Saying it is "outraged" by reports of Syrian troops firing into a refugee camp across the border in Turkey, the U.S. State Department this afternoon said it strongly condemns the latest actions by the regime of President Bashar Assad and that things are getting worse in that country — not better, as had been hoped for when the regime agreed to a plan for a cease-fire that is supposed to begin Tuesday.
"Based on what we're seeing today, we are not hopeful" about the prospects for a cease-fire, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland added.
At some point, you likely received a present from a prepaid gift card from the person who wasn't exactly sure what you'd want. Residents of New Jersey may not be able to buy them for much longer. American Express has pulled its gift cards from the state, and other big industry players are threatening to do the same. They oppose a new law that would allow New Jersey to claim unused gift card balances after two years. NPR's Joel Rose reports.
After decades of tight control by the military, Myanmar is opening up. Supporters of Myanmar's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi campaigned openly during the run-up to the April 1 election, in which her party won 43 of the 45 contested seats.
Credit Altaf Qadri / AP
It's still not clear how far Myanmar's rulers will go with the changes they have introduced. But the opposition has seized on the opportunity to participate openly in politics. Here, supporters of Aung San Suu Kyi cheer after the party's announcement on April 1 that she won a seat in parliament.
Michael Sullivan made many trips to Myanmar, also known as Burma, when he was NPR's correspondent for Southeast Asia. He recently returned, and found a country changing at a dizzying pace.
I get off the plane and almost immediately feel like I've come to the wrong country. There's a large blue sign at immigration that reads: "Attention journalists covering the by-election: please register at the Media Counter."
"Media Counter"? My kind has never been welcome here.
A brief encounter between two leaders has raised hope for better relations between India and Pakistan. India's prime minister hosted Pakistan's president and accepted a return invitation to travel to Pakistan. We talk here of two nuclear-armed rivals whose relations were even worse than usual, after Pakistani militants attacked Mumbai in 2008. And the meeting came as disaster struck Pakistani troops facing Indian soldiers in the Himalayas.
NPR's Julie McCarthy is going to talk us through all this. Hi, Julie.
NPR's business news starts with labor woes at AT&T.
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MONTAGNE: AT&T and union officials have agreed to extend contract negotiations, preventing a mass walkout by some 40,000 unionized workers. The deadline to agree on the new contract had been yesterday. AT&T is seeking concessions from its workers, including cuts in pension contributions, and also an increase in health care premiums. The union is calling those concessions unrealistic.
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And I'm Renee Montagne. The shooting was supposed to stop in Syria tomorrow. Now we can't be sure. Syria's regime made last-minute demands that appear to have derailed the peace plan, including a ceasefire scheduled for Tuesday.
The Syrian government is under increasing pressure, as we'll hear in a moment. But it remains defiant, as NPR's Grant Clark reports.
The Masters Golf Tournament finished dramatically yesterday in a sudden-death playoff that ended with Bubba Watson sporting the green jacket. Christine Brennan was there. She's sports columnist for USA Today and a frequent guest on our program. She joins us this morning from Augusta.