When it comes to American foreign policy, the hot topic this week wasn't Syria. Instead, pundits and commentators of all types were furiously debating how President Obama handled the wars in his first term. That was thanks to retired Secretary of Defense Robert Gates' new book "Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War." Even though the book hasn't hit stores yet, critics of the White House have been crowing over Gates' unvarnished critique of President Obama and Vice President Biden.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.
The U.S. and other world powers have agreed on a plan with Iran to start rolling back parts of the Iranian nuclear program in exchange for some sanctions relief. Secretary of State John Kerry says the deal goes into effect later this month.
Who should be eligible to receive an award from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People? And if that definition becomes flexible, what does that do to the mission of the award itself?
That's a question worth asking as the NAACP Thursday unveiled a huge roster of nominees for its 45th annual Image Awards — a ceremony long thought to be a way to honor African-American performers who are often ignored by mainstream Hollywood awards contests.
The United Nations announced this week it is no longer updating the Syrian death toll, which has surpassed 100,000, because it cannot accurately confirm the number of dead due to chaotic conditions in the country. But Syrians are still being slaughtered, and the fighting has gotten more complicated than ever.
It's not just President Bashar Assad's government army versus the rebels. The rebels are also battling rebels, and civilians are often the casualties, including a male nurse from Aleppo.
Pope Francis continues to shake up the Vatican establishment. Today, speaking from his studio window to followers in St. Peter's square, he announced 19 new cardinals from some surprising places, the AP reports.
Francis did not name any cardinals from the United States and chose instead to represent poorer nations.
Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 12:52 pm
Iran and six world powers will begin implementing an interim agreement designed to pause parts of Iran's nuclear program.
The White House said that beginning Jan. 20, Iran will begin eliminating its stockpile of "higher levels of enriched uranium and dismantling some of the infrastructure that makes such enrichment possible."
In return the the five permanent members of the United Nations — the U.S., Russia, China, the U.K. and France — plus Germany will ease some sanctions on Iran.
Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 10:39 am
The amount of a dangerous chemical in West Virginian's tap water is more diluted, but it is still unsafe for drinking, washing or bathing.
WCHS-TV reports that Col. Greg Grant with the National Guard told reporters that they are seeing readings of methylcyclohexane methanol dip below 1 part per million, the amount that the Center for Disease Control says is safe, but those readings have spiked from time to time.
"The numbers are turning in the right direction," Grant said.
Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 2:22 pm
Like all newly elected politicians, the class of mayors being sworn in as the year begins has made many grand promises.
From New York Mayor Bill de Blasio's pledge to provide universal pre-kindergarten classes, financed through taxes on wealthy individuals, to Seattle Mayor Ed Murray's push for a $15 minimum hourly wage, their agenda looks decidedly liberal.
New mayors in cities such as Boston, Minneapolis and Pittsburgh have also been talking about the importance of racial inclusion and the need to address income inequality.