The crisis in Ukraine has many in this country wondering what on earth Vladimir Putin is thinking. Hillary Clinton compared him to Hitler; many world leaders have called his actions insane in recent weeks. How is it that we know so much about Russia's president and yet so little? To help us with that, we've called in someone who's spent a lot of time thinking about Vladimir Putin. Masha Gessen is the author of a best-selling biography of Putin called "The Man Without a Face." Masha Gessen, thank you for joining us.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden. Week 2 of the Oscar Pistorius trial in South Africa has come to a close. Pistorius, the Paralympic champion, known around the world as the Blade Runner is on trial for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp last year. Here to give us a recap of this week's proceedings is David Smith. Smith has been following the case for The Guardian Newspaper and joins from his home in Johannesburg. David Smith, thank you for being with us.
In New Zealand, the country's most important cut of cloth is at the center of a nationwide debate. New Zealand's flag has long been criticized by some as a symbol of British Colonialism. The U.K.'s Union Jack remains in the flag's upper left-hand corner. But it was only this year that Prime Minister John Key proposed a referendum to change it. Tim Watkin, journalist and founder of the politics and culture blog Pundit, is on the line with us now from Auckland, New Zealand to tell us more. Hello there, Tim.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden. More than 20,000 refugees fleeing religious violence in the Central African Republic crossed into Cameroon just in February alone. The refugees are predominantly Muslim and many more are expected to cross over in the coming weeks. They're finding shelter in towns and refugee sites near the border and many are suffering from malnutrition and malaria.
Andres Caballero reports from the border in Cameroon's east region.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden. This was supposed to be a special year for the Mount Ashland ski area in Southern Oregon as it celebrated its 50th anniversary. But after a long drought this summer, Mount Ashland had to call it a season early. Yesterday, it declared slope season was over due to a lack of snow. NPR's Tom Goldman reports.
Bipartisan support dissolved this week for compromise legislation that would have fixed a longstanding problem with the way Medicare pays physicians. Though the bill passed the House of Representatives Friday, it now contains a provision almost certain to invite veto unless a Senate version can quickly nudge the ultimate bill back toward compromise.
Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 3:56 pm
As the search continues for the Malaysia Airlines plane that's been missing since last Saturday, we're hearing stories about some of the 239 people on board.
There is Philip Wood, one of three Americans on the flight, who worked for IBM in the Chinese capital where he'd lived for two years. He was returning to Beijing after visiting family in Texas. Wood and his girlfriend, Sarah Bajc, were planning to move to Malaysia.