Morning Edition for Thursday, September 5, 2013

Syria Expected To Dominate G-20 Sideline Talks

The topic of military intervention is Syria is expected to over shadow the Group of 20 summit going on in St. Petersburg, Russia. President Vladimir Putin hosts but there are no plans for him and President Obama to meet one on one, given the controversy over Syria and Russia's grant of asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden.
The Obama administration says the goal of a limited strike on Syria is to deter and degrade Syria's ability to use chemical weapons again, not to shift the balance of power on the ground. To end the conflict, U.S. officials say all sides in the civil war need to agree on a transitional government. But many analysts are asking: Will a U.S. military strike help, or hurt, the chances of diplomacy.
For our regular feature "Word of Mouth," Renee Montagne talks with Tina Brown, editor-in-chief of The Daily Beast and founder of the annual Women in the World summit. She has three must-reads on women whose lives were changed by kidnapping and captivity.

More Cities Sweeping Homeless Into Less Prominent Areas

Nationally, there is an increase in cities responding to visible poverty including homelessness by criminalizing it. In recent years, municipalities from Seattle to Tampa have cracked down on the homeless and groups that help them. Now, Raleigh, N.C., is trying to find middle ground between the homeless and business owners.
Republican Rep. Austin Scott held a town hall meeting in Thomasville, Georgia, Wednesday. Among the topics that constituents were there to talk about: Syria. Scott told constituents he doesn't plan to support the resolution authorizing U.S. military strikes in Syria.
Syrian President Bashar Assad's Instagram account includes images of his smiling first lady. It makes no mention of the country's civil war. Instead, it show his wife helping out in a soup kitchen, and congratulating top achieving students.

Campaign For Moscow Mayor Could Change City's Politics

Moscow is in the final days of a campaign for Sunday's mayoral election. The outcome isn't in doubt. The winner will be the Kremlin-backed incumbent Sergei Sobyanin. But his main challenger is running a Western-style campaign. Some say that campaign could change the way politics are played in Russia's biggest city.

U.S. Auto Sales Accelerate To Pre-Recession Levels

New car sales jumped 17 percent to 1.5 million in August, their highest level in more than six years. Toyota, Ford, Nissan, Honda, Chrysler and General Motors all posted double-digit gains over last August.
A long-closed car dealership in Nebraska will soon auction more than 500 classic cars, many with fewer than 10 miles on the odometer. Though time has taken a toll on many on the block, in some ways the cars are brand new. Some still have plastic on the seats and the price sticker on the window.
Companies that collect and sell information about you are usually pretty secretive. But one of the biggest is now allowing consumers to look themselves up. Acxiom Corporation has set up the website: AboutTheData.com.

Don't Let Death Interfere With Your Need For Music

A Swedish firm is selling coffins loaded with speakers and a Spotify music account to stream songs six feet under. The package costs $30,000.

What Should Be On New FBI Director's To-Do List?

For the first time in years, there's new leadership at the FBI. Attorney General Eric Holder conducted the swearing-in ceremony on Wednesday. While Jim Comey starts his job Thursday, he's been working to get ready for years — preparing for threats ranging from terrorist bombings to cyber attacks.

Arab World Debates How U.S. Should Respond To Syria

Professor Shibley Telhami is a Middle East expert and author of The World Through Arab Eyes: Public Opinion and the Reshaping of the Arab World. He discusses with Renee Montagne how the Arab media and people are reacting to the U.S. debate over whether to intervene in Syria.
The California legislature passed a bill that would allow lawful permanent residents to sit on juries. Governor Jerry Brown has until Oct. 13 to sign the bill into law. If he does, California will be the first state to allow non-citizens to perform jury duty.

Is Operation Streamline Worth Its Budget Being Tripled?

The Senate immigration bill calls for tripling a controversial federal court program called Operation Streamline. The program takes people caught crossing the border illegally, gives them prison sentences, then deports them. It's hugely expensive — but does it work?
With more than 300,000 residents, St. Louis, Mo., has a lot on its mind. Local poet Henry Goldkamp hopes to find out just what makes the city tick with his new public art project. He's installed 37 typewriters city-wide, asking for answers to the question, "What The Hell Is St. Louis Thinking?"

Lawmakers Struggle With Wording Of Syria Resolution

Congress is trying to fashion language that would restrict U.S. involvement in Syria from escalating. But lawmakers often find it uncomfortable to rein in the commander in chief once U.S. forces have been committed.

Sen. Tom Udall On Syrian Resolution

On Wednesday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed a resolution authorizing President Obama to take military action against the Syrian regime. It goes to the full Senate over the objections of New Mexico Democrat Tom Udall. Steve Inskeep talks with Sen. Udall about his concerns over intervention in Syria.

Mainstay In Picture Books Is Going Digital

Later this month, some Dr. Seuss books will be released in e-book format for the first time. The president of Dr. Seuss Enterprises says the e-books will stay faithful to the classic print versions.
For nearly a century, Daniel Woodrell's hometown of West Plains, Mo., has been haunted by a dance hall explosion that killed dozens of the town's young people in 1928. Woodrell explores the disaster — and his Ozarks roots — in his new novel The Maid's Version.

Politicians Exposed: Weiner Shouts, Haley Locked Out

A video is circulating of New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner engaged in an ugly shouting match in a Brooklyn bakery. Not on tape, is S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley who was locked out of the governor's mansion dressed in a robe.

Patient Not Amused At Drawings On Her Face

When a hospital employee at California's Torrance Memorial Medical Center checked in for treatment, an anesthesiologist allegedly drew a mustache and teardrops on her face. The doctor faces an investigation and a lawsuit, according to the Los Angeles Times.
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