Russia is preparing for the 2014 Winter Games — turning a sleepy valley in the Northern Caucasus Mountains into an Olympic village, with brand-new facilities for every Alpine sport. Officials say it will be a world-class destination for winter-sports enthusiasts long after the Games are over. Environmentalists say it's an ecological disaster in the making.
Moshe Haim always wanted to be a soldier. The 20-year-old is now a sergeant, more than halfway through three years of service in the Israeli military.
But when he goes home on leave, he doesn't talk about his military experiences to any of his eight siblings, especially his brothers.
"I know that for my parents and my brothers, the first, best choice is to be in the yeshiva and study there," he says at a small West Bank outpost where he's stationed. "It wasn't good for me, but my brothers are still pure."
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.
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.
Good morning. I'm David Greene. Tourists at South Africa's Kruger National Park witnessed a dramatic high-speed chase - two cheetahs chasing a herd of impala. Impala are African antelope, and of course a Chevy model. And seconds from becoming dinner, one of the impala decided to make a tourist's SUV its getaway car.
A break-in at an Australian thrift store had police stumped. There was a hole in the ceiling and smashed merchandise. Nothing was missing. Not a burglar, possibly a prankster on a rampage. The next day, staff spotted the intruder still in the store. It was a giant python, 19 feet long, 37 pounds, the head the size of a small dog. The local newspaper reported police chose not to handcuff the culprit, quote, "for logistical reasons."
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene. Good morning. Pork was on the menu on Capitol Hill yesterday, but not the kind Congress produces. Lawmakers on the Senate Agriculture Committee were focused on the takeover of Smithfield Foods by a big Chinese company.
Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev made a brief appearance in federal court yesterday. He pleaded not guilty to 30 counts in connection with the attack. The charges include using a weapon of mass destruction in an attack that killed three people and injured more than 260. The 19-year-old faces the possibility of the death penalty. NPR's Tovia Smith was in the courtroom.
Many of you, as you're listening, are on your commute to work, perhaps dealing with traffic, maybe waiting for a late train. But imagine for a moment a different commute, one on foot, where to get to work you have to pass through armed security checkpoints, all the while dodging sniper fire. That is the reality for many people in the Syrian city of Aleppo.