With violence escalating and journalists barred from the country, it's becoming harder to know how far and fast Syria is slipping into chaos. Host Guy Raz speaks with Paul Wood, world affairs correspondent for the BBC and one of few western journalists to have visited in the country in recent weeks. Then Raz speaks with Marwa Daoudy, visiting professor at Princeton from Oxford University, and Shadi Hamid, director of research at the Brookings Doha Center, about the stakes of Western intervention to halt the violence.
Among the more than 12 million Americans out of work, almost half have been out of work for more than six months. In its latest issue, Bloomberg Businessweek magazine profiles 12 people among these long-term unemployed who have managed to get back into the workforce. Host Guy Raz talks with Josh Green, senior national correspondent with Bloomberg Businessweek.
When the economy entered its downward spiral in 2008, most everything related to housing hit the skids, including the lawn and garden industry. But one sector escaped the pinch — food gardening. In fact, sales spiked 20 percent and stayed there. While many households started growing food to be more budget-conscious, some are deciding vegetables and fruits can be beautiful, too. Blake Farmer
Sometimes, politicians eat their words. This week, the British government reversed course on a plan to place a 20 percent tax on all foods sold hot — with no exemption for pasties.
Pasties are hand food, baked for Cornish miners to eat when they could put aside their pickaxes. People eat pasties today as they sit on a bench for a few minutes' respite or walk along the street between chores. They have become comfort, convenience, pub-crawling and football-watching food.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. There's a showdown between American sisters and the Vatican. The Vatican is cracking down on the largest organization for U.S. sisters, called the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. Pope Benedict has appointed an archbishop to oversee and reform the organization, accusing it of what amounts to doctrinal dissidence. Now, the sisters are fighting back - at least verbally. We're joined by NPR's religion correspondent, Barbara Bradley Hagerty. Barbara, thanks for being with us.
The agency that monitors advertising in Britain turned 50 this week and in honor of the occasion it released a list of the most-hated ads ever to air on the telly. Vicki Barker reports.
VICKI BARKER, BYLINE: In this ad from 2010 for Paddy Power, an Irish-based betting company some blind soccer players kick a ball with a bell on it. They don't see but we see and the ref sees Tiddles the cat wander onto the field and then...
(SOUNDBITE OF CAT SCREECHING)
BARKER: ...the ref puts a consoling arm over the player's shoulder.
SIMON: It's the French Open and you know, already, there's almost not an American left in Paris - Andy Roddick, Serena and Venus Williams all out already. And elsewhere, the NBA semifinals are in full swing. But let's hold the hardwood and go first to the clay. Howard Bryant of ESPN.com and ESPN the magazine joins us now from the Roland Garros Stadium in Paris. Howard, thanks for being with us.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Hosni Mubarak has been sentenced to life in prison for his role in deaths of hundreds of protesters during the revolution that ousted him last year. The former Egyptian president is the first Arab leader to be hauled in for trial by his own people.