Former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli wasn't always rich.
One of Central America's richest and most eccentric former politicians, Martinelli started off as a credit officer at Citibank in Panama. He bought one business, then another. Among his holdings is the country's largest supermarket chain, Super 99, known for bargain prices and catchy jingles.
But while his jingles may get Panamanian's hips moving, Martinelli's alleged pilfering and profiteering make their blood boil.
Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.
Brittany Ohman is a 41-year-old mother of two and a licensed social worker in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Ohman and NPR's Rachel Martin grew up together and were good friends through high school. When they were seniors, Ohman got pregnant and no one knew. She didn't even know — and she knows that sounds crazy. She has heard the question for years.
The dirt roads on the border between Syria and Lebanon wind across a mountain range dotted with little wild flowers.
It's windswept and deserted except for a few hilltop outposts with clumps of gray tents, machine-gun nests and flags that fly the green and gold colors of Lebanon's Hezbollah movement.
These posts are new. In a three-week offensive, Hezbollah has worked with Syrian government forces and other allies to push rebel fighters out of a chunk of territory that the rebels held along this border for two years.
Martin Panovski used to like hanging out in the center of his hometown, Skopje, the capital of Macedonia, a tiny Balkan nation that was, until 1991, part of Yugoslavia. Skopje's an old city, with complex, multi-ethnic layers of Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman history.
"Even the communist era produced some interesting contemporary architecture," says Panovski, an architect in hip eyeglasses.
The nationalist government of prime minister Nikola Gruevski did not agree. "The capital did not look European," says Nikola Zezov, a historian and Gruevski supporter. "It looked boring."