The battle for the city of Dera'a in southern Syria has become a test of an American pledge to give military support to rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad. After a string of defeats, the rebels have scored rare victories around Dera'a.
But in interviews,rebel commanders passing through neighboring Jordan say those gains could be lost without a dependable arms pipeline and promised U.S. support.
Yasser Aboud, a thin, intense former colonel in the Syrian army, commands the joint operations center for southern Syria.
Soon, most Americans will have to buy health insurance or pay a fine. This sounds like a marketer's dream: Captive shoppers directed by the government to buy your product. But when the product you're selling is health insurance, there are some pitfalls. Your customers may not love you. In fact, they may despise you.
"I think it may be too little too late for health insurance companies to now come out, like, 'Hey,we were just kidding the last 50 years!,'" says James Percelay, co-founder of the viral marketing firm ThinkModo in New York.
Mary Hamilton was found in contempt of court in Alabama, when she refused to answer questions after the prosecution addressed her only by her first name. The U.S. Supreme Court later ruled in her favor.
When the U.S. Supreme Court issues a ruling, its decisions can carry weight for generations. Think about decisions in the civil rights era regarding school segregation and the Montgomery bus boycott in Alabama.
As part of our look back on the summer of 1963, we examine another Alabama case that had a subtle effect on the way courts treat defendants.
At a mock trial at Samford University in Birmingham, a student playing the role of a defense attorney questions his client on the stand: "To your knowledge, can a driver turning left turn on a yellow light?"
The "Giant Tabular Iceberg" floats in Antarctica's Ross Sea in December 2011. Under a proposed new international agreement, large sections of the oceans around Antarctica would become protected as a marine preserve.
Credit New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade
The New Zealand-United States Proposal. This plan would establish an 888,000-square-mile marine protected area in Antarctica's Ross Sea.
Credit Australian Antarctic Division
The Australia-France-EU Proposal. This proposal for new marine protected areas "would conserve representative areas of biodiversity in the high latitudes of the Indian sector of the Southern Ocean," according to the Australian Antarctic Division.
The area of ocean set aside as a nature preserve could double or triple in the coming days, depending on the outcome of a meeting in Germany. Representatives from 24 countries and the European Union are considering setting aside large portions of ocean around Antarctica as a protected area. And the deal may hinge on preserving some fishing rights.
There are two proposals on the table: One would set aside huge parts of the Southern Ocean around East Antarctica; the other would focus on the Ross Sea, south of New Zealand.
For the past three years, StoryCorps' Legacy program has given people facing serious illness the chance to record interviews with loved ones and caregivers. Recently, StoryCorps expanded the program to include children.
In 2007, Faith Marr was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer on her spine. She was 4 years old. That year she had her first of eight surgeries, replacing her vertebrae with titanium rods. Doctors were uncertain about her chances of survival.
California lawmakers are calling for an investigation into allegations that 148 female prisoners underwent tubal ligation surgeries without the state's required approval. Some inmates said they had been pressured into undergoing the sterilization procedure, according to a report by the Center for Investigative Reporting.
Augusta Scattergood was in the fifth grade when she decided she wanted to become a librarian. She now reviews books for magazines and websites, including Delta Magazine and The Christian Science Monitor. Glory Be is her first novel.
In July, NPR's Backseat Book Club traveled to Hanging Moss, Miss., where Gloriana June Hemphill, better known as Glory, is just an ordinary little girl. But this is no ordinary summer — it's 1964 and the town has shut down the so-called "community" swimming pool to avoid integration.
House Republicans have approved a farm bill sans food stamps, leaving a gaping hole in the middle of the measure for the first time in 40 years.
The 216-208 vote was largely on party lines, with no Democrats supporting it. Twelve Republicans also voted against it.
The decision to cleave food stamps — formerly called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, from the rest of the farm bill gives Republicans a victory after GOP lawmakers in the House turned down the full measure last month.
To raise awareness about force-feeding, Yasiin Bey, the musician and actor formerly known as Mos Def, in a video voluntarily underwent the same procedure administered to prisoners who refuse solid food in political protest while they are held in Guantanamo Bay.
Credit Jim Watson / AFP/Getty Images
This image reviewed by the U.S. military shows the front gate of the "Camp Six" detention facility of the Joint Detention Group at the U.S. Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
For centuries, the act of refusing food has turned human bodies into effective political bargaining chips. And so it's no surprise that the prisoners desperate to leave Guantanamo after, in some cases, nearly a dozen years there, have turned to hunger strikes on and off since 2005 to try to win their release.
The PSA test has been dissed a lot lately. The nation's preventive medicine task force, for one, says the test is so unreliable in figuring out who's at risk for deadly prostate cancer that most men shouldn't bother getting one.
Photos depict scenes at the $34 million command center in Camp Leatherneck, completed in November. U.S. troops will never use the facility, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction says.
"On a recent trip to Afghanistan, I uncovered a potentially troubling example of waste that requires your immediate attention."
That's one of the opening lines of a letter the U.S. special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction sent to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel this week. In it, Special Inspector General John Sopko detailed how a contract worth $34 million was used to build a facility U.S. troops will never use.
A geothermal energy plant near the Salton Sea in California taps deep underground heat from the southern San Andreas Fault rift zone. A new study ties the amount of water pulled from the ground by the geothermal plant here to the frequency of earthquakes.
This map shows all the earthquakes stronger than magnitude 3.0 between 2003 and 2013. The earthquakes marked in red occurred in the first 10 days following large earthquakes in Chile in 2010, Japan in 2011 and Sumatra in 2012. The triggering of these quakes occurred almost exclusively in three injection well fields, labeled Prague, Trinidad and Snyder.
The continental U.S. experiences small earthquakes every day. But over the past few years, their numbers have been increasing. Geoscientists say the new epidemic of quakes is related to industrial wastewater being pumped into underground storage wells.
Now there's new research that reveals two trigger mechanisms that may be setting off these wastewater quakes — other, larger earthquakes (some as far away as Indonesia), and the activity at geothermal power plants.
Justin Carter, the 19-year-old who was arrested and jailed in February after making a Facebook comment about a school shooting, is out of jail. An anonymous donor posted the $500,000 bond to allow Carter to go home. Carter plans to stay near New Braunfels, Texas, to await his trial on a felony terroristic threat charge.