This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Jennifer Ludden in Washington. Neal Conan is away. Accusations that the Syrian government has repeatedly used chemical weapons against its own people are piling up. First were British and French officials who say they have credible evidence. Today, an Israeli military official joined the chorus.
The U.S. says it's evaluating the allegations. The stakes are high. Last year the Obama administration said the use of chemical weapons would be a game-changer that could provoke a stronger U.S. response.
Following the Republican Party's losses in the 2012 elections, there has been a lot of hand-wringing about what the party should do to improve its electoral fortunes.
Some argue that the GOP should moderate its positions on social issues, as well as policies that affect income inequality and social mobility, and that it should embrace compromise as a way to attract more voters. But others say that changing its positions risks alienating the core Republican base and diluting the party's conservative message — doing more damage in the end.
Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 12:10 pm
A federal court has approved a settlement agreement between the Department of Justice and Anheuser-Busch InBev that will allow the mammoth beer company to complete its purchase of Grupo Modelo, a Mexico-based brewer that produces Corona, Pacifico and other beers.
The deal, which requires AB InBev to sell all of Modelo's U.S. business, clears the way for the $20.1 billion acquisition of the remaining portion of Modelo that AB InBev did not yet own. Terms of the deal were announced Friday.
A top Israeli military official on Tuesday accused Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime of using chemical weapons in recent fighting in Syria. Syria has denied using such weapons. Assad is shown here at the Opera House in Damascus in January.
Originally published on Sun April 28, 2013 7:51 am
Israel's top military intelligence official said Tuesday that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons repeatedly, and he criticized the international community for not taking tougher action against the Syrian leadership.
Israel and the Syrian opposition have on multiple occasions accused President Bashar Assad's government of using chemical weapons in the country's civil war, but have not offered much in the way of evidence.
Israeli Brig. Gen. Itai Brun, speaking at a security conference in Israel, gave the most definitive statement so far by an Israeli official.
Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 11:16 am
Sen. Max Baucus of Montana, an influential red-state Democrat who helped craft Obamacare but bucked his party last week in voting against expanded background checks for gun sales, will retire in 2014, he announced Tuesday.
The chairman of the influential Senate Finance Committee, Baucus was expected to face a potentially tough race for a seventh term after four decades on Capitol Hill. He becomes the sixth Senate Democrat to announce his retirement, as Republicans look for an opportunity to retake Senate control in the midterm elections.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later in the program we are going to talk about a new study that says that some seniors are actually carrying more debt than their younger peers. We'll dig into that in just a few minutes. But first we want to turn back to Boston. And with one suspect in custody and the other deceased, we're turning our attention to the people whose lives were most changed by the bomb attack at the marathon last week.
Tell Me More celebrates National Poetry Month by hearing poetic tweets from listeners for the 'Muses and Metaphor' series. Today's poem comes from listener Randi Ward, who reads her tweet poem, 'My Mother's Hair.'
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, how often have you heard that there are more black men in prison than in college? A lot? Well, we'll speak with a professor who's gone back over the research and he says that's just not true. We'll talk about this in just a few minutes.
Activists, filmmakers, and even the president invoke the conventional wisdom that there are more black men in prison than in college. Ivory Toldson, a professor at Howard University, says that's a myth; he explains his findings to host Michel Martin.
Even before FIFA President Joseph Blatter announced the 2018 and 2022 World Cup host countries in December, 2010, accusations of corruption were rampant. A panel meant to restore FIFA's image lost a member Monday, as Alexandra Wrage said it was accomplishing nothing.
Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 1:22 pm
FIFA's efforts to rehabilitate its tarnished public image were dealt twin setbacks Monday when the international soccer federation's Twitter account was hacked and used to send messages joking about corruption. And a member of its reform committee quit, saying they were making no progress.
Update at 3:20 p.m. ET. FIFA Executive Resigns:
Paraguay's Nicolas Leoz resigned from FIFA's executive committee Tuesday, the same week an extensive report on bribery from the group's ethics investigator is to be released.
Matthew McConaughey earned early attention as a sensitive actor with his turn in the 1996 legal drama A Time to Kill -- but since then he has mostly made a career with leading-man roles in romantic comedies like How to Lose a Guy In 10 Days, Failure to Launch and The Wedding Planner.
He calls these "tomorrow roles," and he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that he appreciates them for what they are: parts he could land one day and walk on set to film the next day.
Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 5:37 am
Update at 5 p.m. ET:
Reuters reports that Apple has posted better-than-expected second-quarter earnings of $43.6 billion, "reflecting strong sales of the iPad and iPhone." Wall Street had forecast revenue of $42.3 billion, the wire service says.
We pick up our original post here:
Investors are waiting, many not so eagerly, for a look at how Apple for the second quarter.
Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 10:26 am
France is poised to become the latest nation to legalize same-sex marriage after its Parliament passed a bill that also legalizes adoptions by same-sex couples.
President Francois Hollande is expected to sign the bill quickly.
Authorities are bracing for the reaction from opponents. Correspondent Eleanor Beardsley tells our Newscast Desk that "supporters are planning a celebratory rally and opponents will stage protests across the country. Opposition in France to gay marriage has radicalized over the past month as far-right extremists have joined the protests."
Writer Joel Arnold is surveying the scene at the Tribeca Film Festival, which runs in New York City through April 28. He'll be filing occasional dispatches for Monkey See.
Beginning in Bordeaux and traveling as far as western China as it tracks the reach of today's global wine market, Red Obsession uses the banner Bordeaux seasons of 2009 and 2010 as a springboard for an analytical profile of the modern wine industry.
Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 11:45 am
A faith-healing Philadelphia couple on probation after they refused to seek medical care for a son who later died has now lost a second child.
Herbert and Catherine Schaible reportedly told authorities they prayed for the health of their 8-month-old son, Brandon, who was suffering from diarrhea and breathing problems, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. But the baby died last week.
Bolstered by a recent study that found doctors performing hysterectomies performed using a pricey robot didn't produce better results for patients than ordinary — and cheaper — procedures, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recently threw down a latex gauntlet against the use of robots.
Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 1:09 pm
Jimmy Kimmel Live ran this rather remarkable segment in which, as the show explained it, people walking into Coachella were asked about bands that do not, in fact, exist. Nevertheless, these particular folks had strong opinions about the great "energy" of The Chelsea Clintons, and the album DJ Cornmeal, which one guy claims he used to play all the time at his community radio show.
Dzhokhar (at left) and Tamerlan Tsarnaev allegedly killed an MIT police officer, carjacked a vehicle and engaged in a gun battle with police soon after authorities distributed this image of the brothers walking near the finish line of the Boston Marathon just before two bombs exploded. Tamerlan, 26, died from injuries he received. Dzhokhar, 19, was captured Friday night.
It was just a whimsical idea back in the '70s. David Chan and his co-workers decided to try every Chinese restaurant in the neighborhood. Now, the 64-year-old Los Angeles attorney has visited more than 6,000 Chinese eateries around the world. The L.A. Times says he once hit 300 restaurants in a single year. You'll find Chan using a fork. He's not a chopsticks guy.
He often gives advice to restaurant critics. Chan says he's always just been a collector - stamps, records - now dumplings.
Oh no, I thought, cracking open Brian Kimberling's debut novel, Snapper. It's a collection of linked stories. Starring an aimless birdwatcher. Who drives an ancient, glitter-encrusted pickup truck named Gypsy Moth and has a grand passion for an honest-to-God Manic Pixie Dream Girl with red hair, floaty dresses, a flute and a killer pancake recipe. And her name is Lola. Lola! I was braced for a thorough beat-down with the dreaded Whimsy Hammer.
Lots of people have been inquiring about the future of ScuttleButton. While I wish I had an answer — I don't, not yet — I'd like to suggest that you sign up for the Political Junkie/ScuttleButton mailing list. That way, I will be able to share the information once I have it (see info below).