.