Syrians appear behind the damaged windshield of a minibus as they inspect the site of a blast in the central Midan district of Damascus last month. A new jihadist organization in Syria claimed responsibility for the attack.
It was Friday, April 27, when a car bomb exploded in the Damascus neighborhood of Midan. Syrian state television showed soldiers and civilians running from the smoke of the explosion under a bridge. Then the camera closed in on streams of blood and body parts.
The Syrian regime's narrative is that the uprising that has gripped the country for more than a year is not a case of people protesting and sometimes fighting for their rights; the official stance is that it's terrorism.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.
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And I'm Steve Inskeep.
For the most part, of course, what you do at home is your business. But a tragedy in Ohio has authorities legislating the question of which animals people keep at home. An Ohio TV station, NewsChannel5, was on the story last week.
(SOUNDBITE OF NEWSCHANNEL5 BROADCAST)
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Our other top story Live on Five: Five exotic animals were returned to a farm in Zanesville.
The Federal Reserve has announced three of China's largest state-owned banks have been given approval to expand their operations in the U.S. Analysts say that ICBC, China investment Corp., and Central Huijin Investment will likely look to purchase regional U.S. banks and establish a footprint in the American market.
States are moving to set up health insurance exchanges — a pillar of Obama's health care law. But many GOP governors find themselves in an awkward position. David Wessel, economics editor of The Wall Street Journal, talks to Steve Inskeep about why the governors' positions on exchanges are complicated.
Credit Dan Curtis Productions / The Kobal Collection
In the influential Dark Shadows, a 1960s ABC soap opera with a gothic and supernatural bent, Jonathan Frid played Barnabas Collins, a vampire who returned to claim his coastal Maine manor.
Credit Warner Brothers Pictures
In the new film adaptation of Dark Shadows, Johnny Depp plays Barnabas. Seth Grahame-Smith, author of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, wrote the screenplay for the movie and says the idea of living forever as a vampire continues to fascinate.
Credit Quantrell D.Colbert / The CW
Ian Somerhalder plays the charming and dangerous Damon Salvatore on The Vampire Diaries, a gothic soap opera that shares some similarities with Dark Shadows.
When it comes to monsters on television, vampires have the market more or less cornered. Think about it: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, True Blood, The Vampire Diaries ...
Vampires' enduring popularity on TV may not be eternal, but they have been appearing on the small screen for decades. Mark Dawidziak, who's written books about vampires and teaches a class at Kent State University on their appearances in film and TV, says that part of the way vampires have remained a force in popular culture is through their evolution on TV.
The most challenging cyberattacks these days come from China and target Western firms' trade secrets and intellectual property. But a problem for some is a business opportunity for others: It's boom time for cybersecurity firms that specialize in going after Chinese hackers.
"It's the next big thing," says Richard Stiennon, an industry analyst who specializes in information security firms.
The Afghan government wants Muslim preachers to tone down sermons that often criticize the presence of American troops and praise the Taliban. Here, an Afghan youth drags his sheep past a group of men praying at a mosque in Kabul in November 2011.
The ministry that governs religious affairs in Afghanistan has announced what some are calling a "three strikes" policy.
It's a warning directed at Muslim clerics, or imams, accused of inciting violence in their Friday sermons. Imams across the country routinely condemn the U.S. presence in Afghanistan and speak in favor of the Taliban.
Nurse Susan Peel gives a whooping cough vaccination to a high school student in Sacramento, Calif. The whooping cough vaccine given to babies and toddlers loses much of its effectiveness after by the time people reach their teens and early adulthood.
Washington state is in the midst of a whooping cough outbreak. The state has more than 1,100 confirmed cases so far this year — that's 10 times as many as this time last year, and health officials fear the number may rise.
The state is desperately trying to raise awareness of the epidemic. Take this public service announcement featuring a mother whose baby contracted the disease.
Republicans who control the House want to block some $55 billion worth of automatic cuts to the Pentagon budget next year. Instead, they want to cut funding for social programs such as food stamps, Medicaid and Meals on Wheels. It's a choice that has been framed as guns versus butter, and this time, guns are expected to win.
The Obama administration has threatened to veto the legislation, which the House votes on Thursday. But the president is willing to leave the Pentagon cuts in place for now, in hopes of bringing Republicans back to the bargaining table.
A new study from the Pew Charitable Trusts finds economic mobility differs significantly across the United States. The report finds Americans are more likely to move up the economic ladder if they live in the northeast.
The 2012 presidential election was supposed to be about the economy, and even with President Obama's historic decision to make it known Wednesday that he supports same-sex marriage, that is still likely to be true.
But the president's decision to announce in an ABC News interview that he personally backs gay marriage could mean that at least one social issue may take a more prominent role in the election-year spotlight.
More people on the East Coast are acquiring a taste for snakehead, an exotic fish that's moved here from Asia. But the fish are still multiplying and spreading.
Snakehead came to Maryland almost 10 years ago. The so-called "Frankenfish" looks like its namesake and has multiple rows of teeth. Someone released it here — and then there was a documentary and an unbelievably bad movie.
A foreclosed home in Los Angeles. More than 4 million homeowners nationwide are eligible for an independent review of their foreclosure process, but only a small percentage have applied to the program.
It's been more than six months since government regulators and banks first extended an offer to 4.3 million homeowners facing foreclosure: to review, at no cost, the foreclosure process to check for any possible errors or misrepresentations.
Homeowners stand to collect compensation of as much as $100,000 if errors are found. But thus far, only a tiny percentage of those eligible have signed up.
For reaction now, we turn to writer and political blogger Andrew Sullivan. He is gay and married, and for years has been a leading advocate of same-sex marriage. He's the editor of the blog "The Dish" at The Daily Beast website. And, Andrew, I take it from what I've seen on your blog this afternoon you have mixed feelings about this development.
U.S. officials now say that the man picked to bring a bomb onboard an airliner bound for the United States was actually an agent working on behalf of the CIA. That's the latest twist in a complicated tale — and it raises questions about just how dangerous the group behind the plot really is.
But as the latest bomb plot in Yemen shows, little stays hidden for long these days.
In the post-Sept. 11 world, even the most sensitive intelligence operations quickly become daily fodder as the 24-hour news cycle, the Internet and media-friendly politicians give the story momentum. And it's often senior government officials and the intelligence community who spread the juiciest details.
Twice a week, local seniors in Warrenton, Virginia, flock to a hip new dinner spot called the Bistro on the Hill for good food, a great view, and musical accompaniment by a retired piano player from a nearby Nordstrom's.
On June 11, 2011, Matt Rutherford set sail from Annapolis, Md., on an epic voyage. He traveled down the Chesapeake Bay, up the East Coast, then through the Northwest Passage, down the Pacific, around Cape Horn, back up the coast of South America, and all the way back home.
In 10 months, he sailed over 27,000 miles in a 27-foot sailboat — named the St. Brendan after the 6th-century explorer — and became the first person to complete a solo, nonstop circumnavigation of the Americas.
Credit Andrew Harrier / Bloomberg via Getty Images
An employee loads flat trays onto a truck at the U.S. Postal Service processing and distribution center in Merrifield, Va. The USPS, which is projecting a $14.1 billion loss this fiscal year, is discussing restructuring options with potential advisers.
Many headlines and stories (including some of ours) have been saying that a "double agent" infiltrated al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula and foiled a plot to get another underwear bomb aboard a U.S.-bound passenger jet.
But we've been looking at definitions of spy terms and think that based on what we have been told so far, the person at the center of the story wasn't a double agent.