Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 11:07 am
A year into the Syrian uprising, with the world community reluctant to intervene, one international group has taken a direct and risky role in Syria — even taking part in the high-profile rescue of Western journalists from the besieged city of Homs.
Avaaz, a global online pressure group based in New York, has given crucial support to the uprising and the Syrian activist networks that aim to topple the regime of President Bashar Assad.
When it comes to reality TV — and competitive cooking shows in particular — there are many reliable ways to create drama: menacing judges, preternaturally ticking clocks, the threat of elimination, and, of course, clever editing.
Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 11:16 am
The U.S., Britain and their NATO allies cannot accelerate the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan because it's critical that they not leave until that nation's security forces can stand on their own and ensure that al-Qaida never has a safe haven there again, President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron said during a joint news conference this afternoon at the White House.
"We will not give up on this mission," Cameron said at one point. The plan, he and Obama said, remains to have most troops withdrawn by the end of 2014.
Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 9:03 am
After two years of going with the wrong team to win it all, President Obama is counting on North Carolina — the team he correctly picked to win the 2009 NCAA men's basketball championship — to end up No. 1 this year.
Iran said Tuesday that it is unwilling to allow international nuclear inspectors to have complete access to a restricted military complex, called Parchin, which is near the capital Tehran. There are concerns that the complex may contain a facility designed to test explosives meant to trigger a nuclear chain reaction.
Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 11:50 am
Rick Santorum won two Southern state GOP presidential primaries Tuesday, embarrassing Mitt Romney who had predicted he'd take one.
Second-place finisher Newt Gingrich vowed to fight on to Tampa, tag-teaming Romney along with Santorum. The "three-way dynamic," as he put it, is a winner for Gingrich and, perhaps, his dream of deal-making at the convention, and for Romney, too, whose Southern result could have been much worse if he'd been posting up against Santorum alone.
Repair crews are working this morning to restore power to thousands of homes and businesses in Boston's Back Bay district, "after two transformers caught fire Tuesday night, knocking out power" and sending think black smoke billowing over the area, our colleagues at WBUR report.
Judges at a war crimes tribunal convicted Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga of snatching children from the street and turning them into killers. A sentencing hearing will now be scheduled. Lubanga faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
At Camp Leatherneck in southern Afghanistan today, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta urged U.S. military personnel to not be deterred from their mission and continue "to make life difficult" for the Taliban and al-Qaida, says NPR's Larry Abramson, who is travelling with Panetta.
March Madness has barely begun and a key figure in Georgetown basketball has suffered an injury. Team mascot Jack the Bulldog has torn the doggie version of his ACL. Jack's keeper tweeted the injury was likely from jumping on the couch.
After another set of presidential contests the story remains much the same — pundits say former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney remains the front runner in the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, but former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum continues his strong challenge.
Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 4:12 pm
It is time for the much-winnowed field of Republican presidential contenders to shrink a little further. It is time for Newt Gingrich to bid adieu and wrap up his bid for the nomination.
Rick Santorum, who won the Alabama and Mississippi primaries on Tuesday, has proven himself the conservatives' favored alternative to front-runner Mitt Romney. He did this by winning the voters who mattered most in the deep-dyed red states of Alabama and Mississippi, the white evangelical "born again" voters who cast more than two-thirds of the vote in each state.
Britons are struggling with the issue of faith in the workplace. Two British women, one an airline employee and the other, a nurse, were suspended or barred from doing their jobs because they wore crucifixes at work. Now the two are taking their case to the European Court of Human Rights.
To find out how this debate is playing out in the UK, we called Lucy Kellaway, she's a columnist for the Financial Times. And she joined us from London.
Americans and Britons share the same language, yet transatlantic visitors to the London Olympics might struggle to understand what's going on. The games are in East London, home of rhyming slang, a form of linguistic gymnastics. It was pioneered in the nineteenth century by Cockneys as a code to confuse snooping policemen.
On a Wednesday, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
Here's the good economic news: Employers have been hiring more quickly than the experts predicted.
INSKEEP: The bad economic news is that experts still are not sure why employers are hiring so quickly. While the U.S. economy is growing, economists are not sure it is growing quickly enough to justify the many jobs created in recent months.
President Obama has received a high-profile endorsement for his re-election bid. Though it's no surprise the country's largest federation of unions, the AFL-CIO, has traditionally endorsed a Democrat for president.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
The strength of that support bears watching this year. Collective bargaining has been under attack in several states, draining union resources.
MONTAGNE: But labor leaders say it's also made them more determined than ever to keep Mr. Obama in the White House. NPR's Scott Horsley reports.
Far right politician Marine Le Pen is officially in the French presidential race after getting the required 500 mayors' signatures to appear on the ballot. She launched her campaign in a small town in the north of France, a poor region where many see globalization and immigration as France's biggest problems.
One thing that distinguishes most team sports is that the game is suddenly played differently at the end. Often, this adds to the fascination, too. Nothing, for example, gets a rise out of me like when the hockey goalie skates off the ice with a minute or so to go, his team down a goal, leaving an open net.
In championship soccer, tie games go to a shoot-out, which is totally alien with all that came before. Neat stuff.