On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Deborah Amos reports from the Syria peace talks
Update at 12:36 p.m. ET. A Face-To-Face Meeting:
After arduous talks about talks, there seems to be some kind of breakthrough in Geneva, Switzerland, this afternoon: International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said delegations from the Syrian government and its opposition will meet face-to-face for the first time on Saturday.
According to Reuters, Brahimi told reporters that both sides had accepted the principles of the Geneva Communiqué.
Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 9:28 am
Derek Walcott, who won the Nobel Prize in 1992, is one of the biggest living figures on the world literary scene. He is a celebrated playwright and a painter, but a new selection of his work focuses on the achievement for which he is best-known: his poetry.
Walcott's home, and the gravitational center of his writing, is the Caribbean Island of St. Lucia, which was tossed restlessly between French and English colonial overlords for hundreds of years until it finally achieved independence in 1979.
David's Bridal is famously known for carrying inexpensive bridal dresses, some for less than $100. Now the company wants to offer an elevated experience for brides to be — with chandeliers, marble tiling and plush chairs. There will be price tags to match — as much as 2,000.
Tuesday night is the State of the Union Address — the biggest opportunity President Obama gets all year to speak to the American people about his priorities. There's also another speech that night — the GOP response. On Thursday, House Speaker John Boehner announced Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers from Washington State would deliver the official rebuttal.
Hundreds of mayors converged on Washington, D.C. this week for the annual U.S. Conference of Mayors. There were some big names in the group: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, New York Mayor Bill de Blassio. Also in the mix were mayors from some of the country's smallest towns and cities. NPR's Laura Sullivan spent the day with the mayor of Ville Platte, Louisiana, who, like most small town mayors, was trying to find a way to stand out in the crowd.
Virginia's attorney general surprised the state's political circles on Thursday when he announced he will not defend Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage when it goes before a federal judge next week. Virginians had varying reactions to Mark Herring's decision.
Montreal-based Bixi, which came up with the bike sharing systems offered in many American cities, has filed for bankruptcy. Renee Montagne talks with Andy Riga of the Montreal Gazette about where things went wrong for Bixi, and the future prospects of its operations in North America.
From a health center on the Syrian-Turkish border full of wounded fighters and civilians, the peace talks in Geneva seem a long way away. Some dismiss them as totally irrelevant to the conflict, saying none of the participants represent them. Others welcome anything that looks like it might bring peace closer.
After the formal opening of the Syria peace conference in the Swiss resort of Montreux, government and opposition representatives begin negotiations Friday at United Nations headquarters in Geneva. International envoy Lakhdar Brahimi is mediating the talks.
There have been three deadly explosions in Cairo on Friday. First, a car bomb targeted Egypt police headquarters in the heart of Cairo. The bombings come on the eve of the anniversary of the start of the 2011 uprising.
In this encore report, we hear about a small museum in an elevator shaft in lower Manhattan. It's only six feet square, and only about three or four people can enter it at a time. The exhibits document the weird and wonderful of modern life, including prison contraband made from bread. (This piece originally aired on Jan. 2, 2014 on All Things Considered).
The fact that a second contaminant in West Virginia's drinking water eluded detection for nearly two weeks — despite intense testing of the water — reveals an important truth about how companies test drinking water: In most cases, they only find the contaminants they're looking for.
Alexis D'Luna was born with CHARGE syndrome, a life-threatening genetic condition. She was intellectually disabled, legally blind, had hearing problems and stood just under 5 feet tall because of deformities in her legs and back.
I was in the car for about an hour, rolling around Manhattan in the middle of a snowstorm. The ride normally would have cost me $65. But when it came time to pay, my driver, Kirk Furye, was concerned for me.
"Are you going to get in trouble with NPR?" he asked. "You are almost at three times the [normal] amount."
Georgia Republican Saxby Chambliss won't be seeking a third term in the U.S. Senate this year, and his decision to bow out has eight other Republicans, including three congressmen, scrambling for his seat.
Democrats, meanwhile, have their hopes pinned on the daughter of a well-known and widely admired former senator. It's turned a Senate race Republicans hoped would be a cakewalk into something far less predictable.
Prominent conservative writer and filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza has been indicted in New York on charges that he broke campaign finance laws. D'Souza, a vocal critic of President Obama, is accused of contributing thousands of dollars over the legal limit in a 2012 Senate race.
Another charge alleges that D'Souza, 52, made false statements about the contributions, which he is accused of routing through third parties. That charge carries a possible maximum punishment of five years in prison.
NPR's Peter Overby filed this report for our Newscast unit:
As if to underscore GOP efforts at outreach to female voters, a breakout session of the Republican National Committee's latest "rising stars" at the group's winter meeting Thursday in Washington, D.C., entirely comprised young women.
Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 4:31 pm
A ghost ship full of diseased, cannibalistic rats could be nearing landfall somewhere in the British Isles.
No, it's not the plot for a new horror film. According toThe Independent, the 300-foot cruise liner Lyubov Orlova, which has been drifting, crewless, around the North Atlantic for nearly a year since it snapped its towline en route to the scrapyard, might be moving east toward the English coast.
This year marks the first time Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina has had to run for office since the emergence of the Tea Party. Graham has never faced much Republican opposition during his two decades in Congress, but this June, he's already heading into a primary with four Republican challengers who say he's not conservative enough for the Palmetto State. Voters say the race has become a battle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party in South Carolina.
Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 7:38 am
Ever wonder what happened with Bertha — the world's biggest tunneling machine, stuck under Seattle? We last checked in on the story right before Christmas, when engineers were preparing to send down inspection teams to identify the blockage. People (OK, the media) were having a grand time, floating ridiculous guesses about what the mysterious object might be. An old ship? Dinosaur bones? Bigfoot?
One month later, there's still no clear answer. Certainly nothing headline-grabbing.
Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 4:49 pm
The lake in Alain Guiraudie's Stranger by the Lake is gorgeous — aquamarine, pristine, surrounded by pebbly beaches and dense woods. Families cluster on the far side of it, but on the side we see, there are only men. It's a gay cruising spot, frequented by mostly nude sunbathers and swimmers, many of whom come here often enough to know each other by sight if not by name.