Russian gymnast Victoria Komova competes in the balance beam final during the 2011 World Championships in Tokyo. Komova is one of Russia's top Olympic hopefuls.
Credit Adam Pretty / Getty Images
Russia's Aliya Mustafina competes on the vault during the 2010 Gymnastics World Championships in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Russian gymnasts have struggled in recent years, and are battling to reclaim their former glory at the Olympics this summer.
Credit Jamie McDonald / Getty Images
Victoria Komova competes in the 2011 World Championships in Tokyo.
Credit Lintao Zhang / Getty Images
Aliya Mustafina celebrates with her coach, Alexander Alexandrov, after winning the gold medal in the women's individual all-around at the 2010 World Championships in the Netherlands. She suffered injuries that prevented her from competing in 2011.
Back in the days of the Soviet Union, the women's gymnastics competition was highly predictable — the Soviet squad won the team gold medal at every Olympics it participated in.
Even when Nadia Comaneci was reeling off perfect 10s at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, she and her Romanian teammates had to settle for second in the team competition behind the legendary Olga Korbut and her Soviet comrades.
KBIA's Darren Hellwege visits one of the smallest towns that will be part of the 40/40 project, Clark, Missouri. There may not be as much excitement as you'd find in a big city, but there are friendly people. One of them, Johnny Collie, sits on his front porch with Darren and talks about growing up in Clark and why he's still glad to call it "home".
Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 7:30 am
After a long battle with cancer, Leon Helm died today. He was 71.
"Levon Helm passed peacefully this afternoon," a statement posted on his website read. "He was surrounded by family, friends and band mates and will be remembered by all he touched as a brilliant musician and a beautiful soul."
Helm was the legendary drummer and singer of '60s rock act, The Band. Earlier this week, Helm's family announced that he was in the final stages of cancer.
The son of Ruby Dee and the late Ossie Davis, Guy Davis initially followed in his famous parents' footsteps. But then he discovered the blues in college, and now travels the world performing in places untouched by the genre, from Greenland to the Galapagos Islands.
Known as "The Ambassador of the Blues," Davis talks with NPR's John Donvan about his new album, The Adventures of Fishy Waters: In Bed With the Blues, and his passion for blues music.
On Fishy Waters, The Character He Created For His New Record
For those of you boycotting Starbucks over the red dye made from crushed bugs it's been using, this Strawberries & Crème Frappuccino® is for you.
As we reported last month, vegetarians and others who'd rather not eat insects protested when they found out the the company uses cochineal, the red "juice" a tiny white bug called Dactylopius coccus exudes when crushed, to color certain food and drinks.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm John Donvan in Washington. Earlier this month, nine immigrants suspected of being illegally smuggled into the United States were killed in a car crash. That journey came to a violent and sudden end. But there have been, and there will be others bent on crossing the Mexican border north to the U.S. who will make that very same journey and with a similar setup.
In 2010, more than 500 students at Carleton College in Northfield, Minn., hit the campus green to break the world record for spooning. On Friday, students at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va., plan to claim the record.
Credit Maia Rodriguez / Courtesy of Northfield.org
Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord's Resistance Army, in 2006.
Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 2:50 pm
Students at the College of William & Mary are talking about a big extracurricular event being held on their campus on Friday. Organized largely through social media, more than 600 students at the prestigious Virginia campus have signed up to participate.
It's not about Joseph Kony. It's an attempt to break the world record for spooning, set by Carleton College back in 2010.
In his 2010 book, Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man, Bill Clegg described his addiction to crack cocaine and the dramatic spiral of self-destruction that left him nearly broke, homeless, out of work and suicidal. His latest book, Ninety Days: A Memoir of Recovery, picks up where that story left off.
Clegg talks with NPR's John Donvan about his harrowing journey through recovery, and the friends, family and fellow addicts who gave him second chances.