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President Obama has promised limited military action against Syria. He says missile strikes are not about regime change and there will be no boots on the ground. But even as the Congress debates the president's plans for action, the White House is looking at broader options.
NPR's Tom Bowman reports the president may call on the U.S. military to help build up the Syrian opposition.
Let's take a journey in the other direction - across the Pacific to Hawaii, where 15 percent of the energy comes from renewable sources. That's an impressive number. But the rest comes mostly from pricey oil imports. Several energy alternatives are being explored. A top contender is natural gas. But some worry that effort could derail the state's green energy momentum.
MONTAGNE: British Airways has announced a new non-stop service five days a week between London and Austin, Texas. The move comes as something of a surprise, considering the airline already serves Dallas and Houston.
Organ transplants have become a viable option for a growing number of patients. That has brought increased attention to legal, medical and ethical questions about who should be first in line for organs. Undocumented immigrants and others say they are left off waiting list due to lack of funds and inability to access government health care programs.
Francois Hollande, the president of France, says his country will join in any U.S.-led strikes in Syria. The French parliament is set to take up that issue today. Unlike Britain, which ruled out military action, and the U.S. Congress where President Obama still has to win the votes, it seems like parliament probably should provide very little trouble for Hollande. His party dominates there.
So let's go to NPR's Eleanor Beardsley. She's in Paris, and she's following this story. Hi, Eleanor.
Israel and the U.S. conducted a defense missile test over the Mediterranean Sea yesterday, not - the Pentagon quickly said - related to a possible U.S. strike on Syria.
Still, the joint test raised questions about American-Israeli coordination on Syria, and how Israel security factors into the administration's plans. Of course, Israel's biggest worry, by far, involves another country in the region, Iran, and the possibility it will get a nuclear bomb.
Senators Rand Paul of Kentucky and John McCain of Arizona approach the question of military strikes on Syria from opposite wings of the Republican Party. Paul from the isolationist wing and McCain from the traditional, more hawkish wing. Their disagreement played out in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday, and serves as a preview for the far more consequential version of this debate among House Republicans.
If you're on Medicare and you're in the hospital for a few days, you may think you're an inpatient. The hospital may have other ideas. Increasingly, hospitals are placing older patients on "observation status." They may be there for days, but technically they're still outpatients.
This is a big deal for someone on Medicare because follow-up treatment in a nursing home isn't covered unless someone has been an inpatient for at least three days. That's leaving some seniors on the hook for thousands of dollars in nursing home bills.
For centuries, biographers have relied on letters to bring historical figures to life, whether Gandhi or Catherine the Great. But as people switch from writing on paper to documenting their lives electronically, biographers are encountering new benefits — and new challenges.
"It's a jungle if you're an eagle right now on the Chesapeake Bay," says Bryan Watts, a conservation biologist at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va. "You have to watch your back."
Americans have long imagined their national symbol as a solitary, noble bird soaring on majestic wings. The birds are indeed gorgeous and still soar, but the notion that they are loners is outdated, Watts and other conservationists are finding.
Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 7:38 pm
OK, people, I do not love corn on the cob. Yes, I know this tags me as vaguely un-American. And yes I know the summertime staple is a beloved culinary icon. And I'm also aware that corn on the cob fans often rhapsodize over the pairing of fresh, sweet corn and melted butter.
But when I'm offered an ear, I politely decline. That's the point at which family and friends look at me as if I'm slightly daft. "What? You don't want any?" No, sorry. Just pass me the potato salad, please.
Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 7:30 pm
With Republican House leaders lining up behind President Obama's planned U.S. military strike on Syria, the chances for congressional authorization seemed higher on Tuesday than they did over the weekend.
Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 6:11 pm
It's been a long time since the people who lived in rural Xuanping saw their little town, which was flooded by a powerful earthquake in 2008. But thanks to a steep drop in water levels, parts of their village in China's Sichuan Province are visible again, from homes and businesses to its school.
The village's ghostly return began in July, when water levels fell from 712 meters to 703 meters above sea level — a difference of nearly 30 feet, as news site China Daily Asia reported.
Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 9:36 am
Submissions are in, and now it's time to choose a winner. We're in the last week of NPR & Threadless t-shirt design challenge, which means we need your help rating the designs. Between now and Monday, Sept. 9, head over to the Threadless site and use the five-point scale ("UGH." to "$!!!") to let us know what you think of each shirt.
Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 3:44 pm
The revered Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki, 72, announced this weekend at the Venice Film Festival that he's retiring from making full-length feature films. (He previously went into "semi-retirement" after directing Princess Mononoke in 1997.)