Africa
12:27 am
Mon April 2, 2012

Unease Grows Over Islamist Political Agenda In Egypt

Egyptians protest outside the administrative court in the capital, Cairo, on Tuesday. The protesters are calling for the panel drafting the constitution to be made up entirely of non-parliamentarians. Controversy swirls around the 100-member panel — handpicked by Islamist lawmakers — which includes only a handful of women and Christians.
Gianluigi Guercia AFP/Getty Images

The Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups in Egypt are flexing their growing political muscle. They control the legislative agenda in parliament, and in recent weeks introduced controversial proposals to curb social freedoms and legal rights.

Islamist lawmakers also handpicked a 100-member panel that began meeting this week to write a new constitution, which is widely expected to enshrine Islamic law.

Even so, Islamist leaders say they want Egypt to remain a secular state. But many secular Egyptians are not convinced.

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The Two-Way
9:01 pm
Sun April 1, 2012

Top Prosecutor At Guantanamo Military Commissions To Retire

Brig. Gen. Mark S. Martins.
U.S. Central Command

Originally published on Sun April 1, 2012 9:03 pm

NPR has learned that the top prosecutor at the Guantanamo Bay military commissions has asked to retire from the military after he finishes his assignment there.

Brig. Gen. Mark Martins says he hopes the decision will drain some of the politics out of the chief prosecutor's position and will provide some continuity.

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Around the Nation
1:36 pm
Sun April 1, 2012

Fla. Cases Test 'Stand Your Ground' Law's Limits

Originally published on Sun April 1, 2012 7:25 pm

Since the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin made Florida's Stand Your Ground law the subject of national debate, one of the legislators who helped write it, Rep. Dennis Baxley, has been adamant in his belief that the law simply doesn't apply in this case.

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Arts & Life
1:15 pm
Sun April 1, 2012

'Did Jesus Exist?' A Historian Makes His Case

So, did Jesus really exist? With his new book, Did Jesus Exist? The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth, Bart Ehrman, historian and professor of religious studies at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, wanted to provide solid historical evidence for the existence of Jesus.

"I wanted to approach this question as an historian to see whether that's right or not," Ehrman tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz.

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Strange News
12:38 pm
Sun April 1, 2012

N.Y. Preschool Starts DNA Testing For Admission

At the Porsafillo Preschool Academy, there are 32 spots but more than 12,000 applications.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 6:46 am

For years, New York parents have been applying to preschools even before their youngsters are born. That's not new, but the approach one prestigious pre-school on the Upper West Side is.

At the Porsafillo Preschool Academy, all applicants must now submit a DNA analysis of their children.

The preschool is housed in a modern glass and steel building designed by IM Pei. It's situated in a leafy corner of the Upper West Side. On a recent afternoon, Headmaster Rebecca Unsinn showed off "Porsafillo Pre," as it's called.

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World
12:34 pm
Sun April 1, 2012

Do Israeli-Azeri Ties Portend Conflict With Iran?

A secret agreement came to light this week between the Israel and the Central Asian nation of Azerbaijan: The Azeri government has granted Israelis access to eight air bases, located just a couple hundred miles north of Israel's foe Iran.

Allowing Israeli fighter jets and bombers to land and refuel so close to Iran raises questions: Could this mean Israel and Iran are one step closer to war? Or are Azerbaijan and Israel just looking to strengthen their relationship?

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Africa
12:00 pm
Sun April 1, 2012

Mali Rebellion Fighting On Two Fronts

There's a separatist rebellion raging in the desert north of Mali, and the junta leaders, who seized power last week, have the double task of grappling with the insurgency while fending off global condemnation of their coup. From the capital, Bamako, NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reports this includes the threat of crippling sanctions by Mali's West African neighbors.

Middle East
12:00 pm
Sun April 1, 2012

Coalition Moves To Fund Rebels In Syria

An international coalition supporting the Syrian opposition announced new aid today, including a multimillion dollar fund for opposition fighters. The support for the opposition comes just as Damascus rejected a call to withdraw its troops and begin a cease-fire. NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Istanbul.

Analysis
12:00 pm
Sun April 1, 2012

Race, Politics And The Trayvon Martin Case

Originally published on Sun April 1, 2012 2:11 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

Joining me now is Corey Dade. He's a national correspondent for NPR digital news. He's been writing a lot about the Trayvon Martin case, and he's also interviewed Trayvon's parents. Also with us is legal scholar and attorney Michelle Alexander who recently published a book called "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness." Corey, welcome to the program.

COREY DADE, BYLINE: Thank you, Guy.

RAZ: And, Michelle Alexander, welcome to the program.

MICHELLE ALEXANDER: Thanks for having me.

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NPR Story
5:00 am
Sun April 1, 2012

Turkey Hosts 'Friends Of Syrian People'

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 7:33 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. Syria has rejected a call by U.N. special envoy Kofi Annan to pull its tanks and troops out of Syrian towns and cities. With no action by Syria on a ceasefire, scores of countries attended a Friends of Syria meeting today in Turkey. NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Istanbul that more support is being promised to the opposition, but that support has limits.

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