NPR's Kelly McEvers has been following events in Syria from neighboring Lebanon, and she joins me now from Beirut. Kelly, as we just heard, the UN Security Council has failed to agree on a resolution condemning Bashar Assad. Any reaction from Syria?
The U.N. Security Council failed again Saturday to take decisive action to stop the escalating violence in Syria as Russia and China vetoed a resolution backing an Arab League plan that calls for President Bashar Assad to step down. NPR's Michele Kelemen reports the veto drew intense criticism from the U.S.
Originally published on Sat February 4, 2012 11:05 am
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene, in for Scott Simon. It's been nearly a year since anti-government protests began in Syria. President Bashar al-Assad has carried out a violent crackdown. We've heard tough statements, warnings from capitals around the world. And today, it appeared the U.N. Security Council was poised to issue a resolution condemning the crackdown.
In Moscow on Saturday, tens of thousands of protesters braved the sub-zero temperatures to gather in the city center. They were demonstrating against Vladimir Putin's planned return to the presidency next month. Guest host David Greene has more.
Since the early a.m., U.S. Park Police have been moving into a park near the White House where the Occupy D.C. movement has been encamped for months. Some officers are on horseback and dressed in riot gear, but there haven't been any major clashes so far.
Imagine a place on earth where there's been no light, no wind for millions of years. Lake Vostok is one such place. The world's third largest lake, in terms of amount of water, has long been hidden, buried beneath two miles of ice until, perhaps, this coming week. Russian researchers are about to break through that ice.
In Syria, the death toll is rising after what activists and opposition leaders are calling a massive offensive by pro-government troops in the city of Homs. Activists say at least 250 have been killed in what may be the single most violent day since Syria's anti-government uprising began in March.
I would like to rise up today in defense of Diet Coke. All diet sodas, in fact. But Diet Coke happens to be my favorite.
I like the stuff.
Cracking open a can of it, or pouring some over ice, helps me survive a long work day.
This love of Diet Coke is one reason my re-entry into the United States has been a little rocky. When I moved back recently after a reporting assignment in Russia, nobody warned me that war had been declared on Diet Coke.
In the last decade, population growth in Western swing states outpaced the national average, according to David Damore, a professor of political science at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. With the Nevada Republican caucus underway, guest host David Greene talks with Damore about the electoral shift and the issues potential voters in the region view as priorities.
This week, a small fishing village in China held an election. By normal standards it wasn't a very big deal. Residents in the village of Wukan were simply voting for members of a new election commission. But consider this: the election was organized because it was demanded by residents who took to the streets in a mass protest last year.
The Chinese automaker JAC unveiled their latest design this week, and it bears a rather notable resemblance to the Ford F-150. Though the engine is much smaller, the JAC 4R3 will go on sale across China and in Africa and Latin America, after its debut at the Beijing motor show in April.
One employer just starting to come back from the brink is Majestic Yachts Incorporated, a houseboat manufacturer in Kentucky. Guest host David Greene checks back in with the CEO, Jim Hadley. He last spoke to Hadley in February 2009 as part of NPR's First 100 Days Project about the impact of the recession.
Surprising as it may be, the Super Bowl is not the only sporting event taking place this weekend. It's also college basketball season. And there is a surprise team in this week's top 10. Sandwiched in between the usual suspects like Kansas and Michigan State is a team from Murray, Kentucky - a small town in the state's west. It's the Murray State Racers. They're 22 and 0. The only undefeated team left in men's college basketball. And we're joined now by the sports editor from the Murray Ledger & Times, Ricky Martin.
Opponents of Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin marched through the streets of Moscow Saturday in another large demonstration against alleged voting fraud. The protest is seen as a test both for the opposition and Putin, ahead of March's presidential election. Guest host David Greene gets the latest from NPR's Corey Flintoff in Moscow.
Tom Brady will lead the New England Patriots into Super Bowl 46 in Indianapolis on Sunday. He´s already won the Super Bowl three times before. Standing in the way of yet another Patriot victory are Eli Manning and the New York Giants. Manning has been superb this season, but is he elite?
Well, now on to some slightly warmer waters. Sturgeon have been swimming around for more than 200 million years. But their eggs have long been sought after and for caviar and they've been overfished. This week, the National Marine Fisheries Service placed the Atlantic sturgeon on its Endangered Species List, and the ruling has implications that go far beyond the caviar industry.
Though most people will never attend a single Super Bowl, there are three men who have seen them all. Don Crisman and Larry Jacobson are part of a group that calls itself the "Never Missed a Super Bowl Club," and they have no plans to end the streak any time soon. Guest host David Greene catches up with them as they prepare for Sunday's game in Indianapolis.
In an about-face, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation announced Friday that it is not cutting off funding for Planned Parenthood. Komen is one of the nation's most prominent breast cancer groups. They came under intense criticism for their initial decision to cut off some funding for Planned Parenthood. Guest host David Greene talks with NPR's Julie Rovner and Rob Stein, who have been covering the story.
Originally published on Sat February 4, 2012 8:00 am
This Sunday will mark the 16th annual installment of "Chicken Bowl," my Super Bowl party, which doubles as a grand fried-chicken-eating contest. As many as 80 friends, coworkers, enablers and hangers-on will cram into my long-suffering house for this noble occasion.
But even with all the extravagances I've cobbled together to keep them happy — large TVs, vintage arcade machines, working toilets — there has never been a shred of doubt that chicken is king.
Evgeniya Tymoshenko has her mother's looks — minus the trademark blond braid that makes her mother, former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, quickly recognizable.
But the younger Tymoshenko says she's not a politician. She never imagined herself testifying on Capitol Hill, getting face time with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a prayer breakfast, or speaking to reporters at a K Street lobbying firm.
It turns out January was a surprisingly good month in the job market. U.S. employers added 243,000 jobs in January, and the unemployment rate fell to 8.3 percent.
That better-than-expected news from the Labor Department triggered a rally in the stock market Friday, with the Dow climbing more than 150 points. The news could also help the stock of President Obama.
Saturday is caucus day in Nevada, the first state in the West to vote as Republicans go about choosing their presidential candidate.
Mitt Romney is counting on another win here to keep him on the path to the nomination. Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul have also been campaigning across the state, while Rick Santorum is in the Midwest looking ahead to later contests next week.
Believe it or not, Nevada leads the country in unemployment, home foreclosures and bankruptcy.
Americans have always sought architectural brushes with greatness.
The nation's first president spent the night at so many inns and private houses that signs advertising "George Washington slept here" were regular roadside attractions even during his lifetime.
But only a few homes of celebrated figures, such as Thomas Jefferson's Monticello and Elvis Presley's Graceland, have become sites that people go out of their way to visit. Most such places have been torn down, or fall into neglect and disrepair.
Just three days after announcing it would no longer fund cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood, the pink-ribboned breast cancer charity Susan G. Komen for the Cure abruptly reversed course today. But the Komen foundation's actions still leave many questions unanswered — not to mention a public relations challenge.
Originally published on Fri February 3, 2012 5:24 pm
We're coming up on the 30-year anniversary of the war between Britain and Argentina over the Falkland Islands. But the wounds are still fresh, especially if you judge by the rhetoric being flung by the leaders of both countries.
Ron Silver, the owner of Bubby's restaurant in Brooklyn, recently put a word on his menu you don't often see anymore: lard. The white, creamy, processed fat from a pig. And he didn't use the word just once.
For a one-night-only "Lard Exoneration Dinner", Silver served up lard fried potatoes. And root vegetables, baked in lard. Fried chicken, fried in lard. Roasted fennel glazed with lard sugar and sea salt. Pies, with lard inside and out. All from lard he made himself in the kitchen.
Originally published on Fri February 3, 2012 10:47 am
If you have ever called your bank, your phone company or even your own office and slammed head-on into a voicemail system that has made you want to scream, this story is for you.
That's because several researchers at MIT's Media Lab have decided the time has come to create computers that understand our emotions. They hope computerizing emotional intelligence could improve customer service, create new autism treatments and maybe even help make this weekend's Super Bowl ads more amusing. To help advance this work and gather information, they started a company — Affectiva.
Federal prosecutors say they have dropped its doping case against seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong. For two years, prosecutors looked into allegations that Armstrong and his United States Postal squad used performance-enhancing drugs.