World Culture

A Snapshot Of Journeys Here And Abroad

Afghan children, pictured on a farm in Nawa district, Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, Monday

Afghan children, pictured on a farm in Nawa district, Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, Monday, Sept. 28, 2009. U.S.-Afghanistan relations continues to stir debate as the White House assesses the role and progress of U.S. forces embedded in the country since the 2001 start of the Afghan War (otherwise known as Operation Enduring Freedom). Brennan Linsley/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Brennan Linsley/AP

The headlines have my head spinning: Afghanistan, Iran, Honduras.

There's the ongoing health care debate, the economy and the street crimes going on that make it seem like people have lost their minds.

But there are also people all over the country (and the world) trying to help their neighbors and countrymen and fellow humans get through it all. In the best of all worlds, we'd have mix of all these stories — the honey and the vinegar.

Today we hope we do.

We hear from a former NPR "fixer" in Afghanistan (and we'll tell you what that is), who is also a doctor now studying journalism (got all that?) here in the U.S. Dr. Najib Sharifi gives us his perspective on the Afghanistan story.

Nothing on Iran or Honduras today, yet.

But we've got two stories for you that touch on how race was, and is, lived in this country. Two very different stories. We talk with Ann Hobson Pilot, one of the nation's leading harpists, who happens to be African-American and is retiring. And we chat with Jerry Mitchell, one of the country's foremost investigative reporters. Mitchell has been honored by the MacArthur Foundation for his efforts to bring murderers of the civil rights era to justice.

And hear another definition of what goes on Behind Closed Doors. For today's installment, we talk about clergy members who make inappropriate sexual advances upon followers. We'll tell you about it.

And now, let's figure out what to do about Honduras ...

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