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Deborah Amos

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In Saudi Arabia, women are celebrating the king's decision allowing women to drive.

MADEHA AL AJROUSH: As a woman, I really feel that my self-dignity and respect is returned.

In this riveting detective story, Vancouver writer Deborah Campbell goes undercover in Syria in 2007. At first, she is a journalistic sleuth: On a tourist visa in Damascus, her aim is to collect the stories of Iraqis fleeing to Syria as the brutal war in Iraq drives more than a million civilians across the Syrian border, stories that depict the legacy of the U.S. invasion.

It will be four years before Syria begins to come apart — but the signs are there, as past and future conflicts converge.

Saudi Arabia, a close ally of the United States, is not known for surprises. But in a sudden shift in power, the 31-year-old son of the 81-year-old Saudi king moved one step closer to the throne on Wednesday.

King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud promoted Mohammed bin Salman, his youngest son, to crown prince. At the same time, the king ended the career of his nephew, 57-year-old Mohammed bin Nayef, the previous crown prince, who had served as interior minister since 2015.

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Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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The weapon involves smart technology, though not a smart bomb. It's actually smart water. NPR's Deborah Amos reports on people fighting extremists with a paintbrush.

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