The ancient city of Aleppo in northern Syria has been the scene of heavy fighting. Many homes that have survived have inscriptions above the doorways that note the owner has made the pilgrimage of Islam's holiest site, Mecca.
Credit Kelly McEvers / NPR
The black stone structure, or Kaaba, at the center of the Sacred Mosque in Mecca is often represented in the drawings.
Credit Kelly McEvers / NPR
A pilgrim's doorway in Aleppo.
Credit Kelly McEvers / NPR
Aleppo is Syria's largest city and dates back centuries.
Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 11:37 am
Aleppo's storied old city, which dates to the 12th century, has suffered much in the fighting between Syrian government forces and rebels over the past few months. But parts of the city remain intact, as I saw on a recent walk through the winding, stone alleys on the way to the front line.
Centuries ago, it took Muslims from this area months in a caravan to make the pilgrimage, or hajj, to Mecca, the holiest site in Islam, which is now part of Saudi Arabia.
Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 11:11 am
House Republicans are taking a Solomonic approach to relief for areas ravaged by Superstorm Sandy.
Having already split financial aid for the Northeast into two votes, House leaders are now splitting the second package itself into two, giving conservatives the opportunity to oppose spending provisions they don't like.
At Sunday's Golden Globes, Ben Affleck looked genuinely surprised and delighted twice toward the end of the evening: first when he won best director for Argo, and then again when the film won for best motion picture/drama.
The film, which Affleck produced and in which he also stars, is the mostly true story of the CIA operative who helmed the rescue of six U.S. diplomats who managed to escape at the outset of the 1979 Iran crisis that held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days after militants took over the American Embassy in Tehran.
The second of two men arrested last month on charges of plotting to join an overseas terrorist group has pleaded not guilty.
AL.com reports Mohammad Abdul Rahman Abukhdair appeared in federal court Monday. Abukhdair in December was arrested at a Georgia bus station. Authorities say he met co-defendant Randy Wilson online and the two were planning to leave the country to join Islamic radicals fighting in North Africa.
Louisiana's attorney general has spent nearly $24 million building the state's legal case against BP over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. And records show much of the money has gone to outside law firms that have contributed to his campaigns.
The $15.4 million that Attorney General Buddy Caldwell has paid to outside lawyers accounts for about two-thirds of his total spending.
Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 9:56 am
Simon Rattle announced yesterday to the Berlin Philharmonic that he will be leaving his position there as artistic director and chief conductor in the summer of 2018. Said Rattle, "In 2018 I will have been with the orchestra for 16 years. Before this I was chief conductor in Birmingham for 18 years. In 2018 I will be nearly 64 years old. As a Liverpool boy, it is impossible not to think of the Beatles' question, 'Will you still need me ...
This past year was a good one for Naxos Records. In fact, it's been a great quarter century for the company, which has grown from a budget-label punch line to a leading force in classical music recording.
Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 10:54 am
Got an idea for a classical cartoon, or a reaction to this one? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.
Pablo Helguera is a New York-based artist working with sculpture, drawing, photography and performance. His new book isHelguera's Artunes. You can see more of his work at Artworld Salon and on his own site.
Now, to New York. Printed Matter is a bookstore in Manhattan's Chelsea district. But it's not just any bookstore. The nonprofit works with artists to create, publish and sell their work in book form. It also hosts exhibitions and performances. Over the course of nearly four decades, it's become a beloved institution in New York's art community.
A giant squid stars in this still image taken from the footage Edie Widder shot. It's the first-ever video of these giant squids, and it'll debut in a <em>Discovery Channel</em> documentary airing in late January.
Credit Edie Widder / Discovery Channel
A giant squid is attracted to the "e-jellyfish," a bioluminescent lure invented by marine biologist Edie Widder.
For thousands of years, sailors have told stories of giant squids. In myth and cinema, the kraken was the most terrible of sea monsters. Now, it's been captured — on a soon-to-be-seen video.
Even after decades of searching, giant squids had only been seen in still photographs. Finally, in last July, scientists filmed the first video of a live giant squid swimming some 2,000 feet below the surface of the Pacific Ocean.
Edie Widder is the ocean researcher who shot the footage, which is slated to be released in a Discovery Channel documentary later this month.
Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 3:27 pm
The head of the National Rifle Association said Sunday that there's little appetite on Capitol Hill for a ban on assault weapons.
"When a president takes all the power of his office, if he's willing to expend political capital, you don't want to make predictions, you don't want to bet your house on the outcome. But I would say that the likelihood is that they are not going to be able to get an assault weapons ban through this Congress," NRA President David Keene said on CNN's State of the Union.
This week, Morning Edition explores the "nones" — Americans who say they don't identify with any religion. Demographers have given them this name because when asked to identify their religion, that's their answer: "none."