U.N. Presence Fails To Prevent Syrian Bloodshed
U.N. monitors were attending a funeral in a northern Syria village when it turned into a protest, and then a violent clash. More than 30 people were killed, and the U.N. peace plan suffered another setback.
U.N.: It Takes Time To Achieve Results In Syria
The head of United Nations peacekeeping, Herve Ladsous, was in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday and talked to Michele Kelemen about how many unnamed observers are in Syria and what they are able to do. Ladsous has said that the ongoing violence is appalling. Some in Washington have been calling for stronger measures, including humanitarian corridors or safe zones. But that seems unlikely since it would take a substantial military intervention, not just a few unarmed U.N. observers.
Experts Stumped By Chicago's Soaring Homicide Rate
The homicide rate in Chicago has soared more than 50 percent in the first few months of 2012 over the same time period last year. The number of non-fatal shootings is up sharply, too. Why? Some say it could be just a statistical blip or due to rising temperatures, as Chicago had an extremely mild winter this year with record-setting warmth in March, the bloodiest month. But others say there is a deeply entrenched culture of violence in some city neighborhoods and within the prolific Chicago street gangs. They worry 2012 could be one of the most violent years in the city since the 1990s.
Fla. Students Crash After State Raises Bar On Test
The Florida Board of Education has voted to temporarily lower the passing grade for its state writing test after a dramatic drop in scores on this year's exam. The state had made the test more difficult and raised the passing grade in an attempt to upgrade standards. But education officials were stunned when preliminary results showed the passing rate for 4th graders this year had plummeted from 80 percent to less than 30 percent.
Town's Effort To Link Fracking And Illness Falls Short
Many residents of Dish, Texas, blame the fracking operations that surround their tiny town for a host of health problems — from nosebleeds to cancer. The former mayor was so scared, he left town. But scientists who've studied Dish say there's not enough evidence to link natural gas operations to any illness.
Are U.S. Troops In Australia A Hedge Against China?
The U.S. has sent Marines to Australia as part of a military pivot that will place greater emphasis on Southeast Asia and the Pacific. Some Australians are wondering how this might affect their relations with China.
UniverSoul Circus Co-Host: 'Soul Is Not A Color'
In the beginning, all of the talent was black, but the UniverSoul Circus evolved into an eclectic mix of acts from around the world. Now, the circus is pushing to diversify its audience, with a show called "Us."
'Hecklevision:' Leave Your Phone On At This Movie
Portland, Ore., is one of the cities trying something new in movie theaters — encouraging audience members to heckle via text messages. The jokes and comments appear on the big screen. Robert Siegel talks with Erik Henriksen of the Portland Mercury alternative weekly about this week's offering — Point Break.
Little-Known Lawmaker Upsets GOP's Senate Plans In Nebraska
Republican voters in Nebraska defied the expectations of pundits and the intentions of outside groups, nominating a little-known rancher and state lawmaker to run for an open U.S. Senate seat. Deb Fischer, 61, will face a former governor and former senator, Democrat Bob Kerrey, in November.