This week marks an important date in the history of the British Isles. In 1707, the Acts of Union were signed, which joined in Scotland and England into a single United Kingdom. And so it has remained for the last 300 years, although, in 1997, the British government gave Scotland its own parliament with certain powers over social policy.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. The crisis in eastern Ukraine is escalating after a group of foreign military observers accused of being spies were detained by pro-Russian separatists. At a press conference today, the detainees said they are in good health and have not been physically mistreated. At the same time, the government in Kiev has stepped up its military operations around separatist dominated towns.
For two millennia, the Colosseum in Rome has been collecting layers of dirt and grime. Finally, it's getting a top-to-bottom scrubbing. The Roman monument was, of course, the center of entertainment back in the day where people could go to catch a really good show, like a gladiator fight, mock naval battle, or public execution. Millions of tourists visit the amphitheater these days, but it's filthy, covered in black gunk from car pollution, damaged by earthquakes, and stripped of materials over the centuries.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. Iraq is suffering the worst spate of violence that country has seen in many years, some say the worst since the height of the U.S. war in 2008. On Friday, dozens of people were killed at an election rally in Baghdad.
This Wednesday, Iraqis go to the polls in the first parliamentary election since the U.S. pulled combat troops out in 2011. To hear more about the upcoming election, we're joined by Reuters Baghdad Bureau Chief, Ned Parker. Welcome to the program.
Senator Bob Dole is doing a lot of appreciating these days. He just wrapped up the first leg of a thank you tour around his home state of Kansas, meeting with longtime friends and supporters who've helped him with throughout his career. And they did turn out to see the native Kansas son, who served as the Republican Majority Leader in the Senate and ran for president in 1996. It is clear Dole still loves working a room. He loves weighing in on the big issues, and he cannot resist a good one-liner.