Popular lore has it that the Italian merchant Marco Polo was responsible for introducing the noodle to China. This legend appeals to Italians, but if you ask the Chinese, they may beg to differ.
In her latest book, On the Noodle Road, author Jen Lin-Liu chronicles a six-month journey along the historic Silk Road from eastern China, through central Asia, Turkey, Iran and eventually arriving in Italy, in search of the true origin of the noodle.
The U.S. has been pushing the Taliban and the Afghan government to find a political solution for the past year and a half. But every time it seems the parties are close to starting peace talks, a new demand or controversy arises and nothing happens.
In the latest attempt, the Taliban finally opened a political office in Qatar, a move that was supposed to set the stage for negotiations. But when the Taliban envoys gave that office the trappings of an embassy, a furious Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, called off the talks, and they have yet to be re-scheduled.
In Canada, 28 bodies have been located one week after a devastating train explosion in Eastern Quebec. Railcars full of oil sped down a long hill into the heart of a small town before derailing and exploding. The death toll is expected to reach 50. North Country's Public Radio's Brian Mann, has been on the scene throughout the week and says the people are taking the first painful steps towards recovery.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. I'm going to be on vacation for a couple of weeks and after today's show. You know what I'm going to miss? Our crew here and the chance to say: Time for sports.
"Shadow Dancer," is the name of the new film from James Marsh. The director won an Oscar for his 2008 documentary, "Man on a Wire," and his film, "Project Nim," was also a documentary winner at Sundance. But his latest is a fictional film based on very real events, the bloody civil war in Northern Ireland known as The Troubles. Pat Dowell has more.
The National Youth Orchestra — the very first American National Youth Orchestra — rehearses and performs this summer with conductor Valery Gergiev and and solo violinist Joshua Bell. It may be the best summer music camp ever — and it's free.
Swedish performer Anna von Hausswolff is one of the few recording artists in the world who plays the pipe organ in popular music. Her latest album, Ceremony, was recorded over five days at a church in her hometown of Gothenburg, Sweden.
Cpl. Jose "Freddy" Velez served in Iraq. His brother, Spc. Andrew Velez, deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. Both died in their early 20s. They are survived by their sister, Monica.
"My mom left us when I was 7, so my dad was a single parent," Monica says. "And I did all the household chores. I got the boys dressed for school, I taught them how to ride their bike, I taught them how to read and write."
One of her favorite memories is when both brothers came back from basic training and told her she could no longer be bossy.