This month, NASA revealed new details of the plan to send humans to Mars by 2030. It's an elaborate and expensive mission, involving a giant deep-space rocket, and roping an asteroid into the moon's orbit to use as a stepping stone to Mars.
But there are still some serious questions about a manned expedition to Mars. Namely, is it safe? That's where astronauts Scott and Mark Kelly come in. The Kelly brothers are identical twins, and the only siblings ever to both fly in space.
Nearly 90 percent of Syria's chemical weapons have been removed from the country for destruction. At the same time, there are unconfirmed reports of chlorine bomb attacks by the Syrian government. NPR's Eric Westervelt talks to chemical weapons expert Amy Smithson.
Sam Dagher of the Wall Street Journal, reporting from the front lines of the war in Syria, talks to NPR's Eric Westervelt about his recent trip to Aleppo. Once a showcase of the country's diversity and culture, today it represents the ghastly, grinding stalemate of Syria's civil war.
There is a grim mood of outrage in Nigeria. In the faraway, northeastern town of Chibok, more than 200 girls were kidnapped from their boarding school dorms in the dead of night nearly two weeks ago.
Chibok is a mixed Christian and Muslim community in predominately Muslim northern Nigeria. The attackers are suspected Islamist extremists. Under pressure, the Nigerian government is vowing to rescue the missing students, but the military is being blamed for failing to free the teens and crush an increasingly deadly insurgency.
Saying the Seattle Seahawks kept San Francisco 49ers fans from being able to pull for their team in January's NFC title game, a 49ers fan is suing the NFL, claiming the practice of limiting ticket sales to pro-Seahawks markets amounts to "economic discrimination." He is seeking $50 million in damages.
As hosts of the playoff game, the Seahawks limited credit-card sales of tickets to accounts with billing addresses in a list of nearby states. California wasn't on that list, which included parts of Canada and Hawaii. As a resident of Nevada, John E. Williams III was shut out.
By the time the Nazis got around to taking Hungary in 1944, the country was already fatally compromised by its economic alliance with Fascist Germany and Italy on the one hand, and a shaky pact with Stalin on the other. Imagining that its loyalty to a protective leader, Regent Horthy, would save them from the fate suffered by other European Jews, Hungary's highly assimilated Jewish community fell prey (along with the Regent himself) to the extreme right-wing Arrow Cross party.
One of the eight military observers who were arrested by pro-Russian separatists has been freed, reportedly for medical reasons. The observers were detained Friday after separatists accused them of being NATO spies.
As you might have gathered from our blog's title, the Code Switch team is kind of obsessed with the ways we speak to each other. Each week in "Word Watch," we'll dig into language that tells us something about the way race is lived in America today. (Interested in contributing? Holler at this form.)
Originally published on Sun April 27, 2014 11:45 am
President Jacob Zuma led Freedom Day celebrations in Pretoria Sunday, as South Africa marked the 20th anniversary of democratic rule. The nation held its first general elections in 1994, when voters sent Nelson Mandela to the presidency with a resounding win that helped the country distance itself from the scourge of apartheid.
Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.
Iraq is suffering the worst spate of violence 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 will go to the polls in the first parliamentary election since the U.S. pulled combat troops out in 2011.
Originally published on Sun April 27, 2014 11:55 am
More American military troops and assets could soon be placed in the Philippines, in a new deal that seems aimed at counterbalancing China's growing influence. The deal is expected to be formalized Monday, as President Obama arrives in Manila on his trip to Asia.
For NPR's Newscast unit, Simone Orendain filed this report from Manila:
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.
Eliza Griswold has reported from Afghanistan for more than a decade, writing news features for the New York Times magazine and other publications. She thought she had a pretty good grip on the country's politics and culture, but it wasn't until she started exploring Afghan women's poetry that she discovered a different side of women's lives there. What she found was a complex world of rage, empowerment, sorrow and sex.
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.