The U.S. has taken very different approaches to authoritarian rulers in recent years. President Obama has called for the ouster of Syrian President Bashar Assad, shown here in Damascus on Jan. 11, but has resisted calls for the use of U.S. military force against the Syrian regime.
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The U.S. employed air power, but not ground troops, to help rebels oust Libyan leader Mohamer Gadhafi last year. Gadhafi is shown here during a visit to Mozambique in 2003.
Originally published on Wed February 22, 2012 3:44 pm
What is America's policy when it comes to dictators? Well, it depends.
The U.S. has adopted different approaches toward different dictators and authoritarian regimes in recent years. In some cases — notably Iraq and Afghanistan — the U.S. military invaded to change the leaders of those countries.
But American presidents have also hosted friendly visits with leaders from undemocratic countries with questionable human rights records.
Women's Correctional Community Center inmate Lilian Hussein checks on ti leaves she planted as part of the prison's farming and gardening program in Kailua, Hawaii. The green ti leaves are often used to wrap food or weave into leis.
If you haven't noticed, gardens are popping up in some unconventional places – from prison yards to retirement and veteran homes to programs for troubled youth.
Most are handy sources of fresh and local food, but increasingly they're also an extension of therapy for people with mental health issues, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD; depression; and anxiety.
We were exhausted after a long hot day of reporting. Tripoli had just fallen and it was almost sunset. We pulled up to the house of Muatassim Gadhafi, one of Moammar Gadhafi's most feared and loathed sons.
We have an update now on a story NPR's been investigating for almost two years. This morning, federal prosecutors filed criminal charges in a 2010 coal mine explosion in West Virginia. Twenty-nine mine workers died in the blast at the Upper Big Branch mine. The charges reach into the management ranks of Massey Energy, the company that operated the mine. NPR's Howard Berkes joins us now for details.