In Mexico, thousands of federal troops remain in dozens of towns in the western state of Michoacan. That's where civilian vigilante groups have emerged in recent months to fight off the Knights Templar cartel. Authorities say they've arrested 38 cartel members, but won't move to disarm the so-called self-defense groups. Heroes to some, gang members to others, these vigilantes are now on the offensive, even taking to social media to spread their message. NPR's Carrie Kahn has the story.
For some people, the juxtaposition of a sectarian civil war unimpeded by intense diplomatic effort has a familiar ring and that ring recalls the war in Bosnia in the early 1990s. Yugoslavia had come undone. The patchwork of Serb, Croat and Muslim populations descended into a bloodletting.
Lord David Owen, the former British foreign secretary, was the European Union's negotiator for the Balkans and he joins us now from London. Welcome to the program once again.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.
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And I'm Melissa Block. The Syrian peace conference got off to a bitter start today with sharply opposing visions over a future role for Syria's President Bashar al-Assad. More than 40 countries sent delegations and many of their speeches struck similar themes decrying the vast human suffering in Syria and calling for a political solution to the crisis.
We have no idea why Denver Broncos' quarterback Peyton Manning has chosen the word Omaha dozens of times to signal plays at the line of scrimmage in the run-up to the Super Bowl, and he's not giving it away.
MANNING: It's a run play, but it could be a pass play...
MANNING: ...or a play-action pass, depending on a couple of things: the wind, which way we're going, the quarter and the jerseys that we're wearing. So...
At the Supreme Court today, the justices weighed how to compensate victims of child pornography and who should be liable when thousands of people may have possessed the images. NPR's Carrie Johnson reports.
Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 1:06 pm
Composer and bandleader Guillermo Klein is known largely for Los Guachos, a large ensemble which draws from Argentine folk forms, the New York jazz talent pool and a postmodern mash-up imagination. His is beguiling music, filled with human voices and off-kilter meter and cutting melody. It's a form he and some of his band first started developing at Berklee College of Music, where he and fellow Argentines learned to apply jazz concepts to the many sounds in their heads.
The Affordable Care Act had ardent critics and supporters long before last fall's troubled launch of the HealthCare.gov website. Opponents of Obamacare say the law will reduce, not increase, the number of health plans available to Americans and that fewer consumers will be able to afford care than before. And delays in implementation of portions of the ACA, they argue, demonstrate how the Obama administration has been forced to undermine its own law in order to keep it running.
Basically, Quicken is offering a $1 billion grand prize — yes, that's billion, with a B — if someone correctly picks the outcome of all 63 games in the men's Division I college basketball tournament this spring.
Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 8:35 am
It might be hard to imagine in this sputtering recovery, but 2.4 million people actually quit their jobs in November, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That's nearly a million more quitters than there were during the darkest months of the recession.
I'm Celeste Headlee and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, we'll hear how one southern town took a new approach to violent crime and is now seeing dramatic results. That's in a few moments. But first, it's time to visit the Beauty Shop. That's where our panel of women commentators and journalists get a fresh cut on the week's hot topics. Sitting in the chairs for the new 'do this week are Connie Schultz.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, the compelling personal story of Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis helped raise her national profile. But she now concedes some details of that story might be inaccurate. The Beauty Shop ladies weigh in. That's later.
Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 6:12 am
The more we learn about sitting, the more perilous it seems to be.
Flabby muscles, fuzzy thinking and all manner of cardiovascular disease can get started or get worse when we're hanging out on the couch, stuck in traffic or just parked in a chair for too long.
Now there's evidence that heart failure — when your heart becomes too weak to pump enough blood through your arteries — can be brought on by a sedentary lifestyle and also, more generally, a lack of physical activity.
A lot of self-help books have simple formulas. They promise 30 days or 10 easy steps to having thinner thighs, landing a spouse, having a great sex life, starting a new life after divorce, climbing the corporate ladder while dressed for success, and, of course, finding inner peace. And while many swear by the power of their favorite self-help philosophy, there are still a lot of skeptics.
Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 2:22 pm
Long John Silver's has gained some notoriety in the past for serving up what the food police dubbed the most unhealthful meal in America. (aka heart attack on a hook.)
But the fast-food chain is out to change its reputation. One step in this new direction: a quick transition from partially hydrogenated oils that contain bedeviled trans fats. Today, the chain announced it is moving to a 100 percent soybean oil that is trans-fat free.
Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 2:56 pm
In New Delhi an unprecedented two-day sit-in that pitted the local government against the national authorities has come to an end following altercations between police and protesters.
Some 30 people were injured during the demonstration that was led by newly elected Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the local administrator who rallied members of his Aam Aadmi Party, named for the "Common Man," against the central government.
Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 7:33 pm
There are vocalists, there are singers and then there are voices — the first aims for the ear, the second for the brain, the third for the heart. A voice turns a composition into an emotional experience. And each time we have that experience, it's the depth of the connection that we remember. Frank Sinatra was a voice. So too were Marvin Gaye, George Jones and Billie Holiday. Aretha Franklin is a voice. So is Bob Dylan. And so is the Staple Singers' Mavis Staples.
Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 12:31 pm
A bipartisan presidential commission has endorsed more early voting, expanded online voter registration by the states and the increased use of schools as polling places.
The 10-member panel, appointed by President Obama after his 2013 State of the Union pledge to identify ways to shorten lines at polling places, released its recommendations Wednesday after six months of work.
Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 2:23 pm
We don't often do hare-raising tales on The Two-Way, but here's one from South Africa.
Two sculptors who were refused permission to engrave their signatures onto their giant statue of Nelson Mandela came up with a novel solution: They hid a bronze rabbit in the statue's ear.
Our story begins Dec. 16, a day after Mandela's funeral, when President Jacob Zuma unveiled the statue by Andre Prinsloo and Ruhan Janse van Vuuren at Pretoria's Union Buildings, the government's headquarters.