The Obama administration says that it will soon appoint a U.S. ambassador to reopen the mission in Somalia. Now the U.S. embassy closed its doors in 1991 when the Somali government collapsed and warlords took over the country. The danger sharpened two years later when Somali fighters shot down two U.S. helicopters, killing 18 U.S. soldiers in an incident that came to be known as Black Hawk Down.
You can't hear it over the noise of London's traffic. But it's there. That faint, whining hum. Right under my feet, thousands of mosquitoes are dining on human blood.
To visit them, you have to go through a sliding glass door into the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. This school started as a hospital on the Thames River, where doctors treated sailors returning from faraway places with strange parasites.
The Obama administration is drawing criticism from Republicans for its handling of the deteriorating security situation in Iraq. NPR's Arun Rath speaks with national political correspondent Mara Liasson about the administrations choices and the possible political consequences for the President.
Forces from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, now control much of Iraq, as the country's military has disintegrated in the face of the group's radical troops. NPR's Arun Rath talks to The Guardian's Martin Chulov in Baghdad about the latest.
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In a region torn apart by violence, a leader who promises security above all else can be appealing. Three years after the chaos of the Arab Spring, these strongmen types are rising again in the Middle East.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is one of them, though he has yet to overcome the disaster now unfolding in Iraq. Iraqi lawyer Zaid al-Ali tells NPR's Arun Rath that Maliki is partly to blame for the crisis.
Again, thanks for listening. This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath. Comedian Karen Kilgariff has gone through a number of transformations, over the years. She was a mainstay on the California stand-up scene before she became a cast member on the revolutionary sketch program "Mr. Show With Bob And David." She was the long-time head writer for Ellen DeGeneres. Now she has emerged as a singer-songwriter, a pretty twisted one. Her new album is called "Live At The Bootleg."
Every now and then, you'll hear story about a kid who has a lemonade stand or cupcake sale to raise money for a good cause. Beyond that heartwarming headline is a belief that you can do capitalism with a conscience. Well, this is an idea that has taken root in Silicon Valley, in a big, big way.
Carlos Watson is the co-founder of the online magazine, Ozy. He says that young entrepreneurs there are starting businesses for social change. So, Carlos, who are these idealists? And what are the causes they want to support?
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath. The code breaking skills of mathematician Alan Turing helped the Allies win World War II. He also devised the Turing Test, a measure of artificial intelligence. Last week, a computer program pretending to be a 13-year-old boy named Eugene Gustman was the first to pass the test - meaning the age of artificial intelligence has begun - maybe. Gary Marcus is a professor of cognitive science at New York University. I asked him to explain how the test works.