Syrian President Bashar Assad, in apparent response to Secretary of State John Kerry's remarks last week in support of opposition forces in Syria, says only the Syrian people can tell him to step down.
"Only Syrian people can tell the president stay or leave, come or go. No one else," he said in an interview to Britain's Sunday Times.
It was a rare TV interview for the Syrian president, whose regime has battled rebels as well as calls to step down for nearly two years.
The Dragon has been captured. The SpaceX unmanned craft connected with the International Space Station at 5:31 a.m. ET, NASA tweeted. The spacecraft arrived a day late due to mechanical problems after Friday's launch from Cape Canaveral, Fla.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry walked into a chaotic situation in Egypt, the first Arab country he's visited in his new role. The country is in economic and political turmoil, and he is trying Sunday to encourage Islamist President Mohamed Morsi to open up the political process and carry out much-needed reforms. After their meeting, he announced the U.S. would release $190 million in aid to Egypt.
Kerry has also been hearing complaints from opposition figures, who have vowed to boycott upcoming elections.
For seven years, Mary Robinson served as the first female president of Ireland. Yet, she also has a long record of service as a human rights advocate.
After leaving office in 1997, she was appointed as the High Commissioner for Human Rights at the United Nations. She now runs The Mary Robinson Foundation — Climate Justice. This week, she has a new book out called Everybody Matters: My Life Giving Voice.
NPR's Bob Mondello and Tamara Keith read excerpts from Round 10 of our Three-Minute Fiction contest. Saturday's excerpts are from the stories "Call Me?" by Anna Geletka of Greenville, N.C., and "Leave Me In London," by Taylor Sykes of West Lafayette, Ind. Read the full stories below and see other submissions and past winners on our Three-Minute Fiction page.
In this image from video, Mokhtar Belmokhtar claims responsibility for a deadly attack on a BP gas facility in Algeria. The Chadian military reported its forces had killed him in a raid in Mali on Saturday.
When Sony recently announced details on the upcoming release of the PlayStation 4, it prompted a new round of hand-wringing about the future of console gaming.
Sales of games on the PlayStation 3, Wii and Xbox 360 have dropped precipitously in recent years as mobile gaming — on smartphones and tablets — has become more popular. Advance word is that the PS4 will integrate certain mobile and social media functions, and some are speculating whether this is the end for standalone, full-featured console systems.
Hillsborough County Administrator Mike Merrill says efforts to find Jeffrey Bush, who disappeared in a sinkhole, have been discontinued. He says that the conditions at Bush's home have become too dangerous for rescue workers.
"At this point it's really not possible to recover the body," Merrill said at a news conference on Saturday.
He says workers will begin efforts to demolish the home on Sunday.
Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:
He went to Moscow in 1958 for the first International Tchaikovsky Competition. When he sat down to play, Russians saw a tall, 23-year-old Texan, rail thin and tousle-haired, with great, gangly fingers that grew evocative and eloquent when he played the music of the true Russian masters — Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, and Borodin.
Cliburn died Wednesday at his home in Fort Worth, Texas. He was 78.
Florida Atlantic University says it's standing by its deal to sell naming rights to its new football stadium to a controversial private prison company. The Boca Raton-based GEO Group faces allegations of abuse and neglect at some of its facilities, and there's a growing call on campus for the school to sever its ties.
Mushers can bring up to 20 dogs to the Iditarod but can start the race with only 16. In the days before the competition, the animals are taken to the Iditarod headquarters in Wasilla, Alaska, for pre-race exams.
Credit Russell Lewis / NPR
Teams of veterinarians inspect the dogs before the race begins. Greg Reppas uses a stethoscope to listen to a dog's heart and lungs.
In Anchorage, Alaska, on Saturday, the "Last Great Race on Earth" begins.
Sixty-seven sled dog teams will start the 998-mile Iditarod race across the barren, frigid and unforgiving land. In this year's competition, there are a handful of first-time racers — but those aren't the only rookies.
One is veterinarian Greg Reppas, whose job is to ensure the dogs are healthy throughout the race.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.
Sequestration is official. President Obama signed an executive order on spending late last night as required by law. He sent the order to Congress and that triggered budget cuts known as sequestration. Earlier in the day, the president met with congressional leaders and when they left without a deal, he took questions at the White House.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News, I'm Scott Simon. Jeffrey Beard has watched America's prisons grow larger and larger every year adding prisoner after prisoner. He began working in the Pennsylvania Corrections system in the early 1970s when there were about 8,000 prisoners. He was secretary of corrections by the time he left in 2010 and by that time Pennsylvania had more than 50,000 people in its prisons.
The death of a Polish nail polish inventor has opened a window into a world of specialty cosmetics. Wojciech Inglot was a chemist and entrepreneur who tried to come up with a more healthful alternative to traditional nail polish. He died Feb. 23 at the age of 57.
Inglot leaves behind a market of grateful customers: Muslim women, who have flocked to his invention of a "breathable" polish that allows air and moisture to reach the nail bed. Some scholars say the cosmetic is uniquely permissible under Islamic law.
Chief Justice John Roberts, shown here during a presentation last June in Pennsylvania, questioned the U.S. solicitor general about voting statistics during this week's arguments on Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.
President Obama, who has issued few pardons during his time in office, announced on Friday that he had pardoned 17 people convicted of mostly minor offenses.
The AP reports:
"No one well-known was on the list released by the White House. Some of the crimes drew light penalties in the first place — such as a North Carolina woman sentenced to two years' probation and 100 hours of community service for distributing satellite cable decryption devices.