90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Crisis In Syria

The body count surges in Syria. The U.S. closes its embassy. Russia and China have the West fuming over their U.N. veto. Where is this headed?

Committees in Syria, anti-Syrian regime protesters, burn tires and wave Syrian revolution flag during a demonstration in the suburb of Daraya, Damascus, Syria, on Saturday Feb. 4, 2012. (AP)

Committees in Syria, anti-Syrian regime protesters, burn tires and wave Syrian revolution flag during a demonstration in the suburb of Daraya, Damascus, Syria, on Saturday Feb. 4, 2012. (AP)

The sound and images out of Syria the last few days are terrible.  Government artillery shells on suburban neighborhoods and heavy machine gun fire in the streets.  Many dead.  American outrage at the UN over Chinese and Russian vetoes of heightened pressure is full volume.  “Travesty,” said Hillary Clinton.  The U.S. embassy in Damascus, now closed.  Civil war in Syria – here or coming, say many.  President Obama says no military intervention, but arms are moving.  Where does this go?

This hour, On Point:  Syrian nightmare.  Syrian powder keg.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Abigail Fielding-Smith, correspondent with the Financial Times based in Beirut.

Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. He runs a blog SyriaComment.com.

Edward Djerejian, founding director of the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University. His career in the U.S. Foreign Service spanned the administrations of eight presidents from John F. Kennedy to Bill Clinton. He was formerly the U.S. ambassador to Israel. You can find his recent op-ed for CNN on the situation in Syria here.

From Tom’s Reading List

Foreign Policy “As world leaders huddle at the United Nations to debate whether to demand Bashar al-Assad’s ouster, the smart money is already betting that his time is short. The president of Syria is a “dead man walking,” according to one U.S. diplomat, a view shared by Israel’s military and predicted by a surveyed group of foreign policy experts. Reports of Assad’s death, however, appear greatly exaggerated. The Syrian president has survived almost a year of demonstrations and growing violence, and if not pushed by outside actors he may yet cling to power.”

Al Jazeera “The US has closed down its embassy in Syria and pulled all of its employees out of the country, amid reports that the Syrian military is intensifying its assault on the central city of Homs.”

CNN “The Syrian regime under President Bashar al-Assad approached the outset of the Arab awakening in Tunisia and Egypt in a state of politico-psychological denial.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Oct 31, 2014
Nurse Kaci Hickox, right, and her boyfriend, Ted Wilbur are followed by a Maine State Trooper as they ride bikes on a trail near her home in Fort Kent, Maine, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014.  (AP)

Quarantines and Ebola. An exploding rocket. Apple’s CEO comes out. Hawaiian lava flows. Midterms in the home stretch. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Oct 31, 2014
Doc Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) and Sauncho Smilax (Beninico del Toro) share a drink in a scene from the upcoming Paul Thomas Anderson film, "Inherent Vice," an adaptation of the Thomas Pynchon novel of the same name. (Courtesy Warner Bros. Entertainment)

From “Interstellar” to “Into the Woods.” The biggest and best movies of the fall and holiday seasons. What to see, what to skip.

RECENT
SHOWS
Oct 31, 2014
Doc Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) and Sauncho Smilax (Beninico del Toro) share a drink in a scene from the upcoming Paul Thomas Anderson film, "Inherent Vice," an adaptation of the Thomas Pynchon novel of the same name. (Courtesy Warner Bros. Entertainment)

From “Interstellar” to “Into the Woods.” The biggest and best movies of the fall and holiday seasons. What to see, what to skip.

 
Oct 31, 2014
Nurse Kaci Hickox, right, and her boyfriend, Ted Wilbur are followed by a Maine State Trooper as they ride bikes on a trail near her home in Fort Kent, Maine, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014.  (AP)

Quarantines and Ebola. An exploding rocket. Apple’s CEO comes out. Hawaiian lava flows. Midterms in the home stretch. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
The Explicast, Episode Three: What Is The Dow Jones Industrial Average?
Friday, Oct 31, 2014

We dig in to that all-important, all-confusing daily stock notice: the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: October 31, 2014
Friday, Oct 31, 2014

We tumble for ya, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Tuco the Massachusetts K-9 Unit puppy in training.

More »
1 Comment
 
Awards Season 2014: The Movies Worth Your Time
Friday, Oct 31, 2014

What movies should you watch before 2014 comes to a close? Our critics offer their picks for the movies of the season right here.

More »
Comment