4:41pm

Sun May 19, 2013
The Two-Way

Syrian Troops Target Key Rebel-Held Town

Dozens of people are dead in heavy fighting around the Syrian rebel-held city of Qusair where troops loyal to President Bashar Assad are making a strong push.

News reports say as many as 50 people are dead.

NPR's Jonathan Blakley, who is in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, is reporting on the fighting for our Newscast Unit:

"Qusair is a strategically important town that lies between the city of Homs, where the Syrian uprising began two years ago, and the Lebanese border. The area has been under siege for weeks.

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4:18pm

Sun May 19, 2013
Author Interviews

Decades Later And Across An Ocean, A Novel Gets Its Due

Sometimes you need some distance to appreciate a classic.

That was certainly the case for John Williams' novel Stoner. When it was originally published in 1965, the only publication to mention the book at all was The New Yorker, in its "Briefly Noted" column. The novel received admiring reviews over the years, but sold just 2,000 copies and was almost immediately forgotten.

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3:25pm

Sun May 19, 2013
Parallels

Young Kenyans Build Mobile Apps For Local Use

Originally published on Sun May 19, 2013 7:59 pm

Kenyans watch a presentation at the "mobile apps garage showcase" this in Nairobi.
Gregory Warner NPR

You're out navigating the jammed sidewalks of Kenya's capital city when you suddenly realize you're in desperate need of a toilet. You crane your neck over the crowds, vainly seeking a McDonalds, a Starbucks — no such luck. What next?

There could be an app for that. Twendeloo, which is Swahili for "Let's Go to the Loo," would allow you to use your phone to locate the nearest public restroom in Nairobi's business district, then give it a rating for cleanliness.

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3:04pm

Sun May 19, 2013
The Two-Way

Two Excerpts You Should Read From Obama's Morehouse Speech

Originally published on Mon May 20, 2013 10:35 am

President Obama delivers the commencement address during a ceremony at Morehouse College on Sunday in Atlanta, Georgia.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

President Obama, on Sunday, delivered a rare, very personal commencement address at Morehouse College, the historically black, all-male insitution that is the alma mater of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

It was a short speech, but Obama did not shy away from the subjects of race and responsibility. We've embedded video of the address above, but here are two excerpts you should read. They are taken from his prepared remarks:

On Personal Responsibility:

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2:58pm

Sun May 19, 2013
Around the Nation

Boom Or Bust? Saving Rhode Island's 'Superman' Building

Originally published on Mon May 20, 2013 9:30 am

The iconic Industrial Trust Tower, knows as the "Superman building," stands in downtown Providence, R.I. The art deco-style skyscraper, the tallest in the state, lost its last tenant when the bank's lease expired in April.
Steven Senne AP

Rhode Island is home to beautiful beaches, top-notch universities and a thriving arts scene. Beneath the surface, however, the state faces challenges similar to other parts of the country: shrinking revenues, lost jobs and general economic malaise.

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