Parallels
4:38 am
Sat September 7, 2013

On A Razor's Edge In Damascus

Syrian military soldiers check identifications and search vehicles at a checkpoint on Baghdad Street in Damascus, Syria, on Aug. 21.
Hassan Ammar AP

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 8:32 am

The author is a Syrian citizen in Damascus who is not being further identified for safety reasons.

Lately, Marwan feels like he is sneaking around Damascus doing "something bad."

Marwan is a personal trainer, and under normal circumstances he would have nothing to worry about.

But in the increasingly tense and fearful atmosphere that Damascenes find themselves, Marwan feels he has little choice but to look over his shoulder — especially because some of his few remaining clients are underground activists.

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It's All Politics
4:38 am
Sat September 7, 2013

Vulnerable Senators Straddle The Syria Fence

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
Timothy D. Easley AP

President Obama has mustered limited international support for a military strike on Syria, stirred uncertainty about what he'll do if Congress fails endorse a strike (it may depend on the meaning of "intention") and faces growing Capitol Hill resistance.

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Music
4:36 am
Sat September 7, 2013

A Children's Author Wrangles A Cowboy Soundtrack

Sandra Boynton's new children's album and songbook is titled Frog Trouble.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 5:11 pm

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Author Interviews
4:32 am
Sat September 7, 2013

Suspicious? In 'United States Of Paranoia,' It's Not Just You

Conspiracy theorists and other protesters march through downtown Denver on Aug. 26, 2008.
Ben Woloszyn AP

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 12:01 pm

Weekend Edition gets a lot of emails that start like this: "Why don't you tell the truth about ..." The Kennedy assassination, Sept. 11, the Lincoln assassination, the birthplace of Barack Obama or John McCain, Pearl Harbor, Area 51, black helicopters or the moon landing — fill in the blank however you like.

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Author Interviews
4:32 am
Sat September 7, 2013

Billy Crystal's 'Foolin', Full Of Fun — And Feeling

Billy Crystal returned to voice the role of Mike Wazowski in 2013's Monsters University, sequel to the hit Pixar comedy that introduced the outgoing one-eyed scareball — sidekick to John Goodman's furry blue-and-purple star.
Joe Klamar AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 4:07 pm

Billy Crystal is ... 65. He feels that he's gone from being, as he puts it, "a cool Baby Boomer into a Diane Arbus photograph."

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
6:06 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Not My Job: We Ask Australian Baz Luhrmann About Austria

Vittorio Zunino Celotto Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 4:25 am

Baz Luhrmann's first movie, Strictly Ballroom, was a cheap, independent romance set in the world of ballroom dancing. The 1992 film became an international hit. Since then, the director, writer and producer has become known for his lavish operatic movies like Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge! and the recent The Great Gatsby.

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The Two-Way
5:32 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Top Afghan Militant Reportedly Killed In U.S. Drone Strike

Protesters in Pakistan shout anti-U.S. slogans during a protest in July against drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal areas.
Arif Ali AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 5:58 pm

A senior leader of the al-Qaida-linked Haqqani network — considered one of the most dangerous factions fighting American troops in Afghanistan — has been killed in a U.S. drone strike over northwestern Pakistan, officials say.

Sangeen Zadran was among five people killed at a compound in the North Waziristan tribal region when a missile fired from a U.S. drone hit the building, Pakistani intelligence officials said.

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It's All Politics
5:14 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Opponents of Syria Strikes Gain Edge In Lobbying Fight

President Obama answers a question regarding the situation in Syria during his news conference at the G-20 Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Friday.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 5:35 am

The interest groups opposed to U.S. military strikes against Syria had a very good week. That made it a very bad week for President Obama and those who support his plans.

Anna Galland, executive director of the liberal MoveOn.org — which opposes military action in Syria — said that by midweek, her group's members reported making 10,000 calls to Congress, contributing to an avalanche of calls from citizens opposed to military strikes.

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Around the Nation
4:12 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Tensions Over Syria Run High In Two Chicago-Area Districts

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 4:20 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Defending national security is one of the core arguments President Obama is using in his bid to strike Syria. Congress is expected to vote on military action next week. NPR's David Schaper takes us now to two Chicago area districts where passions on Syria are running high.

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Commentary
4:12 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Is There Any Meaning In Poet Seamus Heaney's Last Text?

Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 4:20 pm

Commentator Andrei Codrescu reflects on the text message written by poet Seamus Heaney just before he died. In Latin he wrote to his wife "do not be afraid." The 74-year-old Heaney died in a Dublin hospital last week. Codrescu says no great meaning should be implied — it was just a personal message to his wife.

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