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NPR Story
3:06 pm
Sat August 31, 2013

What Makes The 'Smartest Kids In The World'?

Originally published on Sun September 1, 2013 8:06 am

Transcript

JACKIE LYDEN, HOST:

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NPR Story
3:06 pm
Sat August 31, 2013

While Britain Votes No, France Still Backs Strikes On Syria

Originally published on Sun September 1, 2013 8:06 am

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

The U.S. will not be acting alone if and when it launches military strikes against the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad. French President Francois Hollande spoke with President Obama today. France and the U.S. will act together after congressional discussions.

As NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports, this Franco-American alliance is a complete turnabout from the lead up to the war in Iraq 10 years ago.

(SOUNDBITE OF BRITISH PARLIAMENTARY DEBATE)

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NPR Story
3:06 pm
Sat August 31, 2013

Chemical Weapons And Civilians: The Invisible Threat

Originally published on Sun September 1, 2013 8:06 am

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

If you're just joining us, this is WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden.

The chemical weapons attack in Syria on August the 21st was the first time in a quarter century that such weapons had been used against civilians during a conflict. In 1988 during the Iran-Iraq War, the Iraqi city of Halabja was subjected to a gas attack by Saddam Hussein. At least 5,000 people died.

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The Two-Way
1:08 pm
Sat August 31, 2013

Lawmakers Welcome President Asking For Their OK On Syria

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 2:10 pm

(This post last updated at 4:10 p.m. ET)

Lawmakers, many of whom had urged President Obama to seek authority from Congress before going ahead with a military strike against Syria, were largely positive about his decision to do just that.

The president, in a Rose Garden address on Saturday, said that the U.S. should respond militarily to Syria's Aug. 21 chemical attack that killed more than 1,400 people, but that he would first seek authorization from Congress.

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The U.S. Response To Syria
1:01 pm
Sat August 31, 2013

Read And Listen: President Obama Turns To Congress On Syria

President Obama speaks about Syria from the Rose Garden at the White House on Saturday.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 1, 2013 1:24 pm

  • Listen To President Obama's Full Speech
  • NPR Special Coverage Of Obama's Remarks

A transcript of President Obama's remarks on possible U.S. military action in Syria, as released by the White House:

Good afternoon, everybody. Ten days ago, the world watched in horror as men, women and children were massacred in Syria in the worst chemical weapons attack of the 21st century. Yesterday the United States presented a powerful case that the Syrian government was responsible for this attack on its own people.

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The Two-Way
10:57 am
Sat August 31, 2013

Jailed Leader Of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood Suffers Heart Attack

Mohammed Badie, the leader of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, at the group's headquarters in Cairo in January 2010.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 11:32 am

Mohammed Badie, the top leader of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, has suffered a heart attack while in jail, Reuters reports, quoting the state-run al-Ahram newspaper on Saturday.

However, state-run news agency MENA has denied a report by the private al-Nahar website, citing security sources, that Badie had died.

Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim was quoted by Reuters as saying that Badie is "in good health" after the heart attack.

Many of the Brotherhood's leaders were imprisoned in recent weeks in the toughest crackdown the group has faced.

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The Two-Way
10:40 am
Sat August 31, 2013

Obama To Seek Congressional Approval For Action Against Syria

At the White House Saturday, President Obama said he would seek congressional approval before taking action in Syria.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Sun September 1, 2013 9:48 am

  • President Obama's Full Speech
  • NPR Special Coverage Of Obama's Speech

(Post updated at 10 p.m. ET)

President Obama said Saturday he had decided that the U.S. should take military action against Syria in response to its use of chemical weapons, but that he will seek a congressional authorization for the action that could come "tomorrow, or next week or one month from now."

Speaking from the Rose Garden, the president said he believed that he had the authority to act without Congress, but said, "I know the country will be stronger if we take this course."

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The Protojournalist
9:13 am
Sat August 31, 2013

The Rise And Fall Of Slackers

iStock

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 10:15 am

As we pause this Labor Day weekend to celebrate the Great American Worker, we can't help but wonder: Whatever happened to the Great American Slacker?

It wasn't that long ago that slackers ruled the earth. OK, maybe ruled is a bit over the top because slackers, by definition, didn't really rule — or try very hard or take full responsibility. Whatever. But they sure were omnipresent there for a while.

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Parallels
9:12 am
Sat August 31, 2013

Why Are U.S. Presidents Calling On The Military So Often?

U.S. forces transfer a missile for a fighter plane as the military prepared for war in Iraq, in Saudi Arabia in 1990. American presidents have been calling on the military frequently since the end of the Cold War more than two decades ago.
Gerard Fouet AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 10:22 am

When the Cold War ended two decades ago there was a widespread belief that the greatest threat to U.S. troops would be boredom. It seemed they faced a future with little to do besides polishing their boots and staging the occasional military exercise.

Yet U.S. presidents are calling on the military more often than ever, with U.S. forces carrying out more than a dozen separate operations since the first Gulf War in Iraq in 1991.

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The Two-Way
8:30 am
Sat August 31, 2013

15 Killed In China Ammonia Leak

Police officers walk out from the main gate of Weng's Cold Storage Industrial Co. Ltd. at the outskirts of Shanghai, China, on Saturday.
Eugene Hoshiko Associated Press

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 12:20 pm

A liquid ammonia leak at an industrial refrigeration unit in Shanghai has killed at least 15 people and left six others in critical condition.

NPR's Frank Langfitt says the leak occurred before noon on Saturday at a cold storage facility in the city's northern Baoshan District, which handles seafood.

Besides the six in critical condition, 20 others were injured, according to the Shanghai government.

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The Two-Way
7:29 am
Sat August 31, 2013

Teen Gets Three Years In Gang Rape, Murder Of Indian Woman

A protester in India chants slogans as she braces herself against the spray fired from police water canons during a protest in December sparked by the gang rape of a 23-year-old paramedical student.
Daniel Berehulak Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 12:43 pm

An Indian teen has been sentenced to three years in juvenile detention for the gang-rape of a 23-year-old woman who later died in the hospital, the first verdict in a case that has sparked international outrage over the brutal crime.

Police say the convicted 18-year-old was one of five men who lured the 23-year-old victim and her male friend onto a bus in the capital, New Delhi, where she was repeatedly raped and beaten in December.

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Fresh Air Weekend
7:03 am
Sat August 31, 2013

Fresh Air Weekend: 'America's Test Kitchen,' 'Short Term 12' And Demian Bichir

Jack Bishop of America's Test Kitchen says the trick to grilling peaches is using fruit that's ripe but firm.
mccun934 via Flickr

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 10:20 am

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

'America's Test Kitchen' On Grilling Peaches, Tofu And Burgers: Bridget Lancaster and Jack Bishop advise using ripe fruit, extra-firm tofu and poking your hamburgers so they don't puff up like tennis balls.

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The Two-Way
6:49 am
Sat August 31, 2013

Mandela Remains In 'Critical But Stable Condition'

In an image taken from video, South African President Jacob Zuma, left, sits with the ailing anti-apartheid icon Nelson Madela in April.
Associated Press

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 12:26 pm

Nelson Mandela is still in the hospital, despite reports to the contrary.

CNN and the BBC, quoting sources close to Mandela, reported Saturday that the ailing 95-year-old anti-apartheid leader and former South African president had returned to his Johannesburg home after a long hospitalization.

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The Two-Way
5:59 am
Sat August 31, 2013

Putin Calls Claims Of Syrian Chemical Attack 'Nonsense'

An image grab taken from a video posted by Syrian activists earlier this week allegedly showing a U.N. inspector listening to the testimony of a man in the Damascus suburb of Moadamiyet al-Sham.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 11:30 am

Russian President Vladimir Putin called U.S. claims that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons "utter nonsense" and urged the White House not to launch a retaliatory strike.

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Recipes
5:57 am
Sat August 31, 2013

This Pork Loin Sandwich Starts With Happy Pigs

Matt Jennings' pork loin sandwich.
Catherine Welch NPR

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 9:59 am

It's the time of year when people are flocking to their farmer's market seeking out fresh fruits and vegetables for the summer picnic basket. But what about meat for the sandwich? One Rhode Island chef collects all of his ingredients at the farmer's market, including the meat, to make the perfect pork loin sandwich.

Providence chef Matt Jennings' sandwich gets its start down a gravel road, around an old, red barn where a couple of light pink pigs roll in the mud to keep themselves cool in the midday heat.

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Middle East
5:57 am
Sat August 31, 2013

Does Obama Need Congressional Approval On Syria?

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 9:59 am

Nearly 200 members of Congress have signed letters insisting that the president submit plans for any military strike in Syria for authorization. Host Scott Simon talks with Democratic Rep. Jim McDermott of Washington, who has signed one of the letters.

Politics
5:57 am
Sat August 31, 2013

Conservatives Huddle At Strategy Meeting

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 9:59 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

While many Americans take time off this weekend, a group of conservative activists are meeting in Florida. Americans for Prosperity, a group that was founded by David and Charles Koch, is holding its annual summit in Orlando. That gathering includes several rising stars among conservatives - Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and Texas Senator Ted Cruz. But in terms of issues, NPR's Greg Allen reports, one seems to stand above all - stopping Obamacare.

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Afghanistan
5:57 am
Sat August 31, 2013

Marines Have Turned Helmand Fight Over To Afghans

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 9:59 am

The Taliban conducted a series of deadly attacks across Afghanistan this week, killing civilians, Afghan forces and several NATO service members. But they are targeting far fewer NATO troops these days, because those troops are focused on training and advising the Afghan army. NPR's Sean Carberry spent five days with U.S. Marines in one of Afghanistan's chronic hot spots and speaks with host Scott Simon.

Middle East
5:57 am
Sat August 31, 2013

How The Region Might React To An Attack On Syria

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 9:59 am

What would Iraq and Israel do if the U.S. launches military action against the Syrian government? Former analyst at the Defense Intelligence Agency Joshua Foust speaks with host Scott Simon about the wider consequences for the Middle East.

Middle East
5:57 am
Sat August 31, 2013

White House Says It's Not Out To Topple Assad Regime

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 9:59 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. A U.N. inspections team left Syria this morning and that team is making its way back to Europe where it will analyze samples that were collected at the site of a poison gas attack outside of Damascus. In Washington, D.C. the Obama Administration says it is already convinced that Bashar Assad's regime used chemical weapons during that attack, and yesterday the White House released a summary of intelligence that says that more than 1400 civilians were killed by chemical weapons.

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Middle East
5:57 am
Sat August 31, 2013

Syrians Anticipate U.S. Strikes

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 9:59 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

To Damascus now, as Syrians prepare for what might be coming. Nada Keuttnen works helping visiting journalists there in Damascus, including several NPR reporters. She joins us over Skype. Nada, thank you very much for being with us.

NADA KEUTTNEN: You are welcome.

SIMON: What's Damascus like today?

KEUTTNEN: It doesn't seem different than two, three, even a week ago. The life is going on. People are a bit may be worried and they're trying to buy extra dry food, expecting that something will happen but nothing is.

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Middle East
5:57 am
Sat August 31, 2013

Pentagon Plans Syria Strike Options

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 9:59 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Now, let's take a look at what the U.S. military might do in Syria. The Pentagon has prepared military options that would allow the U.S. to launch a punitive strike against the regime of Bashar al-Assad. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has been at the center of that military planning, even as he visited Asia this past week. NPR's Larry Abramson has been traveling all week with Secretary Hagel. He's had a unique vantage point on those deliberations and joins us now. Larry, thanks for being with us.

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Middle East
5:57 am
Sat August 31, 2013

U.N. Inspectors Leave Damascus

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 9:59 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Around the Nation
5:57 am
Sat August 31, 2013

Maine Toy Museum Is Really For Grownups

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 9:59 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The small town of Waldoboro, Maine, boasts two attractions: Moody's Diner, reputed to be one of the oldest in the country, and the Toy Museum. It was founded in 1996 by John Fawcett. Karen Michel paid the museum's founder a visit as she wrapped up her summer vacation.

KAREN MICHEL, BYLINE: The sign says world class museum enjoyed by adults, a Maine vacation delight - open.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL RINGING)

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Middle East
5:57 am
Sat August 31, 2013

If It's Not Legal, Can A Strike On Syria Be Justified?

President Obama says any military strike he makes against the Syrian government in retaliation for suspected chemical attacks would be limited.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 9:59 am

As the Obama administration argues for a military intervention in Syria in response to a chemical attack that it says killed more than 1,400 Syrians, analysts say the case for a strike lacks a legal framework.

President Obama said Friday that the decision to act is part of a U.S. obligation as a world leader to make sure that regimes are held to account if they are found targeting their own people with weapons prohibited by international norms.

"If there's a sense that if nobody's willing to enforce them, then people don't take them seriously," he said Friday.

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NPR Story
5:38 am
Sat August 31, 2013

NBC To Broadcast Britsh Soccer League

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 9:59 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

There's no joke in American sport circles. Soccer is the sport of the future and always will be. Is the future here? Big time soccer finally has a major American television contract, but it's not the L.A. Galaxy, Chicago Fire, San Jose Earthquake, or Columbus Crew. The NBC sports network has started broadcasting a full schedule - should that be schedule - from Britain's premier league. That's Manchester United Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, the Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham.

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NPR Story
5:38 am
Sat August 31, 2013

Contenders Battle In The U.S. Open

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 9:59 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon and nice to say time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: The U.S. Open full swing. We've seen a curtain call for James Blake, an early exit by Venus Williams, a glitter of greatness from Victoria Duval and Serena Williams star burning bright as ever. For the latest from Blushing Meadows we turn to Howard Bryant of ESPN.com and ESPN the Magazine. He joins us from his studios of the Radio Foundation in New York City. Howard, thanks for being with us.

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NPR Story
5:38 am
Sat August 31, 2013

If 'Humanitarian,' Why Not Intervene In Syria Sooner?

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 9:59 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

As U.S. forced reportedly prepare to launch a limited military action against the Syrian government, we turn now to a voice who's long made the case that the U.S. must take some action in Syria. Michael Ignatieff is a leading voice for the idea of humanitarian intervention. He helped develop the concept of the responsibility to protect. He is the former leader of Canada's Liberal party and now back on the faculty of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard's Kennedy School.

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Author Interviews
5:03 am
Sat August 31, 2013

Questions For Hugh Howey, Author Of 'WOOL'

Hugh Howey self-published the original WOOL novella in 2011. It has since grown to become a best-selling phenomenon.
Amber Lyda

After a varied career as a computer repairman and yacht captain, Hugh Howey turned his hand to writing. He'd self-published several novels and stories when the sci-fi dystopia WOOL, originally just a novella, found sudden runaway success in 2011. Howey found himself writing sequel after sequel to keep up with reader demand — the latest volume, Dust, was released in August.

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The Salt
3:06 am
Sat August 31, 2013

Don't Panic! Your Questions On (Not) Washing Raw Chickens

iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 12:25 pm

Without meaning to, I seem to have sparked a "small #chickensh*tstorm," as food writer Michael Ruhlman put it, with my recent post about why you shouldn't wash your raw poultry. The strong, even vituperative responses to the post surprised me. I didn't anticipate that Americans would be quite so passionate about poultry hygiene.

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