The United Nations announced today that the death toll in Syria has jumped to nearly 93,000. Since last July, more than 5,000 people have been killed every month. And the numbers in reality are likely even higher.
They're compiled for the U.N. by a nonprofit group in San Francisco called the Human Rights Data Analysis Group. Researchers go through a complicated process, scouring eight different sources that document deaths. Megan Price led that study, and she joins us now to talk about it. Welcome to the program.
The White House has "high confidence" that the Syrian regime is using chemical weapons against rebel forces, and the U.S. is prepared to offer military assistance to the opposition, a senior administration official said Thursday.
Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said that an estimated 100 to 150 Syrians have been killed in attacks using sarin gas, although the figure "is likely incomplete."
The school year is drawing to a close, but NPR's Backseat Book Club has plenty of reading lined up for the summer. Our June pick is The One and Only Ivan, a Newbery Medal-winning book by Katherine Applegate. It tells the story of a gorilla who spent 27 years in a shopping mall in Tacoma, Wash. — and it's based on a true story.
The Roman Catholic Church teaches that homosexual acts are a grave sin. But the existence of active gay prelates in the Vatican bureaucracy known as the Roman Curia has been considered a poorly held secret for centuries.
Robert Mickens, Vatican correspondent for the British Catholic weekly The Tablet, says the normal definition of a lobby as an organized group of people pushing a specific agenda does not apply here.
Firearms manufacturers are pulling up stakes in at least two of the five states that enacted tough new guns laws following the school shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School last year.
In the months after those shootings, governors in New York, Connecticut and Maryland signed broad new bans on assault weapons. Delaware passed a law requiring universal background checks. Colorado adopted background checks and a ban on high-capacity magazines.
Unmanned drones aren't just a tool for governments anymore. By as early as this year, the Federal Aviation Administration expects to propose regulations opening up the use of small, unmanned airborne vehicles — or drones — for commercial use.
Tens of thousands of these little, civilian drones are sold and piloted by hobbyists in the United States every year. Right now these drones are flown almost exclusively for non-commercial uses by enthusiast like Pablo Lema. Lema spends weekends flying his quardracopter around the San Francisco Bay.
Jeremy Jackson's grandma Mildred was famous for her strawberry cake. Legend has it that one of the families in her small Missouri town loved the dessert so much, they "commissioned" her to make it for them once a week.
Jackson is the author of Good Day for A Picnic: Simple Food that Travels Well. He shared two versions of his Strawberry Cake for All Things Considered's Found Recipes series.