Action, espionage and secrets fill the new NBC show American Odyssey.
But Peter Horton, the show's co-creator and executive producer, says it's easiest to describe the show by saying what it's not. "It's not a police show, it's not an FBI show, it's not a CIA show," he tell's NPR's Arun Rath. "It's a modern-day thriller told in three story bubbles, basically, about three very ordinary people."
The Captain, a Communist sympathizer who's risen through the ranks of the South Vietnamese Army, has a confession:
I am a spy, a sleeper, a spook, a man of two faces. Perhaps not surprisingly, I am also a man of two minds. I am not some misunderstood mutant from a comic book or a horror movie, although some have treated me as such. I am simply able to see any issue from both sides.
So begins Viet Thanh Nguyen's new novel, The Sympathizer.
Businessman Mokhtar Alkhanshali was used to the complications of traveling to Yemen. He'd been traveling there and back for years; sometimes the American Embassy would close for a few days amid turmoil, but it always opened back up.
But on March 27, the situation changed dramatically. "Overnight, the country went to war," he says.
The Yemeni-American coffee importer had been in Sana'a, Yemen's capital, on business when the city was rocked by explosions. He stepped outside at 2 a.m. to find anti-aircraft guns lighting up the night sky.
There's not a whole lot to do in prison, so inmates spend a fair amount of time playing cards.
For several years, law enforcement officials around the country have been putting that prisoners' pastime to good use. They've been putting facts and photos from unsolved crimes in front of prisoners' eyes by printing them on decks of cards, hoping to generate leads.
Even if you don't know Kate Mulgrew's name, you know her work. She currently plays Red, the formidable prison kitchen manager in the series Orange Is the New Black. And for seven seasons she was Captain Janeway on Star Trek: Voyager.
"Nothing could be more challenging, more arduous, or more rewarding than that part on that series," Mulgrew tells NPR's Tamara Keith, referring to the role of Janeway.
President Obama has launched a sustained, long-term military campaign against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL. But did he have constitutional power to do so?
Article I of the Constitution gives some war powers to the Congress â€” namely, the power to declare war â€” while Article II gives the president the power of commander-in-chief. But the U.S. Congress has not declared war since World War II, even as the nation has engaged in numerous military actions across the globe in the intervening decades.
Breakfast is Bryan Voltaggio's favorite meal because it's the only time he gets to eat with his family. Most other times, the Top Chef and Top Chef Masters finalist is at one of his restaurants. That's why the recipes in his new book, Home: Recipes to Cook with Family and Friends, are centered on family and family gatherings, from Thanksgiving to Super Bowl Sunday.
Smartphones have new, seamless ways to purchase stuff lightning fast, with just a tap. With these new digital technologies available for mobile payment, many young people are ditching cash and plastic altogether.
But is traditional payment dead? According to Doug Conover, an analyst with the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, not exactly.
"The perception that young people rarely use cash is just not correct," he says.