Nik Wallenda walks a tightrope in the rain during a training session for his upcoming stunt in Niagara Falls, N.Y.
Credit Gary Wiepert / AP
Spectators watch Nik Wallenda practice in Niagara Falls, N.Y. Local officials are hoping the stunt revives flagging tourism.
Credit David Duprey / AP
High-wire performer Nik Wallenda will try to cross the Niagara Gorge on a tightrope this Friday. The seventh-generation member of the Flying Wallendas spent months getting the necessary permissions from Canada and the United States for the cross-border stunt.
Niagara Falls has long been a magnet for daredevils, but strict laws have kept them away for more than a century. That's expected to change Friday, when circus performer Nik Wallenda will walk a two-inch-thick wire above the giant waterfall. It's an exception officials hope will rescue tourism — and the city's economy.
The crowd of job seekers at an unemployment office in downtown Madrid looks different than it did a few years ago.
When the housing market went bust, construction workers flooded the lobby. Now, labor reforms have made it easier for corporations to fire workers without seniority. So now young people, including those with an education, are unable to find work.
Jaime Garcia de Sola, a former intern at an investment bank, was one of those waiting in the unemployment line.
Consider this name: Kishi Bashi. It has a pleasant, repetitive character with a nice — if unusual — little loop. It's an apt stage name for a musician who's creating something haunting, beautiful and maybe a little off-kilter through the technology of looping.
Sometimes, politicians eat their words. This week, the British government reversed course on a plan to place a 20 percent tax on all foods sold hot — with no exemption for pasties.
Pasties are hand food, baked for Cornish miners to eat when they could put aside their pickaxes. People eat pasties today as they sit on a bench for a few minutes' respite or walk along the street between chores. They have become comfort, convenience, pub-crawling and football-watching food.
The agency that monitors advertising in Britain turned 50 this week and in honor of the occasion it released a list of the most-hated ads ever to air on the telly. Vicki Barker reports.
VICKI BARKER, BYLINE: In this ad from 2010 for Paddy Power, an Irish-based betting company some blind soccer players kick a ball with a bell on it. They don't see but we see and the ref sees Tiddles the cat wander onto the field and then...
(SOUNDBITE OF CAT SCREECHING)
BARKER: ...the ref puts a consoling arm over the player's shoulder.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. There's a showdown between American sisters and the Vatican. The Vatican is cracking down on the largest organization for U.S. sisters, called the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. Pope Benedict has appointed an archbishop to oversee and reform the organization, accusing it of what amounts to doctrinal dissidence. Now, the sisters are fighting back - at least verbally. We're joined by NPR's religion correspondent, Barbara Bradley Hagerty. Barbara, thanks for being with us.
Last night in Syria, the third massacre in a week. This time a dozen workers were found shot to death, their bodies dumped in a field. The United Nations has called for an investigation into the mass killings last weekend in Houla of more than 100 people, many of them women and children. We're joined now from the United Nations in New York by Kieran Dwyer. He's the chief spokesman for the U.N. Peacekeeping Department. Mr. Dwyer, thanks for taking the time to speak with us.
For more on possible options in Syria, we're joined by Thomas P.M. Barnett. He is a former Pentagon analyst who's written in support of military intervention in Syria on Time magazine's Battleland blog. Mr. Barnett's also chief analyst at Wikistrat, a consultancy firm on geopolitical analysis. He joins us from his office in Indianapolis. Mr. Barnett, thanks for being with us.
SIMON: It's the French Open and you know, already, there's almost not an American left in Paris - Andy Roddick, Serena and Venus Williams all out already. And elsewhere, the NBA semifinals are in full swing. But let's hold the hardwood and go first to the clay. Howard Bryant of ESPN.com and ESPN the magazine joins us now from the Roland Garros Stadium in Paris. Howard, thanks for being with us.