The superintendent of the Lancaster, Pa., school district is meeting with teachers and staff at George Washington Elementary. It's the start of a new school year, and he's trying to sound upbeat about the district's finances.
"We continue to lose 5 and 10 percent of budgets each year," Pedro Rivera tells them. "And our overall goal is to make those plans and stretch out dollars to not impact you, because no kids should go without. Right?"
President Obama has mustered limited international support for a military strike on Syria, stirred uncertainty about what he'll do if Congress fails endorse a strike (it may depend on the meaning of "intention") and faces growing Capitol Hill resistance.
Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 7:32 am
The author is a Syrian citizen in Damascus who is not being further identified for safety reasons.
Lately, Marwan feels like he is sneaking around Damascus doing "something bad."
Marwan is a personal trainer, and under normal circumstances he would have nothing to worry about.
But in the increasingly tense and fearful atmosphere that Damascenes find themselves, Marwan feels he has little choice but to look over his shoulder — especially because some of his few remaining clients are underground activists.
Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 4:58 pm
A senior leader of the al-Qaida-linked Haqqani network — considered one of the most dangerous factions fighting American troops in Afghanistan — has been killed in a U.S. drone strike over northwestern Pakistan, officials say.
Sangeen Zadran was among five people killed at a compound in the North Waziristan tribal region when a missile fired from a U.S. drone hit the building, Pakistani intelligence officials said.
Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 4:35 am
The interest groups opposed to U.S. military strikes against Syria had a very good week. That made it a very bad week for President Obama and those who support his plans.
Anna Galland, executive director of the liberal MoveOn.org — which opposes military action in Syria — said that by midweek, her group's members reported making 10,000 calls to Congress, contributing to an avalanche of calls from citizens opposed to military strikes.
In the northwestern Pacific Ocean, scientists have found what they believe to be the biggest volcano on Earth. In fact, to find a volcano of a similar size, you'd have to go to Mars. As NPR's Christopher Joyce reports, the volcano is, fortunately, dormant, but in its prime, it changed the face of the Earth.
CHRISTOPHER JOYCE, BYLINE: William Sager says he brings conversations to a halt when he tells people he's a geophysicist. But now, he says he's got a story that gets people's attention.
Commentator Andrei Codrescu reflects on the text message written by poet Seamus Heaney just before he died. In Latin he wrote to his wife "do not be afraid." The 74-year-old Heaney died in a Dublin hospital last week. Codrescu says no great meaning should be implied — it was just a personal message to his wife.
Defending national security is one of the core arguments President Obama is using in his bid to strike Syria. Congress is expected to vote on military action next week. NPR's David Schaper takes us now to two Chicago area districts where passions on Syria are running high.
Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 12:29 pm
Scottish dance-rock band Franz Ferdinand are back with its fourth album, Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action. A year-and-a-half in the making, the record includes collaborations with members of Hot Chip and Peter Bjorn and John. In this episode of World Cafe, we speak with lead singer Alex Kapranos and drummer Paul Thomson, and the band treats us to a live set.
Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 4:49 pm
President Obama on Friday declined to say whether he'd go ahead with military action in Syria if Congress votes against it — a what-if scenario that's attracting growing attention in the wake of preliminary House head counts that suggest there's nowhere near enough votes for passage.
It's a question that won't be answered until late next week when Congress is expected to vote.
Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 11:10 am
The world's largest volcano has until now been lurking undiscovered in the depths of the Pacific Ocean, according to a team of scientists who identified the massive object and reported their findings in the latest issue of Nature Geoscience.
Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 8:17 am
Way back in the 1980s, were you the one playing "When Doves Cry" over and over? Well, don't be surprised if your kids wind up doing the same thing.
Young adults have strong positive memories of the music their parents loved when they were the same age, a study finds. That flies in the face of the cultural stereotype that children reject their parents' taste in music.
Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 2:53 pm
The Dutch Supreme Court has ruled that the Netherlands is responsible for the deaths of three Muslim men during the infamous Srebrenica massacre in 1995. More than 7,000 Bosnian Muslim boys and men were killed in the massacre, considered to be the worst on European soil since World War II.
At the time, Dutch peacekeeping forces had ordered the men to leave a United Nations compound when it was attacked by Bosnian Serb forces.
Sam Phillips is famous for saying that if he could find a white boy with the authentic Negro sound and feel, he'd make a billion dollars. Seeing Phillips in his striped sport coat and tie in 1950, you might well wonder if he'd know that sound and feel if it came up and bit him. But he'd been a fan of blues and country music since childhood, and he bet that his technical knowledge and feeling for this music could make him money.
Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 4:07 am
Updated, 11:40 p.m. EDT
The LADEE spacecraft is on its way to the moon. The rocket and its two-stage separation was visible at least from the Washington D.C. suburbs, and likely up and down the East Coast, given the clear skies.
"I think all my first dates were probably less awkward than this," says Jeremy Fugleberg, referring to the NAACP's meeting on Saturday night with the Ku Klux Klan in a hotel conference room in Casper, Wyo. Fugleberg is assistant managing editor for news at the Casper Star-Tribune and reported on the gathering.