This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. Over more than two years, the conflict in Syria progressed from protest to civil war, opposition aims from reform to revolution, and the nature of the fighting became increasingly sectarian. Now another important turn as foreign troops openly join one side.
As the American military winds down its efforts in Afghanistan, grand plans for nation building are giving way to limited, practical steps: building up the Afghan forces and denying the Taliban key terrain, especially the approaches to Kabul.
About an hour south of the capital Kabul, one Green Beret team returned to a village where American forces had pulled out.
Lt. Col. Brad Moses, who was in the Sayed Abad district four years ago, wandered around the government center and expressed disappointment at the scene.
A letter mailed to President Obama that is similar in some way to two possibly ricin-laced letters sent to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was intercepted Thursday at a mail-handling facility, the Secret Service and other law enforcement authorities confirm.
Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary says in an email to NPR that:
Twitter is a way for people to send short messages about almost everything — from what they ate for breakfast, to their political opinions. But it's also a space where people are voicing racist and homophobic points of view. A new study from Humbolt State University looks at just where some of that hate speech is coming from.
Fast food workers have been going on strikes in major cities nationwide. They're demanding higher wages, but some critics are asking why they should have it their way. Host Michel Martin hears from both sides of the debate.
I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Now, a lot of people think they're divas, but Audra McDonald has actually earned the title. She's graced Broadway theaters for more than 15 years, and she has won a stunning five Tony awards, her most recent last year for her role in the Gershwins' "Porgy and Bess." But the Broadway stage isn't big enough to contain her talent. She's filled concert halls around the country and the world, dazzling audiences with her soaring voice.