The last remaining villages of the embattled Syrian region, Qusair fell to government forces and fighters from the Lebanese-Shiite militia, Hezbollah, over the weekend. The main concern now is what's happening to the civilians there. The Syrian government has severely limited humanitarian groups, like the Red Cross, from getting in and aiding the people of Qusair.
NPR's Kelly McEvers is monitoring the story from nearby Beirut. She joins us. And, Kelly, what is the situation for civilians in Qusair?
The Guardian newspaper says the insider who blew the whistle on the NSA's probing of major U.S. Internet and telecom companies is a 29-year-old analyst who's been working for the agency under a government contract. His name is Edward Snowden.
You've heard the expression Bright Lights, Big City. For many people, city living can mean long hours at work and play and never enough sleep. Now a new study suggests that cities can have a very similar effect on another group of residents: birds. NPR's Rhitu Chatterjee reports.
RHITU CHATTERJEE, BYLINE: Since the 1930s, scientists have noticed that birds in cities, like robins and starlings, can keep different hours than their relatives in forests. Barbara Helm is a biologist at the University of Glasgow.
Saudi prince and conspicuous billionaire Alwaleed bin Talal is suing the magazine in a London court. In its annual list of the world's wealthiest people, Forbes estimates bin Talal's fortune at $20 billion. But the prince says the magazine publicly short changed him by nearly $10 billion.
Barton Holmes was 16 months old when he had his first seizure. "He was convulsing and his eyes were rolling in the back of his head," his mother, Catherine McEaddy Holmes, says. "His lips were blue. I thought he was dying."
The seizure ended in less than a minute. And by the time an ambulance arrived, Barton was back to his old self. Even so, doctors at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., where the family lives, kept him overnight while they tried, without success, to figure out what had caused the seizure.
If you walked into New York's Morgen's Restaurant in the 1950s, you'd be greeted at the door by a perfectly dressed and powdered blonde who'd smilingly show you to your table and hand over a menu. That hostess, Audrey Elaine Morgen Volk, is at the center of her daughter Patricia Volk's new memoir, Shocked: My Mother, Schiaparelli, And Me. In it, Volk describes how two vivid women helped her move into adulthood: One was the iconoclastic Italian fashion designer Elsa Luisa Maria Schiaparelli; the other was her mother, a loving, difficult and icy stunner.
A 60-year-old wound in Kenya has finally found its recompense.
Last week, the British government finalized an out-of-court settlement with thousands of Kenyans who were tortured in detention camps during the end of the British colonial reign. The historic apology — and the unprecedented settlement — has been years in the making.
"There are times when one's faith is restored in the judicial system here, in Pakistan," writes a gentleman called Sajjid Khan, in an unusually optimistic letter published by one of his nation's leading newspapers The Daily Times.
Pakistanis generally take a bleak view of their system of law and order, which tends to be dysfunctional and corrupt. Khan was inspired to put pen to paper by a criminal case that seems to buck that trend.
The Emerson String Quartet is one of the most acclaimed chamber groups in the world of classical music. Since their founding in 1976, the group has won nine Grammys for its recordings. Now, it has a new album out called Journeys: Tchaikovsky, Schoenberg — and it's the last recording with cellist David Finckel, one of the quartet's longtime members.
Beloved veteran Cicely Tyson has a solid shot at the best actress award at Sunday night's ceremony; her performance in Horton Foote's The Trip to Bountiful has drawn critical praise and audience applause.
Credit Michael Brosilow /
Tracy Letts (left) and Amy Morton (being restrained by Madison Dirks as Carrie Coon looks on) played the perennially sparring partners George and Martha in this season's wildly acclaimed Broadway revival of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Reporter Jeff Lunden says the show is likely to take home one of the top Tony Awards when the annual theater prizes are handed out Sunday night.
Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 12:03 pm
This spring, more than in any recent year, the 2012-2013 Broadway season accelerated toward its conclusion: Nineteen productions opened between the beginning of March and April 25, the cut-off date for Tony eligibility. And many of those shows raised their curtains in the final two weeks of the season.
A two-day summit between President Obama and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, is being described as a "unique, positive and constructive" meeting that reportedly produced broad agreement on handling North Korea and put the thorny issue of cybersecurity at the forefront.
It was hoped the summit, which wrapped up Saturday in California, would be an opportunity for the two men to establish a personal relationship weeks after Xi assumed the presidency in China.
In the past several days, there's been a steady flow of leaks about the National Security Agency and its secret surveillance activities, including the gathering of metadata on domestic and foreign telephone calls and the existence of PRISM, described in media reports as a top-secret data-mining program.
New developments are occurring on a daily basis. Here are a few we're watching right now:
It's that time of year when graduating seniors don their caps and gowns and say so long to memories of the past four (or so) years. Now that those late nights studying for final exams are behind them, some well-rested graduating classes across the country got to hear parting words of wisdom from a few NPR journalists.
You know your favorite voices at NPR have book smarts, but read on to hear their advice about life beyond the mic.
The intelligence leaks brought about the latest round of political sniping this past week. But the controversy has also united two unlikely allies. On Friday, President Obama defended his administration's policies. He said, quote, "Nobody is listening to your telephone calls. That's not what this program is about."
Lindsey Graham, the Republican senator of South Carolina, found himself in the unusual position of agreeing with the White House. Here he is on Fox News.
For more on the political repercussions of all of this, we are joined now by NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson. Good morning, Mara. Mara.
MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Hi, Rachel.
MARTIN: So, we heard the director of National Intelligence last night in a statement, say that - and I'm reading here: The surveillance activities published in the Guardian and the Washington Post are lawful and conducted under authorities widely known and discussed, and fully debated and authorized by Congress.
Turkey's protests come at a sensitive moment for the country's economy, long considered a regional bright spot.
If there is a jewel in the crown of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's decade in power, it's the enviable record of growth that has tripled the average Turk's per capita income and brought in a flood of foreign investment.