Germany

Arts, Culture & Media

In the former East Germany, Frank Zappa lives on as a beacon of freedom

Who was Frank Zappa? Virtuoso guitarist? Modernist composer? Smutty lyricist? Anti-censorship activist? All of the above ... and much more in the former East Germany. There, his banned records fetched small fortunes among rebellious young men who dreamed of freedom. This episode of The World in Words podcast spends 30 minutes in the company of one such man who now runs a Zappa-themed festival. We also hear from an American translator who explains Zappa's obscure lyrics to German fans, line by line.

Conflict & Justice

New York City's hijacked hashtag launches a global conversation on police brutality

Updated

When the New York Police Department encouraged its followers on Twitter to share photos of themselves with NYPD officers, the result was not what they expected. Two days later, the hashtag has been mimicked in a half dozen cities around the world to showcase police brutality. But the social media effort has had another consequence: it has started a global dialogue about the perception of police and policing in different cities.

Politics

European Union prepares to adopt 24th official language as costs mount, calls for English rise

In the European Union, every language is an official language. Government officials speak in the official language of their country, and those comments are then translated into 22, soon to be 23, other languages. All of that costs $1.4 billion per year — and that total will increase when Croatian becomes an official language later this year.