NPR Blogs

The Two-Way
8:47 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Assad Is To Blame For Chemical Weapons Attack, British Say

British Prime Minister David Cameron on Thursday as he left 10 Downing Street in London.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 11:28 am

Saying that there are "no plausible alternative scenarios," the U.K.'s Joint Intelligence Organisation released a statement Thursday to support the conclusion reached by U.S. and British officials that Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime is responsible for what's said to have been a chemical weapons attack last week near Damascus.

That attack, U.S. and British officials say, killed more than 300 people and may have injured several thousand more.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:56 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Obama Hasn't Made Case For Striking Syria, Rumsfeld Says

Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in 2011.
Michael Reynolds EPA /Landov

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 8:02 am

As the U.S. and its allies seemingly move closer to some type of military action in response to Syrian President Bashar Assad's alleged use of chemical weapons to kill hundreds of his own people, one of the policymakers who led the U.S.

Read more
The Salt
3:33 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Move Over, Pot Stickers: China Cooks Up Hundreds Of Dumplings

A Flock of Dumpling Ducklings: What's inside? Roasted Beijing duck, of course.
Anthony Kuhn NPR

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 7:52 pm

All week, we've been talking about dumplings — from tortellini's sensual origins in Italy to kubbeh's tasty variations in Israel.

But perhaps no country has a longer history or greater variety of dumplings than China. Dumplings come in all shapes and with every imaginable filling. They are served at everything from a humble family meal to elaborate works of culinary art.

Read more
The Salt
3:32 am
Thu August 29, 2013

For Restaurant Workers, A Struggle To Put Food On The Table

Losia Nyankale helps daughter Jonessa and son Juliean learn the alphabet. Nyankale, who works in a restaurant in Washington, D.C., says she needs food stamps and child-care subsidies to make ends meet.
Jennifer Ludden NPR

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 11:27 am

Losia Nyankale, 29, didn't mean to make a career in the restaurant business. But after Nyankale was in college for two years, her mom lost her job as a schoolteacher and could no longer pay tuition. Then, Nyankale's temp jobs in bookkeeping dried up in the recession. So she went back to her standby — restaurant work.

"I did some kitchen work. The pantries or the salad station," she says. "I've also managed, supervised, wash[ed] dishes."

Read more
The Two-Way
6:49 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

50 Years Later: Sounds And Voices From The March

Margaret Pearson, 71, immigrated from the U.K. two months after the '63 March in Washington. She joined the crowd today.
Tanya Ballard Brown NPR

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 9:35 am

It was a cloudy and rainy day in Washington on Wednesday. But that did not keep thousands from descending on the National Mall to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:17 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Obama: U.S. Has 'Concluded' Assad Used Chemical Weapons In Syria

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 6:33 pm

In an interview with PBS NewsHour on Wednesday, President Obama said the U.S. had "concluded" that the regime of Bashar Assad used chemical weapons during an attack last week near Damascus that reportedly left hundreds dead and potentially thousands more injured.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:17 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

China Weighs Ban On Homework; Teachers, Students Argue Against

In the hopes of easing pressures on China's students, the country' education officials are considering a ban on written homework. Here, students walk to school in Beijing in June.
Ed Jones AFP/Getty Images

Chinese officials hope to rein in teachers who assign too much homework, as the country's Ministry of Education considers new rules that ban schools from requiring students to complete written tasks at home. Citing undue stress on students, the ministry would also limit the number of exams students take.

Read more
The Salt
5:13 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

The Latest Frontier In Gourmet Salt, From The Lowest Point On Earth

An Israeli man bathes in the Dead Sea. Spas have long touted the health benefits of the Dead Sea. So does Naked Sea Salt.
Sebastian Scheiner AP

Originally published on Sun September 1, 2013 8:34 am

When you go to the Dead Sea for a float in its extraordinarily buoyant waters, signs warn you not to drink a drop. "Did you swallow water?" one Dead Sea do's and don'ts list asks. "Go immediately to the lifeguard."

Read more
Shots - Health News
5:13 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

In South Africa, A Clinic Focuses On Prostitutes To Fight HIV

A prostitute in Johannesburg waits for a client on a street corner. An estimated two-thirds of sex workers in South Africa are HIV positive.
Yoav Lemmer AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 9:25 pm

South Africa has come a long way in dealing with AIDS. The country has been successful in getting drug treatment to millions of people infected with HIV.

But the country still has one of the highest rates of HIV infection in the world — and the virus continues to spread. Nearly 400,000 South Africans are infected with HIV each year.

One health clinic in the heart of Johannesburg is attempting to break the HIV cycle by focusing on people at extremely high risk for infection — prostitutes.

Read more
Shots - Health News
5:05 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Illicit Drugs And Mental Illness Take A Huge Global Toll

A homeless man smokes crack in the Barrio Triste neighborhood in Medellin, Colombia.
Raul Arboleda AFP/Getty Images

Mental disorders and substance abuse are the leading causes of nonfatal illness on the planet, according to an ambitious analysis of data from around the world.

A companion report, the first of its kind, documents the global impact of four illicit drugs: heroin and other opiates, amphetamines, cocaine and cannabis. It calls illegal drugs "an important contributor to the global burden of disease."

The two papers are being published by The Lancet as part of a continuing project called the Global Burden of Disease.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:05 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Fort Hood Gunman Nidal Hasan Sentenced To Death For 2009 Attack

Nidal Hasan, seen here in 2010, has been sentenced to death for killing 13 people and wounding more than 30 more in a shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009.
Bell County Sheriff's Office handout Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 5:23 pm

Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Hasan has been sentenced to death by a military jury. The same jury found Hasan guilty last week of killing 13 people in a shooting rampage at Fort Hood in 2009. Hasan also wounded more than 30 others in the attack.

We'll add more details as news emerges.

Update at 3:40 p.m. ET: Tossed From Army; Appeals Automatic

Read more
Shots - Health News
2:34 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Looking For Free Condoms? There's A Health Department App For That

Free and findable thanks to this app.
New York City Health Department

Like radio, public health communication is all about figuring out how to connect with the audience.

New York City is betting that if you're anticipating a night of adventure, you might make use of the Find Condoms NYC app.

The app scans the New York Health Department's list of 3,000 sites that distribute free condoms, and uses a smartphone's GPS to list and map the five closest spots. In the moment, convenience counts.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:15 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Speaking At The Lincoln Memorial, Obama Assesses 'The Dream'

Former President Bill Clinton tells the crowd that Americans today owe a tremendous debt to "those people who came here 50 years ago." Millions of us, he said, have lived the dream King talked about.
Shawn Thew EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 12:05 pm

  • Listen: NPR Special Coverage Of The March On Washington Anniversary

Thousands gathered under gray skies in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington.

They gathered in the exact same spot where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech, and many of the same themes — equality, dignity, unity — echoed through the crowd.

President Obama was joined by the King family and former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:09 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

After 152 Years, St. Louis Gains Control Of Its Police Force

A St. Louis Police cruiser.
Alan Greenblatt NPR

St. Louis is about to get something it hasn't had in 152 years: control of its own police force.

Thanks to a statewide ballot measure approved last fall, Missouri officially hands over the keys to the squad cars on Sunday.

It's only right for the city, which spends $180 million annually on cops, to take command, says Maggie Crane, director of communications for Mayor Francis Slay. "This is really just an antiquated system that needed to be changed," she says.

Read more

Pages