Poet Dunya Mikhail fled her homeland, Iraq, a few years after the first Gulf War. She had been questioned by Saddam Hussein's government, and state media had labeled her writing and poetry subversive. Mikhail escaped to Jordan and eventually reached the United States, where she made a home for herself — marrying, raising a daughter and becoming a U.S. citizen.
Mikhail never physically returned to Iraq. But she revisits her homeland again and again in her poetry — line by line, stanza by stanza.
Myla Haider (shown at a press conference in Washington, D.C., in 2011) says she initially decided not to report that she'd been raped because she'd "never met one victim who was able to report the crime and still retain their military career."
Credit AFP/Getty Images
Lawyer Susan Burke (shown here at a press conference in Abu Dhabi in 2010) has sued the Pentagon on behalf of multiple plaintiffs in rape cases, including Haider. Burke says the military justice system needs to change.
David Wilson (left) and Rob Compton embrace after being married by a Unitarian minister at the Arlington Street Church in Boston on May 17, 2004. They were one of the first couples in Massachusetts to be legally wed.
Credit Jaime E. Connolly/Fotique / AP
U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., (left) and Jim Ready pose at their wedding reception on July 7, 2012. Frank married his longtime partner in a ceremony officiated by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick in Newton.
Credit Kelley McCall / AP
Missouri state Rep. Kevin Engler, a Republican, speaks during a rally for a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage on May 3, 2004, in Jefferson City, Mo.
Gays and lesbians have adopted the phrase "it gets better" as a kind of slogan to assure young people that life won't always be so tough.
Looking back, life has gotten dramatically better for LGBT people in the United States in a very short period of time. The modern gay rights movement began less than 50 years ago. Today, supporters of same-sex marriage outnumber opponents.
Now, the Supreme Court is about to hear two big cases that could shift the landscape for gay rights again.
Banks on Cyprus remain closed today. The Cypriot Parliament has rejected the terms of a bailout from the European Union. The finance minister is in Moscow looking for financial help from the Russians.
Cyprus has about as many residents as the Bronx. When you add up all the country's banks, they don't even match the 30th largest bank in the U.S. But people all over the world have good reason to be freaked out over what's happened there this week.
Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep, with an update on Sparky, the Arizona State Sun Devil. The university mascot is a devil with a pitchfork and horns. He got a makeover with help from Disney. But as we've reported, this effort to make a friendlier, more accessible devil created a monster. Many students hate the new Sparky with an almost religious fervor, so the university has surrendered. Authorities will re-redesign the devil costume and let alumni and others vote on the design.
We hear, occasionally, about a flea market find that turns out to be a valuable work of art. This morning the tale of a tiny Chinese bowl, pretty and looking like an open blossom. It was bought for $3 at a tag sale in New York. The bowl sat for several years on a mantel before the owner wondered where it came from, turns out the Song Dynasty a thousand years ago. Yesterday, the bowl sold at auction for $2.25 million.
It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. President Obama is making his first visit to Israel since he's been in the White House. His past relations with Israel's government have not always gone well. Though the two nations insist they're reached new levels of security cooperation, they have publicly debated issues ranging from Iran to the Mideast peace process.
Let's hear now about a dramatic trial in Guatemala. That country's former dictator is charged with genocide and crimes against humanity, stemming from the killings that happened in the early 1980s. Seventeen hundred indigenous Guatemalans - the Ixils people - died during one of the bloodiest periods of the country's three-decade-long war, a war that ultimately claimed more than 200,000 lives. At the time the U.S.-backed strongman, Ephraim Rios Montt, ruled the country.
Basketball fans have one more day to fill out their March Madness brackets. They'll need to predict not just the champions and their route to victory, but also the paths of all the losers. It's not easy. In fact, no person or computer has yet been able to do it.