A Syrian woman carries a ration of bread on her head in the northern city of Aleppo. The Syrian opposition now runs local councils in many cities, particularly in the north. They often face major challenges in providing basics likes food, water and electricity.
Credit Odd Anderson / AFP/Getty Images
Customers shop by candlelight in a grocery store in Aleppo. The city has been hit hard by fighting in recent months, with both the opposition and the government controlling parts of the area.
Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 12:18 pm
As the Syrian opposition gains control of large swaths of territory in the country's north, local councils are emerging as the first alternative authority after 21 months of revolt.
It is still unclear if the civilian councils can impose order in war-torn areas where rebels have the power of arms. And at least parts of major cities remain in the hands of President Bashar Assad's forces.
On Friday night on PBS, Great Performances presents a documentary about the making of a Beatles TV special from 1967 — Magical Mystery Tour — then shows a restored version of that special. Magical Mystery Tour has the music from the U.S. album of the same name, but it's not the album. It's a musical comedy fantasy about the Beatles and a busload of tourists taking a trip to unknown destinations.
Egyptians are voting on a new constitution - but the vote is polarizing the country. Meanwhile, in Syria, the main opposition group is now recognized by the U.S., but there are questions about al-Qaeda affiliates fighting alongside them. To make sense of the developments, host Michel Martin talks with Abderrahim Foukara of Al Jazeera International.
Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 11:50 am
The world isn't going to end next Friday, but Dec. 21, 2012, has come to be known as the Mayan apocalypse because that's when the Mayan calendar ends. As scientists have told us repeatedly, the end of the calendar year was actually a time for celebration and renewal — the equivalent of an ancient New Year's Eve. So breweries around the country have decided to celebrate with — what else? — beer.
In this week's Barbershop, the guys weigh in on U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice withdrawing her name from consideration for secretary of state. They also discuss Michigan's right-to-work law and whether unions are still relevant today.
Lawrence Guyot spent his life fighting for civil rights - but often at great personal cost. He was jailed and beaten regularly by police in the Deep South while helping black people get involved in politics. Host Michel Martin speaks with Washington, D.C. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, who worked alongside Guyot, about his life and activism.
Labor pains in Michigan, President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner head to the cliff, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice is steamed, and we're still waiting for a Senate replacement for Jim DeMint in South Carolina.
It looks like the only folks smiling in this week's podcast are Ken Rudin and Ron Elving.
An Egyptian activist holds a banner used to spray paint graffiti on a wall urging Egyptians to vote against a draft constitution. The opposition says the constitution does not represent all Egyptians, but their efforts have not been particularly well organized. President Mohamed Morsi and his Islamist supporters support the draft constitution. Voting begins Saturday.
For three consecutive weeks, the Egyptian opposition has called mass protests against a controversial draft constitution that Egyptians are being asked to vote on beginning Saturday.
At each rally, protesters chanted against the document and its key proponents: The Muslim Brotherhood and President Mohamed Morsi, who was among the group's leaders before he was elected Egypt's president.
But the opposition appears to be losing momentum, while the Islamists still appear to be going strong.
You can't fill your end-of-the-year season with nothing but good cheer, or you'll turn into a candy cane. (That's science.) So we chose to tackle a slightly darker topic this week: Is everything worse than ever?
Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 3:07 pm
Not every pioneer is a swashbuckler. Dido Armstrong, the hit-making British singer-songwriter, has a gentle voice that recalls backyard birdsong and a Jane Austen-like grasp of everyday heartache and perseverance.
"In recent weeks, new lines of attack have been raised to malign my character and my career. Even before I was nominated for any new position, a steady drip of manufactured charges painted a wholly false picture of me."
Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 8:02 pm
Though we hear about them every holiday season in that famous song, chestnuts – whether roasting on an open fire or otherwise – have been noticeably absent from many American tables for decades, thanks to a deadly fungus that decimated the species near half a century ago. But a small army of determined growers have been on a seemingly quixotic quest to put chestnuts back on the American table, and they're just starting to see results.
"Being welcomed by and embraced by Igbos, who take Judaism so seriously ... it raises the question of what it means to be a Jew," says William Miles.
Three years ago, Miles, a self-proclaimed semi-practicing Jew, decided to celebrate Hanukkah in Africa's most populous country. He wrote about his experience in a new book called Jews of Nigeria: An Afro-Judaic Odyssey. He tells NPR's Tell Me More host Michel Martin that he found "a very Jewish community, but also a very African community."
A supporter of the opposition to Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi was playing soccer near a Republican Guard tank earlier today outside the presidential palace in Cairo. Egyptians are being called to vote over the next two weekends in a referendum on a draft constitution.
Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 7:12 am
"The U.S. will send two batteries of Patriot missiles and 400 troops to Turkey as part of a NATO force meant to protect Turkish territory from a potential Syrian missile attack, the Pentagon said Friday." (The Associated Press)
That's what the University of Chicago is asking. The admissions office received mail addressed to Henry Walton Jones, Jr., aka Indiana Jones. The character is said to have attended the school. The package contained a dust-covered replica of the journal in the Raiders of the Lost Ark film.
Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 5:02 am
The bank UBS has been in the middle of a huge investigation into interest rate manipulation. There are several reports that a subsidiary of UBS is making a settlement deal with U.S., British and Swiss officials.
The Consumer Price Index is one of the most familiar measures in economics and politics. But some in Washington want to change the way the index is calculated to better reflect people's shopping habits.
While the proposed change is described as a technical fix, it could also cut the federal deficit by hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade.