One of the biggest questions still outstanding about the attack on a United States consulate in Libya is whether it was planned or whether it was the result of a protest against a U.S.-made film that criticizes the Prophet Muhammad.
The attack killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.
The bottom line is that nothing is firm. But NPR's Leila Fadel reports that Libya's Deputy Interior Minister, Wanis al Sharef, said this was a sophisticated two-prong attack.
The First Amendment guarantee of free speech is in the spotlight this week. If you haven't kept up, a U.S.-produced filmdepicting the Prophet Muhammad in a less than flattering way has inflamed the Arab world.
In a lot of ways, the story is showing how the sweeping nature of the First Amendment puts the United States at odds with most of the world.
That rift was perhaps most evident when you compare the statements of Egypt's Islamist President Mohamed Morsi and that of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
A panel in Florida tasked with examining the state's "Stand Your Ground" law is unlikely to suggest that any major changes are needed.
Since it was convened in May, members of the task force have held meetings at locations around the state. At almost every meeting, they've heard impassioned testimony from people like David Boden, whose son, Jason, was killed in a shooting. Prosecutors in West Palm Beach told Boden that Florida's Stand Your Ground law prevented them from filing charges against the shooter.
As health workers try to contain an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the death toll has increased to 31.
The deaths from the hemorrhagic fever outbreak doubled in the past week. World Health Organization spokesman Tarik Jasarevic tells Shots that's because they have discovered more people who were originally infected.
Originally published on Thu September 13, 2012 5:41 pm
Appearing in Virginia on Thursday, Republican Mitt Romney tried to bring his campaign back to the issues he has focused on before in the swing state: the nation's economy and strengthening the military.
A day after Romney ignited a debate over his criticism of President Obama's handling of events in Libya and Egypt, the Republican presidential nominee largely steered clear of discussing unrest in Egypt and the attack on an American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead.
One of the primary issues at the heart of the the Chicago teachers' strike is whether student test scores should be used to evaluate teachers and determine their pay. Mayor Rahm Emanuel is pushing that approach, as are other officials around the nation.
But many teachers insist that it's inherently unfair to grade their teaching based on their students' learning.
Over the years, ZZ Top has stayed contemporary: dabbling in new wave, flirting with grunge and techno, making goofy music videos, even using a drum machine. But the band has never strayed too far from its classic amalgam of electric blues, garage rock and greasy grooves. On their new album, La Futura, the members sound like their old selves.
After a meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, the Fed announced that it would spend $40 billion a month on mortgage-backed securities in an effort to stimulate the economy and drive the the unemployment rate down.
Originally published on Thu September 13, 2012 5:25 pm
There's no ready euphemism for this, so be warned.
The New York City Board of Health voted unanimously today in favor of a new regulation that would require parents of young boys who undergo ritual circumcisions involving "direct oral suction" to sign a consent form first.
It would seem difficult to overlook something as large as a new species of monkey, but scientists had no idea about the lesula until just a few years ago when conservation biologist John Hart discovered a specimen being kept as a pet in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In retrospect, the monkey's striking, almost humanlike face should have made it hard to miss, and Hart, who spoke with All Things Considered host Melissa Block, is the first to admit that this new monkey was apparently not such a mystery to the Congolese themselves.
Originally published on Fri September 14, 2012 4:46 pm
The intractable issues that led to the teachers' strike in Chicago are being argued about in states and school districts across the country.
The past decade has been a time of enormous ferment in education policy, with numerous new ideas and approaches being promoted by everyone from conservative think tanks to the well-heeled Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to Obama administration officials.
Last year, the broadcast networks didn't do well at all when it came to new series development. We got ABC's clever Once Upon a Time, which was about it for the fall crop, until midseason perked things up with NBC's Smash. Otherwise, a year ago, all the exciting new fall series were on cable, thanks to Showtime's brilliant Homeland and FX's audacious American Horror Story.
After the attack that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans in Benghazi, Libya, President Barack Obama said yesterday that the United States would "work with the Libyan government to bring to justice" the people involved.
As the conflict in Syria rages on, an estimated 200,000 people have already fled to neighboring countries: to Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon and most of all to Jordan. Jordan's foreign minister, Nasser Judeh, says the country can't absorb anymore and that the 85,000 already there have strained Jordan's limited means. Those arrivals include most of the high-profile Syrian defectors, including former Prime Minister Riyad Hijab. All this raises serious questions about Syria-Jordan relations and broader Middle East politics.
Originally published on Thu September 13, 2012 3:56 pm
The three attacks on U.S. diplomatic missions this week have a common theme: all took place in countries where autocratic rulers were ousted last year and where new governments are still struggling to keep order.
Last year, many Americans were cheering on Arab Spring uprisings in Egypt, Libya and Yemen. Now the U.S. is the focus of violent anger over an anti-Islamic film produced in this country.
Before comic W. Kamau Bell became host of the new weekly political humor show Totally Biased, which mixes standup, sketches and interviews,he had a one-man show called The W. Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism in About an Hour.
"If you bring a friend of a different race, you get in 2 for 1," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.
When crossing from Uganda into Congo at the shabby border town of Bunagana, I encountered a broadly smiling man in a black leather jacket named Hamid Kashaisha.
He asked if I wanted to see the gorillas. I replied that it's guerrillas — with guns, that is — that I wanted to see: the M23 rebels who, for the past two months, had occupied a piece of real estate in eastern Congo larger than Delaware.
Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 2:46 pm
Beef Products, Inc., the South Dakota company at the center of a firestorm this spring over its product labeled "pink slime" by critics, announced Thursday it is suing ABC News for defamation and $1.2 billion in damages.
BPI alleges that ABC reporters and hosts made 200 false statements over the course of a month about BPI's product, known in the industry as lean, finely textured beef (LFTB).
The NFL's Brendon Ayanbadejo has gone to three Pro Bowls and is a star on the field. But when he recently spoke out in favor of gay marriage, a prominent critic told him to stop talking and focus on football. Ayanbadejo joins host Michel Martin to talk about why he's committed to defending same-sex marriage.
The Census Bureau announced that 15 percent of Americans lived in poverty in 2011 — a slight drop from the year before. But income disparities continue to grow. Host Michel Martin talks with Harvard professor William Julius Wilson, author of the 1987 book The Truly Disadvantaged: The Inner City, the Underclass, and Public Policy.
Protests over a video insulting the Prophet Mohammad have spread throughout the Muslim world. Host Michel Martin discusses reactions and why it has elicited such anger with Al Jazeera's Abderrahim Foukara and Georgetown University Professor John Esposito. Advisory: This segment may be uncomfortable for some listeners.
And now about that new iPhone. Techies have long been speculating about what the device will look like and what it will do. Guessing right along with everybody else was Mario Armstrong. He's a digital lifestyle expert and a frequent guest on this program.
MARIO ARMSTRONG: Hey.
MARTIN: Welcome back.
ARMSTRONG: Thank you, Michel. Thanks for having me.
MARTIN: Tell us what you know. Are you in iPhone heaven?
Originally published on Thu September 13, 2012 4:19 pm
The past 24 hours have produced a few answers — but many more questions — about the anti-Islam film that became a flashpoint across North Africa and the Middle East this week.
NPR's Carrie Kahn reports on Morning Edition that The Innocence of Muslims was shot in Los Angeles County last August, under the title Desert Warriors. It's full of "choppy dialogue, bad acting and scenes of a buffoonish Muhammad," she says.