There is one group in the military with a unique role in helping soldiers and their families through difficult times. So, on this Easter Sunday, an Army chaplain describes his work helping soldiers who have just returned from war.
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RICK EBB: My name is Chaplain Rick Ebb. I'm the post chaplain here at Camp Atterbury. I am one of the first people they see, and I think that's very important that the representative of faith is there. And we say a prayer, a quick prayer, for God's safety bringing them back.
In spring, chickens start laying again, bringing a welcome source of protein at winter's end. So it's no surprise that cultures around the world celebrate spring by honoring the egg.
Some traditions are simple, like the red eggs that get baked into Greek Easter breads. Others elevate the egg into an elaborate art, like the heavily jewel-encrusted Faberge eggs that were favored by the Russian czars starting in the 19th century.
India's once-a-decade census has turned up some striking numbers: The population grew this past decade by 181 million — that's the total population of Brazil. India now has more than 1.2 billion people and is on track to overtake China as the world's most populous nation in 2030.
India's rapid economic growth — and its long-standing poverty — are also reflected in the census. More than half of all Indian households now have cellphones, but fewer than half have toilets.
A Chaplain Guides: How Chaplain Rick Ebb Helps Soldiers Transition
Back from a yearlong deployment to Afghanistan, the 182nd Infantry Regiment of the Army National Guard had to make a pit stop before heading home. At Camp Atterbury in Indiana, the service members were far from their families, most of which are in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
The returning soldiers had to go through a series of checkups and assessments before their welcome-home ceremony, which marks the moment they return to civilian life and the people they left behind.
Before they got there, there was anxiety on both sides — for soldiers and their families.
Following a vote this week in the state Senate, it's all but certain that Connecticut will become the next state to abolish the death penalty. But residents are divided over what a repeal will mean for those currently on death row.
State Sen. Edward Meyer stressed that the bill — which makes life in prison without parole the maximum sentence — was not retroactive.
"It doesn't affect the 11 inmates that are on death row right now," he said.
With Love is singer Rosie Thomas' first full-length album in four years, and she's experienced many ups and downs in that time. One of the downs was an injury: Her thyroid broke, causing her to take a hiatus from music.
It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Laura Sullivan.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Businesses created another 121,000 jobs last month in the unemployment rate ticked down. Our economy has now created more than four million private sector jobs over the past two years.
MITT ROMNEY: A record number of Americans are now living in poverty. And the most vulnerable are the ones that have been hurt the most. Thirty percent of single moms are now living in poverty.
Weekends on All Things Considered guest host Laura Sullivan speaks with NPR reporter Joseph Shapiro about the sentence of Shirley Ree Smith's "shaken baby" case. California Gov. Jerry Brown has commuted Smith's sentence. Despite her claims of innocence, Smith was convicted in December 1997, and has been free since 2006 awaiting the results of her appeals.
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari is scheduled to make a one-day visit to India on Sunday, April 8. It's the first visit by a Pakistani president since 2005. However Zardari's trip is being described as a personal visit in an attempt to keep expectations low and to allow both sides room to avoid confronting difficult issues, such as Indian demands that Pakistan do more to fight terrorism. Elliot Hannon reports from New Delhi.
If it's not already marked on your calendar, here's your warning: Today is International Pillow Fight Day. Cities around the world are taking the holiday seriously — as serious as a pillow fight can be, anyway.
An iPhone and iPad were worth more to a Chinese teenager than his kidney, according to a report Friday from China's Xinhua news agency. Now five people in southern China face charges of illegal organ trading.
I think that one of the great works of humankind runs below an airport runway in Sarajevo.
Sixty-six feet of a 3,000-foot-long tunnel built during the Siege of Sarajevo have been restored. Twenty years ago this weekend, the city was surrounded by Serb armies, who rained down mortar, rockets and sniper fire.
Just when it seemed to be gaining steam, the U.S. job market pretty much stalled in March. Employers added a net 120,000 jobs during the month, defying the higher expectations of a lot of economists. And though the unemployment rate fell, it did so for the wrong reasons.
Over the past few months, the economy has been adding jobs at a good, if not spectacular, pace, and all the signs suggested that trend had continued through March. As it happened, jobs increased at a rate that barely keeps up with population growth.
A weaker than expected jobs report is a setback for President Obama as the election nears. The president says that while private employers have added some four million jobs over the last two years, economic security remains elusive. The president spoke yesterday at a White House conference on women in the economy, and as NPR's Scott Horsley reports, voters who are women may be the key to the president's political future.
The race for the Republican presidential nomination has hit a lull. The next group of primaries isn't for more than two weeks, so it might be a good time to look around at another campaign for control of the U.S. House of Representatives. After all, they control the federal budget. Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute devotes his attention to Congress year round, and he joins us from their studios. Thanks very much for being with us, Norm.
So, what's the situation facing the United Nations team on the ground in Syria this weekend? For more on the kinds of challenges that Norwegian Major General Robert Mood and his staff will face, we're joined by Peter Harling. Mr. Harling is Middle East project director with the International Crisis Group. He's in and out of Syria frequently, and he joins us by Skype from Cairo. Mr. Harling, thanks for being with us.
Tomorrow, Christians all over the world will observe Easter Sunday with joy. But what is joy? Not just happiness, laughs, or satisfaction, but joy? We turn to Father James Martin. He's a Jesuit priest, a contributing editor to America Magazine, and the author of "Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor and Laughter Are at the Heart of Spiritual Life." He joins us from our studios in New York.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Time for your letters.
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SIMON: A particular phrase we used in last week's coverage of the Trayvon Martin shooting prompted many listener comments. In our profile of Angela Corey, the Florida state attorney directing Florida's investigation into the circumstances surrounding Martin's death, we described George Zimmerman the neighborhood watch volunteer who shot Trayvon Martin in February as a white Latino.
This is Weekend Edition from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.
The bounty scandal of the National Football League got even worse this week. A documentary filmmaker released audio of New Orleans Saint's former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams giving a locker room speech to his players before a game against the San Francisco 49ers and commanding them to inflict specific disabling injuries on their opponents, including running back Frank Gore.
With the possibility that women voters might prove decisive in November's presidential election, each major party is obviously looking for opportunities to argue why its policies are better for women and the opposition's worse. The latest came Friday with the release of the March jobless figures.
The report was a surprise on the downside because the economy added far fewer jobs for the month — 121,000 — than economists had forecast even as the jobless rate declined a tenth of a percentage point to 8.2 percent.
Bill Gates is of course better known as the co-founder of Microsoft. But his foundation, The Bill And Melinda Gates Foundation, which contributes to NPR, is known for pouring millions into education reform.