William Polk was a voice of caution against U.S. intervention in Iraq. And he is once again urging caution, this time against intervention in Syria. He knows the country; he traveled there for the first time in the 1940s. Polk served in Policy Planning at the State Department under President Kennedy. He also taught for many years, first at Harvard and then at the University of Chicago where he founded the Center for Middle Eastern Studies.
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Secretary of State John Kerry heads to the Middle East this weekend. One key stop on his agenda, the capital of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh. There, Kerry will try to fix a public dispute over Syria, as NPR's Deborah Amos reports.
He was boastful, he was brash and he came to represent a booming Brazil that was finally taking its place as an economic powerhouse on the world stage.
Eike Batista had the cars: a Mercedes McLaren worth a quarter of a million dollars parked in his living room; the boat, called "the Pink Fleet," and the women: He was married to a former Playboy model and a Carnival queen.
The gang rape of a 16-year-old Kenyan schoolgirl â€” and the lack of punishment given to the alleged rapists â€” has sparked outrage in the country and beyond.
The attack was so violent it left the girl in a wheelchair with a severe back injury. She identified some of her attackers, who police apprehended â€” only to let go after they were ordered to cut the lawn at the police station.
Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 6:06 am
More than 47 million Americans who receive food stamps will be getting a bit less starting Friday when a temporary benefit enacted as part of the federal stimulus expires.
The Department of Agriculture, which runs the Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program, or SNAP, as the food stamp program is formally known, says a family of four receiving $668 per month in benefits will see that amount cut by $36. One in 7 Americans receives food stamps.
Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 3:12 pm
The fate of Nazi war criminal Heinrich Mueller, who led Adolf Hitler's Gestapo, has long been a mystery. Now a historian says he has traced Mueller to a Jewish cemetery in Berlin. If confirmed, the discovery would end 68 years of uncertainty about the man who ran the secret police.
Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 2:26 pm
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki last came to the U.S. in 2011 as American troops were pulling out of his country. But with violence again on the rise in Iraq, there's much at stake as he prepares to sit down with President Obama at the White House on Friday.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month in the U.S. is a fanfare of pink paraphernalia. But in developing nations like Uganda, cancer is stigmatized to the point that families often lie about their loved one's cause of death. Host Michel Martin speaks with journalist Joanne Silberner about her award-winning reporting on cancer around the world.
Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 10:53 am
NPR's Ask Me Another put a special Halloween spell during this week's show taping by bringing in an expert in all things scary for the occasion. R.L Stine, the man who sent 90s children running for their flashlights, joined the show this week as a VIP (Very Important Puzzler) for a night of word games, puzzles, trivia and costumes, of course!
No fake blood or irony was lost on the Ask Me Another team's costumes this year - check out the slideshow to see what they came up with.
The city of Boston is still rejoicing this morning. With a decisive 6-1 victory at Fenway Park last night, the Red Sox won the 2013 World Series. The Red Sox jumped on the St. Louis Cardinals early and this one was never much in doubt. NPR's Mike Pesca was at the game and brings us this report on Boston's third World Series win since 2004.
Even as Sebelius testified, we brought two pollsters into our studios: one Republican, one Democrat. Both of these political pros spoke of Obamacare in intensely personal terms. Republican Whit Ayres spoke of someone unhappy at having to pay more for insurance. Democrat Anna Greenberg spoke of her brother getting insurance for the first time. She says the Obama administration has done a poor job selling the law for years.
In a case that caused a major stir last year, a YouTube video surfaced showing Marines in Afghanistan joking and laughing as they urinated on three dead Taliban fighters. The Marines involved in the July 2011 incident in the southern province of Helmand were disciplined.
It seemed the case was over, but now it has taken a strange twist. There are allegations that the Marines' top officer, Gen. James Amos, illegally interfered with the judicial proceedings in an effort to ensure harsher penalties.
There's more than Intel inside Dell's Latitude 6430u laptop â€” some customers have reported a distinct and unpleasant smell emanating from the machines:
"A few weeks ago I got a new [Latitude] 6430u for work," one user called "Three West" complained on Dell's hardware support forum. "The machine is great, but it smells as if it was assembled near a tomcat's litter box. It is truly awful!"
Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 7:19 pm
The U.S. government ran a deficit of $680 billion in the financial year that ended last month â€” the first time since 2008 that the annual shortfall has been under $1 trillion. It represents a fall from $1.09 trillion in 2012, but as the AP reports, "It's still the fifth-largest deficit of all time."
The Treasury Department announced the news along with the White House budget office Wednesday.