As the conflict in Syria rages, a pianist named Malek Jandali has turned to composing to express his sorrow. He was one of the first Syrian artists living abroad to openly criticize the Assad regime, not long after an uprising swept across his homeland. Jessica Jones from North Carolina Public Radio shares how he found his voice through music.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The Obama administration's recent efforts to try to steer Israel and Palestine into - and the Palestinians into a lasting peace accord have failed. President Obama isn't giving up, but as he acknowledges, it may be time for a pause. He says Israelis and Palestinians have both taken unhelpful steps in recent weeks and neither side looks ready to compromise. This is a major setback for Secretary of State John Kerry, as NPR's Michele Kelemen reports.
So if you're a fan of the beautiful game - that's soccer for those of you who aren't - you've no doubt heard that this week Manchester United sacked - that's fired, not putting a man in a sack, though it's close - David Moyes, its manager. Man U had fallen badly behind its Premier League rivals, most notably Liverpool, which is in a position to win its first league championship in almost 25 years.
There was a time when rum was considered rotgut. Blackbeard the pirate liked to mix his cane alcohol with gunpowder and light it — rum and croak.
Fast-forward a few centuries to rum respectability — specifically, to Rob Burr's patio deck in Coral Gables, in South Florida.
From the waterfall pond to the tiki bar, Burr's deck sets a mood not for swilling rum, but for tasting it. Not the way spring-breakers chug Captain Morgan, but the way cognac drinkers sip Napoleon: Not with Coke (or gunpowder) but neat, in a snifter.
Soccer fans are counting down. Forty-seven days to go until the World Cup in Brazil. The country is in the news again but not for the reasons it might want. In one of the key host cities, Rio de Janeiro, riots broke out in a major tourist area earlier this week. Big questions over the readiness of stadiums and infrastructure also remain. NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro is our South America correspondent, and she's with us today in our D.C. studios. Lourdes, nice to have you here.
LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO, BYLINE: It's great to be here.
The short climbing season on Mount Everest ended suddenly and sadly. The avalanche that killed 16 guides last Friday has shaken the Sherpa community and many have left the mountain. As a result, most expedition companies have cancelled their climbs. NPR's Julie McCarthy has more from Kathmandu on the next chapter, who pays when the season is suspended?
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish. In South Korea today, President Obama consoled a nation in mourning over the victims of a ferry disaster. He also assured South Koreans that the U.S. is committed to support and defend the country in the face of North Korea's threats to test yet another nuclear device. NPR's Anthony Kuhn has been following the president in Seoul and joins us to talk about the trip.
Joining us now, political columnists David Brooks of the New York Times and E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and the Brookings Institution. Hello to both of you.
DAVID BROOKS: Hello.
E.J. DIONNE: Good to be with you.
SIEGEL: And first, briefly since you both talked about Ukraine here just last Friday, does some kind of soft landing seem possible to you there and does President Obama's leadership strike you as effective in leading the Western response to Russia? David, you first.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish. The government in Kiev accused the Kremlin today of trying to start another world war. This comes as a team of unarmed military observers in Ukraine is said to have been detained by pro-Moscow militants. The group is made up of representatives from several European countries. They've been monitoring growing tensions in eastern Ukraine.
Whooping cough was once one of the leading killers of babies around the world. Now that it's largely controlled with a vaccine, scientists have had a chance to figure out how the disease came into being in the first place.
That story is told in a study published online this week in the journal mBio. And it turns out that whooping cough arose quite late in human history.
I'm Celeste Headlee and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Michel Martin is away. It's time yet again for our weekly visit to the Barbershop. That's where the guys talk about what's in the news and what's on their minds.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Now to Ukraine where tensions remain high. Today, the Ukrainian prime minister reportedly accused Russia of trying to start World War III.
In the midst of all this political chaos, there are also concerns that anti-Semitism is taking root in Ukraine. It's a serious enough matter that Vice President Joe Biden addressed it when he visited Ukraine this week. Take a listen.
Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 9:24 am
High up on the Nepalese side of Mount Everest, fresh ice avalanches on Friday made it "almost certain that no one will summit the world's highest mountain from Nepal during this year's climbing season," Reuters writes.
Let's talk about a busy week of news in the Middle East. Israel has now broken off peace talks with the Palestinians. These talks were already in a stalemate. This latest decision comes in response to internal Palestinian politics. This week two major Palestinian factions, Fatah and Hamas, agreed to end a seven-year split and form a coalition government. Hamas is considered a terrorist organization by Israel, as well as the United States and the European Union.
For more we turn to NPR's Emily Harris in Jerusalem. Emily, good morning.
This is about as close as we're going to get to good news out of Syria. The country is on track, we're told, to meet a deadline to give up its chemical weapons arsenal. The most dangerous chemicals in Syria's declared stockpile are supposed to be removed by Sunday, yet Syria now faces suspicion that it's using less toxic chemicals, possibly chlorine. NPR's Michele Kelemen reports.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep.
In Afghanistan yesterday, a security guard open fire at a hospital. He killed three American doctors including a pediatrician from Chicago. Dr. Jerry Umanos was a religious man who traveled often to Afghanistan to train younger doctors. He wanted to make sure people everywhere had good access to medical care.
A man came by our studios this week who cannot go home. He is known by the name Raza Rumi. He's a writer and television host in Pakistan - or at least he was until gunmen opened fire on his car. And now he's staying outside Washington, D.C.
UPDATE at 4:17 p.m. Friday: Saudi Arabia has confirmed 313 cases of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, including 92 deaths, the Ministry of Health said Friday. Of note, one of the 14 new patients caught the virus while working as a hospital receptionist.
Turkey has seen its share of political controversies lately, including large protests and a government ban of Twitter. Despite that, the ruling party appears to be maintaining its popularity. But now it may face a split in its highest ranks. There's competition brewing between its two main figures: President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Istanbul that many are wary of Erdogan's growing power.
Elsewhere in the Middle East, Israel has broken off peace talks with the Palestinian Authority. Israeli leaders say they're doing that because the Palestinian Authority is forming a joint government with the militant group Hamas.
The relentless use of conventional weapons by Syria's government against its citizens may have pushed Washington to step up its involvement there. A new covert U.S. program is sending arms to Syria to help rebel forces. Another reason for that new effort: the failure of diplomatic talks in Geneva to resolve the three-year-old civil war. NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman has learned details of the arms program.
Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 3:01 pm
The Marshall Islands, the Pacific chain where the U.S. carried out dozens of nuclear tests in the late 1940s and 1950s, has filed suit in the Hague against Washington and the governments of eight other countries it says have not lived up to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Measles cases in the United States have spiked in the past four months, driven mostly by people traveling from the Philippines, which is in the midst of an explosive outbreak of the highly contagious virus. By April 18, 129 cases have been reported, the most in that time period since 1996.
The situation is unusual enough that the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Thursday warned people to get their measles shots up to date, especially if they're planning international travel.