Syrian rebels take part in a battle Thursday in the northwestern town of Maaret al-Numan. The U.S. says it will begin providing arms to the rebels, who have been losing ground recently to the Syrian army.
Now that President Obama's administration says it's prepared to arm Syria's rebels, this raises a question relatively few people can answer: Who exactly are these guys?
The rebels have been fighting President Bashar Assad's regime for about two years, and more than 90,000 people have died in Syria's civil war. But in the U.S. and elsewhere, the rebels have not established a clear identity.
Here are five things worth knowing about the rebels:
Turkish riot police backed by armored vehicles sealed off Istanbul's Taksim Square, firing tear gas and water cannons to dislodge protesters after two weeks of anti-government demonstrations.
The police moved into the square hours after an ultimatum issued by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan that security forces "know how to clear" the area. Erdogan had given the demonstrators until Sunday, but police made their move late Saturday.
Facebook and Microsoft Corp. say the government has given them permission to reveal orders they've received to hand over user data, but that they are still prevented from giving anything other than very broad figures.
Facebook says it received 9,000 to 10,000 requests during the last six months of 2012, while Microsoft says it got 6,000 to 7,000 requests, affecting as many as 32,000 accounts.
Ollie Cantos – blind his whole life – has a law degree and has worked in the White House. He's overcome self-doubts, prejudices, naysayers and countless unforeseen – and unseen – obstacles to get to this point. Not content, he's hoping to adopt teenage triplets — Leo, Nick and Steven — also blind. "My whole life has changed. I live for these guys," says Ollie, 42, who lives in Arlington, Va., and works for the federal government.
Firefighters near Colorado Springs say that a surprise rainstorm and cooler weather have rallied their efforts to push back devastating wildfires that have destroyed at least 473 homes in recent days. Two people have been killed.
Authorities say that some evacuations of residents in the Black Forest, Colo., area have been lifted and that the largest of the fires is about one-third contained.
On Friday, several thousand people were allowed back into their homes, but an estimated 30,000 are still being told to stay away.
A bomb ripped through a bus in southwestern Pakistan on Saturday, killing at least 14 students from a women's university in Quetta. Shortly afterward, militants burst into a nearby hospital that was treating the injured. Pakistani security forces stormed the hospital and regained control after a five-hour standoff.
Our original post continues:
A bomb on a bus in Pakistan has killed at least 11 female university students and teachers, and hurt 20 others. Militants later attacked the hospital where the victims were taken.
NPR has learned that the Obama administration, under pressure to lift a cloak of secrecy, is considering whether to declassify a court order that gives the National Security Agency the power to gather phone call record information on millions of Americans.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Thursday that patenting natural human genetic material must stop. But the court also ruled that synthetically produced DNA is fair. The decision was prompted by patents on a gene test for breast cancer which was issued to Myriad Genetics of Salt Lake City. We're joined now in our studio by Arthur Caplan, who's head of the Division of Medical Ethics at NYU's Langone Medical Center. Thanks very much for being with us.
Whitey Bulger is finally on trial after 16 years on the run. The Boston mobster who was once on the FBI's Most Wanted List is accused of murdering 19 people as well as extortion and racketeering. Prosecution alleges he worked as an FBI informant in exchange for protection. Dick Lehr is the co-author with Gerard O'Neil of "Whitey: The Life of America's Most Notorious Mobster." He joins us from member station WBUR in Boston.
Protesters who were camped out in Istanbul's Gezi Park say they won't pack up and go home despite a government offer to avoid bulldozing the park without court approval and a public referendum. Protest organizers say that other demands such as releasing detained protesters have not been met.