World

Commentary
8:54 am
Sat February 15, 2014

Frozen Ottawa Transforms Into 'Winterlude' Wonderland

Originally published on Sat February 15, 2014 12:13 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

In Ottawa, Canada, winter's something to celebrate. Each year, the city turns out for a three-week festival, complete with ice sculpting, music, fireworks, and skating on the city's frozen canals, essentially the world's largest ice rink. North Country Public Radio's Sarah Harris spent an afternoon on the ice and sent this audio postcard.

(SOUNDBITE OF ICE SKATING)

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Middle East
8:54 am
Sat February 15, 2014

Beirut's Suburbs Take New Precautions As Syrian Unrest Expands

Many shops in this area of Beirut, Lebanon, known as the Dahiyeh, are now lined with sandbags to shield them against possible bombings.
Tim Fitzsimons for NPR

Originally published on Sun February 16, 2014 9:45 pm

Riding the bus to Beirut's southern suburbs used to be a bumpy, crowded but fun experience. Everyone crammed in next to each other, bouncing around on the way to the area they call the Dahiyeh, the Arabic word for "suburb."

This sprawling southern district of Lebanon's capital is the place where the Shiite militant group Hezbollah enjoys its strongest support. But it is also a bustling, residential area. There are garages and vegetable stalls. And in the center of the neighborhood, there are juice bars and cafes.

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The Two-Way
8:51 am
Sat February 15, 2014

Mediator: Syrian Peace Talks Have 'Not Come Out With Very Much'

UN-Arab League Special Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi has been mediating negotiations on Syria.
Salvatore Di Nolfi EPA/Landov

Originally published on Sat February 15, 2014 3:35 pm

Direct talks between the Syrian government and the opposition fighting to topple the regime have ended in what international mediator Lakhdar Brahimi described as a frustrating round of negotiations that have "not come out with very much."

About all that was decided in the latest round of the talks in Geneva that ended on Saturday was an agenda for a third set of meetings at an unspecified date.

"I apologize that these two rounds have not come out with very much," Brahimi said.

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The Two-Way
8:44 am
Sat February 15, 2014

Push Comes To Shove In Turkey's Parliament Over Judicial Bill

Members of Parliament from the ruling AK Party and the main opposition Republican People's Party scuffle during a debate on a draft law to give the government tighter control over the judiciary.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sat February 15, 2014 3:25 pm

Passage of a bill to increase the Turkish government's control over the country's judicial system on Saturday came down to a real fight in Parliament, literally.

Two members of Parliament were injured — one with a broken nose — during debate over the controversial measure to give the Justice Ministry greater control over the selection of judges. The measure ultimately passed, but not before some minor bloodshed.

The Associated Press reports:

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The Two-Way
5:41 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

1 In 4 Americans Thinks The Sun Goes Around The Earth, Survey Says

A view of Venus, black dot at top center, passing in front of the sun during a transit in 2012. A quarter of Americans questioned failed to answer correctly the most basic questions on astronomy.
AP

A quarter of Americans surveyed could not correctly answer that the Earth revolves around the sun and not the other way around, according to a report out Friday from the National Science Foundation.

The survey of 2,200 people in the United States was conducted by the NSF in 2012 and released on Friday at an annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Chicago.

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