Morning Edition for Friday, September 13, 2013

Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov resume meetings in Geneva on Friday. The talks are aimed at working out the details of a program in which Syria's Bashar Assad would give up his chemical weapons.

Fit For A Novel: U.S., Russia Differences Over Syria

The past couple of weeks have sometimes felt like an international thriller as American and Russian leaders moved their chess pieces around the board. Renee Montagne talks to Washington Post columnist and novelist David Ignatius about the strategies involving Syria.
Lessons in optimism from very ill children inspire pediatric oncologist Jim Olson in his hunt for better treatments for brain tumors. If a boy too sick to get out of bed can still find a way to have a snowball fight with his older brother, then Olson figures he can find ways to improve brain surgery.

Living Gears Help This Bug Jump

Planthoppers are champion jumpers - launching themselves upward, hundreds of times their own height, in just a couple milliseconds. They achieve this feat with the help of cog-like teeth on their legs — the first mechanical gear system ever found in nature.

Colorado Braces For More Rain And Flooding

Heavy rains continue to pound areas near Boulder. Hundreds are still waiting to return to their homes. Rescuers continued their search for people who may be stranded in cars or trapped in buildings.

'Rivers On Rolaids': How Acid Rain Is Changing Waterways

The chemistry of dozens of streams and rivers across the U.S. is changing. Waters are becoming more alkaline — the opposite of acidic. And the reason is counterintuitive — researchers believe that acid rain is to blame.

Twitter Files For Initial Public Offering

Twitter announced via Tweet Thursday that it's launching its long awaited initial public offering. It will be the most high profile IPO since Facebook went public last year. But Twitter hopes to avoid the mishaps that's marred Facebook's stock market debut.

D.C. Mayor Vetoes Wage Bill Targeting Large Retailers

Wal-Mart says its plans to open six stores in the nation's capitol are back on after the mayor vetoed a so-called living wage bill that targeted big box retailers. The focus now turns to the District's 13 member City Council. The bill passed in July with eight votes — nine are needed to override a veto.

Sound Pioneer Ray Dolby Dies At 80

Dolby, who invented some of the technologies that revolutionized film and sound recording, was instrumental in developing surround sound technology. Dolby had been living with Alzheimer's and was diagnosed with leukemia this summer.

Dunkin Donuts Returns To Britain

The company on Thursday announced a deal for 50 new locations in London, with plans for more in the coming years. Dunkin did have shops in Britain but pulled out in the 1990s.
Sunday marks the 5th anniversary of the collapse of one of the nation's leading banking institutions Lehman Brothers. The failure of the bank triggered a global financial crisis and led to the deepest recession in decades. Renee Montagne talks to David Wessel, economics editor of The Wall Street Journal.

Without Action, Government Will Shut Down At Month's End

The four top congressional leaders held a closed-door meeting Thursday to assess where they stand on the coming government funding and debt-ceiling deadlines. As has become typical in recent years, some conservative House Republicans appear to be the stumbling block with their insistence that any deal repeal or defund Obamacare.

N.J. Boardwalk Goes Up In Flames

A fire has destroyed eight blocks of boardwalk along the New Jersey shore — an area still recovering from Superstorm Sandy. Four blocks each in Seaside Park and Seaside Heights. The blaze destroyed dozens of boardwalk businesses and caused millions in damages.

Are Weapons Getting To Syrian Rebels?

We're going look more closely at whether the United States is providing arms to Syria's rebels. The commander of the Free Syrian Army General told Morning Edition on Thursday that his group was not receiving weapons. But American officials contend they are providing weapons to the rebels.

How One Man Continues To 'Just Pass It On'

Thomas Weller would have died in a snow bank in 1966 had a stranger not helped him. Weller has been helping strangers in the same way ever since.
Jews across the world are sitting down to a big meal before Friday's Yom Kippur fast. And many of them are eating kreplach. Some say these strange-sounding-yet-good-tasting dumplings are a holiday meditation on our inner and outer selves. Or maybe they're just a delicious example of the peasant cooking of Eastern Europeans.
Many Syrians have fled their homes and sought refuge in neighboring countries. But Israel and Syria are enemies, and Israel hasn't opened its gates to Syrians fleeing the violence. But it has helped about 200 injured Syrians get medical attention. The Syrians come to Israel at great personal risk.

Saudis At Odds With U.S. Over Egypt

Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab states are stepping in with billions of dollars for Egypt's military as it attempts to neutralize the Muslim Brotherhood as a political force. The exception is Qatar, which along with Turkey, is left to condemn the ouster of Egypt's Islamist president last month. The rift poses new challenges for U.S. policy in the region.

'Wadjda' Is First Feature Film Shot In Saudi Arabia

Wadjda tells the story of a 10-year-old Saudi girl determined to have a bicycle in a culture that frowns on female riding. Writer-director Haifaa al-Mansour says she wanted to put a human face on the situation of women in Saudi Arabia, where driving is not permitted.

'90s Nostalgia Revisited: 6 Musicians We Miss

We all know what's most often excavated: Nirvana's roar, Biggie's cool murmur, the futuristic sigh of Aaliyah. But there's more to the decade than those obvious landmarks.

Serious But Funny Discoveries Win Prizes

The lg Nobel Prize honors discoveries that are very scientific yet humorous. Winners include researchers who showed dung beetles navigate using the Milky Way. Other scientists proved that people who are drunk think they're more attractive.

Retailer Blames Unlucky 13 For Lower Earnings

Men's Wearhouse stocks are down 10 percent, CEO Doug Ewert thinks he knows the reason why. The fear of the number 13. He blames superstitious brides for postponing their weddings to avoid 2013.
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