Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 5:17 am
The teachers are protesting education changes that would institute evaluations and reduce the power of unions in hiring educators. It's common practice for teachers in Mexico to buy and sell tenured positions. The protests in Mexico City have caused traffic mayhem, and at one point blocked access to the international airport.
Syria shares a border with Israel and the two countries have never signed a peace agreement after fighting a war 40 years ago. Still, their border has been stable and the Israeli view of U.S. military action against Syria is complicated and centered largely on another regional player, Iran. To learn more, we turn to NPR's Emily Harris in Jerusalem. Good morning.
EMILY HARRIS, BYLINE: Good morning, Renee.
MONTAGNE: So does there seem to be any consensus in Israel about what it would like to see the U.S. do?
Secretary of State Kerry has pronounced an all-but-final U.S. verdict against the Syrian government for suspected use of chemical weapons in an "indiscriminate slaughter" of civilians. U.S. warships are within missile range, and U.S. envoys are talking to allies to see what kind of action they might support. David Greene talks to Frederic Hof, who was a special State Department adviser on Syria for the Obama administration. He is now a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council.
Marine biologist Stefano Piraino thinks overfishing is one of the reasons jellyfish populations are growing. He said if you take fish out of the oceans, it leaves more food for jellyfish. The jellyfish here are known as Pelagia noctiluca, the mauve stinger.
Credit Courtesy of Stefano Piraino / MED-JELLYRISK
The number of people stung by jellyfish on Mediterranean beaches, like those of the island of Ibiza in Spain, is rising. Along some stretches of Spain's coast, scientists have spotted huge, mile-long blooms of jellyfish, sometimes with 30 to 40 animals per square yard of sea.
Blue turquoise waves lap at white sand on the Spanish island of Formentera in the Mediterranean Sea. Sweaty tourists from all over Europe cram the beach. But on this particular afternoon, no one dares take a cool dip in the water.
The reason? It's what Spaniards call "medusas" — named after the monster from Greek mythology, with a woman's face and venomous snakes for hair. In English, they're called jellyfish.
Gabrielle Amand's son was a recent victim of one. He's wrapped in a towel, sitting under an umbrella on the shore.
Tortellini — small circles of rolled dough folded around a filling — are one of the most renowned members of the Italian pasta family. In the land of their birth, the region near the Italian city of Bologna, they're strictly served as broth-like dumplings.
Possibly no foodstuff in Italian cuisine is surrounded by so much history and lore.
In a case closely watched by the intelligence community and the media, the Justice Department urged a federal appeals court on Monday to leave in place a court ruling that gives reporters little protection from testifying against their sources in criminal prosecutions.
Originally published on Mon August 26, 2013 6:25 pm
The present Syrian crisis ranks among the most vexing moments of President Obama's presidency.
The recent heart-rending images of Syrian civilians, many of them young children apparently killed by chemical weapons used by the government of Bashar Assad, have raised the volume on calls for the president to act.
But while there's a clarity to the outrage itself, for Obama things quickly get murky.
Fifty years ago this week, when hundreds of thousands of demonstrators came from across the country to take part in the 1963 March on Washington, the city was not yet the cosmopolitan capital that it arguably is today.
But it was a mecca for African-Americans, says historian Marya McQuirter.
"Washington was definitely a different city 50 years ago," she says, "for a number of reasons. By 1957, it had become the largest majority black city in the country."
Last week, we decided to start a roundtable about the collisions of race and gender in digital spaces like Twitter and the blogosphere. The conversation was sparked by the snarky-yet-serious Twitter hashtag #solidarityisforwhitewomen, which became a trending topic. Hundreds of people tweeted about their frustrations with influential feminist bloggers and organizations that they felt had pushed women of color to the margins in their conversations.
Jan Scannell, former accountant, has taken on a new identity as "Jan Braai," a South African TV show host and media personality promoting the idea of National Braai (barbecuing) Day, celebrated each year on Sept. 24.
Credit Courtesy of Stephanus Rabie
For Jan Scannell, the classic South African boerewors is an emblem of national unity. Spices (nutmeg, clove, coriander) brought by former slaves from the East, sausage-making skills imported by settlers from the West, cooked in the classic African style: Over an open flame.
Nelson Mandela is officially "improving," though still in critical condition at a South African hospital. His long battle with a lung infection has South Africans anxiously contemplating their "post-Mandela" future in a still racially divided country. In a unique strategy, one man is hoping to help heal those divisions with a pair of barbecue tongs.
Jan Scannell is a 32-year-old former accountant with a dream: To establish a national holiday in South Africa like July 4 called Braai Day.
In May, the Housing and Urban Development agency closed for a day, as employees were placed on furlough. The HUD and other agencies were reportedly forced to take a fraction of the furlough days that had been threatened earlier in 2013.
Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 9:36 am
The threat of furloughs loomed large early in 2013, when mandatory budget cuts seemed certain to force federal workers to skip anywhere from 10 to 22 days of work without pay this year. A new tally by Federal News Radio shows that many agencies have taken fewer than half the days they had predicted.
And we wrap up this week's All Tech Considered with a story out of Finland.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
This past weekend, 80 people from six countries competed in the annual Mobile Phone Throwing World Championships. The Finns shut out the competition, winning first, second and third place overall.
SIEGEL: The top tosser threw his handheld device an impressive 320 feet. The top woman on the field was a 31-year-old Swede - Asa Lundgren. Her distance: 132 feet. She's a newcomer to the sport but threw javelin in her youth.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block.
Mexican officials say they've identified five more bodies found in a mass grave outside the capital. The dead were among a group of 12 young people kidnapped from a night club three months ago. As NPR's Carrie Kahn reports, the case has rocked Mexico City, once considered an oasis from the country's brutal drug war.
And we turn now to NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman for more on what the Obama administration might do in Syria. And, Tom, as we just heard in Michele's report, Secretary Kerry made the case today that Syria's government did use chemical weapons last week against its own people. Did he provide any evidence?