Not every Syrian American can go to the lengths that Abu Ahmed did, but here in the United States, they are watching the conflict closely. Muna Jondy was born in this country, but her father's family is from Daraa where the first protest back in 2011 began. She's an immigration lawyer in Flint, Michigan and president of a group called United for a Free Syria. She joins us from Michigan Radio in Ann Arbor. Thanks for being with us.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. A court in Egypt today upheld the death sentences of 21 soccer fans from Port Said for murder during a bloody soccer riot that occurred there last year. And the court's decision apparently enraged the city.
For nearly two years, Syrians living in the United States have watched their home country fall apart. Now in a moment, we'll hear the story of one Syrian-American who's watched the conflict from her home in Michigan, but who hasn't escaped tragedy. First, we bring you an encore broadcast of a report from NPR's Kelly McEvers.
She told us the story of one man who used his vacation time to travel from California back to Syria. His plan: to help the rebels bring down the government.
Host Scott Simon talks with reporter and author John Thavis about the divisions among cardinals voting at the conclave to select a new pope for the Catholic Church. Thavis is the author of The Vatican Diaries.
Venezuela's late president, Hugo Chavez, was a tremendous supporter of Latin American countries, especially those sympathetic to his socialist ideals.
The country's vast oil reserves are a key source of economic aid, but the Chavez didn't just help out his ideological peers like Cuba and Nicaragua. He was also a great benefactor to key U.S. allies in the Caribbean — many of whom now worry whether their vital oil lifeline is about to be shut off.
An Egyptian farmer drinks tea near his home on Qursaya island, in the Nile River, next to Cairo, in January. The Egyptian military says it is the registered owner of the island's land, a claim disputed by the farmers and fishermen who live there.
Credit Amr Abdallah Dalsh / Reuters /Landov
The 70 acres of Qursaya island are largely agricultural. Residents are now fighting the government, which has sold the land to an investor for a tourism project.
It's not easy to get to Qursaya island, a tiny bit of land in the middle of the Nile River in Cairo, Egypt's capital. You have to take a boat from the riverbank. There are no cars on the island, and it's only had running water for a few years.
It's a quiet 70-acre patch of agricultural land amid a megacity, where mooing cows provide the soundtrack, and farmers and fishermen have lived for generations.
But not all is as bucolic as it seems: The island is at the heart of a yearslong legal battle between those farmers and the government.
Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 8:18 am
When it comes to talking a big game, no one does it better than the North Koreans.
Just this week, Pyongyang vowed to turn Seoul, the capital of archrival South Korea, into a "sea of fire," promised to launch a "pre-emptive strike on the headquarters of the aggressors" (read: the United States) and called on its army to "annihilate the enemy."
A bomb exploded near the Defense Ministry in Kabul on Saturday morning as U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was visiting in Afghanistan. The Taliban claimed responsibility, calling it a message to the new Pentagon chief.
Update At 10:49 a.m. ET: Hagel Not Surprised
Hagel was nowhere near the attack, but the AP reports he heard the blast:
Coming up, it's Lightning Fill in the Blank, but first it's the game where you have to listen for the rhyme. If you'd like to play on air, call or leave a message at 1-888-Wait-Wait, that's 1-888-924-8924. You can click the contact us link on our website waitwait.npr.org.
There you can find out about attending our weekly live shows here at the Chase Bank Auditorium in Chicago and our shows in Rockford, Illinois at the beautiful Coronado Theater there on April 4th. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!
We want to remind everybody about the upcoming WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME! cinema event, happening on May 2nd. You could witness the magic of WAIT WAIT live in a movie theater near you. Finally, an opportunity to enjoy this same radio show among a crowd of strangers, while paying $8 for a box of Milk Duds.
SAGAL: Right now, panel, time for you to answer some questions about this week's news. Paula, in some alarming news, al Qaeda is now drawing inspiration for their attacks from what?
Now, onto our final game, Lightning Fill in the Blank. Each of our players will have 60 seconds in which to answer as many fill in the blank questions as he or she can. Each correct answer is now worth two points. Bill, can you give us the scores?
BILL KURTIS: It's even score; each has three points.
BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ-Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!, the NPR News quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis, filling in for Carl Kasell. We're playing this week with Firoozeh Dumas, Paula Poundstone and Roy Blount, Jr. And here again is your host, the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.
Arne Duncan is President Obama's secretary of education, and if, while he's on this show, a disaster befalls the president, the vice president, the speaker of the House and every other member of the Cabinet except Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security, he would be president.
We've invited Duncan to play a game called "Now, don't be fresh ... I just take dictation!" Three questions for the secretary of education about the education of secretaries.
Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 12:12 pm
Noma, the Danish eatery that has won fans with its innovative approach to Nordic cuisine, and won Restaurantmagazine's "World's Best Restaurant" title the past three years, is getting some unwelcome press, after dozens of people who ate at the Copenhagen restaurant fell sick.
A French mother was in court Wednesday for what she says was a simple birthday celebration but what the government alleges is a clear provocation, an allusion to terrorism.
The BBC reports that Bouchra Bagour, 35, has been charged with "glorifying crime" after she sent her three-year-old son — named Jihad — to school wearing a T-shirt that read "I am a bomb" and "Born on 11 September."