Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 10:06 pm
The bus is always the center of attention. Partly because it's a hulking 1970s tour bus that somehow made it from Arizona all the way to Charlotte, but mostly because of what's inscribed on the side of it in thick, black letters.
"Sin Papeles, Sin Miedo," it reads in Spanish. "No papers, no fear."
Carrying a bunch of undocumented activists, the bus rolled through the country, through states like Arizona, Texas, Louisiana and Georgia, and into Charlotte on the eve of the Democratic National Convention.
Syrian air force jets bombed the rebel-held town of Al-Bab in northern Syria on Monday, killing at least 18 people, according to Syrian activists.
Over the summer, the rebels gained control of a number of towns and villages along the Syrian-Turkish border. Now, those places are being bombarded from the air and from the ground by government forces.
Azaz, in northern Syria's Aleppo province, is one of these places. There, the tombstones in the old section of the town's cemetery are laid out in neat rows.
Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 4:16 pm
Social media experts Baratunde Thurston and Deanna Zandt answer questions about how to behave in the digital age. This week's topic: How should you address touchy subjects such as religion and politics on Facebook?
Malaika, 19, sits behind a friend while her makeup is applied at a friend's home in Rawalpindi. The transgender teenager got straight As in school before dropping out because of discrimination from her classmates. Now she dances at weddings and other parties for money.
Credit Lauren Frayer / NPR
A transgender woman begs for alms from motorists at a traffic stop in Rawalpindi, outside Islamabad, Pakistan, on March 27.
Credit Bay Ismoyo / AFP/Getty Images
Almas Bobby, leader of Pakistan's transgender community, led the Supreme Court battle that ultimately won transgender people the legal right to list a third gender option — neither male nor female — on their national identity cards.
Credit Lauren Frayer / NPR
Sameeha, a 22-year-old transgender wedding performer, dances as friends look on during a rehearsal at a friend's home in Rawalpindi.
Urban Pakistan assaults your senses: tangles of traffic; Pakistani pop competing with the mosque's call to prayer; pungent spices in the steamy air. And then there are the transvestites.
At traffic lights, you see people draped in elegant pink and red clothing, with sparkling makeup. They tap their painted fingernails on your car window, asking for money. And that's when you notice the stubble on their chins.
"Begging here in traffic is just a part-time job," says 32-year-old Mina Mehvish. "I really want to be a dancer."
Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 11:22 am
Unlike what Republicans did in Tampa last week, Democrats will lay out a clear plan to get the country back on sound footing, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said during news briefing in Charlotte, N.C., moments ago.
Villaraigosa, who is the chair of the Democratic National Convention, said that by the time the convention wraps up Thursday night, the party will have crystalized its platform and explained that this election is about a stark choice.
The city of Huntsville is getting a taste of a new kind of beer, courtesy of a change in state law.
A new brewhouse called "Below the Radar" is now open in downtown Huntsville. It's the city's first such operation since legislators changed a state law that prohibited selling alcohol at the same location where it was made.
A group called "Free the Hops" lobbied lawmakers to amend the state law. Member Rich Vartain tells WAAY-TV (http://bit.ly/RAPs2J ) about a dozen breweries are now open statewide because of the change.
A view of the skyline of Charlotte, N.C., on Sunday. Preparations for the Democratic National Convention are under way around Charlotte, where the party is expected to nominate President Obama to run for a second term.
President Obama holds a Labor Day campaign rally in Toledo, Ohio, on Monday, and then flies to Louisiana to inspect the damage from Hurricane Isaac. The Toledo rally is part of a long weekend of campaigning, leading up to the Democratic National Convention, which starts Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C.
The president held a rally with thousands of students at the University of Colorado over the weekend. Just five days earlier, he'd been at Colorado State. Obama is hoping to harness the cross-state rivalry between the schools in the service of his re-election campaign.
Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 7:53 am
It's getting tougher to be a Republican in some parts of the country while also fully accepting the practice of Islam.
In Tennessee, an incumbent in the U.S. House found herself on the defensive after being called soft on Shariah law, the code that guides Muslim beliefs and actions. And the state's governor has been forced to explain why he hired a Muslim.
Omm Ahmed, a refugee from Daraa, Syria, carries her infant near her tent at Zaatari Refugee Camp in Mafraq, Jordan, on Sunday. Syrian civilians have borne the greatest brunt of the conflict in their country.
The conflict in Syria is now nearly a year and a half old, and there appears to be no end in sight.
August was the deadliest month yet, with thousands of people, mostly civilians, killed in fighting around the country. While anti-government rebels are making advances, government troops are digging in their heels.
It started as a protest movement. Now, analysts in the U.S. and the region agree, the conflict in Syria is a civil war.
A Civil War
Even Syrian President Bashar Assad came close to acknowledging as much in a speech last week.
In 2010, NPR reported that some Army commanders refused to award the Purple Heart to many troops who got concussions in combat because they didn't consider these "real" injuries. As a result of our story, the Army did its own investigation and put out new guidelines on Purple Hearts. Last week, the Army told NPR that under the new rules, they've finally awarded the medal to almost 1,000 soldiers, including Michelle Dyarman, whom we profiled in our original 2010 reports.