New British Prime Minister Theresa May announced six members of her Cabinet Wednesday.

Amid a sweeping crackdown on dissent in Egypt, security forces have forcibly disappeared hundreds of people since the beginning of 2015, according to a new report from Amnesty International.

It's an "unprecedented spike," the group says, with an average of three or four people disappeared every day.

The Republican Party, as it prepares for its convention next week has checked off item No. 1 on its housekeeping list — drafting a party platform. The document reflects the conservative views of its authors, many of whom are party activists. So don't look for any concessions to changing views among the broader public on key social issues.

Many public figures who took to Twitter and Facebook following the murder of five police officers in Dallas have faced public blowback and, in some cases, found their employers less than forgiving about inflammatory and sometimes hateful online comments.

As Venezuela unravels — with shortages of food and medicine, as well as runaway inflation — President Nicolas Maduro is increasingly unpopular. But he's still holding onto power.

"The truth in Venezuela is there is real hunger. We are hungry," says a man who has invited me into his house in the northwestern city of Maracaibo, but doesn't want his name used for fear of reprisals by the government.

The wiry man paces angrily as he speaks. It wasn't always this way, he says, showing how loose his pants are now.

Ask a typical teenage girl about the latest slang and girl crushes and you might get answers like "spilling the tea" and Taylor Swift. But at the Girl Up Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., the answers were "intersectional feminism" — the idea that there's no one-size-fits-all definition of feminism — and U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit


Jazz Piano Giant Cedar Walton Dies At 79

Aug 19, 2013
Originally published on August 22, 2013 12:48 am

Cedar Walton, one of the top jazz pianists to emerge in the aftermath of bebop, died Monday morning at his home in Brooklyn, N.Y., according to his wife, Martha. Walton was 79.

The pianist and composer/arranger rose to eminence after an early-1960s spell in drummer Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, and continually cemented his reputation as a bluesy, graceful and commanding improviser up until his death. But Walton's legacy also rests on a body of compositions, at least one of which became a standard ("Bolivia"); his ability to orchestrate small groups also secured him work and opportunities to lead his own bands.

Born in 1934, Walton grew up in Dallas, Texas. His mother was at one time an aspiring concert pianist, and served as his first teacher. Drawn to jazz, he continued to pursue playing during college between classes and classical studies, briefly at Dillard University in New Orleans and then at the University of Denver in Colorado. He moved to the jazz hub of New York City in 1955, and — after compulsory military service, where he played in an Army band in Germany — returned in 1958.

Walton rubbed shoulders with emerging greats of the era. He toured with J.J. Johnson, the preeminent trombonist of his era. He jumped ship to Benny Golson's Jazztet, another small group with tightly crafted arrangements. Along the way, he recorded the first drafts of John Coltrane's seminal Giant Steps album. And in 1961, he joined Freddie Hubbard (trumpet) and Wayne Shorter (saxophone) in the Jazz Messengers, where he was one of the stars in what became one of Art Blakey's most celebrated lineups. That unit was responsible for classic albums like Mosaic, Ugetsu and Free For All — among other recordings — and Walton contributed tunes to several of them. He later described the experience "like we were a team of horses, and [Blakey] was, you know, leading from behind. You know, driving a team of horses."

Walton later worked with vocalist Abbey Lincoln and trumpeter Lee Morgan, and between freelance work, created the band Eastern Rebellion, a quartet with rotating personnel which also featured drummer Billy Higgins. In his later years, he still toured and recorded frequently, and his December residency at New York's Village Vanguard became a highlight on the city's jazz calendar.

"Where to retire to?" he asked rhetorically in a 2010 interview. "I mean, stop playing the piano? Stop going around having people listen to you and your group play your music, or your versions of other people's music? That's a utopia in my view and the way I look at it. That's about the best thing that could happen to a person that's trying to be a creative artist."

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