Repeated American attempts to work with Russia on Syria have foundered on a fundamental difference. Vladimir Putin insists on a deal that includes Bashar al-Assad as part of Syria's future. So the civil war grinds on and the situation of civilians there grows ever more dire. So why? Arms exports? Access to the port of Tartus? Standing up for old allies?
The chief of Amnesty International Russia, Sergei Nikitin, at his Moscow office on March 25, after Russian prosecutors and tax police carried out a search. The group is one of many that have been searched under a new law that critics say is being used to stifle dissent.
Credit Ivan Sekretarev / AP
Prosecutors searched for documents related to the activities of the human rights group Memorial in Moscow on March 21.
Russian investigators have descended on the offices of nongovernmental organizations across the country, demanding to inspect financial records and other documents.
This follows the recent passage of a law designed to impose tighter controls over these NGOs, especially those that receive funding from abroad. Critics say it's part of a broader crackdown on dissent since Vladimir Putin regained the presidency last year.
The offices of the human rights group Memorial are still abuzz after a team of government inspectors paid an unannounced visit
Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 1:41 pm
The largest gene-probing study ever done has fished out dozens of new genetic markers that flag a person's susceptibility to breast, ovarian and prostate cancer.
The 74 newly discovered genetic variants double the previously known number for these malignancies, all of which are driven by sex hormones.
Underscoring the sheer magnitude of the findings, they're contained in 15 scientific papers published simultaneously by five different journals. The Nature group of journals has collected them all here.
Female muses have been glorified in art both old ("O lady myn, that called art Cleo," wrote Chaucer) and new ("Wake up to your girl, for now let's call her Cleopatra," sang Frank Ocean). Guest musician Julian Velard takes popular songs that have a women's name in the title, and substitutes a man's name in its place. Can you name the original lady? After, Velard pays tribute to a famous chanteuse with a cover of "Teenage Dream" by Katy Perry.
All right, ready or not, we have our next two contestants. We have Liz Kash Stroppel and Barri Trott settling behind their puzzle podiums. Welcome to both of you. Liz, do you have a favorite cartoon character?
LIZ KASH STROPPEL: Let's see, I think Jessica Rabbit.
EISENBERG: Jessica Rabbit, that's a good one, yes.
EISENBERG: How about you, Barri?
BARRI TROTT: I think Wallace and Gromit, it I can do two.
EISENBERG: Sure, Wallace and Gromit. I know, delightful.
Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 2:44 pm
The Moscow offices of Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and several other NGOs have been searched in recent weeks by Russian prosecutors and tax inspectors, prompting concern over what is being viewed by some as a "concerted action" against the groups.
Rachel Denber of Human Rights Watch was quoted Wednesday by The Associated Press as saying that officials from the prosecutor general's office and tax police were conducting an "unannounced audit" and demanding documents.
Taiye Selasi brings the African immigrant experience to readers in her debut novel, Ghana Must Go.
The novel begins with the Sai children preparing to travel from the United States to Ghana for the funeral of the family patriarch, Kweku Sai. Before they leave, Selasi gives readers a glimpse into the events that unfolded while they were growing up in the Boston suburb of Brookline, Mass.
The brand new video for Phosphorescent's "Song For Zula," from the band's sixth album, Muchacho, forgoes a literal illustration of song's heartbroken story for something more allegorical. In a single slow-motion tracking shot, the camera approaches a distant figure dressed in rags, bashing at chains that hold her to the ground.
Southern California natives Cold War Kids return with a purpose on Dear Miss Lonelyhearts, their fourth album. During a intimate show for KCRW, they played several new tracks off the album, which explores their relationship with the city they call home, as is evident on the single "Miracle Mile."
Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 7:50 pm
There's nothing like encouragement to help you succeed. Or maybe you can just create it for yourself. Baylor's Brittney Griner had both Tuesday night as her top-seeded team blew past Florida State 85-47. She had a double double: 33 points and 22 rebounds, as Encourager-In-Chief and former President George W. Bush looked on with former first lady Laura Bush in Waco, Texas. But that wasn't all.
Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 1:27 pm
North Korea cut a hotline with South Korea on on Wednesday and told the United Nations that conditions were ripe for a "simmering nuclear war" on the peninsula.
"Upon authorization of the Foreign Ministry, the DPRK [North Korea] openly informs the U.N. Security Council that the Korean Peninsula now has the conditions for a simmering nuclear war," a statement read. "This is because of [provocative] moves by the U.S. and South Korean puppets."