Update at 1:55 p.m. ET: White House Is "Highly Skeptical":
At the White House this afternoon, spokesman Jay Carney said the U.S. is "highly skeptical" of the comments made over the weekend by international prosecutor Carla del Ponte, who said there are "strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof" that rebels in Syria have used sarin gas.
We've been covering del Ponte's comments, and the reaction to them, through the day. Scroll down to see an earlier update and our original post.
From the NPR Newcast: WBUR's Deborah Becker reports (with introduction from Jean Cochran)
Officials in Cambridge, Mass., have urged the family of deceased Boston Marathon bombings suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev not to ask that he be buried in a city-owned cemetery. Meanwhile, at least four private cemeteries in the area have already turned down such a request.
Good morning, I'm David Greene. Being the first person to set foot on the moon would make anyone's heart skip a beat. Well, not apparently Neil Armstrong. An auction house in Amherst, New Hampshire, is about to take bids on Armstrong's EGK. It's a printout of the Apollo 11 astronaut's heart rate as he first stepped onto the surface of the moon in 1969. The printout is about six inches long and shows some fairly steady beats. Well, that's for one man. No word yet on mankind. It's MORNING EDITION.
When thieves in a small Belgian town tried to shake the cops, they dumped the safe out of the getaway car. The safe popped open, spilling $1.3 million worth of cash. People scrambled to pick it up. One woman even brought out a broom. Well, it's now two weeks later and police are asking for the money. They have setup a mailbox for people to drop off cash anonymously. Only half the money has been returned so far. Oh, and somebody has already broken into the mailbox.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.
Syria has accused Israel of flagrantly violating international law after a series of airstrikes on targets near the Syrian capital over the weekend. Now, Israel has not officially accepted responsibility, but Israeli sources say the targets included Iranian-made missiles bound for Hezbollah fighters in neighboring Lebanon.
And we have Cokie Roberts on the line. She joins us most Mondays. Cokie, good morning.
COKIE ROBERTS, BYLINE: Hi, David.
GREENE: So one of those last words in Emily piece, tightrope, I mean, that...
GREENE: ...feels like that's where President Obama is on Syria. I mean, he was already in a difficult position, and now we have an American ally we believe bombing Damascus. What sort of position is the White House in?
Republican Mitch McConnell has been the Senate minority leader since 2007, and he's the longest-serving senator in the history of Kentucky. He's up for re-election next year — and polling in the state shows his popularity is suffering.
If the Republicans can snag a half-dozen more seats in the Senate in 2014, McConnell could finally become majority leader. But first, he has to convince Kentuckians he's not out of touch with them.
The economy may be on the rebound, but many cultural institutions are still struggling to regain their financial footing. That's especially true for one of the country's most recognized museums — the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. Known internationally for its research as well as its exhibits, the Field Museum must pay off millions in bond debt — and toe an ethical line as it does.
Secretary of State John Kerry sets off for what he calls "a long overdue" trip to Russia on Monday, and Syria is likely to top the agenda.
But U.S.-Russian relations are frosty these days. The U.S. is imposing targeted sanctions on Russian human rights violators, while Moscow is preventing American families from adopting Russian children.
That word "microbiome" — describing the collection of bacteria that live in and on our bodies — keeps popping up. This time, researchers say that children whose parents clean their pacifiers by sucking them might be less likely to develop allergic conditions because of how their parents' saliva changes their microbiomes.
Emotions ran high as Germany's biggest terrorism trial in decades got underway Monday in Munich. The hearing is on the murders of 10 people who were the victims of a nearly decadelong neo-Nazi terror campaign against the Turkish community there.
The Port of Baltimore recently completed a major expansion, which included building a 50-foot berth and dredging the channel. It's in anticipation of increased traffic following the completion of a project to widen the Panama Canal.
Credit Jonathan Blakely / NPR
A crane removes a container from a ship at the Port of Baltimore's Seagirt Marine Terminal on March 1.
The Solar Impulse, an airplane traveling across the United States using only solar power, is in Phoenix today, after reaching Arizona from California Saturday. It took the plane about 20 hours to travel from Mountain View, Calif., near San Francisco.
The aircraft is capable of flying at night as well as in daytime; the plane had about 75 percent of its battery power remaining when it landed in Arizona.
War has brought the act of faith to the forefront for those who occupy the White House. President Lincoln famously issued a call to prayer during the Civil war. Franklin Roosevelt announced D-Day to the nation with a prayer.
Today, President Obama receives a daily spiritual meditation. The man who sends those messages is a Pentecostal minister named Joshua DuBois.
When he first moved to Washington, D.C., DuBois says he had already formed an impression about the spiritual life of the town.
Imagine the capital of Somalia, Mogadishu, in the 1980s. You can't, right? Neither can most music critics. That's why the recent re-release of a record by a popular '80s-era Mogadishu dance band has caught the attention of critics lately.
The founders of Dur-Dur Band now live in Columbus, Ohio. Weekends on All Things Considered asked members Abdinur Daljir and Sahra Dawo to go to a studio there — accompanied by an interpreter — to talk about the newly reissued record and the story that precedes it.
Bill Cheng's new novel, Southern Cross the Dog, is deeply rooted in the Mississippi Delta. It follows the story of one boy after he survives the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and spends the next few decades as a refugee, an abandoned orphan and then an itinerant laborer.
Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak (second from left) celebrates his victory with a prayer on election day in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. His National Front coalition won a simple majority in the general election.
The National Front coalition that has governed Malaysia for 56 consecutive years won a majority of parliamentary seats in a general election Sunday, extending its streak of victories that began in 1957.
Malaysian election officials reported a record voter turnout in Sunday's national election, as more than 10 million voters — or 80 percent of the electorate — cast ballots.
Firefighting officials in California are optimistic that they can get more of the Springs Fire under control Sunday, as for the second day cooler temperatures and higher humidity are expected to help their cause. The fire could be entirely contained by Monday, they say.
"Firefighters made progress overnight," member station KPCC reported this morning. "The Springs Fire is holding fast at 28,000 acres."
One day after being arrested over allegations that he raped one man and sexually assaulted another, a senior British legislator says the accusations are without merit. Britain's House of Commons Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans says the claims were made by people "who until yesterday I regarded as friends."
The complaints made against Evans accuse him of abuse in a period from July 2009 to March of this year. The men who filed the complaints are believed to have been in their 20s in that time span. Evans says that the two men who made the accusations know one another.
A soccer referee who was punched by a player after calling a foul on him during a recreational soccer game in Utah died Saturday night, a week after he was hit once in the face. The suspect, who received a yellow card penalty from referee Ricardo Portillo, was arrested Monday and remains incarcerated, officials say.
Centuries of grime was removed during the recent restoration, revealing the men with the headdresses.
Credit Courtesy of Vatican Museums
This recently restored painting in the Vatican, created in 1494 by the Renaissance master Pinturicchio, has a small depiction of naked men with feathered headdresses. This may be the first European depiction of Native Americans. The scene, just above the tomb of Jesus, is too small to be seen in this view of the entire painting but is shown in the photo below.
A cruise run by the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, Calif., sounds like a picturesque summer outing. But the Urban Ocean boat cruise highlights the juxtaposition of a powerful port with a fragile ecosystem: You're just as likely to see trash as you are to see marine life.
In front of the aquarium, school kids are running around, eager to go inside and pet the sharks and see the penguins. There's also a marina, where a small passenger boat called the Cristina shoves off from sunny Shoreline Aquatic Park.