This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. The struggle for Syria continued this past week. Since the conflict has now moved beyond the two-year mark, hopes for a political solution have ebbed and flowed with no clear end in sight while tens of thousands of people have died. This week, the violence continued even on the campus of the main University of Damascus when a mortar attack killed at least 10 students at an outdoor cafe.
In recent months, there have been bipartisan calls for more transparency in the Obama administration's drone program. Host Rachel Martin talks with Gregory McNeal, a professor of national security law at Pepperdine University's School of Law, about proposals to bring more openness and accountability. One idea is the creation of a "drone court" that would review decisions to target and kill suspected militants.
New York City has nearly 11,000 pay phones, and a new campaign is trying to turn about 5,000 of them into time capsules. Host Rachel Martin talks with David Droga, creative chairman of ad agency Droga5, about the "Recalling 1993" campaign.
Phil Ramone was a violin prodigy; he played for Queen Elizabeth when he was 10. As a fledgling recording engineer, he manned the booth for "Alice's Restaurant." And as a producer, he recorded hits for Frank Sinatra, Billy Joel and Paul Simon. As NPR's Sami Yenigun reports, Ramone died Saturday at the age of 79.
Rachel Kushner's new novel, The Flamethrowers, begins with a crash. A young woman named Reno is trying to set a record on her motorcycle at a racetrack at the Bonneville Salt Flats. She wants to photograph the tracks she leaves in the sand, as an art project. But her crash takes Reno in a different direction. Her artistic ambition thrusts her in the middle of New York's chaotic art scene in the 1970s, and eventually, Reno finds herself embroiled in a radical political movement in Italy.
The American Society of Clinical Oncology is launching a project to collect data on the care of hundreds of thousands of cancer patients for use in the treatment of other patients. Host Rachel Martin talks with Dr. Sandra Swain, president of the group, about CancerLinQ.
Abdulghani Sankari is a doctor who grew up in Syria. He's been living and working in Detroit now for the past 13 years. But this past January, Dr. Sankari visited his homeland and he found that the country's entire health care system has essentially been destroyed. Sankari and a team from the Syrian American Medical Society visited hospitals on the Syrian border, in Turkey and Jordan, to bring medical aid to those caught up in the war. The team also managed to get inside northwest Syria. Dr. Sankari described what he saw there.
It is hard to imagine that after three years of acrimony and debate we could still be so confused about President Obama's Affordable Care Act.
Is it actually possible Americans know less about Obamacare now than they did three years ago? Apparently that is the case, and the news comes just as the most sweeping effects of the law are about to kick in.
Music producer Phil Ramone, who worked on albums by Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto, has died at the age of 72. Weekends on All Things Considered guest host Laura Sullivan looks back at some of the huge records that benefitted from his magic touch.
North Korea has officially declared itself in a state of war with both the United States and with it's South Korean neighbors. Weekends on All Things Considered guest host Laura Sullivan speaks with James Fallows, national correspondent with The Atlantic, about that story and others from the past week.
The uneasy confluence of sports and politics is featured in a new book by The Nation's Dave Zirin, called Game Over: How Politics Has Turned the Sports World Upside Down.
During the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War, athletes routinely made their political views known. In some cases, that isolated them from sports fans. In other cases, their influence led to real change. But in recent decades, those voices fell silent. Some say the siren's call of endorsement deals made them gun-shy about speaking their minds.
Same-sex couples in the military will be watching closely now that the U.S. Supreme Court is considering the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act. Anxiously awaiting a decision are Army lieutenant colonel Heather Mack and her wife, Ashley Broadway, who've been together for 15 years and have two children. They say repealing DOMA would help many enlisted same-sex military couples, who don't receive funds to move non-military spouses from one base to the next.
If you're just joining us, you're listening to WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Laura Sullivan.
Quick trivia question: Name a global superpower technology company, that is the world's biggest seller of smartphones headed by a charismatic CEO surrounded by a cult of personality. I'm guessing most of you just said Apple, right? You would be wrong. The answer is Samsung.
Originally published on Sat March 30, 2013 4:05 pm
Former Nevada Assemblyman Steven Brooks is jailed in San Bernadino County, Calif., following a high-speed freeway chase with Barstow police and members of the California Highway Patrol. Just hours earlier, Brooks had been kicked out of the lower house of the Nevada State Legislature for making threats and behaving erratically.
Barstow Police Chief Albert Ramirez said the incident began when Brooks summoned a tow truck because of a flat tire, and then had a disagreement with the driver.
Pakistan's top female squash player used to have to pretend that she was as boy. Maria Toorpakai is now 22 years old. She was born in Waziristan, that region of the country that's been called one of the most dangerous places on Earth, and home of the Pakistani Taliban. They did not like a girl running around in shorts, playing squash.