3:47pm

Fri April 26, 2013
Politics

Pressure Builds On White House To Intervene In Syria

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. The White House tried to clarify its message on Syria today, saying it is still studying evidence that the government there has used chemical weapons. Here's press secretary Jay Carney.

JAY CARNEY: We are continuing to work to build on the assessments made by the intelligence community. The degrees of confidence here are varying, this is not an airtight case.

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3:47pm

Fri April 26, 2013
Explosions At Boston Marathon

Carjacking Victim Of Boston Suspects Recalls Harrowing Night

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

A 26-year-old Chinese engineer turned entrepreneur who is in Boston developing a start-up played one of the more interesting and dangerous roles in the Boston Marathon bombing manhunt. He was driving the Mercedes SUV that he'd leased when it and he were carjacked by the Tsarnaev brothers. He escaped when they stopped for gas. Ever since, this man has kept a very low profile, but he did give an exclusive two-and-a-half-hour interview to Boston Globe reporter Eric Moskowitz, who joins us now. Welcome.

ERIC MOSKOWITZ: Thank you, Robert.

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3:47pm

Fri April 26, 2013
Commentary

Week In Politics: Syria, Immigration Reform

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And we're joined now by our Friday political observers, columnist E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post. Hey there, E.J.

E.J. DIONNE: Good to see you.

CORNISH: And David Brooks of the New York Times, good to see you.

DAVID BROOKS: Good to see you.

CORNISH: So we're going to go back to the news we heard at the top of the hour about Syria. We heard Tom Bowman talk about three U.S. options all having downsides. Here's President Obama on this topic today.

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3:47pm

Fri April 26, 2013
Explosions At Boston Marathon

Damage To Boston Businesses May Not Be Covered By Insurance

Businesses around Copley Square are hoping the Boston Marathon bombings won't be officially declared an act of terrorism. That's because they stand to lose insurance money. Many have business interruption insurance to pay for lost income — but that doesn't apply to terrorism and few businesses pay extra to cover it.

3:47pm

Fri April 26, 2013
Around the Nation

30 Years On, Educators Still Divided On Scathing Schools Report

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 4:32 pm

Thirty years ago this week, President Ronald Reagan's administration released "A Nation at Risk," a report warning of "a rising tide of mediocrity" in American public education.

According to the report, only one-third of 17-year-olds in 1983 could solve a math problem requiring two steps or more, and 4 out of 10 teenagers couldn't draw inferences from written material. In an address to the nation, Reagan warned that "about 13 percent of 17-year-olds are functional illiterates and, among minority youth, the rate is closer to 40 percent."

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3:47pm

Fri April 26, 2013
It's All Politics

Democrats Invoke Boston, West To Defend Government's Role

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 4:23 pm

Last week, FBI investigators and a Watertown, Mass., police officer investigate the scene near the boat where bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was hiding. Democrats have argued that the way the government responded to the Boston attacks makes a case for not cutting too deeply.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

President Obama has spoken at two memorial services in just over a week — one for victims of the Boston Marathon attack and one for those who died in the chemical plant explosions in West, Texas. In both speeches, he focused on victims and survivors.

But other Democrats are using these events to talk about another subject: the role of government.

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3:11pm

Fri April 26, 2013
It's All Politics

Budget Politics Forcing Congress To Pick Favorites

Call it the Whac-a-Mole approach to budgeting.

Congress restored budget flexibility so the FAA can keep air traffic controllers working, just days after their furloughs had started and flight delays began stacking up.

With spending cuts caused by sequestration rolling throughout the government, the question becomes which programs Congress might address next — and why.

"That's the parlor game in Washington," says Scott Lilly, a former staff director of the House Appropriations Committee. "There are dozens and dozens of candidates."

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2:37pm

Fri April 26, 2013
The Salt

Why Caffeine In Coffee Is A Miracle Drug For The Tired

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 2:46 pm

Many believe that humanity's caffeine addiction has wrought a lot of good.
istockphoto.com

NPR's Coffee Week is winding down, but we'd be remiss if we didn't give some space to caffeine, the most widely used stimulant drug in the world.

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2:33pm

Fri April 26, 2013
Shots - Health News

Freaky Friday: Autonomous Tissue Grabbers Are On Their Way

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 9:54 am

A miniature ninja throwing star or a surgical device? The microgripper, shown here coming out of a catheter tube, is activated by body heat. The sharp appendages fold up when the device warms up.
Evin Gultepe, Gracias Lab, Johns Hopkins University.

When we first heard about researchers using tiny freely floating tools to grab tissue samples deep inside the body, we were scared.

But our fears quickly turned to fascination.

Johns Hopkins engineers are testing out what they call "untethered microgrippers" as a better way to investigate hard-to-reach places. They have launched hundreds of these things, which look like miniature ninja throwing stars, inside the body of animal to retrieve tiny pieces of tissue for biopsies.

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1:47pm

Fri April 26, 2013
Middle East

U.S. Wary As Qatar Ramps Up Support Of Syrian Rebels

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 3:47 pm

President Obama meets with the emir of Qatar, Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, in the Oval Office on Tuesday. The emir is among a series of visiting Middle East leaders urging the U.S. to take a greater role in the Syrian conflict.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

President Obama has been hosting a series of visitors from the Middle East, and all of them have been urging the U.S. to get more involved in Syria.

They have included the emir of Qatar, Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, whose country has been arming rebel forces in Syria. Obama wants to see such aid go to moderates — but that requires more cooperation with partners like Qatar. Problem is, they don't always see eye to eye.

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