National

The Two-Way
12:40 pm
Sat August 31, 2013

Obama To Seek Congressional Approval For Action Against Syria

At the White House Saturday, President Obama said he would seek congressional approval before taking action in Syria.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Sun September 1, 2013 11:48 am

  • President Obama's Full Speech
  • NPR Special Coverage Of Obama's Speech

(Post updated at 10 p.m. ET)

President Obama said Saturday he had decided that the U.S. should take military action against Syria in response to its use of chemical weapons, but that he will seek a congressional authorization for the action that could come "tomorrow, or next week or one month from now."

Speaking from the Rose Garden, the president said he believed that he had the authority to act without Congress, but said, "I know the country will be stronger if we take this course."

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The Two-Way
7:59 am
Sat August 31, 2013

Putin Calls Claims Of Syrian Chemical Attack 'Nonsense'

An image grab taken from a video posted by Syrian activists earlier this week allegedly showing a U.N. inspector listening to the testimony of a man in the Damascus suburb of Moadamiyet al-Sham.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 1:30 pm

Russian President Vladimir Putin called U.S. claims that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons "utter nonsense" and urged the White House not to launch a retaliatory strike.

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Middle East
7:57 am
Sat August 31, 2013

If It's Not Legal, Can A Strike On Syria Be Justified?

President Obama says any military strike he makes against the Syrian government in retaliation for suspected chemical attacks would be limited.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 11:59 am

As the Obama administration argues for a military intervention in Syria in response to a chemical attack that it says killed more than 1,400 Syrians, analysts say the case for a strike lacks a legal framework.

President Obama said Friday that the decision to act is part of a U.S. obligation as a world leader to make sure that regimes are held to account if they are found targeting their own people with weapons prohibited by international norms.

"If there's a sense that if nobody's willing to enforce them, then people don't take them seriously," he said Friday.

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Middle East
7:57 am
Sat August 31, 2013

How The Region Might React To An Attack On Syria

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 11:59 am

What would Iraq and Israel do if the U.S. launches military action against the Syrian government? Former analyst at the Defense Intelligence Agency Joshua Foust speaks with host Scott Simon about the wider consequences for the Middle East.

Middle East
7:57 am
Sat August 31, 2013

Does Obama Need Congressional Approval On Syria?

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 11:59 am

Nearly 200 members of Congress have signed letters insisting that the president submit plans for any military strike in Syria for authorization. Host Scott Simon talks with Democratic Rep. Jim McDermott of Washington, who has signed one of the letters.

Middle East
7:57 am
Sat August 31, 2013

White House Says It's Not Out To Topple Assad Regime

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 11:59 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. A U.N. inspections team left Syria this morning and that team is making its way back to Europe where it will analyze samples that were collected at the site of a poison gas attack outside of Damascus. In Washington, D.C. the Obama Administration says it is already convinced that Bashar Assad's regime used chemical weapons during that attack, and yesterday the White House released a summary of intelligence that says that more than 1400 civilians were killed by chemical weapons.

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Around the Nation
7:57 am
Sat August 31, 2013

Maine Toy Museum Is Really For Grownups

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 11:59 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The small town of Waldoboro, Maine, boasts two attractions: Moody's Diner, reputed to be one of the oldest in the country, and the Toy Museum. It was founded in 1996 by John Fawcett. Karen Michel paid the museum's founder a visit as she wrapped up her summer vacation.

KAREN MICHEL, BYLINE: The sign says world class museum enjoyed by adults, a Maine vacation delight - open.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL RINGING)

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Politics
7:57 am
Sat August 31, 2013

Conservatives Huddle At Strategy Meeting

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 11:59 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

While many Americans take time off this weekend, a group of conservative activists are meeting in Florida. Americans for Prosperity, a group that was founded by David and Charles Koch, is holding its annual summit in Orlando. That gathering includes several rising stars among conservatives - Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and Texas Senator Ted Cruz. But in terms of issues, NPR's Greg Allen reports, one seems to stand above all - stopping Obamacare.

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Middle East
7:57 am
Sat August 31, 2013

Syrians Anticipate U.S. Strikes

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 11:59 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

To Damascus now, as Syrians prepare for what might be coming. Nada Keuttnen works helping visiting journalists there in Damascus, including several NPR reporters. She joins us over Skype. Nada, thank you very much for being with us.

NADA KEUTTNEN: You are welcome.

SIMON: What's Damascus like today?

KEUTTNEN: It doesn't seem different than two, three, even a week ago. The life is going on. People are a bit may be worried and they're trying to buy extra dry food, expecting that something will happen but nothing is.

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Middle East
7:57 am
Sat August 31, 2013

If 'Humanitarian,' Why Not Intervene In Syria Sooner?

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 11:59 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

As U.S. forced reportedly prepare to launch a limited military action against the Syrian government, we turn now to a voice who's long made the case that the U.S. must take some action in Syria. Michael Ignatieff is a leading voice for the idea of humanitarian intervention. He helped develop the concept of the responsibility to protect. He is the former leader of Canada's Liberal party and now back on the faculty of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard's Kennedy School.

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