Tuesday marks the 50th anniversary of the death of the poet Robert Frost, famous for such poems as "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" and "The Road Not Taken." Fans of Frost's works have another reason to pay special attention to his legacy this week: Jonathan Reichert, professor emeritus at the State University of New York at Buffalo, has just donated a rare collection of Frost materials to the university.
The uprisings of the Arab Spring unleashed a new political force in the region — Salafis, ultraconservative Muslims who aspire to a society ruled entirely by a rigid form of Islamic law. Their models are the salaf, or ancestors, referring to the earliest Muslims who lived during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad.
Over the past six months, the headlines from Aleppo, Syria, have been horrifying. As the conflict between rebel forces and the government continues, the city has been overrun by tanks and artillery, and assaulted by shots, explosions and fires.
But Aleppo's present belies a much richer past. It's Syria's largest city, and one of the world's oldest continually inhabited urban areas. Over the centuries, it has served as a major crossroads for trade and commerce.
Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 5:27 pm
When President Obama during his inauguration speech made a case for tackling human-driven climate change, it felt like deja vu for many in the environmental community — including members of religious groups who have long looked to him for action.
After all, Obama made a similar pledge during his first inauguration address in 2009, and left-leaning and progressive faith-based organizations were among activist groups that pushed for quick congressional action on major climate legislation.
The debate in Washington over immigration reform is underway. Today, a bipartisan group of senators released a framework for sweeping changes to the nation's immigration laws. President Obama is scheduled to unveil his own plan in Nevada tomorrow. The Senate outline includes, among other things, a path to citizenship for the roughly 11 million immigrants now living in the U.S. illegally. It also calls for stricter border security and employment verification.
As NPR's Debbie Elliott reports, the plan is already getting mixed reviews.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
And we begin this hour with talk of America's cybersecurity and All Tech Considered.
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CORNISH: The U.S. military is facing the prospect of serious budget cuts in the coming months, but one area is set to grow. Defense officials say they are planning a huge increase in its force of cyber warriors.
This month's hostage taking at a natural gas plant in Algeria shows how international terrorism is evolving. Groups such as al-Qaida have long been motivated by radical ideology. What's happening now in North Africa is a little different. For groups there, there's also a financial motive.
NPR's Dina Temple-Raston reports on the dangerous intersection of terrorism and syndicated crime.
Gold mines are reopening in California, some dating all the way back to the Gold Rush. Soaring gold prices are drawing mining companies back into the Sierra Nevada foothills. But some communities fear the effect on local environments.
Dan Boitano, a fifth-generation miner, has been working as a tour guide in the Golden State's historic gold country. His family has been around since the Gold Rush.
Up until a few years ago, he was still guiding tours for visitors.
As momentum grows for immigration reform, Audie Cornish takes a look back in time at another moment when the country was grappling with its immigrant population. In the early 1900s, the Dillingham Commission was mandated by Congress to undertake a massive study of immigrants. We take a look at the 1911 report with Senate Associate Historian Betty Koed. Its conclusions led the country to prioritize certain immigrants over others. We explore how those findings still reverberate today with Richard Alba, a professor of sociology who has spent decades studying the immigrant experience.
Long before the recent shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, school administrators and teachers across the country had been thinking hard about how to respond to danger on campus. Lockdowns are one technique that school safety experts say have become more common since the Columbine shooting in 1999. Robyn Gee spent two years as a teacher in San Francisco before becoming a reporter for Youth Radio. We asked her to look into how lockdowns are being used in the Bay Area.
Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 3:41 pm
A bipartisan Senate plan unveiled Monday to overhaul the U.S. immigration system frames a pitched debate expected in Congress around the areas of border enforcement, a path to citizenship for those already in the country and the future flow of new arrivals.
Reading always seemed to be the most private of acts: just you and your imagination immersed in another world. But now, if you happen to be curled up with an e-reader, you're not alone.
Data is being collected about your reading habits. That information belongs to the companies that sell e-readers, like Amazon or Barnes & Noble. And they can share — or sell — that information if they like. One official at Barnes & Noble has said sharing that data with publishers might "help authors create even better books."
Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 3:15 pm
If doctors would just pay attention to how much things cost, they might be more careful when ordering tests for patients, right?
Well, that's the theory behind some research and projects to cut wasteful health spending. But a study at Johns Hopkins Hospital found that changing doctors' behavior may be not be as easy as simply making them aware of prices.
The new U.S. military policy on women serving in combat roles was crafted in Washington, but it will play out in places like Afghanistan.
And sitting outside at the military base at the Kabul airport, male and female troops offered their thoughts on what the new policy might mean.
"I wasn't completely surprised with it. It's not anything we haven't discussed before," said Capt. Monica Paden, a military intelligence officer from San Diego. "We have been slowly being integrated into combat arms and into units in support roles."
Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 1:52 pm
The Reuben has long suffered from two problems. Firstly, it often lacks the structural integrity to hold together as a sandwich. The second problem is that I am not constantly surrounded by a dozen of them.
The Reuben Egg Roll from Hackney's in Chicago solves the first problem, at least, stuffing corned beef, sauerkraut and swiss cheese in a crispy egg roll shell, Thousand Island on the side.
Ian: I feel like you meet this food, and you're like, "Wait, your name is Reuben?"
Herding cattle up the side of a mountain might seem like a lot of extra work, but for thousands of years, people have hauled their cows into the Alps to graze during the summer months. Why? It's all about great-tasting cheese.
Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 2:06 pm
On March 16, 1968, between 347 and 504 unarmed Vietnamese civilians were gunned down by members of the U.S. Army in what became known as the My Lai Massacre.
The U.S. government has maintained that atrocities like this were isolated incidents in the conflict. Nick Turse says otherwise. In his new book, Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam, Turse argues that the intentional killing of civilians was quite common in a war that claimed 2 million civilian lives, with 5.3 million civilians wounded and 11 million refugees.
My favorite item from the growing mountain of Pride and Prejudice bicentennial trivia comes courtesy of an article in something called Regency World Magazine, which is going gaga over the anniversary. The article, "Albert Goes Ape for Austen," describes how a 200-pound orangutan named Albert, living in the Gdansk Zoo in Poland, insists on having 50 pages a night of Pride and Prejudice read to him at bedtime by his keeper or else he refuses to go to sleep.
After seeing its sales take a hit in 2011 because production was hurt by the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan early that year, Toyota bounced back in 2012 to retake the No. 1 spot as the world's top automaker.
The company sold 9.75 million vehicles, to No. 2 General Motors' 9.3 million. Volkswagen was No. 3, with 9.1 million vehicles sold.