The Costa Concordia is lying on its side in shallow waters off the west coast of Italy. It struck a reef 20 months ago when the captain steered too close to land. Thirty-two people died. On Monday, the task is to begin to slowly rotate the ship to an upright position, using a complex system of chains and underwater platforms and cables.
Protesters gather outside the White House on Tuesday before President Obama addressed the nation about the situation in Syria. Obama said he was asking Congress to delay authorizing a strike on Syria to allow a diplomatic plan to work.
Originally published on Sun September 15, 2013 1:56 pm
Sometimes presidents have to make things up as they go along.
President Obama's decisions have had an improvisational air these past three weeks. His course on Syria kept shifting, at times seemingly guided by offhand remarks.
But the results are what count.
"If it works out in the end, the president's allowed to be uncertain," says Tim Naftali, a former director of the Nixon presidential library. "Oftentimes, the judgment you get during the crisis is not the judgment you get at the end."
Cyclist Graeme Obree, 48, has set a new world speed record for prone bicycles, as the man known as the Flying Scotsman topped 56 mph during a session at the just-completed World Human Speed Championships, held at Battle Mountain in the Nevada.
Pedaling with his nose less than an inch away from the front wheel of his custom-built, smooth-skinned bike, Obree finally succeeded Friday, after early runs failed to break the record of 54.9 mph set by Steve Ball in 1983.
Originally published on Sun September 15, 2013 10:00 am
From the east and the west, two storm systems are closing in on Mexico, bringing strong winds and heavy rains. Hurricane Ingrid is moving toward the country's east coast in the Gulf of Mexico; Tropical Storm Manuel is closing in on the southwest coast in the Pacific Ocean.
The Syrian regime calls a new deal on its chemical weapons a victory, in a reaction that came one day after the U.S. and Russia announced the plan. On Saturday, live coverage of the the deal drew the attention of a Damascus flower shop owner.
Originally published on Sun September 15, 2013 10:06 am
One day after the United States and Russia announced a deal to rid Syria of its chemical weapons, the first official reaction has emerged from the Syrian regime, which calls it a "victory." Syria's rebels are criticizing the plan, saying it doesn't punish President Bashar Assad.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Israel for a few hours today meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Later today, Kerry will travel to Paris to try to drum up international consensus on the Syria plan with the French, British and the Saudis.
The surface tower at a drill site, under construction during blistering Antarctic winds. Data from instruments, deployed through 450 meters of ice, is transmitted from the tower by satellite back to the Naval Postgraduate School.
Credit Image courtesy of Tim Stanton
The Naval Postgraduate School team deploys ocean monitoring instruments through a bore hole into the ocean cavity below.
Scientists watching Antarctica's Pine Island Glacier from space have noticed with some alarm that it has been surging toward the sea.
If it were to melt entirely, global sea levels would rise by several feet.
The glacier is really, really remote. It's 1,800 miles from McMurdo, the U.S. base station in Antarctica, so just getting there is a challenge. Scientists have rarely been able to get out to the glacier to make direct measurements.
It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden.
The U.S. and Russia have agreed on a plan to get rid of Syria's chemical weapons by the middle of next year. Secretary of State John Kerry calls it an ambitious timetable but says he's confident the international community can keep the pressure on Syria to comply. President Obama welcomed the agreement but says the U.S. remains prepared to act should the diplomatic route fail.
The black, long-horned Camargue bull is just one of two breeds of fighting bulls in Europe. The bulls are shown here at the Roman arena in Arles, southern France.
Credit Eleanor Beardsley / NPR
Gardiens, or cowboys, Renaud Vinuesa (on horseback, left) and Olivier Terroux (on horseback, right) are out in the Camargue region of southern France for a branding, or la ferrade, with their tridents.
Credit Dominique Faget / AFP/Getty Images
French raseteur Sabri Allouani flees from a bull during a bullfight in Vendargues, southeastern France, in 2006.
Amid streaks of lightning and startling thunder claps on a recent day, I head out into the middle of the marshy wetlands known as the Camargue. I'm with a group of tourists, piled on hay bales in the back of a flatbed trailer pulled by a massive tractor.
The delta in southern France where two branches of the Rhone River meet the sea, the Camargue is the biggest Mediterranean delta after the Nile. The stunning ecosystem is home to pink flamingos, rice paddies and salt, which has been harvested here since the Middle Ages.
Originally published on Sat September 14, 2013 4:25 pm
A complicated salvage operation is set to begin Monday at the site of the Costa Concordia, the luxury cruise ship that ran aground off Italy in 2012. Even if it succeeds, it will be a long time before things return to normal on the island of Giglio, where the ship wrecked last January.
A large team has gathered to try to move the wreck of the ship, which measures 952 feet in length and weighs more than 114,000 tons. NPR's Sylvia Poggioli filed this report for our Newscast unit:
The villa that allegedly belongs to the NSA in Vienna. News outlets, the government and opposition parties are battling it out over allegations that the stately villa in a leafy Vienna district served as a sophisticated a U.S. intelligence listening post keeping tabs on most of Vienna.
Japan's new solid-fuel rocket lifts off from the launch pad at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Uchinoura Space Center in Kimotsuki, Kagoshima prefecture, on Japan's southern island of Kyushu Saturday.
Originally published on Sat September 14, 2013 11:06 am
Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart have reached a deal that calls for Syria to destroy all of its chemical weapons. The plan, which Kerry announced in a news conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Geneva on Saturday, gives Syria a week to detail its chemical arsenal.
"The world will now expect the Assad regime to live up to its public commitments," Kerry said. "And as I said at the outset of these negotiations, there can be no games, no room for avoidance, or anything less than full compliance by the Assad regime."
Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Saturday they have reached an agreement on a framework for Syria to destroy all of its chemical weapons. Michele Kelemen speaks with host Scott Simon.
Federal police removed thousands of protesting teachers Friday from the main downtown plaza where they had camped out for weeks. The teachers are angry about a new education law that takes power away from their union.
What it would take to identify, inventory and destroy Syria's chemical weapons? How can the U.S. tell if Syria is lying, and whether this solution bestows an unintended legitimacy to the Assad regime? Host Scott Simon asks Former United Nations weapons inspector Charles Duelfer.
A new computer school in Paris has been overwhelmed by some 60,000 applicants.
The school, called 42, was founded by a telecom magnate who says the French education system is failing young people. His aim is to reduce France's shortage in computer programmers while giving those who've fallen by the wayside a new chance.
In the hallways of 42, suitcases and sleeping bags are piled, and people are stretched out on mattresses in some of the corners. There are showers and dozens of colorful bath towels.
A surprise agreement between the U.S. and Russia, announced Saturday, calls for Syria to destroy all of its chemical weapons by mid-2014. The deal follows a chaotic week of seat-of-the-pants foreign policy.
Performing on the international stage, Obama and his Cabinet secretaries have offered up one plot twist after another, though it often seems as if the actors are working without a script.
Darwin the 'Ikea monkey' will no longer be hitting the superstores with a Canadian woman who calls him her son after a judge in Ontario ruled that the primate is not a pet and should remain at an animal sanctuary.
As we wrote in December, Darwin, a Japanese macaque dressed in a heavy shearling coat, attracted considerable attention when he escaped from a locked crate in owner Yasmin Nakhuda's car in Toronto. He made his way through rows of parked cars and ended up inside a nearby Ikea store before staff there cornered him and called in animal control officials.
The four men convicted of rape and murder in an Indian court were sentenced to death in New Delhi Friday. Last December, the men lured a young woman onto a bus, and then raped and tortured her before throwing her off the vehicle. She died of her injuries two weeks later. The death sentences were greeted with approval by the victim's family, and there have been widespread calls for the men to hang ever since details of their crime became known.
An aerial view taken on Aug. 23 shows the Costa Concordia as it lies on its side next to Giglio Island. The wrecked cruise ship will be rolled off the seabed and onto underwater platforms.
Credit Vincenzo Pinto / AFP/Getty Images
Salvage workers prepare the Costa Concordia cruise ship on Aug. 23 in the waters of the Tuscan island of Giglio. The massive cruise ship has lain partially submerged after a disaster on Jan. 13, 2012, that killed 32 people.
Credit Stefano Rellandini / Reuters/Landov
People sunbathe in front of the capsized Costa Concordia outside Giglio harbor, on Aug. 8. The cost of the salvage operation — one of the biggest in history — could exceed $1 billion.
The gelada monkey, found only in the highlands of Ethiopia, is known as the bleeding heart baboon for the splash of red on its chest. Males of the species have a remarkable vocal agility greater than that of any nonhuman primate.
Credit Courtesy of John Allen
Geladas have the largest canine-to-body-size ratio of any mammal. And those fangs are not used for eating.
Credit Gregory Warner / NPR
Geladas live in massive social groups of up to 1,000 monkeys.