In Syria, the battle for Qusair is over with the government saying it is in full control of that strategic town, which has been in rebel hands for two years. Qusair sits along a key supply route in and out of Lebanon. And one Syrian general, a government general, told Lebanon's Mayadeen TV that whoever controls Qusair controls the country.
NPR's Kelly McEvers is in Beirut. She joins us now for an update. Good morning.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:
And I'm Linda Wertheimer.
Today will be a dramatic one at the Lewis-McChord military base in Washington state. That is where Sergeant Robert Bales will stand before an Army judge and confess to killing 16 Afghan villagers in a late-night rampage last year. His confession is part of a plea deal that could save Bales from the death penalty.
Sectarian violence has flared in Iraq a year and a half after the departure of American forces. The U.N. reported that more than 1,000 people were killed there in May, the deadliest violence since the height of the insurgency during the U.S. occupation. For more on what's causing the chaos, Linda Wertheimer talks with Joost Hiltermann, an Iraq expert with the International Crisis Group.
Renee Montagne talks to Jon Wertheim of Sports Illustrated about the second week of the French Open tennis tournament. In quarterfinal action Tuesday, Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeated veteran champ Roger Federer in straight sets.
The Obama administration is expressing deep concern about guilty verdicts in Egypt against 43 people who were working on democracy programs in the country. Sixteen of them are Americans, though most left Egypt when the charges were brought against them. NPR's Michele Kelemen reports that issue is one of many complicating Washington's relations with Cairo.
MICHELE KELEMEN, BYLINE: Charles Dunne wasn't even in Egypt when he first heard about the charges against him and he never received anything official from the court.
With Spain's economy in shreds, the country is doing a lot of finger-pointing about who was at fault and where all the money has gone. The latest suspects: the Spanish royal family.
The reputation of the current Spanish king, Juan Carlos, was seemingly cemented one day 32 years ago when armed civil guard officers stormed the Spanish Parliament, holding lawmakers hostage in an attempted coup.
The king went on live TV, denouncing the officers.
"The crown cannot tolerate any action that interrupts the strength of the democratic process," he said.
NPR's Uri Berliner is taking $5,000 of his own savings and putting it to work. Though he's no financial whiz or guru, he's exploring different types of investments — alternatives that may fare better than staying in a savings account that's not keeping up with inflation.
When my old pal the Sports Curmudgeon had some mildly churlish things to say about golf a few weeks ago, both he and I were upbraided by loyal linksters. As one snapped at me, "You don't know anything about golf."
Faced with reports of a "black spot" that interfered with the mobile network in several neighborhoods, technicians at Australian cellphone provider Telstra say they recently found the source of the problem: a man's beer fridge in his garage. The refrigerator was tracked by "software robots" and workers wielding special antennas.
Forms of tuberculosis are emerging that are costly, difficult and at times, nearly impossible to treat. This new, worldwide threat is called multidrug-resistant TB, and it occurs when the bacteria no longer respond to the most common TB medications. Doctors have to turn, instead, to older, less effective drugs that can have devastating side effects such as hearing loss, blindness, aches and severe depression.
The civil war in Syria is attracting fighters from all over, increasing sectarian tensions in other Muslim countries, threatening the region's tenuous stability, bringing the threat of Russian missiles, and leaving the U.S with few good options.
More than 80,000 people have been killed so far in Syria's civil war, and 4 million of Syria's 20 million people have been displaced. Robert Malley, the program director for Middle East and North Africa for the International Crisis Group, calls it "one of the most catastrophic humanitarian disasters we're facing."
On this week's This American Life, we took a close look at a patent lawsuit involving the online backup company Carbonite. Carbonite was sued for patent infringement by a shell company called Oasis Research. According to Carbonite, Oasis was seeking $20 million in damages.
America has a problem. It's an existential problem, a big one that threatens our collective future. Our problem is the failing bond between science and the American people. Luckily for us all, it's a problem that can be solved. The solution? A big party! Well, that's not the solution, but celebrating science is one way to renew our community's bond with society.
If you want to eat like a queen, maybe it's time to break out the cold chicken, curry and cream sauce.
Queen Elizabeth II celebrated the 60th anniversary of her coronation in a ceremony Tuesday at Westminster Abbey. But the event also marks the anniversary of a dish as resilient as the British monarch herself: Coronation Chicken.
Trying to placate protesters, Turkey's deputy prime minister issued an apology today.
"The use of excessive force shown against the people who initially started this protest with the motive of protecting the environment was wrong," Bulent Arinc said in a press conference. "And it was unfair. So I apologize to those citizens."
Life was already grim in the Gaza Strip when fighting raged between Israel and Hamas last November. Then Khulud Badawi got unexpected bad news about her husband.
"I was at home when my son came in and said, 'Mom, they killed Dad.' I said, 'Who?' He said, 'Hamas.' I asked him, 'Where?' He said, 'Next to the gas station,'" she recalls.
Badawi's husband, Ribhi Badawi, was in prison in Gaza City. He was supposed to go to court that day for a final appeal of charges that he had collaborated with Israel against Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip.
Perhaps it was inevitable. Given the huge popularity of the six-story, yellow rubber ducky that's been bobbing around in Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour, companies in a number of mainland Chinese cities have decided to copy it.
New ducks have popped up in the central city of Wuhan, the ancient city of Xi'an, the northern port city of Tianjin and Hengdian, a town in Zhejiang province that is home to a massive movie studio.