This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel. All of the attention that Iowa has gotten in the past year comes to a head tonight. Nearly 2000 precincts across that state will record the first votes in the presidential nominating contest. At most sites, Iowans will write a name on a blank piece of paper and put it in a box.
The Taliban announces it will soon open a political office in the Persian Gulf state of Qatar. The move could set the stage for negotiations on an end to the Afghan war. But the State Department reiterated that the process will only succeed if the Taliban renounces violence, severs ties with al-Qaida and abides by the Afghan constitution.
Melissa Block interviews John Armbruster, a seismologist with Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, part of Columbia University, about why he believes the waste from fracking in Ohio has led to the earthquakes there. He says the injection of waste water from the fracking process created pressure on nearby faults, and he expects the quakes to continue — even after the process is stopped.
American Idol, The Sing-Off, The Voice — there's no shortage of over-the-top, glitzy, ratings-driven music competitions on TV. And now Aretha Franklin is getting in on the singing contest circuit, but she's turning her searchlight on the world of classical music. That's right — the Queen of Soul is searching for the next great opera singer.
When I left the mountain to produce this story (and warm my non-gaiter-protected frozen toes), Dave Mehlman and Jesse Vooz had spotted a total of 11 bird species. By the end of the day, the list was substantially longer: 27 species, including four raptors.
The Federal Reserve will now tell the public its expectations for short-term interest rates. In the minutes of the Fed's Open Market Committee Dec. 13 meeting , the Fed said it would update that forecast four times a year, beginning after its Jan. 24-25 meeting.
Myanmar has set parliamentary by-elections for April 1, scheduling a highly anticipated vote that will return dissident Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy to mainstream politics after two decades. Here, Suu Kyi attends a fundraising event for the party in Yangon, Myanmar, last month.
Credit Khin Maung Win / AP
People stand behind barricades as they wait for family members to be freed from Insein Prison in Yangon, Myanmar, on Tuesday. Myanmar's government announced Monday that it is reducing the sentences of many prisoners, but stopped short of declaring an amnesty for political prisoners that many people had expected.
Mon. 01/02 7:00p: Spanish-language documentary on the violence in Ciudad Juarez and Mexico.Victim testimony, interviews and analysis of the so-called drug war. Covers human rights violations, the forced displacement of populations and efforts to organize resistance.