Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 7:09 am
Michigan's Republican Gov. Rick Snyder was in Washington this week to talk about immigration reform. I got a few minutes with him before his appearance with former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. So, of course, the first thing I asked was how the troubles of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell might affect the Republican brand.
Not surprisingly, Snyder, a very successful business leader in his first term as governor, politely sidestepped that question.
Originally published on Sun January 26, 2014 11:17 am
Syrian peace talks in Geneva have produced their first tangible result — an agreement to allow women and children to escape the city of Homs, which has been under government siege for more than a year.
"What we have been told by the government side is that women and children in the besieged area of the old city are welcome to leave immediately," Brahimi told reporters.
Syria's Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad confirmed the agreement, but said it was "armed groups" that were preventing their movement.
Anti-government protesters in Thailand who are demanding the ouster of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra have moved to block, and in some cases padlock, polling stations in an effort to disrupt early voting for the Feb. 2 elections.
The protesters oppose elections because, they charge, Yingluck's political allies will engage in vote-buying and other corrupt practices to secure a win.
China's government has recently jailed officials and issued a slew of new rules to curb corruption, but it's apparently not an effort that independent citizens groups are welcome to join.
On Sunday, a Chinese court sentenced Xu Zhiyong, a leading proponent of civil society, to four years in jail. Police have also arrested around a dozen other members of his group, called the New Citizens' Movement.
Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 11:03 am
Icy vortices, trains of snowstorms, treacherous temperatures — many people are having to learn some harsh lessons about harsh weather.
"When the weather is bitter cold," says Dr. Campbell McLaren, "we have to be vigilant — not just to protect ourselves, but those around us."
And we have to watch out for the "umbles."
As an emergency room doctor in northern New Hampshire, McLaren has specialized in hypothermia and other deleterious effects of extreme cold. He speaks in a Scottish brogue — and by telephone and email, he warns against the umbles.
Arizona Sen. John McCain has gone soft when it comes to conservative principles. That's according to his state's Republican Party, who sent the former presidential candidate a message on Saturday by voting to censure him for his 'liberal' voting record.
Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 6:45 am
Police have identified the gunman who killed two people at a Maryland shopping mall before taking his own life, but officials say they still don't know why he did it or whether the assailant had any relationship with the victims.
As we reported, the shooting occurred at about 11 a.m. Saturday at the Mall in Columbia in the Baltimore suburb of Columbia, Md.
Talks between the Syrian government and the opposition have now moved to separate rooms in Geneva. The two sides met face to face this morning but so far have failed to find agreement on a humanitarian cease-fire that would allow humanitarian aid into the city of Homs. U.N. mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said today that he hopes people will be able to leave Homs in the next few days. Women and children are already beginning to depart. [POST-BROADCAST CORRECTION: In fact, women and children have not yet begun to leave.]
The Yankees signed the Japanese superstar pitcher this week for a whopping $155 million. NPR's Rachel Martin talks sports with sports correspondent Mike Pesca about what that means for the Bronx Bombers' bottom line.
Ten years ago, NASA's rover, optimistically named Opportunity, landed on Mars on what was to be a three-month mission. But Opportunity is still going strong today, still searching the Red Planet, sending data and images back to NASA. To celebrate Opportunity's decade of life, we called Jim Bell. He's an astronomer at Arizona State University. Welcome to the program.
JIM BELL: Great to be here.
MARTIN: So, take us back, Jim. What was Opportunity originally designed to do?
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.
In the Ukraine, the streets have erupted into violence again this morning with protesters vowing they will keep up the pressure on the government until it folds. The country's president this morning offered concessions but they were rejected by the opposition. And now, protesters are back in the streets, demanding that the president step aside and hold new elections.
Joining us now from Kiev, the capital city, is NPR's Corey Flintoff. Good morning, Corey.
To California now where a polarizing lawsuit goes to trial tomorrow. At issue, whether job protections for public school teachers undermines students' constitutional rights to an adequate education. The students and parents who filed the lawsuit say it could provide a model for challenging teacher protection laws in other states. But to unions and state officials, all the lawsuit does is demonize teachers.