Afghan leaders have wrapped up their latest grand assembly, known as a loya jirga, where delegates from all over Afghanistan discussed topics key to the country's future. Among the issues they discussed was the level of U.S. involvement after the 2014 drawdown. Host Audie Cornish talks with Alissa Rubin of The New York Times for more.
The U.S. Army is working to use smartphones on the battlefield as a way to keep soldiers connected and give them better tools. Specialist Nicholas Johnson has designed a group of applications meant to help troops on the ground. Host Audie Cornish has more.
Republican presidential candidates Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former CEO of Godfather's Pizza Herman Cain talk after a forum sponsored by The Family Leader Saturday. Both men let their emotions show during the roundtable.
Six Republican presidential hopefuls gathered in Des Moines, Iowa, Saturday, and each made a pitch for the state's very important Christian conservative vote.
The event was not a debate, but a roundtable discussion. The candidates sat side-by-side at what was described as a Thanksgiving table, complete with pumpkins and autumn leaves. Not present at the table was former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who chose not to attend.
A number of studies of homeless youth in big cities put forth a startling statistic: Depending on the study, somewhere between 30 and 40 percent of homeless youths identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
It's largely because gay youths are more often kicked out of their homes than straight youths. And even if they are not kicked out, they may feel so uncomfortable that they leave.
In New York City, nearly 4,000 young people are homeless every night — many of them gay.
Pakistani protesters shout slogans during a protest in Multan on Oct. 14 against U.S. drone attacks in Pakistani tribal areas. Officials said U.S. drone strikes on Oct. 13 killed 10 militants, including a senior commander in the Haqqani network. Drone attacks are one way the U.S. hopes to squeeze the Haqqani militants.
Credit Ahmad Nazar / AP
The Pakistan-based Haqqani network has been blamed for a series of high-profile attacks including this one on Sept. 13 in Kabul. Insurgents fired rocket-propelled grenades and assault rifles at the U.S. Embassy, NATO headquarters and other buildings in the heart of the Afghan capital.
As the drawdown of American combat troops in Afghanistan nears, the U.S. is facing an increasingly dangerous opponent. The Pakistan-based Haqqani network, allied with the Taliban, is believed to be behind a recent string of deadly attacks in Afghanistan, and it's forcing the U.S. to rethink an earlier strategy for stabilizing the country.
But the strategy hinges on help and cooperation from Pakistan — which is never a sure thing.
Employees of TECMA, a cross-border plant or maquiladora, work in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Business leaders say the quick delivery time of goods from Mexico to the U.S. can help revive manufacturing in North America.
Officials in the United States have been wringing their hands lately over how to revitalize domestic manufacturing and keep factories from moving overseas.
But not all of those plants are going across the ocean to China or India or some other low-cost production hub in Asia. Many are relocating just south of the border to Mexico, prompting business leaders to argue that the U.S.-Mexico border region may be the key to rejuvenating manufacturing in North America.
A fire burns in a scale model of a living room in the ATF's Fire Research Lab in Beltsville, Maryland. Until the development of the FRL, there were no fire measurement facilities in the U.S., or anywhere, dedicated to the specific needs of the fire investigation community.
Credit Courtesy of the ATF
The large exhaust hood in the ceiling of the ATF's Fire Research Lab in Beltsville, Maryland is used to suck up smoke and heat from the fires set in the lab to measure carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, among other things.
Credit Courtesy of the ATF
Firefighters in the ATF's Fire Research Lab battle a mock fire. The lab is the only facility of its kind in the world to provide the necessary facilities, equipment and staff to work on important fire investigation issues.
In 1990, a fire broke out in a house in Jacksonville, Fla., killing two women and four children. The husband of one of the women became the prime suspect, and that's when a fire investigator named John Lentini was called in.
At the time, Lentini says, the initial evidence pointed to a fire that was deliberately set. He calculated that it would have taken about 20 minutes for the house to become engulfed in flames — what's called a flashover — leaving plenty of time for someone to set the fire and get out.
The Department of Justice plans to tighten current laws regarding websites' terms of service conditions. That means if you press that "Agree" button on websites, you better mean it. Some say broadening the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act could even make using a pseudonym on social media outlets a felony. Weekends on All Things Considered guest host host Laura Sullivan talks with Orin Kerr, a professor at George Washington University Law School, about how the government can strengthen the Internet's defenses against cyber warfare while keeping the law reasonable.
The number of student athlete injuries has decreased greatly since the early 1970s thanks to the work and recommendations of Fred Mueller, longtime director of the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research. Mueller's ground breaking changes in high school pole vaulting and swim competitions have saved lives. Weekends on All Things Considered guest host host Laura Sullivan speaks with Fred Mueller about his latest area of concern: Cheerleading.
It's Weekends on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Laura Sullivan.
MAHMOUD SHAMMAM: What we can confirm now that Saif al-Gadhafi has been arrested and he should be tried in front of the Libyan court, by Libyan people and by Libyan justice.
SULLIVAN: That's Mahmoud Shammam, Libya's National Transitional Council's information minister, announcing that Moammar Gadhafi's son Saif al-Islam had been captured. The U.S. State Department hasn't confirmed it yet.
Billy McCarthy lost his mother to suicide when he was a teenager. He cared for his schizophrenic brother as best he could after that, but his brother landed in solitary confinement in prison, where he eventually took his own life, too. Somehow, McCarthy found a way to rise above his anguish — as a songwriter. He began playing music while living in foster care in California.
Kurt Vonnegut was a counterculture hero, an American Mark Twain, an avuncular, jocular friend to the youth — until you got to know him.
"Kurt was actually rather flinty, rather irascible. He had something of a temper," author Charles Shields tells weekends on All Things Considered host Laura Sullivan. Shields is the author of a new biography of Vonnegut, called And So It Goes: Kurt Vonnegut: A Life.
"But as I also point out in the book," Shields adds, "he was a damaged person."
Originally published on Sat November 19, 2011 2:37 pm
LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News, I'm Linda Wertheimer. In Libya today, news that Moammar Gadhafi's son, Seif al-Islam has been captured as he was traveling in a convoy across the southern desert of Libya. Seif was the only Gadhafi family member still at large. Officials said he would be held in the mountain town of Zintan until his transfer to Libya's capital, Tripoli. Joining us to talk more about this development is Leila Fadel, The Washington Post correspondent based in Cairo. Leila, good morning.
Operation Pedro Pan shaped the lives of a generation of Cuban-Americans. Between 1960 and 1962, the program airlifted more than 14,000 Cuban children from Havana to the U.S. Fifty years later, those children are recalling how that flight changed their lives.
In Miami this weekend, a group of Cuban-Americans — now in their 50s and 60s — are gathering to commemorate the flights that took them from their homeland to America.
The journey began in early January 1959, after Dictator Fulgencio Batista fled the country. Fidel Castro arrived in Havana soon after and took control.
With Thanksgiving just days away, many are struggling this weekend with what to prepare. Thanksgiving dinner's menu is hard to change, but maybe we can get away with reconsidering dessert. Guest host Linda Wertheimer gets recommendations from chef Frank Stitt, author of Southern Table.
The holiday movie season offers a short break from the assault of summer blockbusters, and it's the last chance for movie studios to push some of their award season contenders. Guest host Linda Wertheimer speaks with Washington Post movie critic Ann Hornaday about the films of this holiday season.
The bipartisan supercommittee enters the final weekend prior to its Nov. 23 deadline with little tangible progress to show for over two months of work. NPR's Andrea Seabrook tells guest host Linda Wertheimer that several of its members are huddling in Washington this weekend, trying to come up with a way to reduce the government's budget deficit.
WERTHEIMER: An upset in college football, Iowa State upset number two-ranked Oklahoma State in double overtime. That's a major shuffle for the BCS. And the NBA appears to have reached a stalemate. But some say NBA owners and players may have another go at reaching an agreement.
Joining us from member station WFCR in Amherst, Massachusetts is Howard Bryant, senior writer for ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine.
Europe's economy, the world's largest, is in the midst of economic turmoil. A growing debt crisis has already forced the resignations of Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou as well as Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi. And forecasts from the European Union suggest the 17-nation Eurozone could be facing possible recession next year. Some analysts are considering the possible collapse of the Eurozone. The Institute for Policy Studies recently published an article titled "Is Europe Over?"
Italy and Greece, two European countries mired in debt, are pinning their hopes on technocrats. It got us wondering, what exactly is a technocrat? For some answers, we first turned to former technocrat Ricardo Hausmann. He's an economist by trade and currently teaches at Harvard. But for a brief moment, starting in 1992...
RICARDO HAUSMANN: I was a, yeah, I was a minister of planning in the government of Venezuela.
WERTHEIMER: Hausmann left the post the following year. Politics, he says, has never been his calling.
It's a politics-filled Saturday as Republicans hold a presidential candidate forum and the Democrats have their Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in Des Moines, Iowa. This year's dinner features Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel as the keynote speaker; four years ago the dinner launched then-Sen. Barack Obama's presidential candidacy into high gear. Guest host Linda Wertheimer talks with NPR's Don Gonyea about the events.
The congressional supercommittee has only a few days left to come up with a plan to cut $1.2 trillion from the federal deficit. One of the areas on the chopping block is the nation's defense budget, and Pentagon officials are pushing back against any cuts beyond the $450 billion they've already been asked to make.
The defense budget is an easy target when it comes to cutting the deficit, because it makes up half of the federal government's entire discretionary budget, says Todd Harrison, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.
The Sense of an Ending, winner of the 2011 Man Booker Prize, might be — paradoxically — Julian Barnes' slenderest and most emotionally forthcoming book to date. In his previous novels and short stories, emotion has been stifled, concealed or tucked behind technical devices (as in Flaubert's Parrot). In this latest book, feeling is laid bare and imbued into Barnes' longstanding intellectual preoccupations with authorship, authenticity and mortality.