Egyptian soldiers stand guard outside the Republican Guard building in Cairo on Friday. Egyptian troops clashed with mostly Islamist protesters demanding the restoration of the ousted president, Mohammed Morsi.
Credit Khalil Hamra / AP
Iran's new president, Hasan Rowhani, tours the western city of Sanandaj on June 10. Rowhani, who easily won last month's election, was considered the most moderate candidate on the ballot.
The Arab uprisings of 2011 produced a clear set of winners — the Islamist parties that were well-organized and prepared to swiftly fill the political vacuum left by toppled autocrats.
But the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood now points to the possibility of a countertrend: the failure of Islamist groups to govern effectively and growing public discontent with their rule.
There was an awful lot of dancing going on the first time I stumbled upon the music of Cheick Hamala Diabate. On the dance floor at U Street's Tropicalia that night was a rich cross-section of D.C. life, all entranced by the music of Mali.
Bottles of alcohol are gathered to be smashed by Taliban authorities in Kabul in 2001.
Credit B.K. Bangash / AP
People toast with beer in a park in Ankara in 2011 to protest new regulations tightening alcohol sales in Muslim, but secular, Turkey.
Credit Adem Altan / AFP/Getty Images
A sign posted at the entrance of a French restaurant in Kabul (from February 2006) highlights one of the many vagaries of rules governing alcohol in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Muslim world.
Credit John Moore / Getty Images
A waiter pours a drink at a bar in Dubai in 2011. In the United Arab Emirates, foreign residents may obtain permits to buy alcohol from a handful of designated stores. Booze is also available in licensed hotels and pubs. Locals, yet again, are out of luck.
Reporting in the Middle East and Afghanistan can be challenging enough between dodging the bullets and bureaucracy. But, equally as confounding can be figuring out how and where to have a cold one after a hard day's work. The range of alcohol laws in Muslim countries can be simply dizzying.
<em>Exorcistic, </em>a rock parody inspired by a certain<em> </em>1971 novel and the William Friedkin film made from it<em>,</em> showcases Merlin as a rapping priest inspired by Max von Sydow's Father Merrin. Above, the show poster for the musical's Los Angeles fringe production.
Credit David Haverty / Hollywood Fringe
In <em>Re-Animator: The Musical,</em> L.A.-based actor and opera singer Jesse Merlin plays Dr. Hill, a sex-obsessed surgeon who quite literally loses his head. (And, um, comes back from the dead.)
What do a reanimated deviant surgeon, a cannibalistic serial killer and a demon-plagued, vomit-spattered priest have in common? They're all characters in camp stage musicals inspired by horror films — and they're all played by the same classically trained opera singer.
His name is Jesse Merlin, and he looks a little like a young, untanned George Hamilton. But he has a bass-baritone voice that would be perfect for Gilbert and Sullivan.
Since that's not what Hollywood's looking for, Merlin had to scare up roles elsewhere.
The search for true relaxation can be a taxing one. You take some time off to get away thinking of paradise and then harsh reality sets in. That's the sort of experience we're chronicling this summer in a series we call...
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
(SOUNDBITE OF SCREAM)
SIEGEL: ...Horror Stories.
JIM MCLAUGHLIN: Hi, my name is Jim McLaughlin, and I live in Hershey, Pennsylvania. My wife, my sister, and our combined four children...
America's hugely productive food system is one of its success stories. The nation will export a projected $139.5 billion in agricultural products this fiscal year alone. It's an industry that supports "more than 1 million jobs," according to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
But all that productivity has taken a toll on the environment, especially rivers and lakes: Agriculture is the nation's leading cause of impaired water quality, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The latest employment report is encouraging to many economists because the stronger job growth doesn't appear to be just a one-month blip. But some worry that it's so strong the Federal Reserve may pull back efforts to boost the economy.
The Labor Department's newest data released Friday shows the U.S. added 195,000 jobs in June. The prior two months were also revised upward — above 190,000 for both April and May.
Tash Aw was born in Taipei, grew up in Malaysia, and now lives in London. His first book, <em>The Harmony Silk Factory</em>, won the Whitbread Award for First Novel and was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize.
The plot of Five Star Billionaire, with its multiple protagonists, may seem deceptively familiar: a neglected boy claws his way from rags to riches; a country girl tries to make her way in the city; a city girl tries to prove her worth in a man's world of business; a rock star falls victim to the fame machine; and a rich man tumbles from grace.