An Islamist rebel group in Aleppo called "the Authority for the Promotion of Virtue and Supporting the Oppressed" reviews applications for aid on Feb. 25. In addition to handing out aid, the Islamist group says it is carrying out civilian administration in parts of Aleppo.
Credit Hamid Khatib / Reuters/Landov
A member of an Islamist group holds a flag in Raqqa province, eastern Syria, on Tuesday. Recently, militants there posted leaflets announcing that anyone who supports democracy is an infidel — a serious offense under Shariah law.
In rebel-held parts of Syria, a clash of ideologies is playing out. Powerful Islamist brigades are competing with pro-democracy civilians to shape Syria's future.
One battlefront is in the courts. In many areas in northern Syria, Islamists have set up religious courts that deliver rulings under Shariah, or Islamic law — a fundamental change in Syria's civil legal system.
This is evident on a recent day in a courtroom in the northern Syrian city of Azaz.
The U.S. and other countries have hesitated to help arm the rebel groups in Syria, mainly arguing that they don't want those weapons falling into the wrong hands. After nearly two years of fighting in Syria, the number of rebel groups has spiraled into the hundreds. Now, France and Britain are calling for an emergency European Union meeting to end the arms embargo from allied nations to Syria's rebel groups.
Melissa Block speaks with John Connaughton, a 36-year-old American seminarian studying at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, about what it's like to witness the transition of popes firsthand.
Saint Francis of Assisi is the namesake of the new pope, Francis. To learn about the life of Saint Francis and his legacy in the Catholic Church, Melissa Block talks with with Father Jeremy Harrington. He's guardian of the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America.
Amid GOP soul-searching over a dismal 2012 election, a consensus has emerged that Republicans must appeal better to Latino voters. The effort has even appeared at the Conservative Political Action Conference, with a panel on immigration reform on Thursday morning.
Pictures of Newtown's Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims are displayed as Senate Judiciary Committee chairperson Dianne Feinstein speaks during a hearing on "The Assault Weapons Ban of 2013" at the Hart Senate Office Building in Washington, DC, on February 27, 2013.
Two young actresses with substantial Hollywood pedigrees have the title roles in the new film Ginger & Rosa. Ginger is played by Dakota Fanning's sister, Elle, who at 14 already has more than 30 movie credits. Rosa is played by Alice Englert, daughter of Oscar-winning writer-director Jane Campion and star of last month's Beautiful Creatures. Both actresses get a chance to stretch in Ginger & Rosa.
Convicted murderer Gary Haugen has spent more than 30 years in prison; he's been on death row since 2007. And if he had his way, he would schedule his execution tomorrow. But in an unusual case, the Oregon Supreme Court must decide whether Haugen, who has waived his right to appeal, can die — or if Gov. John Kitzhaber's reprieve of Haugen should stand.
Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 8:43 am
In the buildup to the climax of Brad Anderson's The Call, a character discovers what the film's villain has been doing with all the teenage girls he's been kidnapping and killing. It's a grisly revelation, and it's played for shock value — both for the audience and for the character making the discovery.
There's only one problem: Early in the film, the body of one of these girls is recovered. So the details of the killer's M.O. shouldn't come as any shock whatsoever to the character that discovers his lair.
There are some funny bits and characters around the edges of The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, but its core is empty of humor. In fact, this purported satire of Las Vegas magicians is a three-void circus: the script, the central character and the main performance.
The committee-written screenplay begins with the premise that, 20 years after the illusion-busting Penn and Teller set up in Vegas, there could still be a market for a pair of old-school tricksters who call themselves Burt Wonderstone and Anton Marvelton.
In 1963 Japan, Shun (voiced by Anton Yelchin) and Umi (Sarah Bolger) unite to preserve a beloved old building that serves as a clubhouse for young intellectuals at their seaside community school.
Though Umi can be seen as a representative of a younger, more modern generation, her love of tradition and respect for the past shows that midcentury Japan was about more than just rapid urban redevelopment.
Of the many wonderful qualities associated with the films of Studio Ghibli — the Japanese animation house co-founded by Hiyao Miyazaki, the visionary director of My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki's Delivery Service and Spirited Away — serenity may be the most key. Ghibli productions offer the stirring adventures and magical creatures of their American counterparts, and often operate by a wondrously mysterious internal logic, but they do so without feeling compelled to grab a young audience by the lapels.
Once known as the most beautiful avenue in the world, the Champs Elysees is changing. Some Parisians fear it's starting to look like any American shopping mall as high rents and global chains steadily alter its appearance.
"We just try to keep a sort of diversity on the Champs Elysees, with the cinemas, with restaurants, with cafes and shops," says Deputy Mayor Lynn Cohen-Solal. "We don't think the laws of the natural market, the free market, make for a good Champs Elysees."
There's always the temptation of heading to an Irish pub, grabbing a pint of Guinness and chowing down on some cabbage and potatoes when March 17 rolls around.
However, there's much more to Irish cuisine than that, says Rachel Allen, a well-known TV chef in Ireland who is appreciated for her simple, doable recipes that champion the country's fresh produce, meats and seafood.
The 10 stories in Claire Vaye Watkins' debut collection — Battleborn — explore the past and present of the American West, specifically Nevada, where Watkins spent much of her childhood and adolescence. On Wednesday, it was announced that the 28-year-old author had won two major literary prizes for Battleborn: the $10,000 Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the $20,000 Story Prize.
The veteran reporter has recently moved from ABC News to CNN where he now hosts his own show and serves as Chief Washington Correspondent. In Part II of this interview, Tapper talks about fact-checking the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and blow back from the White House after asking tough questions.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives for a meeting in Israel's parliament, the Knesset, on Thursday. Netanyahu has reached agreement with other factions to form a coalition government following an election in January.
For his uncompromising and serious music, the 2011 Newport Jazz Festival was eager to present Charles Lloyd. He could bring any group he wanted, they told him. Lloyd said yes, and that he would bring Sangam, an East-West trio with one CD and few performances on the schedule. It was a coup!
After Vice President Joe Biden used the term "malarkey" in a 2012 debate, searches for the word in online dictionaries surged. Now that dictionaries are readily available with a mouse click or finger tap, dictionary publishers can track the correlation between word searches and current events.
Kevyn Orr, "a high-powered Washington, D.C., lawyer and University of Michigan graduate who worked on Chrysler's 2009 bankruptcy restructuring," has been given the job of straightening out the city of Detroit's desperate financial mess, the Detroit Free Press writes.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R), who earlier this month declared that the city is in a financial emergency, tapped Orr with the job Thursday.
Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 1:24 pm
As the sun rose over Latin America this morning, we're getting a clearer picture of how Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio — now Pope Francis — was viewed in his home of Argentina and what the first pope from the New World could mean for the continent.
We've read through dozens of news outlets from the region to bring you highlights:
Villagers gather dead pigs in Jiaxing, in eastern China's Zhejiang province, on Wednesday. The number of dead pigs found in Shanghai's main river had doubled in two days to more than 6,000, the government said.
More than a week has passed since thousands of dead pigs were first discovered floating in a river in Shanghai, but authorities have yet to explain fully where the pigs came from or why they died.
Fourteen of the pigs had tags in their ears identifying them as coming from Jiaxing city, in neighboring Zhejiang province. Getting to the bottom of the pig story, though, is tough. A visit to Zhulin village, where most everyone raises pigs, was greeted by serial denials.
Did you know Ke$ha's song "Tik Tok" demonstrates a linguistic oddity? And we're not talking about her spelling. "Reduplicated" words contain repeated syllables, but with different vowel sounds. Puzzle guru Art Chung leads contestants in a game full of reduplicated word pairs, so quit your "chit-chat" and listen in!
Plus, guest music duo Paul & Storm play an extra-special cover of "Splish-Splash."