Lead Stories

Parallels
3:03 pm
Sat April 18, 2015

Syria's Minorities: Caught Between Sword Of ISIS And Wrath of Assad

Assyrian Christians, who fled their homes because of attacks by the Islamic State, pray at a church on the outskirts of Damascus on March 1. Many minorities in Syria have tried to remain neutral in the conflict, but they often get caught up in the crossfire or are targeted by extremists.
Louai Beshara AFP/Getty Images

Consider the plight of Syria's many minorities — the Christians, the Druze, the Ismailis and many others.

On one hand, they face threats by extremists like the self-proclaimed Islamic State, which considers their beliefs heretical. On the other hand, joining forces with President Bashar Assad's regime could mean dangerous military deployments and antagonizing the Sunni Muslim majority.

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The Two-Way
1:50 pm
Sat April 18, 2015

'Furious 7' Races To New Record, Quickly Hitting $1 Billion Mark

Furious 7 has hit the $1 billion worldwide box-office mark, two days faster any other film. Earlier this month, stars Sung Kang, left, and Ludacris attend the film's Los Angeles premiere.
Michael Kovac Getty Images

It's taken the street-racing movie Furious 7 only 17 days to reach $1 billion in worldwide box office grosses, according to Universal Pictures. On its opening weekend, the movie reportedly made $143.6 million in the U.S. It's the last in the Fast and Furious franchise to feature the late actor Paul Walker.

Universal says the movie is the studio's first to cross the billion-dollar mark during its first run in theaters, putting Furious 7 above films such as Jurassic Park, Despicable Me and the Jason Bourne movies.

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The Two-Way
11:43 am
Sat April 18, 2015

WWII Aircraft Carrier Is Found 'Amazingly Intact' On Ocean Floor Near San Francisco

A shape that could be an airplane is seen in a 3D sonar image (lower portion) of the USS Independence released by NOAA, which located the shipwreck in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. A team located the carrier during a maritime archaeological survey.
NOAA, Boeing, and Coda Octopus

Originally published on Sat April 18, 2015 2:11 pm

It fought in World War II and was used in two atomic bomb tests. Now, 64 years after it was scuttled, the USS Independence has been located by an undersea survey team led by NOAA and the U.S. Navy.

A new image of the ship suggests it's in good shape for a craft that was damaged by shock waves, heat and radiation in the Pacific Ocean.

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The Two-Way
10:52 am
Sat April 18, 2015

Antitrust Inquiry Reportedly Looks At How Big Theater Chains Snare Movies

Originally published on Sat April 18, 2015 12:18 pm

Small theaters' claims that large cinema chains keep them from screening first-run movies have reportedly prompted a Department of Justice investigation. News of a federal inquiry comes as arguments over preferential treatment and exclusivity have been heating up in recent years.

NPR's Mandalit del Barco reports:

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Fresh Air Weekend
10:34 am
Sat April 18, 2015

Fresh Air Weekend: Mark Ronson, The Mountain Goats, Beau Willimon

Mark Ronson is a music producer, DJ and guitarist who's recorded with Adele, Paul McCartney, Ghostface Killah, Lily Allen and Duran Duran, among others.
Astrid Stawiarz Getty Images

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

The Story Behind Mark Ronson's Hit Song 'Uptown Funk': The producer says there was a moment when his co-writers thought, "Maybe this song wasn't meant to be." He also describes working with Amy Winehouse and Bruno Mars.

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