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Asia
2:30 am
Tue January 29, 2013

In China, Beware: A Camera May Be Watching You

The use of security cameras such as these, looking out over Tiananmen Square in Beijing, is on the rise in China. Critics say the government is using them to discourage dissidents.
Ed Jones AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 7:16 pm

The first of two reports

China is becoming a surveillance state. In recent years, the government has installed more than 20 million cameras across a country where a decade ago there weren't many.

Today, in Chinese cities, cameras are everywhere: on highways, in public parks, on balconies, in elevators, in taxis, even in the stands at sporting events.

Officials say the cameras help combat crime and maintain "social stability" — a euphemism for shutting up critics.

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Arts & Life
2:28 am
Tue January 29, 2013

From Aleppo, An Artifact Of A Calmer Age

The silken tassel on this skull cap, woven in Aleppo around 1800, recalls a more prosperous and tranquil time in that now-beleaguered Syrian hub.
Courtesy of The Textile Museum

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 10:57 am

Over the past six months, the headlines from Aleppo, Syria, have been horrifying. As the conflict between rebel forces and the government continues, the city has been overrun by tanks and artillery, and assaulted by shots, explosions and fires.

But Aleppo's present belies a much richer past. It's Syria's largest city, and one of the world's oldest continually inhabited urban areas. Over the centuries, it has served as a major crossroads for trade and commerce.

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The Two-Way
5:45 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Senate Approves $50.5 Billion Superstorm Sandy Aid Bill

After a delay in the House that lead to bipartisan outrage, a bill that lays out $50.5 billion in aid for victims of Superstorm Sandy is headed to President Obama's desk for his signature.

With a vote of 62-36, the Senate passed the bill Monday evening.

The AP adds:

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It's All Politics
5:24 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

On Climate Change, Americans May Trust Politics Above Preachers

Pope Benedict XVI leads prayers on Nov. 27, 2011, in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. The leader of the world's Roman Catholic Church called for a "responsible, credible and united response" to the problem of climate change. But in the U.S. at least, studies show the view even of religious Americans on climate change is much more likely to be shaped by their politics than their faith.
Vincenzo Pinto AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 6:27 pm

When President Obama during his inauguration speech made a case for tackling human-driven climate change, it felt like deja vu for many in the environmental community — including members of religious groups who have long looked to him for action.

After all, Obama made a similar pledge during his first inauguration address in 2009, and left-leaning and progressive faith-based organizations were among activist groups that pushed for quick congressional action on major climate legislation.

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It's All Politics
5:00 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

In New Immigration Plan, A Fraught Phrase Is Mostly Sidelined

Crowd members seek help applying for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program at the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles last August.
Jonathan Alcorn Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 5:27 pm

Here's one thing that was hard to find in the "Gang of Eight's" Senate proposal to overhaul the country's immigration system: the term "illegal immigrant."

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