All Things Considered for January 7th, 2014
Jan 7, 2014 — Violence is spreading now in both Syria and Iraq, with al-Qaida and other jihadi fighters increasing their influence. In Syria, the U.S. is putting its hopes on peace talks, but there is no sign that the U.S. will go beyond that. The Pentagon has drawn up plans to increase the rebel training effort now being done by the CIA, but the White House has not given the go-ahead. In Iraq, the U.S. has said it will not send troops. Instead, it will sell missiles and drones to help the Iraqi government beat back a resurgent al-Qaida in Ramadi and Fallujah. The bottom line: The U.S. doesn't want to get dragged into either country.
Jan 7, 2014 — A radical group with links to al-Qaida has taken intermittent control of key parts of Fallujah in western Iraq. It's the same area where U.S. troops saw some of their bloodiest fights during the Iraq war a decade ago, costing the U.S. more lives than any other region in Iraq.
Jan 7, 2014 — Back in 1964, people smoked cigarettes at work, in restaurants and in grocery stores. Few would have predicted that a report from the U.S. surgeon general would spark a public health revolution that has increased life expectancy in this country by 30 percent.
Jan 6, 2014 — Qiu Xiaolong has written eight detective novels based in his hometown of Shanghai. Qiu, who lives in St. Louis, embraces the advantages and problems of writing detective fiction in the Internet era, when Chinese people know so much more dirt about their system and leaders.
Jan 7, 2014 — The famous sleuth has discovered that U.S copyright law is anything but elementary. A federal judge recently ruled that elements of the Sherlock Holmes characters are now both licensed property of the Doyle estate and in the public domain. The Doyle estate plans to appeal the decision.
Jan 7, 2014 — The Consumer Electronics Show is known for whiz-bang gadgets and the latest tech wizardry. But the world's biggest maker of computer processors — Intel — made a different kind of announcement this year. Its processors are free of so-called "conflict minerals." Intel's supply chain management director, Carolyn Duran, leads the company's conflict minerals program. She tells Audie Cornish how they've done it.
Jan 7, 2014 — Wearable technology is often said to look dorky. "Stylish" and "fashionable" are not words anyone would associate with devices like Google Glass or smart watches. But companies are now working to embed technology into clothing so that it's unobtrusive or even attractive.
Jan 7, 2014 — Sub-zero temperatures are breaking records across much of the eastern U.S. In New York City, a 118-year-old record fell. The cold caused flight delays and cancellations, roads were closed due to blowing snow, and 500 Amtrak passengers spent a night in a train in Central Illinois. The cold also brought special attention to those helping the homeless.
Jan 7, 2014 — Run Run Shaw died at the age of 106 on Tuesday. He was considered by many to be the father of kung fu movies, producing films such as Five Fingers of Death and Shaolin Avenger.
Jan 7, 2014 — On the 2010 album Scratch My Back, Gabriel covered songs by the musicians he loves. For the follow-up, he invited those artists — who include Arcade Fire, Randy Newman, David Byrne, Regina Spektor, Lou Reed, Bon Iver and more — to cover his own material.