Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan novels have become global hits. They are rife with love and sex and the mob — and commentary about language. This week on the podcast we explore Italy's linguistic history and the tensions between Italian dialects and the lingua franca.
Artemisia Gentileschi was "one of the most remarkable women in the history of western art," says Richard Savino, artistic director of the music ensemble El Mundo, whose newest CD was inspired by the Baroque painter.
Hallucinogenic mushrooms are one potential treatment for depression. Another is hip hop music — it seems the dark lyrics might reach those who feel equally hopeless. Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin comes to the rescue of China's first lady and his gallant act gets erased by Chinese censors. And in Pakistan, a group of schools hold an "I am not Malala" Day. All that and more in today's Global Scan.
In northern Italy, a multi-thousand dollar piece of food can literally grow right out of the ground. These white truffles can sell for as much as $120,000 — and they're being snapped up as quickly as truffle hunters can pull them out of the ground.
Shukri Alassouli, a 33-year-old man from Gaza, was trying to find a better life for his young family in Europe. But their journey across the Mediterranean in smugglers' boats turned into what the UN called the deadliest accident of its kind, killing hundreds and losing Shukri's wife, daughter and young son at sea.