The crisis in Syria dominated President Obama's visit to Sweden on Wednesday, as he continued to push for Congressional approval of his plan to launch a military strike against Syrian government forces, in response to their use of chemical weapons against their own people.. "My credibility is not on the line. The international community's credibility is on the line," Obama told a news conference in Stockholm. "And America and Congress' credibility is on the line." The President travels to the G-20 meeting in St. Petersburg on Thursday.
Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 11:24 am
"We are not asking America to go to war," Secretary of State John Kerry told the House Foreign Affairs Committee early Wednesday afternoon, as he and other top administration officials continued to push Congress to support President Obama's call for military strikes aimed at the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
No one has ever doubted Mois Yussuroum's patriotism. As part of the Greek resistance during World War II, he fought Benito Mussolini's fascist army and then the Nazis.
"The other resistance fighters didn't know I was Jewish," he says, since he used the name "Yiorgos Gazis" in case he was captured. "But my superiors did know, and they gave me many responsibilities, including making me a garrison commander."
Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 12:44 pm
U.S. competitiveness among global economies suffered after the 2008 global economic crisis. Four years after the crisis, the U.S. slipped in the World Economic Forum's annual competitiveness ranking. This year it's back up a bit: The U.S. rose to fifth position overall from seventh last year, in the forum's latest survey, which was released Wednesday.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, Sheila Bridges stood out for many reasons in her chosen field of interior design. Her celebrity client list, being African-American, but then she began to stand out in a way she did not want - she started losing her hair. We'll talk about how that changed her life and her focus. She talks about that in her new memoir "The Bald Mermaid." And we'll have that conversation in just a few minutes.
Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 10:08 am
Although he says he did not ask Congress to authorize the use of force against Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime "as a symbolic gesture," President Obama reiterated Wednesday that "I always reserve the right and responsibility to act on behalf of America's national security."
Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 9:49 am
President Obama landed in Sweden on Wednesday — the start of a European trip that will take him to Russia for a summit of world leaders at which he'll try to build support for his plan to strike targets inside Syria.
As The Washington Post says, it's a "high-stakes trip ... that could show whether the United States has broad international backing for action."
Israel and the U.S. conducted a defense missile test over the Mediterranean Sea yesterday, not - the Pentagon quickly said - related to a possible U.S. strike on Syria.
Still, the joint test raised questions about American-Israeli coordination on Syria, and how Israel security factors into the administration's plans. Of course, Israel's biggest worry, by far, involves another country in the region, Iran, and the possibility it will get a nuclear bomb.
Francois Hollande, the president of France, says his country will join in any U.S.-led strikes in Syria. The French parliament is set to take up that issue today. Unlike Britain, which ruled out military action, and the U.S. Congress where President Obama still has to win the votes, it seems like parliament probably should provide very little trouble for Hollande. His party dominates there.
So let's go to NPR's Eleanor Beardsley. She's in Paris, and she's following this story. Hi, Eleanor.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
President Obama has promised limited military action against Syria. He says missile strikes are not about regime change and there will be no boots on the ground. But even as the Congress debates the president's plans for action, the White House is looking at broader options.
NPR's Tom Bowman reports the president may call on the U.S. military to help build up the Syrian opposition.
Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 5:30 pm
With Republican House leaders lining up behind President Obama's planned U.S. military strike on Syria, the chances for congressional authorization seemed higher on Tuesday than they did over the weekend.
Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 4:11 pm
It's been a long time since the people who lived in rural Xuanping saw their little town, which was flooded by a powerful earthquake in 2008. But thanks to a steep drop in water levels, parts of their village in China's Sichuan Province are visible again, from homes and businesses to its school.
The village's ghostly return began in July, when water levels fell from 712 meters to 703 meters above sea level — a difference of nearly 30 feet, as news site China Daily Asia reported.
It was 20 years ago that Samuel Huntington's essay on what he termed "the clash of civilizations" was first published in the journal Foreign Affairs. The essay predicted the next frontier of global conflict would occur along cultural cleavages — most prominently between the Islamic world and the West. Foreign Affairs editor Gideon Rose and Robert Siegel discuss how perceptions of the essay have changed over time.
Allegations that U.S. agents spied on Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto when he was a candidate during last year's campaign have led Mexico to summon U.S. Ambassador Anthony Wayne and demanded "a thorough investigation."
Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 2:20 pm
If you eat fish on a regular basis, chances are some of it is coming from Thailand. The Asian country is the world's No. 3 exporter of seafood (after China and Norway), and the U.S. is its top destination.
The Thai fishing industry has grown dramatically, and it is now coming under increased scrutiny. A new report details "deceptive and coercive labor practices, and even forced labor and human trafficking within" the Thai fishing sector.
Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 12:30 pm
President Obama's call for Congress to give him the go-ahead to strike targets in Syria has put House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on the same side of an important issue for one of the few times in recent years.
Calling Syrian President Bashar Assad's alleged use of chemical weapons "a barbarous act," Boehner emerged from a meeting at the White House to say he supports Obama's request.
The uncertain future of American military action in Syria is causing ripple effects in the world market. Host Michel Martin speaks with economic reporter Sudeep Reddy of The Wall Street Journal, about the relationship between the Syrian conflict and oil.
While President Obama is trying to convince members of Congress that action is needed in Syria, one Washington-based group is already aiding opposition forces. Host Michel Martin talks with Dan Layman of the Syrian Opposition Group about their efforts to fund the Free Syrian Army.
By "taking out Bashar Assad's delivery capabilities of chemical weapons" the U.S. can make it much harder for the Syrian leader to wage war against his people and perhaps level the fighting field or turn it in favor of Assad's opponents, Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona said Tuesday on Morning Edition.
As we've heard, some of the debate over Syria is actually a debate about Syria's ally, Iran. We want to know what Iranian leaders are thinking as the United States contemplates involvement in Syria. And so we've called Scott Peterson, in Istanbul. He's a Christian Science Monitor reporter who's well-known for his coverage of Iran, and author of a book called "Let the Swords Encircle Me," which is about Iran.
The swimmer Diana Nyad has finally accomplished what no other athlete has ever done. She swam 110 miles from Cuba to Florida without a protective shark cage and she did it at the age of 64. As Nyad emerged from the Gulf of Mexico yesterday, he tongue swollen from swallowing sea water, she had messages for the crowd that greeted her.
DIANA NYAD: One is we should never ever give up. Two is you're never too old to chase your dreams.
Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto says his nation is undergoing a major change — one his country should not fear. Pena Nieto gave an upbeat assessment of his nine-month-old administration in his first State of the Union address on Monday.
Despite his positive review of Mexico's condition, the new president is dealing with chaotic protests in the capital, intractable levels of violence and a less favorable economic outlook than predicted.
He campaigned on the promise of creating a modern and prosperous Mexico. And according to his appraisal, he's done just that.
For the last in a summer series of grilled food from around the world, we head to Mexico, where a small doughy treat is found everywhere from street corner grills to high-end restaurants. It's called a tlacoyo (pronounced tla-COY-yo) and although it may sound novel, it's an ancient food that's older than Hernan Cortes.
Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 8:11 am
A defiant Syrian President Bashar Assad said Monday that the international community has not produced evidence to substantiate claims that his regime used chemical weapons in a deadly attack last month.