An independent commission has released a blistering human rights report that says Syria's security forces have carried out widespread abuses against protesters, including murder and torture.
The commission, appointed by the U.N.'s Human Rights Council, based its report on interviews with more than 220 witnesses or victims of abuse by Syrian security forces. The panel says it collected a solid body of evidence and identified patterns of human rights violations.
Welcome to the second installment of NPR's Backseat Book Club! Every month, we invite kids to read a book along with us, and then send in their questions for the author.
Our book club selection for November is a classic that's celebrating a big anniversary. The Phantom Tollbooth — written by Norton Juster and illustrated by Jules Feiffer — was published 50 years ago. Juster tells NPR's Michele Norris that the story sprang from his own childhood.
American Airline's parent company AMR has filed for bankruptcy protection. American will continue to operate its flights as usual. The airline will use bankruptcy to off-load some of the debt that is weighing it down.
Joining us now to talk about what the U.S. hopes to accomplish at the UN climate talks in Durban is the chief negotiator for the United States, Todd Stern. He's been negotiating on behalf of the U.S. off and on since the Kyoto Protocol was first forged back in 1997. Todd Stern, welcome to the program.
TODD STERN: Thanks very much, Guy. Happy to be here.
RAZ: As we just heard, the expectations are pretty low for a treaty that limits emissions coming out of Durban. What needs to happen at Durban for you to consider it a success?
Thanhha Lai was 10 years old the day in 1975 that North Vietnamese tanks crashed through the gates of the presidential palace in Saigon and fear spread through the city on rumors that Communist troops were about to begin a massacre. Lai recalls fleeing with her eight older siblings and her mother to the nearby port and boarding a crowded South Vietnamese Navy ship that then headed to sea.
NPR's Hard Times series features stories of economic hardship and also stories of hope. We asked for ideas from listeners, and Emily Nugent of Berea College in Kentucky responded, writing: "With a student body composed entirely of students from low socio-economic backgrounds, Berea students know about the challenges Americans are facing." Noah Adams went in search of Emily and the Berea College story.
As diplomats from around the world gather in Durban, South Africa, for talks about climate change, a big question looms: What will become of the Kyoto climate treaty, which was negotiated with much fanfare in 1997. The treaty was supposed to be a first step toward much more ambitious actions on climate change, but it is now on the brink of fading into irrelevance. That could have major implications for the future of United Nations climate talks.
Twitter already beat us to all the good puns, including the one in the headline. But, yes, it is true, you will either love or hate this news story from England: A tanker carrying 20 tons of yeast extract — the main ingredient in the loved-or-reviled Marmite — was involved in a late night accident, yesterday, spilling its contents and shutting down the M1, which connects London to the northern part of England.
Philadelphia singer-songwriter Meg Baird nestles her songs at the convergence of her entrancing vocals and the sparse yet weighty sound of her acoustic guitar. Folk music runs in her blood: Baird is descended from one of the first recorded Appalachian players, Isaac Garfield Greer. From childhood, Baird has been shaped by all things folk; she even listened to Smithsonian Folkways LPs while she taught herself guitar and piano.