The United Nations announced this week it is no longer updating the Syrian death toll, which has surpassed 100,000, because it cannot accurately confirm the number of dead due to chaotic conditions in the country. But Syrians are still being slaughtered, and the fighting has gotten more complicated than ever.
It's not just President Bashar Assad's government army versus the rebels. The rebels are also battling rebels, and civilians are often the casualties, including a male nurse from Aleppo.
Pope Francis continues to shake up the Vatican establishment. Today, speaking from his studio window to followers in St. Peter's square, he announced 19 new cardinals from some surprising places, the AP reports.
Francis did not name any cardinals from the United States and chose instead to represent poorer nations.
Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 1:52 pm
Iran and six world powers will begin implementing an interim agreement designed to pause parts of Iran's nuclear program.
The White House said that beginning Jan. 20, Iran will begin eliminating its stockpile of "higher levels of enriched uranium and dismantling some of the infrastructure that makes such enrichment possible."
In return the the five permanent members of the United Nations — the U.S., Russia, China, the U.K. and France — plus Germany will ease some sanctions on Iran.
Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 11:39 am
The amount of a dangerous chemical in West Virginian's tap water is more diluted, but it is still unsafe for drinking, washing or bathing.
WCHS-TV reports that Col. Greg Grant with the National Guard told reporters that they are seeing readings of methylcyclohexane methanol dip below 1 part per million, the amount that the Center for Disease Control says is safe, but those readings have spiked from time to time.
"The numbers are turning in the right direction," Grant said.
Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 3:22 pm
Like all newly elected politicians, the class of mayors being sworn in as the year begins has made many grand promises.
From New York Mayor Bill de Blasio's pledge to provide universal pre-kindergarten classes, financed through taxes on wealthy individuals, to Seattle Mayor Ed Murray's push for a $15 minimum hourly wage, their agenda looks decidedly liberal.
New mayors in cities such as Boston, Minneapolis and Pittsburgh have also been talking about the importance of racial inclusion and the need to address income inequality.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.
The body of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is lying in state in the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, today. He died yesterday after eight years in a coma. Ariel Sharon was a soldier-turned-politician who believed in hard-line military solutions, but who also looked beyond force to try to bring peace in Israel.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. And it is time for sports.
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MARTIN: The Baseball Hall of Fame's new class of inductees was announced this past week and it caused quite a stir. The biggest controversy may not even be about who got in, but the actual voting. Also in baseball, A-Rod's suspension - the longest ever for doping in baseball history, although it has been reduced. NPR's Mike Pesca joins us to mull all of this over. Good morning.
On Tuesday, Tunisia will celebrate the third anniversary of its revolution. Tunisia is the country that inspired uprisings across the Arab world. Since then, that country has gone through tough times but it seems to have found its way again. Opposing sides have drafted the new constitution together. It will be ready in a couple days, and new elections are set for this year. That sets Tunisia apart from neighboring Egypt and Libya, where the Arab Spring uprisings have brought violence and political upheaval.
To Greece now, a country with one of the highest percentages of smokers in the world. At least 40 percent of the population over the age of 15 smokes, leading, of course, to rising rates of lung disease and lung cancer. Several years ago, the Greek parliament banned smoking inside restaurants, bars and public buildings. But it's rarely enforced. And even a new tax on cigarettes doesn't seem to be deterring Greek smokers. Joanna Kakissis has the story from Athens.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. If you use a credit card - and most of us do - it's hard not to be a little concerned. Discount retailer Target continues to apologize for a massive security breach over the holidays. And just yesterday, the high-end retailer Neiman Marcus disclosed that shoppers at its stores have been compromised as well. Independent investigative reporter Brian Krebs was the first to report on both these security breaches. He joins us to talk more. Welcome to the program, Brian.