All Things Considered for January 22nd, 2014
Jan 22, 2014 — The long-anticipated Syrian peace conference commenced on Wednesday in Montreux, Switzerland. The opening day marked the first time Syrian government and opposition members came together in the same room. Each side blamed the other for the three years of bloodshed in Syria. NPR's Deborah Amos offers a recap and analysis of the day's events from Switzerland.
Jan 22, 2014 — As the peace conference on Syria begins in the Swiss city of Montreaux, Robert Siegel talks to Lord David Owen, the former British foreign secretary. They discuss Owen's experience with a similarly fraught peace process, when he sought to broker a peace plan between the Serbians and Bosnians in the 1990s.
Jan 22, 2014 — On Wednesday, the Supreme Court is hearing arguments in a case that would allow a victim of child pornography to seek damages not only from the pornographers, but also from their online clients.
Jan 22, 2014 — At the White House on Wednesday, President Obama's Council on Women and Girls presented its report on sexual assault, calling it an epidemic especially on college campuses. The report claims that one in five women will experience a sexual assault in their lifetimes. Only 12 percent of victims actually report it, though.
Jan 22, 2014 — Political lines are being drawn in Alaska over the proposed Pebble Mine, a hugely controversial project to build an open-pit gold and copper mine in the Bristol Bay watershed. The watershed is one of the last unspoiled salmon fisheries in the world. The state's Democratic senator, Mike Begich, is in a tough re-election race this year, and he's just come out against the mine. But the mine's proponents complain that environmentalists — and the EPA — are prejudging a project that hasn't even applied for formal permits yet.
Jan 22, 2014 — Bacardi, Jack Daniels and Johnnie Walker have some new competition these days. There's been a surge in the number of craft distilleries in the U.S. over the past few years, as more mom and pop entrepreneurs are making liquor for local customers.
Jan 22, 2014 — Many cars can now track where we are, how fast we go and lots of other nuggets of information that can be accessed and mined. Some lawmakers and at least one car company say it's time to set some rules on driver privacy.
Jan 22, 2014 — Farmers can now deliver data from their fields, minute by minute, to big agribusiness companies like Monsanto or John Deere. Those companies promise to use the data to help farmers make money. But some farmers worry that it could threaten their privacy and give the big companies too much power.
Jan 22, 2014 — The self-defense groups that have emerged in the western Mexican state of Michoacan are on the public relations offensive. They've been posting videos on Twitter and Facebook condemning the Knights Templar drug traffickers and exalting their own crusade to expel the cartel from their towns and businesses. Meanwhile, federal officials don't seem to know how many of these vigilantes there are and have halted efforts to disarm them.
Jan 22, 2014 — The New York Yankees have signed Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka to a massive, seven-year contract. After putting up gaudy statistics with the Japanese Pacific League, the prized right-hander had become the object of a bidding war between major league teams. Now, questions abound about whether the young pitcher can live up to the hype — and the salary.