The U.N. said Saturday it was suspending its monitoring operations in Syria because of an "intensification of armed violence" over the past 10 days.
"Innocent civilians — men, women and children — are being killed everyday," Gen. Robert Mood, head of the U.N. Supervision Mission in Syria, said. "[The violence] also poses a significant risk to my unarmed observers."
Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, the opposition leader of Myanmar, also known as Burma, spoke in Norway Saturday, formally accepting the peace prize she was awarded in 1991 while under house arrest. Her supporters portrayed the moment as a belated victory for democracy and human rights.
The next time you need some help deciding what to pick for a midday munch, try Snack Data, a quirky, illustrated catalogue of foods. Part reference guide, part art project, it's the latest idiosyncratic creation of Los Angeles-based web developer Beau Johnson.
The United Nations is suspending its observer mission in Syria because of growing violence there. The official announcement came today from the head of the mission, General Robert Mood. The statement released from U.N. headquarters in Damascus cited rising violence over the past 10 days, and charged that both parties - the Syrian military and the armed rebels, known as the Free Syrian Army - are putting civilians lives at risk - and the lives of their monitors. NPR's Deborah Amos is in Damascus. Deborah, thanks for being with us.
After some unexpected political drama this week, Egyptians are choosing a president Saturday, and the choice reflects the deep divisions in the country that has been unsettled since its revolution last year.
On the one side is Mohammed Morsi, candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic group that dominated the parliamentary elections back in December and January.
Earlier today, China launched an historic space mission carrying that country's first female astronaut and a couple of male astronauts into space. The Shenzhou-9 spacecraft is on a 13-day trip. The mission is considered an important step toward China's goal of building a space station. We're joined now in our studios by Dean Cheng. He's a research fellow at the Asia Studies Center at the Heritage Foundation. Mr. Cheng, thanks for being with us.
Debt-burdened Greeks go to the polls Sunday to choose between an establishment party, and continuing harsh austerity measures, or a leftist party that vows to replace the current bailout deal with less punishing conditions.
But many Greeks are aware that whatever the outcome, they face years of hardship in a rapidly unraveling society.
A recent TV news report on medicine shortages illustrated the anguish rippling through the country. The piercing screams of a woman in a pharmacy can be heard as she shouts, "Where am I going to find my medication?"
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. It's a classic tradition of presidential campaigns - the small town bus tour. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney began his in New Hampshire yesterday at the farm where he kicked off his campaign a year ago. NPR's Ari Shapiro was along for the ride.
ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Summer in New England is practically designed for political ads: waving green fields, cherry red barns popping against a bright blue sky, and on this morning, live bluegrass music.
Before Pixar or Walt Disney, was there Paleolithic Man?
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SIMON: The Chauvet prehistoric cave paintings in France have always glimmered with a mystery: why do the depictions of ancient animals seem to show beasts with several heads and multiple limbs? Are the multi-headed creature figures from mythology, folk art, or some kind of lost world?
This is Weekend Edition from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Time for sports.
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SIMON: The NBA finals are on. Maybe it's just the weather forecast: Thunder, Heat, Heat, Thunder. Also, no-hitters busting out all over. And Bryce Harper scorches the major league circuit. Howard Bryant is back with us, senior writer at ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. President Barack Obama has announced a major change to immigration policy, one that he says could lift the shadow of deportation, as he called it, from hundreds of thousands of young people.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Aung San Suu Kyi has delivered a speech in Norway to formally accept the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize. The opposition leader of Myanmar, also known as Burma, was delayed giving that speech for 21 years because the country's then ruling military junta had put her under house arrest. In her speech, Aung San Suu Kyi urged the world not to forget prisoners of conscious who, unlike herself, are not free.
The austerity measures in Greece have reached into the journalists who would normally cover these elections. Thousands of journalists have lost their jobs. And in any case, many Greeks feel that the mainstream media are biased, and they're not getting news from alternative citizen-run outlets. Joanna Kakissis reports.
Most of the time, Slate's Dahlia Lithwick covers the Supreme Court. She's been doing that for the last 13 years. But recently, you may have seen her name floating around in connection with the piece she recently wrote that she discusses with Scott Simon on Saturday's Weekend Edition.
When Mark Shriver's father died last year at the age of 95, it seemed that everyone who knew him — politicians, priests, waitresses, presidents and trash collectors — used the same phrase to tell him what they had thought of his father. He was "a good man."
A Good Man is also the title of Shriver's new memoir about his father, R. Sargent Shriver. The elder Shriver, who once ran for president, ran the War on Poverty, the Peace Corps, Job Corps and the Special Olympics. On top of that, he was U.S. ambassador to France and married into the Kennedy family.
In southern Yemen, government forces backed by U.S. advisers claim they are routing al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula and allied groups from territory that the militants had controlled over the past year.
This is the same al-Qaida that has tried to send so-called underwear bombers to attack U.S.-bound planes.
Just outside the town of Zinjibar, it's clear that fierce battles went on here. It's deserted. There are no people, but there are an enormous number of bullet and shrapnel holes in the buildings.
Monday is the 200th anniversary of the start of the War of 1812. Americans may not know much about that war, but they do know a song the war inspired: "The Star-Spangled Banner." The first scratches of those phrases are on display at the Maryland Historical Society in Baltimore.
The original quill-and-ink manuscript was written by Francis Scott Key. He wrote the lyrics while being held aboard a British ship. Trying to work out a prisoner release, he watched the bombardment of Fort McHenry — the rocket's red glare, bombs bursting in air.
At the University of California, Los Angeles, Labor Center in downtown L.A., more than 100 student leaders from around the country hugged and cheered as President Obama delivered his immigration announcement Friday.
Obama outlined a new policy to temporarily stop deporting some young illegal immigrants and make them eligible for work permits.
Diego Sanchez was born in Argentina and brought to Miami 12 years ago. He's working on getting his MBA. He welcomed the president's announcement.
Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:
Joan Rivers Hates You, Herself And Everyone Else: Comedian Joan Rivers' new book I Hate Everyone, Starting With Me details the things Rivers can't stand.
NPR Music has already put together a list of 50 of our favorite songs to help you celebrate the summer. On it, you'll find cheery synth-pop singles, smooth R&B ballads, thumping club bangers and fist-pumping rock anthems.
Missing, however, are those "deep cuts" that lend themselves to a detached, ironic, slightly campy appreciation — the songs that are so bad they're good.
With summer looming, it's time to prep for your vacation (or, for many in these financially tight times, "staycation"). The good news? A trip to the beach or the pool. The bad news? You need a swimsuit.
But the fitting-room-phobic can take heart in a trend that's seized the swimsuit industry lately. It's a retro look that includes high-waisted bikini bottoms, ruffles, halters and more.
President Obama's decision to stop deporting young, otherwise law-abiding illegal immigrants could help rebuild his support among electorally important Latinos after 18 months of futile efforts, some activists said Friday.
"There is overwhelming support for the protection of these children, as there is in the rest of the country. I think this could have an energizing effect on Latino voters," says Clarissa Martinez del Castro, director of immigration and national campaigns for National Council of La Raza.
A few short weeks ago, the Greek politician Alexis Tsipras was a young rebel leading Syriza, a fractious leftist coalition best known for anti-austerity protests. Now, his party could come in first in Sunday's election.
The party's possible win alarmed the German edition of the Financial Times as it posted an online appeal in Greek calling on voters to resist his demagoguery.
But Tsipras, a civil engineer who has been involved in leftist politics since his teens, says his program to roll back austerity will save the euro from its ballooning debt crisis.