The White House will begin sending direct military aid to the Syrian opposition after concluding that the Syrian government has been using chemical weapons against rebel forces. For the past two years, President Obama has taken a cautious approach to the conflict and has been reluctant to intervene.
After determining that the Syrian government has crossed a red line by using chemical weapons, the White House has agreed to start sending military aid to the rebels. Some analysts think it may be too late to tip the balance in Syria, where Assad's forces backed by Hezbollah, Iran and Russia have been gaining ground.
The voting is over in Iran's presidential election to choose a successor to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The vote comes amid controversy over Iran's nuclear program, ever-tightening sanctions led by the U.S. and economic trouble. This is the first presidential election since 2009, when the disputed result sparked months of protest, followed by intense repression.
Selective leaks from Congressional staff interviews with IRS employees in Cincinnati have been dribbling out for weeks. The workers are at the center of questions regarding the use of "Tea Party" and "Patriot" labels for flagging tax exemptions applications for additional scrutiny.
The growing problem of sexual assaults in the U.S. military has led to arguments in Congress, where lawmakers disagree over how to confront the issue. Top military officers have also weighed in on the topic. But in Australia, where the military has its own sexual assault problem, the army chief has a simple solution: "Show moral courage and take a stand."
The violin and viola that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart played himself are in the United States for the first time ever. The instruments come out of storage only about once a year at the Salzburg Mozarteum in Austria. The rest of the time, they're kept under serious lockup.
Horrific and uplifting, the excellent documentary Call Me Kuchu is partly framed as a portrait of David Kato, Uganda's first openly gay man. An activist of enormous courage and persistence â against odds that make the U.S. fight for marriage equality seem like a cakewalk â Kato was a savvy political strategist, with wit, charm and joie de vivre to burn. And he loved a good party, with his friends in drag where possible. But he was terrified of sleeping alone on his farm.
Cynthia Sayer is widely regarded as one of the best banjoists in the world, able to perform in virtually any genre. Her accolades include the National Banjo Hall of Fame, a New York Philharmonic appearance and performances for two U.S. presidents. Sayer has played with Woody Allen's jazz band for more than a decade, and on this episode of Piano Jazz With Jon Weber, she whips up a fresh take on an old-time sound. Her latest album is titled Joyride.
Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 5:45 pm
In the spring of 2012, Scottish singer-songwriter KT Tunstall traveled to Tucson, Ariz., to work on her sixth album, Invisible Empire // Crescent Moon. But before she could return to finish the record, a lot happened in her personal life: The death of her father, as well as the dissolution of her marriage to drummer Luke Bullen, left Tunstall in a standstill.
Miguelo Rada doesn't seem like the kind of guy who'd have extra cash. He just spent 32 years in prison, he lives in a halfway house in West Harlem, and his current income comes only from public assistance.
He uses food stamps for food, wears hand-me-down clothes and buys almost nothing. He is also an unofficial bank.
"If somebody asks me, 'Can I borrow $20?' If I have it I'll say, 'Here!' " he says.
This kind of borrowing is one way people do what economists call "consumption smoothing" â basically making spending more regular, even when income is not.
This weekend the American Medical Association will kick off its annual exercise in medical democracy.
The group's House of Delegates will meet in Chicago to vote on resolutions that range from a demand that private insurers pay doctors at least as much as Medicare does to a call for federal legislation affirming the right of doctors to talk about gun safety with patients.
Who, or what, is conscious? How can we decide? Where in nature do we find consciousness? This can seem like the hardest problem in this whole field: the question of the consciousness of others. I am aware. So are you. We think, we feel, the world shows up for us. But what about an ant, or a snail, or a paramecium? What about a well-engineered robot? Could it be conscious? Is there a way of telling, for sure?
Lots of passionate people are taking up farming these days, motivated by frustration with industrial farming, concerns about the environment, and a desire to build community and local food markets. Some of these new farmers have joined the Grange, a long-established fraternal organization for farmers with roots in social activism.
In Oregon, Granges dominated by this new generation have banded together in a coalition dubbed "Green Granges," which work together to advance the issues they care about.
"The United Nations, and in particular I, have been making it consistently clear that providing arms to either side would not address this current situation," Ban told reporters during a briefing. "There is no such military solution."
One word sums up my reaction to Joss Whedon's film of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing: Huzzah!
Here is the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer â and the director of The Avengers â working with American TV actors who have little or no training in verse-speaking. Who could have predicted such a team would produce the best of all filmed Shakespeare comedies?