As the peace conference on Syria begins in the Swiss city of Montreaux, Robert Siegel talks to Lord David Owen, the former British foreign secretary. They discuss Owen's experience with a similarly fraught peace process, when he sought to broker a peace plan between the Serbians and Bosnians in the 1990s.
The self-defense groups that have emerged in the western Mexican state of Michoacan are on the public relations offensive. They've been posting videos on Twitter and Facebook condemning the Knights Templar drug traffickers and exalting their own crusade to expel the cartel from their towns and businesses. Meanwhile, federal officials don't seem to know how many of these vigilantes there are and have halted efforts to disarm them.
The Pentagon is saying that it needs to keep 10,000 troops in Afghanistan after 2014 to train Afghans and maintain a counterterror mission. But military officials are once again running into interference from Vice President Joe Biden. That's nothing new: Biden in particular has for years pushed for a counterterror option of only several thousand troops, though the military says that number is far too small. The Pentagon argues that Biden's proposal would mean the U.S. forces would be largely consigned to their bases.
The long-anticipated Syrian peace conference commenced on Wednesday in Montreux, Switzerland. The opening day marked the first time Syrian government and opposition members came together in the same room. Each side blamed the other for the three years of bloodshed in Syria. NPR's Deborah Amos offers a recap and analysis of the day's events from Switzerland.
Many Latino immigrants come to the U.S. in search of a better life — and most of them find one, according to a new poll. Guest host Celeste Headlee talks about the findings with Robert Blendon of the Harvard School of Public Health and Rey Junco of Purdue University.
Dumor hosted the BBC television program Focus on Africa and was probably the best-known journalist on the continent. He roamed Africa for years and was known for explaining Africa — the good and the bad — with clarity, context and compassion.
Newly elected Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal led a two-day sit-in to protest alleged inaction by the city's police force, which is controlled by the national government. The protest ended with a stitched-together deal that's been called more of a climb-down than a compromise.
Two South African sculptors who were refused permission to engrave their signatures on the giant statue of Nelson Mandela came up with a novel solution: They hid a bronze rabbit in the statue's ear. Now, they have to remove the addition.
The 52 scientists and paying passengers were aboard a ship that got stuck in the ice on Christmas Eve. It was about 10 days before they were helicoptered to another ship nearby. Who will pay the $2 million or so it cost to rescue the group? That's being negotiated.
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