Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his government forces aren't the only concern for Syria's rebels. The opposition coalition is struggling with deep and perhaps irreconcilable differences within its own ranks. Diplomats from the U.S., Europe, and Arab states have converged on an opposition meeting in Istanbul in what appears to be a last-ditch attempt to resolve some of those differences. If the effort fails, observers fear it will mean an end to efforts to convene direct talks between the opposition and Assad's government.
Another big piece of President Obama's new national security vision is a rethinking of how the U.S. uses drones. Last night, for the first time since the president laid out new stricter conditions for their use, the U.S. launched a drone attack. It appears to have killed a top military commander in the Pakistani Taliban. NPR's Dina Temple-Raston reports.
In other words, it's time for your letters. And first, some clarifications.
SIEGEL: First, we got a date wrong on Monday. All week we've been remembering people who served during World War II. And in our story about Jake McNiece, we said he died this past February. In fact, he died in January. Our apologies.
A couple waits for a high-speed train in the Chinese city of Qinhuangdao. Modern infrastructure and the expanding private sector have greatly increased efficiency and customer service in many parts of Chinese life.
If Snigdha Nandipati, the 14-year-old who won last year's Scripps National Spelling Bee, had been asked to define her winning word, "guetapens," things might have turned out differently.
This year, a vocabulary test with word definitions is, for the first time in the bee's 86-year history, part of the competition. Preliminary and semifinal contestants must pass the test to get to the finals of the grueling competition.
A few weeks ago, we asked you to take the last minute of Stravinsky's famous music for The Rite of Spring, transform it into something new and post your creations to YouTube. And boy, did you guys deliver, just in time to mark the ballet's 100th anniversary — it premiered May 29, 1913 — in brilliant fashion.
Of the many mysteries of modern physics, few compare to "nonlocality" in quantum physics. Nonlocality means that far away objects can influence one another instantaneously (or, at least, much faster than the speed of light). It is as if space and time didn't exist!
"Influence" may not be the right word here; in fact, we don't have a good word for it given that words are devices we create to express experiences anchored in our sensorial perception of reality.
Tuesday night on The Voice, Adam Levine — who's the lead singer of Maroon 5 when he's not judging reality television — had two of the singers on his team eliminated. To understand this, just know that each of the four judge-coaches (Levine, Shakira, Usher and Blake Shelton) starts out with a team of singers they're mentoring, and as they go through the competition, the coaches get pretty attached to the folks on their team and try to help them win. If one of your singers wins, you're sort of the "winning" coach for that season.
A new Pew study finds that in a record 40 percent of all households with kids under 18, mothers are either the sole or primary source of income. In 1960, that share was just over 10 percent. These breadwinner moms number in the millions, but about three-quarters of all adults say that the prominence of women's economic role makes it harder to raise children. Half say it's made marriage harder to succeed. If you're one of these breadwinner moms, call, tell us what we don't know about the tradeoffs.
It's Wednesday, and time to read from your comments. Last week, we talked LZ Granderson, who opposes a proposal to lower the blood alcohol content limit from .08 to .05.
Josiah Rousch(ph) in Clifton Park, New York, had a different idea. He wrote: Let's increase access to public transportation in areas where people are heavily reliant on driving to bars and other social areas where drinking's involved. Instead of arresting people - especially repeat offenders - let's change behavior in a more pragmatic way.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. The president throws footballs with Chris Christie on the Jersey Shore. Michele Bachmann throws in the towel in Minnesota. And Scott Gomez throws shade at Ed Markey in Massachusetts. It's Wednesday and time for a...
Like most of her work, cartoonist Lynda Barry's class at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, is unorthodox. "No artistic talent required," the course description states. The course is described as a "writing and picture-making class with focus on the basic physical structure of the brain."
One year after Facebook's troubled initial public offering, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced Wednesday that it has "charged Nasdaq with securities laws violations resulting from its poor systems and decision-making ... [and that] Nasdaq has agreed to settle the SEC's charges by paying a $10 million penalty."
A small, child-like creature in a cone hat peers into a toy shop, happy at the sight of a snow globe, in a vignette called "Tininess" in <em>Darkness Outside the Night</em>, a graphic novel illustrated by Xie Peng. Find out what happens in the <a href="http://www.npr.org/books/titles/187048382/darkness-outside-the-night?tab=excerpt#excerpt">excerpt below</a>.
Credit Xie Peng and Duncan Jepson, with permission to reproduce the panels from Tabella Publishing LLP
Xie Peng, a 36-year-old Chinese graphic novelist, spent six years working on his first book, Darkness Outside the Night. It's been praised by China's first Nobel laureate for literature, Mo Yan, as inspiring people on how to deal with life.
Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 1:28 pm
"No Need for a Leader," from Unknown Mortal Orchestra's recent album II, is the song that really drew me into the band's recent concert at Washington, D.C.'s Rock and Roll Hotel, recorded live on Feb. 27. A cocktail of riff-rock and Black Sabbath-style psychedelia, it's a tremendous introduction to the trio, which began as a solo project for frontman Ruban Nielsen.
Kelly Anungazuk, 61, served in the U.S. Army from 1970-73. A disproportionate number of veterans live in rural, sometimes remote parts of the country, like Wales, Alaska. As the veteran population ages, their health care needs increase, but many have not even filed claims with the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Credit David Gilkey / NPR
Howard Lincoln, 82, lives in the village of White Mountain in Alaska — and still has a little shrapnel in his jaw from a mortar shell that nearly killed him in the Korean War 60 years ago. He received a Purple Heart, recently suffered two minor strokes and now "visits" a doctor over a video link, part of a growing trend in the VA.
Credit David Gilkey / NPR
Local veterans representative Sean Komonaseak drives a snowmobile with the VA's Tommy Sowers (back seat) and Sean Foertsch across the ice to the village of Wales, Alaska.
The backlog of veterans waiting to receive benefits is a bureaucratic nightmare — but that's not news. In Alaska, the issues run even deeper: There are veterans who don't even know they're entitled to benefits.
It's not confirmed that he's dead. But if a suspected U.S. drone strike on Wednesday did kill Waliur Rehman, as Pakistani officials say it did, then a top Pakistani Taliban commander with a $5 million price on his head has been taken off the battlefield.
Broadcast TV has seen the writing on the walls at Food Network, Bravo and TLC: competitive food shows can build solid followings (Chopped, Top Chef) and so can shows about baking (Cake Boss, Cupcake Wars). Throw in a format popular in Britain called The Great British Bake-Off, and add the appeal of television that leads with how unpretentious and down-home it is. Soak in a deep dish of Jeff Foxworthy, and you've got CBS's new offering, The American Baking Competition, which premieres Wednesday night.
As some states become friendly to medical marijuana, many users are opting to eat their pot instead of smoking it. And that means marijuana dispensaries are doing heavy business in brownies, cookies, sodas, candy and other treats heavily dosed with THC.
But unlike drugs that come in bottles, these tasty marijuana foods haven't been childproofed. And in Colorado, doctors say that kids who apparently get into their parents and grandparents' stashes are getting sick.