Editor's note: The author is a Syrian citizen living in Damascus and is not being further identified for safety concerns.
The major blast that rocked Damascus at midday Monday took place in what has come to be called the "Square of Security," an area of about a dozen urban neighborhoods or so that are under tight government security.
It's also home to major government buildings, including the Parliament, various ministries, major intelligence branches and foreign embassies, now mostly closed.
Russian President Vladimir Putin (far left) looks on Monday in Hanover, Germany, as one of three women who stripped off their tops protests his appearance at a trade fair. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is in the green jacket.
From the NPR Newscast: Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson on the protest in Hanover
At a trade fair in Hanover, Germany, on Monday, three women protesters got quite close to Russian President Vladimir Putin before stripping off their blouses and shouting expletives at the Russian leader.
Putin, who was joined at the fair by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, later sarcastically thanked the women for calling the news media's attention to the gathering.
"As to this action, I liked it," Putin said, according to a German translator. The Russian leader added that the protesters were "pretty girls" and said he couldn't hear what they were screaming.
1. The symbolism was a bit heavy-handed. It's frustrating that Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner doesn't trust viewers of the show enough to allow symbolism to live in an episode as suggestion and not insistence. The Mad Men audience is small and self-selecting; it is made up of people who choose to watch a show that requires attention and rewards patience.
Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 12:41 pm
The Postal Service was a band for a generation — the soundtrack to romance, tears and friendship. More than a million people bought its first album, 2003's Give Up, then waited anxiously for a follow-up that never arrived.
Investigators are exploring a possible link between white supremacist prison gangs and the murders of law enforcement officers in Texas and Colorado. Host Michel Martin explores how these gangs operate in and outside of prison with NPR investigative correspondent Laura Sullivan.
D.L. Hughley is an actor-comedian, and currently a top 10 competitor on Dancing With The Stars. For Tell Me More's 'In Your Ear' series, he shares some favorite songs that he calls 'savory and sweet' — including an unlikely pick, a folk song that makes him think of his parents.
Tell Me More celebrates National Poetry Month with the 'Muses and Metaphor' series — where listeners submit their own poems via Twitter. Today's tweet comes from professional poker player, Joel Dias-Porter.
A new paper in the journal Nature says scientists have been seriously underestimating the amount of dengue around the globe.
The study says there could be as many as 400 million dengue infections worldwide each year making it more prevalent than malaria. This is four times higher than the current dengue prevalence estimate of the World Health Organization.
Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 11:36 am
Rutgers University says it plans to have an "independent adviser ... conduct a review of the circumstances surrounding the men's basketball program as well as the procedures used to investigate allegations related to former head coach Mike Rice."