Middle East
9:53 am
Sun March 3, 2013

Miles From Home, Syrians Vote In Free Elections

As Aleppo residents in the Tariq al-Bab district recover from this week's attack by Syrian regime forces, delegates from the city are in Turkey holding an election for local officials.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 3, 2013 10:24 am

In Syria's northern province of Aleppo, the war is far from over. Yet civilians are planning a dramatic gesture: an election for a civilian government.

This weekend, delegates from across the province are taking part in the first free vote outside of the control of President Bashar Assad's regime. Its location: Gaziantep, Turkey.

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The Two-Way
6:48 am
Sun March 3, 2013

Only Syrians Can Tell President When To Go, Assad Says

Originally published on Sun March 3, 2013 8:38 am

Syrian President Bashar Assad, in apparent response to Secretary of State John Kerry's remarks last week in support of opposition forces in Syria, says only the Syrian people can tell him to step down.

"Only Syrian people can tell the president stay or leave, come or go. No one else," he said in an interview to Britain's Sunday Times.

It was a rare TV interview for the Syrian president, whose regime has battled rebels as well as calls to step down for nearly two years.

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The Two-Way
6:45 am
Sun March 3, 2013

After Delay, SpaceX Dragon Reaches Space Station

The SpaceX Dragon cargo vehicle is grappled by the International Space Station's robotic arm Sunday morning.
NASA TV

The Dragon has been captured. The SpaceX unmanned craft connected with the International Space Station at 5:31 a.m. ET, NASA tweeted. The spacecraft arrived a day late due to mechanical problems after Friday's launch from Cape Canaveral, Fla.

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Three Books...
5:17 am
Sun March 3, 2013

Hardly Heroic: 3 Flagrantly Flawed Main Characters

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 7:00 am

It feels so good to root for the golden-hearted guy. To imagine that in a crisis you'd be just like Harry Potter — noble, self-sacrificing, flaunting rules only in the service of Good. But most of us also harbor secret, selfish thoughts we're certain Mother Teresa never had. Those failings are what make the morally flawed heroes of these books ring uncomfortably true. And if we, the readers, refuse to empathize with these very human characters, does that make us nobler than they, or merely self-delusional?

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Africa
4:49 am
Sun March 3, 2013

In Kenya, Political Puppets Give Voice To Satire

In this screengrab, three puppets debate one another on The XYZ Show's presidential debate, which aired in February.
The XYZ Show YouTube

Originally published on Sun March 3, 2013 2:22 pm

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Middle East
4:49 am
Sun March 3, 2013

Amid Egypt's Divisive Climate, Kerry Urges Economic Action

Secretary of State John Kerry (center, right) meets with members of Egyptian political parties in Cairo on Saturday.
Khaled ElFiqi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 3, 2013 10:27 am

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry walked into a chaotic situation in Egypt, the first Arab country he's visited in his new role. The country is in economic and political turmoil, and he is trying Sunday to encourage Islamist President Mohamed Morsi to open up the political process and carry out much-needed reforms. After their meeting, he announced the U.S. would release $190 million in aid to Egypt.

Kerry has also been hearing complaints from opposition figures, who have vowed to boycott upcoming elections.

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Author Interviews
4:49 am
Sun March 3, 2013

Secretly Working To Win The War In 'Atomic City'

Originally published on Sun March 3, 2013 7:48 am

Before the fight to win women equal footing in the workplace, there was the fight against Hitler and Hirohito. In the depths of World War II, everyone in America had to pitch in, men and women alike. And in 1943 the government offered war jobs, lots of them, in a town called Oak Ridge, Tenn.

Where is it on a map? What do they do there? What will I do there? The government didn't give any answers to those questions — and still the recruits, many of them young women, streamed in.

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Movie Interviews
4:49 am
Sun March 3, 2013

Film Hoists 'Hava Nagila' Up Onto A Chair, In Celebration Of Song And Dance

Jenny Jimenez Katahdin Productions/More Horses Productions

Originally published on Sun March 10, 2013 7:43 am

Whether you love it or you hate it, you know it: "Hava Nagila." Maybe you grew up listening to Harry Belafonte's rendition, or found yourself in a chair being hoisted into the air by a singing crowd at your wedding or bat mitzvah. The kitschy Jewish standard lends itself particularly well to group singalongs and celebrity covers — but where did it come from?

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The Salt
4:49 am
Sun March 3, 2013

Family Keeps Jewish Soulfood Alive At New York 'Appetizing' Store

Russ and Daughters, which opened on the Lower East Side in 1914, specializes in smoked fish.
Courtesy of Jen Snow, Russ and Daughters

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 1:28 pm

It's been more than 100 years since Joel Russ started peddling herring from a barrel on the streets of New York.

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Sunday Puzzle
4:49 am
Sun March 3, 2013

Perfectly Puzzling

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun March 3, 2013 6:43 am

On-air challenge: You will be given two words starting with the letter P. Name a third word starting with P that can follow the first one and precede the second one, in each case to complete a familiar two-word phrase. For example, given "peer" and "point," you would say "pressure," as in "peer pressure" and "pressure point."

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