From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
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And I'm Audie Cornish.
We begin this hour with an unexpected twist in the story of Syria and its alleged use of chemical weapons. Russia is now urging Syria to give up its stockpile to avoid a U.S. military strike. Though the offer appears to be in response to a comment this morning from the secretary of state, NPR's Michele Kelemen reports the U.S. is skeptical.
From the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, comes a new poll on U.S. airstrikes against Syria. The bottom line: Most Americans are against the idea. In fact, comparing the numbers Pew found since last Wednesday with those found in a similar sample a few days earlier, opposition to airstrikes is rising.
Well, Michael Dimock is director of the Pew Research Center and joins us. Welcome to the program once again.
The U.S. is considering adding helicopters to its list of potential targets of a military strike. Here, rebel fighters are seen on a Russian-made helicopter seized from the Syrian army at the Minnig Military Airport near the Turkish border on Aug. 11.
As U.S. lawmakers weigh whether to support an attack on the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, military planners have expanded the target list for a potential strike.
The Pentagon had been focused on attacking Syria with so-called standoff weapons — cruise missiles, for example. Launched from ships, they can attack Syrian positions without placing American pilots in danger. Cruise missiles are very precise, and perfect for hitting fixed targets, such as command-and-control centers the Syrian military relies on.
Tunisians are silhouetted Jan. 13 behind a poster of those who died in the revolution that overthrew an authoritarian president and started the Arab Spring. More than two years after the revolution, Tunisia is struggling with high unemployment and rising violence in its politics.
Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 4:54 pm
The Syria conflict was initially part of a wave of uprisings in 2011 known as the Arab Spring, which began in part as a cry for political freedom and more economic opportunity. Fast-forward to today, when unemployment in some of these countries is among the highest in the world.
Zubin Mehta conducts the Bavarian State Orchestra in Srinagar, India, on Saturday night. The heavy security surrounding the event was an affront to many citizens of the state, which has chafed under heavy police presence for the better part of two decades.<strong></strong>
Credit Julie McCarthy / NPR
The audience at the Mughal-era Shalimar Gardens consisted mostly of VIPs. Mehta himself seemed abashed by the exclusiveness of the event.
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.
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.
Rebel fighters aim at government troops during fighting in the eastern town of Deir Ezzor on Saturday.
Credit Ricardo Garcia Vilanova / AFP/Getty Images
A rebel fighter keeps watch for government troops in Aleppo on Sunday.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 5:25 am
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.