ROBERT SIEGEL, host: Next week, Israel and Hamas are expected to swap more than a thousand Palestinian prisoners for one captured Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit. It will likely happen on Egyptian soil. Egypt helped broker the deal and had been working on it for the past couple of years. There were occasional reports of progress that didn't pan out.
So, how was it that success came through the new Egyptian military regime, which replaced Israel's old ally, Hosni Mubarak? And at a time when Israeli-Egyptian relations are worse than they've been in decades.
After a major service outage this week, Research In Motion, or RIM, the company that makes Blackberries, faces major problems. The outage, which left millions of customers all over the world without service for up to three days, comes on the heels of a tablet flop and an embarrassing role in this summer's U.K. riots. Guy Raz talks with Chip Cummins of the Wall Street Journal about the future of the company.
Robert Siegel speaks with Lucia Virostkova, a Slovak journalist based in Bratislava. She blogs for the EUobserver.com. She describes how the Slovakian parliamentary vote to join the eurozone bailout of banks brought the Slovakian government down — and caused the 2014 elections be moved to March.
Boston Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein is leaving his hometown team to take the reins of the Chicago Cubs. He departs after a disastrous season, but he will be remembered for making history. The youngest ever general manager in major league baseball designed the teams that won two World Series, Boston's first since 1918. Now he'll try to make Wrigley's loveable losers into champions.
Frank Kameny, a pioneer in the gay rights movement, died Tuesday at 86. In 1957, Kameny was fired from his job as an astronomer for the U.S. government because he was homosexual. He fought his dismissal in court for years and in the 1960s, began picketing outside the White House, calling for equal rights for gays and lesbians. In 2009, the government issued him a formal apology for his firing.
A day after announcing they had uncovered an Iranian terror plot — the Obama administration is moving quickly to try to drum up more international pressure on the Iranian regime. But some Iran watchers are raising doubts about the US storyline — and wonder if the US can get the sort of diplomatic mileage it wants out of this case.
The Nigerian man charged with trying to blow up an airliner on Christmas Day in 2009 pleaded guilty today. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab had tried to detonate a bomb hidden in his underwear. Tuesday, on the first day of trial, the government presented its case, including details of what happened on the flight that day. Then Wednesday, Abdulmutallab abruptly pleaded guilty to all eight counts against him. NPR's counter-terrorism correspondent Dina Temple-Raston talks to Robert Siegel.
Taiwan might be known to most Americans for its export economy, but it's also been importing musical styles — from avant garde jazz to hip-hop. I first learned about Taiwan's thriving music scene from Joshua Samuel Brown. He's a travel writer who authored the last two editions of Lonely Planet: Taiwan.