Originally published on Sun March 17, 2013 11:59 am
Editor's Note: The author is a Syrian citizen living in Damascus and is not being further identified for safety concerns.
In Damascus, you can smell the scent of gunpowder that wafts in from shelling on the outskirts of the capital. You hear fighter jets buzzing above. Ambulance sirens wail throughout the day, and death notices are regularly plastered on city walls.
Damascus is not under direct bombardment, like many other places in Syria that have been ravaged by an uprising now two years old. But the war is creeping closer, and residents feel the heat.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
MARTIN: It was early 2003: Doctors reported the first known case of the SARS virus; the musical "Chicago" won the Oscar for Best Picture; and Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice and President George W. Bush made their case for war.
DICK CHENEY: There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.
CONDOLEEZZA RICE: We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.
Palestinian scholar Rashid Khalidi has closely watched the role of the United States as mediator in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In his new book "Brokers of Deceit," he argues that U.S. involvement has made the goal of a lasting peace less attainable than ever. Rashid Khalidi is with us now from our studios in New York.
Originally published on Sun March 17, 2013 6:59 pm
Sunday is the final day of a week-long Russian festival that celebrates folk traditions, heroic eating and the distant promise of spring. NPR's Corey Flintoff reports on Maslenitsa, or "pancake week," the last culinary blow-out before the austerity of Lent.
We're joined now by Sister Pat Farrell, past president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. It is the largest, most influential organization of American nuns. We spoke with Sister Pat recently about some of the issues facing the Catholic Church during its leadership transition and what she wants to see from a new pope. Now that a new pope has been chosen, we thought we'd check back in with her. Sister Pat Farrell joins us on the line from Clinton, Iowa. Welcome back to the program, Sister Pat.
On-air challenge: Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name in which the first word starts with the letters P-I and the second word starts with C. For example, given "One of 27 compositions by Mozart" you would say "(Pi)ano (C)oncerto."
Last week's challenge: Think of two familiar three-word sayings in which all three words are the same length. The middle word in both sayings is the same. In each saying, the first and last words rhyme with each other. What two sayings are these?
Ten years ago this Tuesday, the U.S. invaded Iraq, and by any count — and there have been many — the toll has been devastating.
So far, about 4,400 U.S. troops and more than 100,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed, and the combined costs of the war come to an astounding $2 trillion, including future commitments like veteran care.
So where do we stand today?
Stephen Hadley was the national security adviser under President George W. Bush from 2005 to 2009, and part of the White House team that helped sell the war to the public.
Originally published on Sat March 16, 2013 6:44 pm
You can depend on Solange to be the best dressed anywhere — that pink suit! — but her commanding live presence at SXSW is a thing of wonder, even if her funky R&B can be quiet and unassuming. We also took in the crushing doom metal of Batillus, spazzed out to Metz, and got gloomy with Diamond Rings.
If you're just joining us, this is WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Jacki Lyden.
As we just heard, longtime Republican Senator Rob Portman's position on gay marriage has evolved. Of course, gay marriage is one of the social issues that was front and center at this week's Conservative Political Action Conference, otherwise known as CPAC. It's the annual gathering of the most conservative wing of the Republican Party.
NPR's national political correspondent Don Gonyea has been at CPAC, and he joins me now. Hi there, Don.
James Fallows of The Atlantic joins us, as he does most Saturdays. Hey there, Jim.
JAMES FALLOWS: Hello, Jacki.
LYDEN: You know, it's been really interesting following your blog this week about the Iraq War anniversary. You wrote about it so much in the run-up to the war's well and, you know, Jim, about your own personal regrets leading up to the war.
Writer Michael McCann is a legal analyst for Sports Illustrated. He's been covering Lance Armstrong's legal issues for the past year, following the allegations that Armstrong doped and used performance-enhancing drugs.
McCann regularly responds to readers' questions on Twitter, too. About a month ago, he tells All Things Considered host Jacki Lyden, he had a new follower: @LanceArmstrong. It was the former cycling champion himself.
Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 1:32 pm
"If you want to do something, just do it." Words of wisdom from Bob Boilen that sum up day four of South By Southwest for the All Songs Considered gang perfectly. Bob, along with Robin Hilton, Stephen Thompson and Ann Powers were joined by Mike Katzif and Will Butler, both former All Songs interns. Will's journey to Austin was inspired by Amanda Palmer's recent TED Talk.
Originally published on Sun March 17, 2013 7:54 am
A Swiss woman cycling with her husband in India was allegedly beaten and gang-raped, police say. It's the latest high-profile sexual assault in a nation that's facing intense pressure to increase its protections for women.
The couple was on a cycling tour from Mumbai to New Delhi when they were attacked Friday night. The New York Times continues the story:
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.
On the third day of his pontificate, Pope Francis held an audience for the thousands of journalists who've been covering the transition from one papacy to another. And the new pope made it clear that he will try to embody a different style and tone from that of his predecessor, Benedict XVI. He called for an austere church that will serve the poor.
NPR's Sylvia Poggioli was in the audience and joins us now from Rome. Sylvia, thanks for being with us.
Originally published on Sat March 16, 2013 1:51 pm
Last year, Myanmar's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi was greeted by adoring crowds during triumphant tours of Asia, the U.S. and Europe. She eclipsed President Thein Sein, who remained in Burma, as the country is also known, and managed a series of domestic crises.