A little over three years ago, filmmaker Josh Seftel's father passed away. After that, he says, it became difficult to keep up with his mom. He didn't use the phone very often and she didn't like email.
Anchee Min's best-selling memoir Red Azalea told the story of her youth in China during the Cultural Revolution. Her followup, The Cooked Seed, picks up nearly 20 years later as she arrives in America with $500 in her pocket, no English and a plan to study art in Chicago.
Min tells NPR's Rachel Martin that her life in China ended because of her relationship with Madame Mao, a former actress and the wife of Chairman Mao Zedong.
The crisis at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp keeps growing in size and intensity. According to the military's own count, 100 of the 166 men held in the prison there are now on hunger strike, and the 27 most in danger of dying are being force-fed.
Last month, guards had to forcibly subdue a camp where even the most cooperativedetainees are held.
LL Cool J has been making music for more than 25 years. Through it all, he says, he's tried his best to remain authentic.
"The last thing that I want to do is be a hack," says the rapper and actor, born James Todd Smith. "Someone who is adapting to whatever the current trend is, and manipulating the public into being on board with me even though, from an artistic standpoint, I'm not doing anything."
ROBERT DOWNEY JR.: (as Tony Stark) No politics here. Just good old-fashioned revenge.
ARUN RATH, HOST:
That's Robert Downey Jr. in "Iron Man 3," which opened in theaters last weekend and has grossed nearly 800 million worldwide. The movie also broke box office records in China where Marvel Studios tried something new. They created a special cut that will only be seen by audiences in China and includes extra scenes featuring big-name Chinese actors.
Weekends on All Things Considered guest host Arun Rath reminds fans of NPR's Three-Minute Fiction contest that Round 11 will be closing in two days and they should submit their stories now at npr.org/threeminutefiction.
In Pakistan today, millions went to the polls to elect new government. NPR's Julie McCarthy has been following the candidates, their campaigns and issues leading up to this. She joins us now from Lahore. Welcome, Julie.
JULIE MCCARTHY, BYLINE: Thank you.
RATH: So in the last 24 hours, we've heard a lot about the threats and violence aimed at stopping voters, and even shutting down polling places. What's the significance of this election? Can you put it into context for people?