About an hour outside Washington, near Chancellorsville, Va., lies one of Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson's graves. A major Civil War battle was fought here in 1863. That's when Jackson was accidentally shot by his own Confederate troops.
As Park Ranger Chuck Young tells a group of visitors, Jackson didn't die here — but his left arm was amputated.
"Both of these doctors had performed that procedure literally hundreds, if not thousands of times by this point in the war," Young says.
Almost 20 years ago, a young student at the National University of Mexico went in search of a very old instrument in the mountains of the southern state of Oaxaca. Today, he has become a leading force in the revival of the instrument called the bajo quinto and the music played on it.
Ruben Luengas was working on a research project at the National School of Music in Mexico City in 1995. He wanted to focus on the music of his hometown, in the Mixtec region of Oaxaca, so he asked his 97-year-old grandmother to tell him about the music played at her wedding.
In the chicken and pork industries, nearly every aspect of the animals' raising has long been controlled by just a handful of agriculture conglomerates. But the cattle industry is still populated by mom-and-pop operations, at least at the calf-raising level.
In Syria's capital, Damascus, the Hamidiyah souk is a landmark — a centuries-old covered market linked to a maze of alleyways in the heart of the capital. Over the 15-month uprising, Syria's merchants have supported the regime of President Bashar Assad. But that support is crumbling.
Shops selling everything from cold drinks, ice cream and spices to wedding dresses and electric guitars line Hamidiyah's cobblestone streets.
After taking all 50 of its nuclear reactors offline following a devastating accident last year, Japan is planning to restart the first of two of them in western Fukui prefecture as early as Sunday.
The catastrophe at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant in March 2011 forced Japan to scale back plans to aggressively expand its nuclear energy sector. But the highly controversial move to restart the two reactors on the other side of the country is a sign that the nuclear power lobby isn't throwing in the towel yet.
David Henry Hwang is a playwright from Los Angeles, currently living in New York, who has dealt with issues of cultural identity in his work, especially as it pertains to the Asian-American experience. He spoke to NPR's Morning Edition about his thoughts on the American dream.
"I define the American dream as the ability to imagine a way that you want your life to turn out, and have a reasonable hope that you can achieve that.
Frenchman Jean Dujardin may have won this year's Academy Award for best actor for his role in The Artist, but in France he was beat out for the country's most prestigious acting award, the Cesar, by a new acting sensation: The 34-year-old son of African immigrants, Omar Sy.