Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 10:00 am
One line President Obama might have borrowed for his speech to the nation Tuesday night was a famous one from John F. Kennedy's inauguration address: "Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate."
Always admired as a fine turn of phrase, what meaning does this have in our own time?
Perhaps it might have helped Obama make the turn from indicting the Syrian regime's alleged use of chemical weapons to explaining why he backed off his own earlier threat of military retaliation against Syria.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. We've told you about baguettes in France offered in vending machines and bars of gold in Abu Dhabi. Now we can report on a vending machine selling vodka in Ukraine. For a dollar, patrons could enjoy a shot in the town center of Melitopol, mixers also available - until the machine was discovered by authorities. Unlawfully produced vodka is widespread in Ukraine and the vodka vending machine - a converted coffee maker. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Mohsin Hamid's latest novel is called How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia.
Jonathan Lethem's latest novel, Dissident Gardens, is expansive in scale. Chronologically speaking, it begins in the 1930s with Communist Party meetings in the U.S. It passes through the rise of McCarthyism, the establishment of the New York Mets, the hippie Age of Aquarius and the AIDS crisis. It ventures briefly abroad, to such places as behind-the-Iron-Curtain East Germany and war-torn Nicaragua. It ends in the Obama era of Occupy sit-ins and a rampant TSA.
From the NPR Newscast: Jean Cochran rounds up the latest news about the crisis in Syria
Now that President Obama has made his case to the nation for holding Syrian President Bashar Assad responsible for a chemical weapons attack last month near Damascus, the next key moment in the quickly evolving crisis appears to be Thursday's meeting in Geneva between Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Seventeen years ago, Joseph Sweet and a friend went into a cave in Watertown, New York and got lost inside. They grew so desperate for light that Mr. Sweet made little torches out of the only fuel he had, taking dollar bills from his wallet and setting them on fire. On top of everything else, he lost the wallet. He was finally rescued. And now, 17 years later, different cave explorers found the wallet, still with ID, and returned it.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
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And I'm Renee Montagne. Good morning.
President Obama's push for a military strike on Syria is on hold, at least for now. The administration is exploring a possible diplomatic alternative that calls for Syria to surrender its stockpile of chemical weapons. That could provide a face-saving out for the president, who appeared unlikely to win Congressional approval this week for a strike.