Asia
2:30 am
Tue January 29, 2013

In China, Beware: A Camera May Be Watching You

The use of security cameras such as these, looking out over Tiananmen Square in Beijing, is on the rise in China. Critics say the government is using them to discourage dissidents.
Ed Jones AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 7:16 pm

The first of two reports

China is becoming a surveillance state. In recent years, the government has installed more than 20 million cameras across a country where a decade ago there weren't many.

Today, in Chinese cities, cameras are everywhere: on highways, in public parks, on balconies, in elevators, in taxis, even in the stands at sporting events.

Officials say the cameras help combat crime and maintain "social stability" — a euphemism for shutting up critics.

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Arts & Life
2:28 am
Tue January 29, 2013

From Aleppo, An Artifact Of A Calmer Age

The silken tassel on this skull cap, woven in Aleppo around 1800, recalls a more prosperous and tranquil time in that now-beleaguered Syrian hub.
Courtesy of The Textile Museum

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 10:57 am

Over the past six months, the headlines from Aleppo, Syria, have been horrifying. As the conflict between rebel forces and the government continues, the city has been overrun by tanks and artillery, and assaulted by shots, explosions and fires.

But Aleppo's present belies a much richer past. It's Syria's largest city, and one of the world's oldest continually inhabited urban areas. Over the centuries, it has served as a major crossroads for trade and commerce.

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The Two-Way
4:43 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Watchdog Says Treasury OK'd Excessive Executive Pay At Bailed-Out Firms

A man walks by an American International Group (AIG) building in 2009.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

The special watchdog overseeing the Troubled Asset Relief Program says the United States Treasury failed to rein in executive pay at companies that received a government bailout.

The AP reports, for example, that the Treasury approved all 18 requests for raises it received from executives at AIG, General Motors and Ally Financial.

The AP adds:

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It's All Politics
4:43 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

In New Immigration Plan, A Fraught Phrase is Mostly Sidelined

Crowd members seek help applying for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program at the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles last August.
Jonathan Alcorn Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 5:27 pm

Here's one thing that was hard to find in the "Gang of Eight's" Senate proposal to overhaul the country's immigration system: the term "illegal immigrant."

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It's All Politics
4:40 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Bipartisan Senate Group Kick-Starts Immigration Battle

Five of the eight senators who proposed a bipartisan plan for an immigration overhaul attend a Capitol Hill news conference Monday. From left are John McCain of Arizona, Chuck Schumer of New York, Marco Rubio of Florida, Robert Menendez of New Jersey and Dick Durbin of Illinois.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 4:41 pm

A bipartisan Senate plan unveiled Monday to overhaul the U.S. immigration system frames a pitched debate expected in Congress around the areas of border enforcement, a path to citizenship for those already in the country and the future flow of new arrivals.

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Education
4:24 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Lockdowns The Norm For Schools With Frequent Threats

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 12:42 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Long before the recent shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, school administrators and teachers across the country had been thinking hard about how to respond to danger on campus. Lockdowns are one technique that school safety experts say have become more common since the Columbine shooting in 1999. Robyn Gee spent two years as a teacher in San Francisco before becoming a reporter for Youth Radio. We asked her to look into how lockdowns are being used in the Bay Area.

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Around the Nation
4:23 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Bipartisan Immigration Reform Plan 'A Major Breakthrough'

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 5:23 pm

A bipartisan group of eight senators unveiled a plan to overhaul the nation's immigration laws on Monday.

History
4:23 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Dillingham Commission's Ranking Of Immigrant Groups Affected U.S. Policy For Decades

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 5:23 pm

As momentum grows for immigration reform, Audie Cornish takes a look back in time at another moment when the country was grappling with its immigrant population. In the early 1900s, the Dillingham Commission was mandated by Congress to undertake a massive study of immigrants. We take a look at the 1911 report with Senate Associate Historian Betty Koed. Its conclusions led the country to prioritize certain immigrants over others. We explore how those findings still reverberate today with Richard Alba, a professor of sociology who has spent decades studying the immigrant experience.

National Security
4:21 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

New Threat Emerges At Intersection Of Terrorism, Syndicated Crime

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 5:23 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

This month's hostage taking at a natural gas plant in Algeria shows how international terrorism is evolving. Groups such as al-Qaida have long been motivated by radical ideology. What's happening now in North Africa is a little different. For groups there, there's also a financial motive.

NPR's Dina Temple-Raston reports on the dangerous intersection of terrorism and syndicated crime.

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Law
4:16 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Immigration Reform Plan Gets Mixed Reviews Across Country

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 5:23 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The debate in Washington over immigration reform is underway. Today, a bipartisan group of senators released a framework for sweeping changes to the nation's immigration laws. President Obama is scheduled to unveil his own plan in Nevada tomorrow. The Senate outline includes, among other things, a path to citizenship for the roughly 11 million immigrants now living in the U.S. illegally. It also calls for stricter border security and employment verification.

As NPR's Debbie Elliott reports, the plan is already getting mixed reviews.

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