From NPR News in Washington, I'm Jack Speer.
President Obama said in his commitment address at West Point today he'll work with Congress increase support for Syrian moderate rebels fighting with Assad regime. But as NPR's Tom Bowman reports there was little detail about what that means.
The CIA is already training Syrian rebels in neighboring Jordan, and the US supported the transfer at heavier arms like anti-tank weapons. Now the president says it's time to increase help for those fighting in the Syrian regime.
"I'll work with Congress to wrap up supports for those in the Syrian opposition who offer the best alternative to terrorists and brutal dictators."
A senate committee is backing an effort to let the Pentagon provide training and support for the rebels. A senior administration official called it a good concept and added more discussion with Congress is necessary. Meanwhile, the intelligence community worries as extreme rebels are growing in strength. Tom Bowman, NPR News, Washington.
Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to the 2012 murder of 2 men in Boston South end. From Number Station WBUR in Boston Fred Tess has this report.
Prosecutor Patrick Haggan says on an early summer morning in 2012, Aaron Hernandez stopped and shot and killed 2 men and injured the 3rd after one of the men, Daniel de Abreu, accidently bumped into Hernandez on the dance floor of Cure Lounge, spilling the Hernandez's drink.
"The defendant became angry and increasingly agitated, particular after Mr. de Abreu smiled and did not apologize. There was no observers of verbal argument between defendant and Mr. de Abreu. And there was no physical contact between them beyond that initial bump."
One of Hernandez's attorney objected to the prosecution, presenting his version of the facts. But the magistrate noted this is allowed at arrangements. For NPR News, I'm Fred Tess in Boston.
There was a new report on the controversial overtreatment wait time in veteran affair hospital, finds a Phoenix VA hospital has some vets waited with an average of 115 days for their first medical appointment. That is on an average of 91 days longer than the hospital has initially reported. In a report by the agency inspector general, at the news conference today, Arizona Republican John McCain called for the resignation of VA secretary Eric Shinseki.
"This is time for secretary Shinseki to step down, and if secretary Shinseki doesn't step down voluntarily and I'll call on the president of the United States to release of his duty, to fire him."
Inspector general is currently investigating 26 VA facilities nationwide, including the hospital in Phoenix where it was first reviewed many vetsbeing subjected to long wait periods for care.
Apple announced a major acquisition today. The device maker confirmed it's greeted by headphone company Beats for 3 billion dollars. And with that deal, bring recorder mogul Jimmy Iovine into its corporate ranks. Rapper Dr. Dre also helped found the company; he'll join Apple as well.
On Wall Street, the Dow dropped 42 points to close at 16,633.
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Crew battling with a wildfire in a foothill of the central California says they're facing yet another day of dry winds and low humidity. Conditions they say are making it more difficult to put out the fire is now consumed about 2 square miles, destroying several homes and potentially threating threatening upwards about 100 more. Some 50 residents seem in immediate danger areas have been urged to evacuate.
The death of Maya Angelou has prompted many who have read her works in school to post their remembrances on social media including Tweeter and Facebook. NPR' Hannah Sommers reports Angelou's autobiography is the staple in many US schools though discuss about rape and teen pregnancy also makes her controversial.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings makes the list each time frequently banned books are accounted. Since its published in 1969 and spent as a staple of school reading lists, and many former students and teachers are calling its facts on them.
"The sweetest is the typical. My fifth grade teacher gave me a copy to read one day during the recess and changed my perspective on reading."
People say Angelou works touch them, telling them lessons about learning and stay with them into adult.
I have such a vivid memory of reading I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings in the high school. A mother and English professor tweeted. "It was like nothing I had read before or since." Hannah Sommers, NPR News.
When it comes to employment diversity, apparently search engine company Google needs to do a bit more searching. As its disclosure today, the San Francisco company says its employment are total 44,000 people, but just 2% of its work force are black. Company says 3% of its employment are Spanish. In the first disclosure of its kind in the largely white male tech world, Google admits it's not where it wants to be. Facebook says it's headed toward its disclosure. Apple, HP and Microsoft have not said whether they will disclose the diversity data.
I'm Jack Speer, NPR News in Washington.