Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 3:05 pm
We're following several stories regarding Syria Sunday, including new comments from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. There are also reports that an Islamist group with ties to al-Qaida has seized a town with a large Christian population. Elsewhere, officials in the U.S. and its allies are debating how to respond to the conflict that began in 2011, as President Obama's administration tries to shore up support for military action.
We'll update this post with news as it emerges today.
New York City voters go to the polls next Tuesday to choose their party's candidates to try to succeed three-term mayor, Michael Bloomberg. Anna Sale of member station WNYC has this look at the Democratic frontrunner.
The president is back in Washington Saturday after spending several days trying to convince world leaders at the G-20 summit in Russia that a U.S. strike against Syria is necessary. Ten of the G-20 leaders signed a statement in support of U.S. action. The other half remain wary.
A protester holds up a sign against U.S. action in Syria during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing Tuesday. The committee ultimately approved a resolution to give President Obama authorization for a military strike on Syria. The full Senate could vote on the measure this week.
Credit Joshua Roberts / Reuters /Landov
Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska
Credit Becky Bohrer / AP
Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La.
Credit Jan Somma-Hammel / Staten Island Advance /Landov
President Obama has mustered limited international support for a military strike on Syria, stirred uncertainty about what he'll do if Congress fails endorse a strike (it may depend on the meaning of "intention") and faces growing Capitol Hill resistance.
Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 4:35 am
The interest groups opposed to U.S. military strikes against Syria had a very good week. That made it a very bad week for President Obama and those who support his plans.
Anna Galland, executive director of the liberal MoveOn.org — which opposes military action in Syria — said that by midweek, her group's members reported making 10,000 calls to Congress, contributing to an avalanche of calls from citizens opposed to military strikes.
Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 4:49 pm
President Obama on Friday declined to say whether he'd go ahead with military action in Syria if Congress votes against it — a what-if scenario that's attracting growing attention in the wake of preliminary House head counts that suggest there's nowhere near enough votes for passage.
It's a question that won't be answered until late next week when Congress is expected to vote.
Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 11:31 am
Do you have to be rich to be president of the United States of America?
Donald Trump told ABC News recently that he might run for president in 2016 and that he is qualified because, among other reasons, he has amassed a net worth of more than $10 billion. "I'd spend a lot" on a campaign, he says. "I'd spend whatever it took."
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later, it sounds like a bad walks-into-a-bar joke, but it wasn't. Recently, a representative of the KKK had a sit-down with members of the NAACP. This took place in Casper, Wyoming. Reporter Jeremy Fugleberg was there for the whole thing, and tells us what happened. That's in just a few minutes.
Republican congressional leaders support an American military strike in Syria, but the rank-and-file membership is divided. GOP Congressmen Doug Collins of Georgia and Luke Messer of Indiana serve on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. They talk about the debate in the Republican caucus.
Some of the many boarded up store fronts along Weber Street in Stockton, Calif., in 2012. The Stockton City Council voted to declare bankruptcy last year, making it the largest city in U.S. history to enter Chapter 9 to that time.
Credit Peter DaSilva / EPA /Landov
Councilwoman Katherine Miller believes Stockton is through the worst of its financial troubles.
Credit Alan Greenblatt / NPR
Along California Street, residents complain that piles of trash have been sitting uncollected for the better part of two weeks.
Crime has been bad on the south side of Stockton. Katherine Anderson, a lifelong resident of the Northern California city, says she's almost gotten used to hearing shots fired in her neighborhood.
Stockton has long had a problem with drugs. But there's been more crime because Stockton is broke.
Until Detroit's recent filing, Stockton's bankruptcy was the largest in U.S. history. Given widespread police layoffs and retirements, the city's gang intervention and narcotics teams have both closed shop. The result was a murder rate that last year broke all local records.
Curious about how social media sped up news cycles, amplified trivial events on the trail and enabled Washington's "worst tendencies" during the 2012 presidential race, one of the nation's top young political reporters decided to take a deeper look.
When Eliot Spitzer, the former governor of New York who quit in disgrace, entered the race for the lower profile job of New York City comptroller, that sleepy contest was suddenly front page news. Many observers started writing political obituaries for Spitzer's opponent. But with just days to go, the race is not too close to call, as NPR's Joel Rose reports.
JOEL ROSE, BYLINE: Eliot Spitzer is the first to admit he's made a few mistakes.
Today is Janet Napolitano's last day as Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Napolitano is leaving Washington D.C., heading for California, to become at the end of this month, president of the University of California System. NPR's Brian Naylor sat down with Napolitano yesterday for a look back at her tenure as head of one of the government's largest and most complex departments.
Let's talk next with a man who wants to secede from his state. The Board of Supervisors of a northern California county voted this week to take their county out of California. Michael Kobseff is one of the supervisors who voted yes in Siskiyou County with an eye to joining other counties in northern California, as well as southern Oregon, to form their own state. He's on the line. Welcome to the program, sir.
Books by would-be 2016 presidential candidates, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., share a table display at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., on March 15. Both Rubio and Paul on Wednesday voted against military action in Syria.
Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 6:35 pm
Voting in favor of war or military strikes has proved to have long-lasting political consequences for politicians angling for the highest office in the land.
Just ask former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whose 2002 vote for the Iraq War resolution as a U.S. senator contributed to her failure to secure the Democratic presidential nomination six years later.
President Obama gestures during his joint news conference with Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt on Wednesday in Stockholm. The president said the credibility of the international community, Congress and America is on the line with the response to Syria.
Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 4:59 am
This won't be a standard party-line vote. Big factions within both parties remain skeptical about President Obama's plans to launch punitive airstrikes against Syria.
If the vote were held today, it might not pass. Obama and his allies — including top House leaders of both parties — have a big selling job yet to do to persuade a majority of members to authorize military action.
Republican Rep. Austin Scott held a town hall meeting in Thomasville, Georgia, Wednesday. Among the topics that constituents were there to talk about: Syria. Scott told constituents he doesn't plan to support the resolution authorizing U.S. military strikes in Syria.
Congress is trying to fashion language that would restrict U.S. involvement in Syria from escalating. But lawmakers often find it uncomfortable to rein in the commander in chief once U.S. forces have been committed.
On Wednesday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed a resolution authorizing President Obama to take military action against the Syrian regime. It goes to the full Senate over the objections of New Mexico Democrat Tom Udall. Steve Inskeep talks with Sen. Udall about his concerns over intervention in Syria.
The Senate immigration bill calls for tripling a controversial federal court program called Operation Streamline. The program takes people caught crossing the border illegally, gives them prison sentences, then deports them. It's hugely expensive — but does it work?
The California legislature passed a bill that would allow lawful permanent residents to sit on juries. Governor Jerry Brown has until Oct. 13 to sign the bill into law. If he does, California will be the first state to allow non-citizens to perform jury duty.
With the launch of the major piece of the Affordable Care Act less than a month away, the Obama administration is escalating the public relations push with one of their most effective weapons – former President Bill Clinton, now known to many as explainer in chief.