Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 9:28 am
Saying that there are "no plausible alternative scenarios," the U.K.'s Joint Intelligence Organisation released a statement Thursday to support the conclusion reached by U.S. and British officials that Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime is responsible for what's said to have been a chemical weapons attack last week near Damascus.
That attack, U.S. and British officials say, killed more than 300 people and may have injured several thousand more.
I suppose it would be natural, if you grew up relatively isolated in a Wisconsin forest, to find yourself fascinated by cities. And so it is for the 24-year-old Russian-American singer Nika Roza Danilova, best known as Zola Jesus. In the video for her song "Fall Back," from the new album Versions, we see Nika in two settings: the vast coldness of urban concrete and the nature of the forest. "Shooting in the forest was very important," Nika writes. "The forest is raw and naked, which is in line for my intent for Versions.
Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 6:31 am
About a month before she died last week at age 76, Sathima Bea Benjamin finally properly celebrated her debut album. That's a bit of a complicated claim, of course, because depending on how you count, the South African vocalist either made her debut album in 1959, 1963, 1976 or 1979.
In 1959, as Beatty Benjamin, she recorded the LP My Songs for You. It was produced by the pianist Dollar Brand, who was later known as Abdullah Ibrahim; he was also her boyfriend and later became her husband. However, it was never released.
Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 7:32 am
The massive "Rim Fire" around California's Yosemite National Park is now about 30 percent contained and it's hoped that cooling temperatures and more moderate winds will continue to work in firefighters' favor.
But The Associated Press cautions that officials say it will likely still be three weeks before the fire is surrounded and that the blaze likely won't be out until many weeks after that.
The Monopoly game hitting store shelves contains a sleek kitty, which will join the classic Scottie dog and top hat. Fans adopted the cat in an online vote earlier this year. The company shelved the iron after a 78 year run.
In Tarquin Hall's novels, Vish Puri's detective office is located in Khan Market, near shops like this one.
Credit Julie McCarthy / NPR
Tarquin Hall, shown here near the Rajpath in Delhi, is a British-born journalist and author. <em>The Case of the Missing Servant</em>, the first book in the Vish Puri series, was his first mystery novel.
Credit Julie McCarthy / NPR
Delhi, India's second-most-populous city, is home to over 16 million people. It's a metropolitan region that includes the capital, New Delhi, as well as other nearby cities.
Credit Francisco Anzola / Flickr
Khan Market is an upscale shopping district in Delhi. The wide streets are filled with luxury cars, and motorcycles line the narrower alleys.
Credit Geoff Stearns / Flickr
The India Gate, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, stands at one end of the Rajpath in New Delhi.
For an introduction to India's cultural and culinary delights, you might hop a flight to Delhi or book a trip to Mumbai. But to meet the country sans passport free of airport indignities, you could just curl up with the crime novels of Tarquin Hall.
Vish Puri, Hall's opinionated private investigator, is a 50-something Punjabi super sleuth with a fondness for family and food. The mustachioed detective cracks open India's underbelly with a caseload that delves into forbidden love, corruption in Indian cricket and the deadly clash between science and superstition.
Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 11:15 am
Colorado's politics have become positively Californian lately. There are new restrictions on guns. Pot is legal. The legislative agenda featured an expansion of alternative-energy use requirements for rural consumers. Gay couples can now enter into civil unions.
There's a reason for all this.
Lots of Californians have moved to Denver and its environs, bringing a progressive strain of politics with them and angering more conservative parts of the state — so much so that 10 northeastern counties are planning symbolic but serious votes on secession this fall.
Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 3:06 am
Freedom bells rang out in Washington and across the country on Wednesday, as Americans marked the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. President Obama, who's often noted his own debt to the civil rights leader, praised the tens of thousands of Americans who marched with Dr. King in 1963. He also challenged a new generation to continue to press for racial and economic justice.
Bunol, Spain, held its annual La Tomatina food fight on Wednesday. About 20,000 people pelted each other with tomatoes. Money is tight in Spain these days, with the country deep in recession. So for the first time, participants had to pay for the right to smear each other with some 130 tons of overripe, dripping produce.
So let's get back to the home of Starbucks - Seattle. There, even as fast food workers have been protesting for higher pay, what they call a living wage in many cities, one of Seattle's best known restaurant owners has just upped the pay of his workers on his own.
Tom Douglas owns 14 restaurants and bakeries in Seattle. And even though he resents the idea of a law telling him how much to pay his workers, Douglas raised the pay for hundreds of his dishwashers and cooks. He joined us to talk more about why.
Ford is ramping up production of the popular midsized car. The automaker is adding 1,400 workers, and a second shift at one of its Detroit area plants. The Fusion has helped deliver the best numbers the automaker has seen since 2006.
Seattle-based coffee giant Starbucks has announced it's going to expand to Colombia.
The country is known for its Arabica beans and for the mythical coffee farmer Juan Valdez. He's helped sell Colombia's coffee for 50 years. Starbucks has cafes in 50 countries. And now, it's coming to perhaps the country most associated with coffee.
Howard Schultz, the company's chief executive, announced that the first shop will open in Bogota in 2014, followed by 50 more cafes and in other cities over five years.
Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 3:25 am
In London, Prime Minister David Cameron had planned to get backing from Parliament Thursday – approving a possible military intervention. Instead, he's been forced to back down. The Labour Party announced it would vote against military action in Syria.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene.
This morning in Syria, U.N. inspectors continue their investigation into last week's chemical weapons attack, which apparently killed hundreds of civilians. The U.N. plans for the inspection team to be in Syria's capital, Damascus, until Saturday.
All right, college football fans, it is time to get out your body paint and those foam fingers. The NCAA Division One football season is starting tonight with 17 games on the schedule. Most of the heavyweights start their campaigns on Saturday, and that includes top-ranked Alabama. NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman joins me to preview the new season. And Tom, are you excited?
In California, there are more than 4,500 firefighters battling the wildfire burning in and around Yosemite National Park. The Rim Fire is more than 300 square miles in size. Crews have been making progress by doing controlled burns of things like brush that would feed a bigger blaze.
A study in the journal Nature could help explain why the Earth's average temperature hasn't increased during the past 15 years — despite a long-term trend of global warming.
The Earth's average temperature has risen by more than 1 degree Fahrenheit since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. But the temperature rise has not been moving in lock step with the rise of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide — mainly from burning fossil fuels — traps heat in the air.
It's been eight years to the day since Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast. To mark the anniversary, NPR revisits neighborhood activist and curator Ronald Lewis, a New Orleans resident whomMorning Editionhost Steve Inskeep regularly checked in with in the months after the storm.
All week, we've been talking about dumplings — from tortellini's sensual origins in Italy to kubbeh's tasty variations in Israel.
But perhaps no country has a longer history or greater variety of dumplings than China. Dumplings come in all shapes and with every imaginable filling. They are served at everything from a humble family meal to elaborate works of culinary art.
Losia Nyankale helps daughter Jonessa and son Juliean learn the alphabet. Nyankale, who works in a restaurant in Washington, D.C., says she needs food stamps and child-care subsidies to make ends meet.
Losia Nyankale, 29, didn't mean to make a career in the restaurant business. But after Nyankale was in college for two years, her mom lost her job as a schoolteacher and could no longer pay tuition. Then, Nyankale's temp jobs in bookkeeping dried up in the recession. So she went back to her standby — restaurant work.
"I did some kitchen work. The pantries or the salad station," she says. "I've also managed, supervised, wash[ed] dishes."
Before Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert became establishments in news satire, there was The Onion. Thursday, "America's Finest News Source" turns 25.
Two college students founded the fake news organization, which began as a newspaper in Madison, Wis. "It really started as something very local that was intended mainly to ... sell pizza coupons," Editor-in-Chief Will Tracy tells Morning Edition host Renee Montagne..
A massive explosion rocks a covered market, but Central London still looks mighty handsome in the British thriller Closed Circuit. So does the actress Rebecca Hall. Decked out in blacks, creams and grays, she and her city both are sleek, elegant and more than a little forbidding, even if they're softened by pockets of olde worlde soul.