National

11:14am

Wed December 12, 2012
The Two-Way

Sources: Syrian Rebels Training On Anti-Aircraft Weapons In Jordan

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 11:50 am

To date, Syrian rebels have had to rely on small-scale weapons in their fight against the Syrian army. Here, a rebel fighter throws an explosive device toward a Syrian government position in the northern city of Aleppo last month.
John Cantlie AFP/Getty Images

The U.S. has now formally recognized a new Syrian opposition group as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people. But the U.S. has repeatedly declined to provide weapons for rebels fighting President Bashar Assad's army.

However, NPR has learned that there are movements behind the scenes. In Jordan, several Syrian sources said that Jordanian authorities, along with their U.S. and British counterparts, have organized training for Syrian rebels on sophisticated anti-aircraft weapons.

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11:07am

Wed December 12, 2012
The Two-Way

Federal Reserve Boosts Effort To Lift Economy

The Federal Reserve's headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Saying it is concerned that the economy won't be strong enough in coming months to keep adding jobs to the labor market, the Federal Reserve announced this afternoon that is increasing its efforts to give the economy a boost.

And in an unusually specific statement from the central bank, its policymakers said they expect to keep a key short-term interest rate at or near zero percent "as long as the unemployment rate remains above 6.5 percent."

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10:24am

Wed December 12, 2012
The Two-Way

Wal-Mart's Lobbying In U.S. To Be Probed By Indian Government

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 11:12 am

September 2012: Employees celebrate the opening of a Best Price Modern store in Hyderabad, India. Bharti Enterprises manages that and other such stores, which Wal-Mart has invested in.
Noah Seelam AFP/Getty Images

India's government has approved an inquiry into Wal-Mart's lobbying activities in the U.S. as a heated debate over the retail giant's plans for stores in India moves into a new phase, NPR's Julie McCarthy tells us from New Delhi.

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9:42am

Wed December 12, 2012
The Two-Way

Pope Benedict: A Hip 'Pontifex' Tweets Blessings

In these images, Pope Benedict XVI pushes the button, with help, to issue the first tweet on his personal account.
Gregorio Borgia AP

9:24am

Wed December 12, 2012
The Two-Way

Census: We Continue To Get Older And More Diverse; Though More Slowly

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 1:02 pm

The crowded scene on "Black Friday" at Macy's in Manhattan. The U.S. population is projected to hit 400 million in 2051, Census says, up from 321 million in 2015.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

The trends continue:

"The U.S. population will be considerably older and more racially and ethnically diverse by 2060, according to projections released today by the U.S. Census Bureau."

Based on data from the 2010 census, the bureau projects that:

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