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Middle East
7:33 am
Wed November 28, 2012

In Syria, Aleppo Today Is Must-See TV For Survival

Aleppo Today broadcasts are simple but relay crucial information — from tank movements to Internet connectivity — to the people who remain in the embattled northern Syrian town. It relies on a network of 70 correspondents to provide a 24-hour news stream.
Aleppo Today

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 12:42 pm

Every day, dozens of Syrians are killed and wounded in Aleppo, Syria's financial capital. Since July, President Bashar Assad's loyalists have mounted a relentless military campaign to dislodge rebels fighting for control of the northern city. Neither side can afford to lose.

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Politics
7:33 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Post-Election, GOP's Immigration Message Evolves

Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas and Jon Kyl of Arizona on Tuesday introduced a bill that would allow illegal immigrants to stay in the country, but would not offer them a path to citizenship.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 12:30 pm

After an election in which Hispanics voted overwhelmingly for President Obama, the White House and Republicans on Capitol Hill are making overtures about immigration reform.

House Speaker John Boehner says he's sure he can make a deal next year with the White House on a comprehensive bill. A steady procession of prominent GOP leaders are warning that Republicans won't win the White House again without improving their outreach to Latino voters. On Monday, Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio explained the problem this way.

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Middle East
7:33 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Opposition Protest In Cairo A Rare Show Of Unity

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 7:48 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And let's go now to Cairo, where demonstrators swarmed Tahrir Square last night to denounce the Egyptian president's recent decision to give himself unchecked power. This was the largest protest since Mohamed Morsi became president last summer. And it was notable because Egypt's secular opposition found a rare moment of unity. NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson was on the square and she sent this report.

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: (Chanting in foreign language)

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Middle East
7:33 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Damascus Struck By Deadly Car Bombs

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 7:48 am

Renee Montagne and David Greene report on bombs in the Syrian capital that hospital officials say have killed 34 people.

Strange News
7:33 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Chinese Newspaper Fooled By Onion's 'Sexiest Man'

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 7:48 am

People who know The Onion is a satirical newspaper got the joke when it named North Korean leader Kim Jong Un this year's "Sexiest Man Alive." Editors at China's People's Daily newspaper did not. They picked up the story with a 55-page photo gallery of the pudgy young dictator and excerpts from the Onion's spoof — like, "This Pyongyang-bred heartthrob is every woman's dream come true."

Strange News
7:33 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Student's Email To Mom Gets Shared With Thousands

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 7:48 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

World
5:14 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Afghan Women Make Their Mark On The Soccer Field

Former U.S. Olympian Lorrie Fair hugs Zahra Mahmoudi, the captain of the Afghan women's soccer team.
Sean Carberry NPR

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 10:05 am

Afghanistan first established a national women's soccer team just five years ago, and while they aren't yet World Cup material, they are making strides.

Last week, they got a little help from former U.S. Olympic soccer player Lorrie Fair, who staged a clinic in Kabul that was set up by the State Department.

Clad in her blue U.S. national team sweatsuit, Fair led the Afghan women through a series of exercises on the tennis court at the U.S. Embassy.

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Asia
5:13 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Will China's First Lady Outshine Her Husband?

A famous singer, a major general in the army and an AIDS activist, Peng Liyuan is expected to take on yet another role soon: first lady of China. Peng has been married for more than two decades to Xi Jinping, China's newly anointed leader.
Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 3:03 am

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Around the Nation
5:13 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Educators Worry Revamped GED Will Be Too Pricey

Administrators at the adult education center are concerned that the GED overhaul will make it harder for many test takers to complete the exam.
Diane Orson WNPR

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 10:03 am

When Toni Walker is not in Hartford, Conn., serving as a state representative, she can usually be found at the New Haven Adult and Continuing Education Center.

"We basically educate approximately 800 people a day," says Walker, an assistant principal at the center. "It is open enrollment, so when somebody gets an epiphany and says, 'I need to get my high school diploma so that I can get a job,' they can walk through the doors, and they can get [their GED] here."

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World
5:13 am
Wed November 28, 2012

In Russia, Pro-Putin Youths Protest Mormons As 'Cult'

Activists from the Young Guard, which supports Russian President Vladimir Putin, have been protesting the Mormon church in Russia, calling it a "totalitarian cult."
Konstantin Zavrazhin Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 7:48 am

Young supporters of Russian President Vladimir Putin have staged several protests this month outside Mormon meeting houses, claiming that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is an "authoritarian sect" with connections to the CIA and FBI.

The protesters are members of the Young Guard, a youth organization of Putin's United Russia Party. They insist their actions have nothing to do with Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate and Mormon who called Russia the "No. 1 geopolitical foe" of the U.S.

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Around the Nation
5:13 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Victims Feel Slighted By Oklahoma Bombing Fund

A security guard walks along the edge of the reflecting pool, past the field of 168 empty chairs, at the Oklahoma City National Memorial in Oklahoma City.
Sue Ogrocki AP

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 7:48 am

It has been almost two decades since a truck bomb blew apart the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people and injuring hundreds more. Almost immediately, donations poured in from around the world to help the community recover.

Today, millions of dollars remain in a private fund to assist victims and surviving family members. But some affected by the blast say that even with all that money available, they've been denied help.

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Sweetness And Light
10:03 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

College Football: Pro and Con(servative) Views

Despite the Big Ten's expansion, Frank Deford says the conference will struggle to compete with pro football in the Northeast. The conference announced the addition of Maryland and Rutgers earlier this month.
Patrick McDermott Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 3:21 pm

What do anti-abortion beliefs, and patronizing Chick-fil-A, and a devotion to college sports have in common? Hmm.

Well, according to Trey Grayson, the former Kentucky secretary of state and U.S. Senate contender who is now the distinguished head of the Harvard Institute of Politics, those are the trio of giveaway markers to suggest that you are conservative.

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Europe
5:55 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

For Cyprus' North And South, A Reversal Of Fortunes

Fikri Toros, a Turkish Cypriot businessman, says his family's company struggled for years because of embargoes and a weak Turkish lira. But its fortunes have improved with Turkey's economy.
Joanna Kakissis NPR

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 6:05 pm

Just a few years ago, Cyprus was considered a wealthy country, though that referred mostly to the Greek Cypriots on the southern part of the divided island. When Cyprus entered the eurozone in 2008, analysts were wondering what would become of the much poorer north, which has been occupied by Turkey since a 1974 war.

Now, the Turks in northern Cyprus have the booming economy, while Greek Cypriots, crippled by exposure to ailing Greek banks, are waiting for final approval on what will be the fourth sovereign bailout of a eurozone country.

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Latin America
5:55 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Mexico's Drug War Is Changing Childhood

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Since the drug war in Mexico began in 2006, more than 50,000 people have been killed and organized crime has infiltrated, in one way or another, virtually every part of society. Many children have lost family members or become victims themselves. Cartels have also begun recruiting kids to work, often as mules. Even those young people who don't feel the drug war directly have to confront its effects on TV and at school, where bullies imitate narco-traffickers.

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Shots - Health News
5:46 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

HIV Infections Rise Among Young Black Men In U.S.

A young man places an oral swab into a solution to complete an HIV test during a free screening event in Washington, D.C.
Brendan Smialowski Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 4:11 pm

The latest data on HIV rates in American teenagers and young adults offer a sobering message.

While the number of new infections in the U.S. is relatively stable — at about 50,000 people each year — HIV is on the rise in young people under 25.

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The Two-Way
5:25 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Reports: Apple Fires One More Employee In Maps Fiasco

Apple's new iPhone 5 may have been criticised for its glitch-ridden new maps program, but it may have inadvertently provided a diplomatic solution to China and Japan's ongoing row over disputed islands. When a user searches for the Tokyo-controlled Senkaku islands in the East China Sea, claimed by Beijing under the name Diaoyu, two sets of the islands appear alongside each other.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 7:30 pm

In the aftermath of the maps fiasco, the heads continue to roll at Apple. Today, there is news that one more employee has been let go. This time it was manager Richard Williamson, who oversaw the maps project, who lost his job.

Bloomberg broke the news and it reports:

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The Two-Way
5:09 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Brazil Claims Success In Protecting Amazon Rainforest

A truck carrying hardwood timber drives along a rural road leading to Paragominas, Brazil, on Sept. 23, 2011. The city has become a pioneering "Green City," a model of sustainability with a new economic approach that has seen illegal deforestation virtually halted.
Andre Penner AP

The pace of destruction of the Brazilian Amazon is at its lowest rate in more than two decades, Brazil's National Institute for Space Research said in a new report released Tuesday.

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Shots - Health News
4:58 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

A Risky Mix: Grapefruit And Quite A Few Drugs

Grapefruit can make for a tasty addition to breakfast. But it can also interfere with some medications.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 3:44 pm

Grapefruit sprinkled with a little sugar has just the right amount of kick for a morning meal. But when the bitter fruit is mixed with medication, things can get a bit tricky.

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Education
4:25 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

As Colleges Retool Aid, Can Entry Stay Need-Blind?

Cornell University just converted some of its grants into loans.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 5:23 pm

With money coming in more slowly than the financial aid given out, schools say they are nearing the breaking point, and even the most selective elite universities are rethinking their generosity.

"It just became clear that if we continue to give more and more aid, the numbers don't add up," says Raynard Kington, head of Grinnell College. Thanks to longtime former board member Warren Buffett, Grinnell has an endowment bigger than most schools dream of. For years, that's enabled Grinnell to admit students on a need-blind basis — and then give them as much aid as they need.

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The Two-Way
4:24 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Secrets From The Sky: Parade Confetti Containing Sensitive Data Still A Mystery

Garbage and confetti lie on the ground after the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York Nov. 22.
Carlo Allegri Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 7:23 pm

Why were secrets raining from the sky during Macy's Thanksgiving Parade? Police still aren't sure.

Inspector Kenneth Lack said Monday the Nassau County Police Department is investigating how confidential records including names of police officers, license plates, and the route of presidential candidate Mitt Romney's motorcade ended up as confetti in Manhattan's annual celebration, The Chicago Tribune reports.

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The Record
4:23 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

R. Kelly's Queer, Campy 'Closet' Reopens

R. Kelly (left) as Sylvester, and Eric Lane as Twan, in Trapped in the Closet, which relaunched with new chapters last week on IFC.
Parrish Lewis IFC

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 5:55 pm

There's really been nothing like Trapped in the Closet ever before.

R&B star R. Kelly has been making (and remaking) a series of short music videos that tell a flamboyant narrative in less-than-five-minute installments. The first batch of several dozen appeared online in 2005. Now, there's a total of 40 "chapters" that aired last Friday on IFC, with the latest ones being released online one at a time for the next week.

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It's All Politics
4:05 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Obama Team Works To Keep Grass Roots From Drying Up In Second Term

A campaign volunteer wears a button as President Obama speaks at a campaign event in Maumee, Ohio. Now that the election is over, the Obama team is trying to keep supporters engaged in the president's second term.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 5:55 pm

On Wednesday, President Obama will meet with middle-class Americans who will be affected by a tax increase if the country goes over the fiscal cliff. The White House put out a call for their stories last week.

That dialogue with the American people is part of a broader White House effort to keep campaign supporters engaged during Obama's second term. It's a big change from the first term — and it's not an easy undertaking.

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The Two-Way
3:24 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Servicewomen, ACLU Sue Pentagon Over Combat Exclusion

Cap. Zoe Bedell, one of the plaintiffs.
ACLU

Four servicewomen along with the American Civil Liberties Union are suing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta over the military's policy to exclude women from combat. The policy, says the ACLU, is unconstitutional.

US News reports:

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Author Interviews
3:17 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

'The Last Refuge': Yemen, Al-Qaida And The U.S.

W.W. Norton & Co.

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 3:47 pm

In December 2009, a would-be terrorist boarded a plane for Detroit with a bomb in his underwear. While the explosive failed to properly ignite and the man was arrested upon landing, the ensuing investigation revealed the bomb in question had been made by al-Qaida leaders in Yemen.

This attempted act of terrorism heralded both the small Arabian country's re-emergence into the international consciousness as a refuge for al-Qaida and the ascendance of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), developments that have grown only more pronounced since.

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The Two-Way
3:12 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Powerball Jackpot Is $500 Million; Now Will You Buy A Chance?

A ticket and a dream.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 7:23 pm

We know there's only a 1 in 175 million chance of winning. Even then, you might have to share the prize.

But with Wednesday's Powerball jackpot now estimated to be $500 million (a record for that lottery), we wonder: Are Two-Way readers playing?

Yes, it is kind of silly to think that just because the jackpot has hit half a billion dollars it makes a lot more sense to buy a chance now than it did when you would "only" win $40 million.

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Books
2:41 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

After Decades Of Dreaming, Dolly Parton Says, 'Dream More'

Dolly Parton, known as "The Queen of Country Music," has won eight Grammys and sold more than 100 million records.
Brendon Thorne Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 4:00 pm

In 1964, Dolly Parton told her classmates at eastern Tennessee's Sevier County High School that she planned to go to Nashville and become a star.

The whole class burst into laughter.

"Anywhere you go, people say, 'Well, ain't you afraid you'll starve to death?'" Parton tells NPR's Neal Conan. "'Ain't you afraid you'll go hungry?' I said, 'Well I couldn't be any poorer than we've been here. And I'm not a bad-looking girl.'"

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Around the Nation
2:34 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Kennedy Center's New Organ No Longer A Pipe Dream

After years of waiting, the Kennedy Center has a new symphonic organ replacing its old Filene organ. The $2 million project will culminate in the organ's debut on Nov. 27. William Neil (left), the National Symphony Orchestra organist, speaks with NSO Assistant Conductor Ankush Kumar Bahl (center) during the organ's test with the orchestra on Oct. 18.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 9:16 am

It was almost spooky. Each night after 11 p.m., when nothing was stirring in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall, two men would enter. One would sit at the organ, playing a key or series of keys, and the other would crawl around inside the organ pipes, 40 feet off the floor. The process went on for months.

It was the all but final phase of installing a new organ for the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. And on Nov. 27, the organ makes its formal debut.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:30 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Do Orchestras Really Need Conductors?

Does This Guy Matter? Conductor Leonard Bernstein during rehearsal with the Cincinnati Symphony at Carnegie Hall in 1977.
James Garrett New York Daily News via Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 10:12 am

Have you ever wondered whether music conductors actually influence their orchestras?

They seem important. After all, they're standing in the middle of the stage and waving their hands. But the musicians all have scores before them that tell them what to play. If you took the conductor away, could the orchestra manage on its own?

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Law
1:56 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Parents With Disabilities And Family Law

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 2:55 pm

A report from the National Council on Disability finds that parents with physical or mental disabilities have a greater risk of losing custody of their children. The study says that the U.S. legal system needs to provide more support for these parents.

From Our Listeners
1:56 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Letters: Video Games, National Day Of Listening

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 2:57 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

It's Tuesday and time to read from your comments. Several listeners told us they appreciated our segment on what we get from playing first-person shooter games. Kristen(ph) wrote: I don't personally play videogames, but my boyfriend does. He was an infantry scout in Iraq, and the shooter games were actually recommended by his psychiatrist as a way to have him differentiate between what's real and what is not.

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