When peace talks open in Switzerland, one common concern between the West and Syria is expected to be the threat of Islamist extremists and the rise of al-Qaida-linked militias. Thousands of Sunni militants from around the world have joined the rebel groups in Syria, but there are other groups of militant foreign fighters who support the Syrian regime. Iraqi Shiites are being recruited in the thousands to bolster Syria's armed forces. Recruiting billboards and social media help portray the fight as an existential battle between Sunnis and Muslims.
Your weekly roundup of tech headlines from NPR and publications around the country, including more credit card security breaches and the latest developments with the "Internet of Things." We asked what was in the hacked fridge, but — spoiler alert (pun intended) — we didn't find out.
The Oklahoma senator, a leading conservative, will retire two years early. He's battling cancer but says his decision is based on serving his family by "shifting my focus elsewhere."
The defrockings reportedly took place before the election of Pope Francis in March of 2013. The data was reportedly collected to help church officials testify before a U.N. panel.
From the outside, it's just another 1970s-era house with white columns and green shutters. Thousands drive past the split-level in Raleigh every month without a second glance. And that's just what its owners intended — because this house is far more unusual than its appearance would suggest.
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff talks with NPR about why it's often better to advise and assist than to get involved militarily. And he looks at the Pentagon's looming budget crisis.
Retail analysts say more data breaches like the hits on Target and Neiman Marcus are coming. A new report details how hackers "with ties to the former Soviet Union" stay ahead with "innovation and a high degree of skill."
The latest evidence that artificially sweetened drinks may be making us hungrier? Heavier-set people who choose diet beverages are making up the calorie gap at meals and through snacks — especially sweet ones, researchers report.
Eight days after a chemical spill led authorities to warn 300,000 people not to use the water coming from their taps, the all-clear has been given. Only those in a few small towns are still being cautioned.
Everyone who applies for a driver's license in China must take a written test; 90 percent is considered passing. The test consists of 100 questions drawn from a pool of nearly 1,000. The test is particularly tough for foreigners — due to the volume of memorization and often sketchy translations.
NPR's Frank Langfitt recently decided to apply for a driver's license in China. Since he already has a U.S. license, the main requirement was passing a computerized test on Chinese rules of the road. He's been driving for decades, and figured it would be a breeze. He was wrong.
Home wart-freezing devices can spark fires, the Food and Drug Administration warns, and people have been burned. People also can be injured by using these frostbite-inducing tools too enthusiastically, dermatologists say, damaging skin as a result.
The .32-caliber weapon comes amid a spate of reports about rapes in the country. The gun is named for the victim of a 2012 gang rape and murder in New Delhi. But reaction to the Nirbheek has been mixed.
The team at Dartmouth College mined 180 million tweets from 900,000 users to understand word clippings — like "awks" as "awkward." The researchers want to understand how such words originate and how they spread.
Politicians of the world have caught on to the fact that Twitter can help get out the party line.
The president said intelligence agencies would now need court approval before accessing phone data of hundreds of millions of Americans. He also directed the agencies to stop spying on the leaders of friendly nations. The changes come amid criticism directed at the NSA.
The state's controversial law threatens the rights of hundreds of thousands of potential voters, a judge has ruled. His decision is almost sure to be appealed. Republicans champion the law, saying it's common sense to require such identification. Democrats say it targets minorities.
For nearly three decades, until 1974, Lt. Hiroo Onoda lived in a Philippine jungle. During those years he continued to battle with villagers. As many as 30 people were killed. It wasn't until his former commander ordered Onoda to lay down his arms that he surrendered. Onoda died Thursday. He was 91.
The omnibus spending bill approved by the Senate on Thursday night contains language banning funding for USDA inspections of slaughterhouses for horses. That effectively stops plans to restart the slaughter of horses in the U.S. to export meat abroad.
One change that privacy advocates have been pushing for is that the NSA no longer store the records from millions of phone calls — including those of Americans. Officials are telling Reuters and NPR that the president will endorse the idea of having a third party, not the NSA, hold that data.