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Music Interviews
10:02 am
Mon September 9, 2013

Blitz The Ambassador: Fighting Against Invisibility

Quazi King Blitz the Ambassador

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 2:06 pm

"I've always felt hip-hop as a culture hasn't really yet embraced its international roots." That's something that Blitz the Ambassador is working to change. Born Samuel Bazawule in Ghana, he grew up listening to Public Enemy. Now, he's a rapper in the U.S. His sound blends his rap influences like Chuck D with the Afrobeat sounds of Fela Kuti and the high-life music of his home.

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World
9:54 am
Mon September 9, 2013

Unemployment: Arab Spring Not Springing Back

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 11:19 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. You might be ready for some football but many Native Americans say they are already tired of hearing team names they consider racial slurs. We'll hear what the Oneida Indian Nation is trying to do about one of those team names. That's coming up later in the program.

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Parallels
9:49 am
Mon September 9, 2013

Who Are The Syrian Rebels?

A rebel fighter inspects purchases made by civilians as they cross through a building near the front lines in Aleppo, in northern Syria, on Monday. The city has been divided for more than a year, with the rebels holding the eastern part and government troops holding the west.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 11:46 am

When it comes to Syria's rebels, the conventional wisdom in Washington has been that there are countless factions with a range of agendas and it's difficult, if not impossible, to know exactly who they are.

But ask researchers who've spent two years digging into social media and YouTube videos and they offer a remarkably detailed picture of rebel brigades, their ideologies and their arsenal of weapons in the fight against President Bashar Assad's regime.

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The Two-Way
5:51 am
Mon September 9, 2013

Strike On Syria: Meaningless Gesture Or Necessary Response?

Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., called military action in Syria legitimate and necessary.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 9:09 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power
  • From 'Morning Edition': Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla.
  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Tom Bowman

The arguments for and against taking military action against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad for its alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians were laid out Monday on Morning Edition.

Making the case for a "legitimate, necessary and proportional response" was Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

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Shots - Health News
5:25 am
Mon September 9, 2013

Humanitarian Aid Agencies Brace For Fallout From Syrian Strikes

At the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan, many families struggle to get clean water, food and health services.
Jeff J Mitchell Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 9:04 am

The World Health Organization says the Syrian civil war is currently the worst ongoing humanitarian crisis on earth.

Aid groups have been scrambling to provide shelter, food, water and health care to the huge numbers of people who've been uprooted by the fighting. The big question now is whether U.S. military action could spark another wave of refugees and make the situation worse.

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Middle East
3:13 am
Mon September 9, 2013

Relief Agencies Brace For Fallout From Syria Strikes

Humanitarian groups are stockpiling supplies and readying a new refugee camp in Jordan. The conflict in the region is already the largest ongoing humanitarian crisis in the world with millions of Syrians displaced from their homes.

Sports
3:02 am
Mon September 9, 2013

IOC Reinstates Wrestling To Summer Olympics

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 5:25 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Oh, the sport of wrestling was given a reprieve by an International Olympic Committee. The question here is which sports will be part of the 2020 and 2024 Summer Games, and we're delighted to tell you that wrestling beat out squash as well as a combined bid by baseball and softball for inclusion. It's a happy outcome for wrestling, but there are questions about whether the selection process served the goal of breathing new life into the games. NPR's Mike Pesca is in Bueonos Aires where IOC members are meeting. He has this report.

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NPR Story
2:57 am
Mon September 9, 2013

Concert Stirs Strife In Disputed Kashmir Region

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 5:25 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The New York City Opera may be forced to cancel the rest of its current season and all of its next season, if it is not able to raise $20 million by the end of the year. It has been known as the People's Opera since it debuted 70 years ago. Its mission: Making opera more accessible and affordable. City Opera, as it's called, has experienced what it calls a cash crisis for some years. And now, it's started a Kickstarter campaign to raise the money it needs to survive.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Parallels
1:29 am
Mon September 9, 2013

How To Build An Afghan Army, In A Million Difficult Steps

Afghan soldiers and contractors are taught about the workings of a diesel-powered electrical generator at Forward Operating Base Nolay in Helmand province.
Sean Carberry NPR

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 10:57 am

It's 8 a.m. on a recent day at Forward Operating Base Nolay, a small Marine outpost in Taliban-infested Sangin District of southern Afghanistan's Helmand province. The Marines are in the process of caffeinating and preparing for the day.

Suddenly, explosions and gunfire ring out. The Marines don't run for their weapons or bunkers for that matter. They don't even flinch.

"We can sit here and we can have a cup of coffee when there's booms going on, we're not concerned about it," says Lt. Col. Jonathan Loney.

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The U.S. Response To Syria
4:32 pm
Sun September 8, 2013

How Could A Drought Spark A Civil War?

Farmers ride in their tractor in the drought-hit region of Hasaka in northeastern Syria on June 17, 2010.
Louai Beshara AFP/Getty Images

The background of the Syrian conflict can seem obscure to outsiders, but the spark that started it all is often traced back to the city of Dara'a, in February of 2011.

A group of young people writing Arab Spring protest slogans on a wall are arrested and beaten.

"When that news broke there was a massive demonstration on the street, and that was the first spark one can call of the Syrian uprising," Nayan Chanda tells NPR's Jacki Lyden.

But long before a single shot was fired in Syria, there was drought in Dara'a, laying the groundwork for social unrest.

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Humans
3:29 pm
Sun September 8, 2013

From The Fall Of Failure, Success Can Take Flight

Members of S. A. Andrée's 1897 journey survey their downed vessel. This photo was recovered from a camera when their remains were found 33 years later.
Courtesy of Grenna Museum, Andréexpeditionen Polarcenter/Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography/National Geographic

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 4:26 pm

Diana Nyad's successful swim from Cuba to Key West on Monday was made all the sweeter because she had tried — and failed — four times before.

She learned you should "never, ever give up," but she also learned some practical lessons to help beat the elements in those earlier attempts. Out of failure, she innovated. And out of innovation, she succeeded.

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The Two-Way
1:38 pm
Sun September 8, 2013

Police Challenge Prince Andrew During Walk At Palace

Prince Andrew, Duke of York, seen here at Ascot Racecourse in June, was confronted by police in a garden at Buckingham Palace, who ordered him to identify himself.
Chris Jackson Getty Images

For Prince Andrew, a stroll in the garden of Buckingham Palace turned into a confrontation with police, after officers ordered the prince to show ID. Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, is the son of Queen Elizabeth II; Buckingham is her most famous residence.

"We are grateful to the duke for his understanding and have apologized for any inconvenience caused," Scotland Yard says.

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The Two-Way
10:16 am
Sun September 8, 2013

Wrestling Gets A New Hold On Olympics, Avoids Being Cut

The delegation of the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles celebrates as its sport is voted to be included in the 2020 and 2024 Summer Olympic Games.
Scott Halleran Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 11:16 am

Wrestling, which was bounced from the Olympics' permanent roster of sports earlier this year, has been given a reprieve: It will be part of the 2020 and 2024 Olympics. In a vote held Sunday, the International Olympic Committee chose it over squash and a combined bid from baseball and softball.

Wrestling was cut from the list of 25 core Summer Olympic sports in February. As NPR's Mike Pesca reported, the cut came as a shock.

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The Two-Way
9:13 am
Sun September 8, 2013

Syria Developments: Debate In Washington; Assad Speaks To Rose

The Greek Orthodox monastery of Mar Takla in the Syrian Christian town of Maaloula is seen on Sept. 7. The town is now controlled by a rebel group with al-Qaida ties.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 3:05 pm

We're following several stories regarding Syria Sunday, including new comments from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. There are also reports that an Islamist group with ties to al-Qaida has seized a town with a large Christian population. Elsewhere, officials in the U.S. and its allies are debating how to respond to the conflict that began in 2011, as President Obama's administration tries to shore up support for military action.

We'll update this post with news as it emerges today.

Update at 5 p.m. ET: Sampling Of Political Debate

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The Two-Way
7:14 am
Sun September 8, 2013

France Leads Europe In Hunting, Newspaper Says

Hunters gather prior to a wild boar hunt in Pietrosella, on the French Mediterranean island of Corsica, in August.
Pascal Pochard Casabianca AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 8:46 am

French sports fans are known for their love of soccer. But according to Le Figaro, the country's "second sport" is hunting. The newspaper cites the National Federation of Hunters, which says that among all European countries, France has the most hunters.

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Middle East
5:14 am
Sun September 8, 2013

Pope Leads Prayer Vigil For Peace In Syria

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 11:40 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Syria is also on the mind of pope Francis. Last night, the pope made a somber appeal to the United States to reject any military strikes against Syria. The Vatican estimates some 100,000 people gathered to pray and meditate during a four-hour long peace vigil in St. Peter's Square in Rome.

NPR's Sylvia Poggioli was there.

(SOUNDBITE OF GREGORIAN CHANT)

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Middle East
5:14 am
Sun September 8, 2013

Congress Votes This Week On Military Action In Syria

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 11:40 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

This coming week will be vital to the White House's effort to win support for a military strike on Syria. On Tuesday night, President Obama will lay out his case in an effort to shift public opinion in favor of a strike. The Senate is set to vote on the president's resolution this week and the House is expected to follow thereafter.

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The Sunday Conversation
5:14 am
Sun September 8, 2013

Nuremberg Prosecutor Makes The Case For Trying Assad

Benjamin Ferencz speaks at the inauguration of the "Memorial Nuremberg Trials" information and documentation center in Nuremberg, Germany, on Nov. 21, 2010. After World War II, Ferencz served as a chief prosecutor in the Nuremberg trials of Nazi war criminals.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 11:40 am

Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.

When he was just 27 years old, Benjamin Ferencz helped prosecute Nazi leaders in the Nuremburg war crimes trial after World War II. In the years since, the Harvard-educated lawyer has continued to focus on issues of international criminal justice.

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Middle East
5:14 am
Sun September 8, 2013

'The Family House Was Hit': Syrian Attack Kills Palestinians

Ahmed al-Hurani, left, and his son, Bassam, live in the West Bank. Eleven members of their family living in Syria died in the chemical attack on Aug. 21.
Emily Harris NPR

Originally published on Sun September 15, 2013 8:38 am

The U.S. says more than 1,400 people were killed by chemical weapons in Syria on Aug. 21. Other sources have cited lower figures.

Not all victims were Syrian. A Palestinian family in Jenin, in the northern West Bank, is mourning the loss of 11 members.

'Everyone Inside Had Died'

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Middle East
5:14 am
Sun September 8, 2013

Critics Say Egypt's Constitution Process Is Flawed

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 11:40 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

In Egypt, the interim government is trying to wipe out every trace of the Islamist legacy during their rule, even replacing the constitution they had adopted late last year. To that end, the military-backed interim president last week appointed a 50-member committee to help draft a new constitution. That committee, which includes only one of ousted President Mohamed Morsi's allies, meets for the first time today Sunday in Cairo. Critics in Egypt say the new constitution is likely to be just as controversial as the last one.

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Shots - Health News
4:55 pm
Sat September 7, 2013

E-Cigarettes May Match The Patch In Helping Smokers Quit

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 8:18 am

Electronic cigarettes are sparking lots of skepticism from public health types worried they may be a gateway to regular smoking.

But the cigarettes, which use water vapor to deliver nicotine into the lungs, may be as good as the patch when it comes to stop-smoking aids, a study finds.

Smokers who used e-cigarettes in an attempt to quit the old-fashioned kind of cigarettes did about as well at stopping smoking as the people who tried the patch.

After six months, 7.3 percent of e-smokers had dropped cigarettes, compared to 5.8 percent of people wearing the patch.

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World
3:10 pm
Sat September 7, 2013

In China, Avoiding The 'Great Firewall' Internet Censors

In China, the Internet isn't the free-for-all that it is in the United States. China's communist government censors what's published and some of what's shared online. But some citizens are working around government censors by using agreed-upon "public" code.

Sports
3:10 pm
Sat September 7, 2013

Tokyo Chosen To Host 2020 Summer Olympics

The International Olympic Committee chose Tokyo over Istanbul and Madrid to host the Summer Olympics and Paralympic Summer Games in 2020. This will be a repeat for Tokyo, which hosted the Summer Olympics in 1964.

World
3:10 pm
Sat September 7, 2013

Would Failure To Strike Syria Invite More Chemical Weapons Use?

Ivo Daalder, who was U.S. ambassador to NATO during the 2011 military intervention in Libya, says the United States should conduct military strikes against Syria, even if it can't get the backing of the United Nations. He argues that Syrian President Bashar Assad would interpret inaction as an invitation to use chemical weapons in the future. He also says that despite asking for congressional approval for military action, this is ultimately President Obama's call. "This is a lonely place for presidents to be. It will be up to him to make that decision."

World
3:10 pm
Sat September 7, 2013

Former U.S. Ambassador Cautions Against Attack on Syria

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

As we said earlier, 11 G-20 member nations signed a resolution yesterday supporting a strong international response to the use of chemical weapons. Nine, including Russia, China and Germany, did not sign. They're calling instead for a diplomatic response.

Today, European Union foreign ministers endorsed a clear and strong response in Syria, but they urged the U.S. to hold off until the U.N. inspectors report the findings of evidence they collected near Damascus.

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The Two-Way
1:55 pm
Sat September 7, 2013

Tokyo Will Host The 2020 Summer Olympics, Beating Out Istanbul

Tokyo will host the 2020 Summer Games, IOC officials said Saturday. In Tokyo, five-time Paralympian Wakako Tsuchida, left, and former Olympic athletes Hiromi Miyake, center, and Yoshiyuki Miyake cheer the news.
Atsushi Tomura Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 3:51 pm

It will be Tokyo, not Istanbul or Madrid, who hosts the 2020 Summer Olympics, the International Olympic Committee and its president, Jacques Rogge, announced in Buenos Aires Saturday. Rival city Madrid was eliminated in the first round of voting. We have updated this post with the latest news.

Update at 4:55 p.m. ET: Voting Tally Detailed

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The U.S. Response To Syria
1:40 pm
Sat September 7, 2013

Syria Puts Obama's Multilateralist Philosophy To The Test

President Obama holds a press conference in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Friday on the sideline of the G-20 summit.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 11:11 pm

President Obama has come home from the Group of 20 summit with essentially no more international support for a strike on Syria than when he left the U.S.

He spent the last three days in Sweden and Russia, lobbying U.S. allies on the sidelines and on the public stage, with little movement.

The conflict has presented perhaps the biggest challenge yet to Obama's multilateralist inclinations.

'A Hard Sell'

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The Two-Way
12:49 pm
Sat September 7, 2013

Pope Francis Leads Vigil Calling For Peace In Syrian Crisis

People in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican hold Syrian flags and signs against a possible military strike, after gathering for a vigil in the name of peace convened by Pope Francis Saturday.
Riccardo De Luca AP

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 3:44 pm

Pope Francis is leading a mass prayer vigil in St. Peter's Square Saturday night, building on his calls to avoid violence in the escalating conflict over Syria. Tens of thousands of people have come to the Vatican on what the pontiff has declared a day of fasting and prayer in the name of peace.

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The Two-Way
7:26 am
Sat September 7, 2013

EU Nations Join To Blame Syria, But Not To Support An Attack

Secretary of State John Kerry urged European Union officials, including foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, left, to support military action in Syria to punish the country for a chemical attack on its citizens.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 11:19 am

America's most powerful European allies agree that Syria should be held responsible for what the U.S. calls a chemical weapons attack on Syrian citizens on Aug. 21. Despite Secretary of State John Kerry's request to support military strikes, members of the European Union believe diplomacy should be the priority.

NPR's Teri Schultz reports for our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
6:11 am
Sat September 7, 2013

In Australian Vote, Prime Minister Concedes To Abbott

Women hold a banner celebrating Australia's next prime minister, conservative Tony Abbott, in Sydney. Abbott swept away Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, as voters punished Labor for years of internal party warfare.
Saeed Khan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 11:22 am

In Australia's just-concluded national vote, conservative Tony Abbott has won enough support to become the country's next prime minister and end six years of Labor rule. That's the analysis from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, which reports that voters' main issues were the economy and repeal of carbon and mining taxes.

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