I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Now it's time for our weekly visit to the Barber Shop, where the guys talk about what's in the news and what's on their minds.
Sitting in the chairs for a shape-up this week are freelance journalist Jimi Izrael, civil rights attorney Arsalan Iftikhar, syndicated columnist Ruben Navarrette, and new to the shop, veteran journalist and author Michael Cottman. He's currently with BlackAmericaWeb.com.
And now we want to turn to another story that touches on profound matters of faith and spirituality. Today, we take a look at the Talmud. That's the book of Jewish tradition, thought, practice and values, and it lies at the center of Jewish study.
Terminal illness patients sometimes feel that their pain outweighs the benefits of life. Dr. Larry Egbert, co-founder and former medical director of the Final Exit Network, says he helped several patients find ways to end their suffering and lives. He was recently profiled in The Washington Post Magazine. He speaks with host Michel Martin.
The Defense Department has spent close to $3 billion since 2007 to treat and study traumatic brain injuries and post traumatic stress disorder — the leading injuries suffered by U.S. military personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan. But a federal investigation finds that the department's programs are so disorganized that it's difficult to figure out how the money has been spent.
For more than a decade, Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul has had to deal with questions about why a newsletter he published in the 1980s and '90s included some racist writings. He's said more than once that, while he takes responsibility for what was in the newsletters, he didn't pay enough attention to what was printed, wasn't aware of the racist messages at the time and rejects them.
In election season, conventional wisdom holds that a costly, drawn-out primary fight hurts a nominee in the general election.
It's a notion that appeals to common sense. After all, the thinking goes, if a boxer endures nine rounds with a formidable challenger and immediately steps back into the ring with a well-rested heavyweight, that can't be good.
Somehow 35.5 pounds of cocaine wrapped in a fake diplomatic sack made it to the United Nations' headquarters in New York. The AFP reports that U.N. officials said on Thursday that the cocaine had been shipped from Mexico through DHL, which handles U.N. mail.
It isn't a long shot that David Milch's newest series for HBO, called Luck, will be on par with his HBO series Deadwood. It's a sure thing. HBO sent out all nine episodes of the show's first season for preview, so there's no guesswork here.
For someone who has spent the majority of his career making comedies, Woody Allen sees the world — and his lifelong profession — through a surprisingly dark lens.
"Life is a terrible trial, and very harsh and very full of suffering ... [Film] is a different kind of pain. Making a movie is a great distraction from the real agonies of the world," Allen tells Terry Gross.