After more than a year of military stalemate in Syria between the rebels and the government, President Bashar Assad appears to be making political and military gains and is not likely to be pushed aside anytime soon, according to many analysts.
Assad reasserted his plans to stay in power during a recent interview on Al Manar TV, a channel owned by Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite militant group, which has openly joined the Syria war on Assad's side.
One week after the S&P/Case-Shiller indices showed a 10.9 percent jump in U.S. home prices from March 2012 to March 2013 — the biggest year-over-year gain in that data since April 2006 — there's another report showing a similar jump in April.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
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And I'm Linda Wertheimer.
When the American combat mission in Afghanistan ends next year, one concern for U.S. officials is the possibility that the Afghan security forces will then splinter along ethnic lines, and the warlords of the past will reemerge.
"Indian police say that a 30-year-old American woman has been gang-raped in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh," the BBC writes. "Police said that the woman had been attacked after she accepted a lift by a group of men in a truck in Manali, a resort town in the state."
MONTAGNE: One word, the definition: A law concerning the delegation of duties for the supervision of cattle marking and the labeling of beef. The law is outdated, so officials are saying auf wiedersehen.
Lionel Shriver tackles a whopper of an issue in her new novel, Big Brother: obesity and the emotional connection between weight, consumption, guilt and control. She comes at this huge subject through a sister torn between saving her morbidly obese older brother, who has "buried himself in himself," and an unsympathetic, belligerently fit husband — a situation that raises questions about divided loyalties and whether blood is thicker than water. In this book, diet protein shakes are thicker than both.
It's time to solve this week's ScuttleButton puzzle.
ScuttleButton, of course, is that once-a-week waste of time exercise in which each Tuesday or Wednesday I put up a vertical display of buttons on this site. Your job is to simply take one word (or concept) per button, add 'em up, and, hopefully, you will arrive at a famous name or a familiar expression. (And seriously, by familiar, I mean it's something that more than one person on Earth would recognize.)
The law enforcement community is celebrating a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allows police to automatically take DNA samples from people they've arrested. The 5-to-4 decision allows police to send those samples to a national crime scene database, to see if they match DNA from unsolved crimes.