This week's puzzler comes courtesy Michael Lerner, drummer for the band The Antlers. Lerner is on the short list of current favorite drummers. His work is always melodic, never too busy or indulgent. But he also never settles for the straight up four on the floor. I found the fills he selected for this week's puzzler to be... challenging. But see what you think.
A California politician is defending himself against misdemeanor charges. But his defense is nearly as awkward as the charge. Santa Rosa Supervisor Efren Carrillo is accused of being a peeping Tom. Mr. Carrillo admits that, yes, he made a late night visit to a neighbor. And yes, it's true he was wearing only socks and underwear at the time. But he says he was not looking in windows. The supervisor says he was merely drunk.
Let's talk about a busy week of news in the Middle East. Israel has now broken off peace talks with the Palestinians. These talks were already in a stalemate. This latest decision comes in response to internal Palestinian politics. This week two major Palestinian factions, Fatah and Hamas, agreed to end a seven-year split and form a coalition government. Hamas is considered a terrorist organization by Israel, as well as the United States and the European Union.
For more we turn to NPR's Emily Harris in Jerusalem. Emily, good morning.
This is about as close as we're going to get to good news out of Syria. The country is on track, we're told, to meet a deadline to give up its chemical weapons arsenal. The most dangerous chemicals in Syria's declared stockpile are supposed to be removed by Sunday, yet Syria now faces suspicion that it's using less toxic chemicals, possibly chlorine. NPR's Michele Kelemen reports.
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In Afghanistan yesterday, a security guard open fire at a hospital. He killed three American doctors including a pediatrician from Chicago. Dr. Jerry Umanos was a religious man who traveled often to Afghanistan to train younger doctors. He wanted to make sure people everywhere had good access to medical care.
Bees have been dying off in big numbers for years, creating problems for the agriculture industry, also not so good for the bees. This year, tens of thousands of bees have mysteriously died after pollinating almond farms in California. The Environmental Protection Agency is looking into whether pesticides are to blame.
Four tech giants, including Apple and Google, settled a class action lawsuit on Thursday - 64,000 workers claimed the companies conspired to hold down salaries. The plaintiffs will reportedly receive over $300 million, far short of what they were seeking.