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Parallels
5:27 am
Sat April 26, 2014

Syria Gives Up Chemical Weapons ... But A War Rages On

A Syrian woman cries as she leaves a residential block in Aleppo, Syria, reportedly hit by an explosives-filled barrel dropped by a government forces helicopter on March 18.
Khaled Khatib AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat April 26, 2014 11:30 am

Sunday is the deadline for Syrian President Bashar Assad to hand over his government's chemical weapons stockpile, and he will have surrendered the vast majority of his declared arsenal.

Some call this a triumph. Others say Assad used the deal to buy time for brutal offensives in the civil war raging through the country. Western governments are investigating reports of more chemical attacks, although Russian officials said Friday that Assad's forces did not use chemical weapons.

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The Two-Way
8:58 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Detroit Retiree Panel Reaches Deal With The City On Pension

A panel convened by a federal court to represent the interests of retirees in Detroit's bankruptcy says it has reached a deal with the city.

Reuters reports the deal would cap retirees' pension losses and call for more contributions to their health benefits.

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Politics
7:15 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Politicians Get Personal With Memorable Early Campaign Ads

Dr. Monica Wehby, a Republican U.S. Senate candidate in Oregon, appears in the much-talked-about campaign ad "Trust."
Dr. Monica Wehby Senate campaign

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The Two-Way
6:37 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Jewish Man Who Became Radical Islamist Sentenced To Prison

Yousef al-Khattab, a Jewish kid from New Jersey who turned into a radical Islamist, was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison on Friday.

As NPR's Dina Temple-Raston reported earlier today, al-Khattab is the founder of a radical Islamist group called Revolution Muslim, "which became a gateway for young jihadists in the U.S. looking to join violent Islamist groups overseas."

Dina continued:

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The Salt
5:58 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Rum Renaissance Revives The Spirit's Rough Reputation

Ian Burrell, a rum ambassador from the U.K., samples the liquor at the Miami Rum Festival.
Tatu Kaarlas Courtesy of Miami Rum Festival

Originally published on Tue April 29, 2014 11:31 am

There was a time when rum was considered rotgut. Blackbeard the pirate liked to mix his cane alcohol with gunpowder and light it — rum and croak.

Fast-forward a few centuries to rum respectability — specifically, to Rob Burr's patio deck in Coral Gables, in South Florida.

From the waterfall pond to the tiki bar, Burr's deck sets a mood not for swilling rum, but for tasting it. Not the way spring-breakers chug Captain Morgan, but the way cognac drinkers sip Napoleon: Not with Coke (or gunpowder) but neat, in a snifter.

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