Japan's Liberal Democratic Party won resoundingly in parliamentary elections Sunday that both Washington and Beijing were watching carefully. The conservative LDP's hawkish leader, Shinzo Abe, will become Japan's prime minister for the second time and has pledged to take a harder line on China.
Speaking on Japanese TV, Abe had a message for Japan's most important ally, America, and another for Japan's biggest rival — China.
A federal court in Texas on Monday will take up the case of a high-school student who refuses to wear her location-tracking school ID.
The 15-year-old sophomore says the ID badge, which has an embedded radio frequency identification tag, is a violation of her rights. The student, Andrea Hernandez, believes the ID is "the mark of the beast" from the Book of Revelation.
An old complaint about the safety of childhood vaccines is finding new life at the United Nations.
The U.N. Environment Program is considering a ban on thimerosal, a vaccine preservative that is widely used in developing countries. The program expects to make a decision sometime after a final meeting on the issue in January.
Behind a tall metal gate in a nondescript nook of Kabul sits the Bamboo Wood Industries factory. It's not a place you're likely to stumble across by accident. Inside, a handful of men are cutting, painting and assembling desks and cabinets. The pieces being made are chocolate brown and quite modern looking.
Sitting in a spartan, unheated office above the factory floor is Fatima Jafari, the owner of the company. The 30-something woman started the business a little over a year ago.
Editor's Note: In separate interviews for weekends on All Things Considered Sunday, host Guy Raz spoke with Rep. John Larson and journalist Paul Barrett. You can hear the discussions as they aired at the audio link above.
In a sermon Sunday morning on gun violence, the dean of the Washington National Cathedral said "enough is enough."
The shooting in Newtown, Conn., is likely to have an impact on many children, even those nowhere near the state. Host Guy Raz is joined by NPR's Jon Hamilton to talk about how parents, teachers and others who spend time with kids should prepare to discuss the event.
It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz. Tomorrow in Fairfield, Connecticut, 6-year-old Noah Pozner will be laid to rest. Relatives say his twin sister, Arielle, was his best friend. Noah and Arielle were in different first-grade classes. She survived the rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary.
It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.
President Obama is in Newtown, Connecticut, at this hour to offer some comfort to a nation in mourning for the victims of Friday's school shooting. Earlier in the day, Mr. Obama met privately with the families of those who were killed. And later tonight, he'll speak at an interfaith memorial service in Newtown.
NPR White House correspondent Scott Horsley is with us now. And, Scott, sadly, the president has been here before.
It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz. Yesterday on the program, we spoke with pastor and poet Eugene Peterson. He's retired now, but he was the pastor at Christ Our King Presbyterian Church - near Baltimore - for 30 years. Back in the 1990s, he began to translate the Bible into modern-day English. It became the best-selling book called "The Message." It's a book millions of Christians and non-Christians alike, have come to rely on.
Even as authorities struggle to gather real clues in Friday's horrific attack, they're warning that those promoting misinformation about the case are subject to prosecution.
"Misinformation is being posted on social media sites," Connecticut State Police Lt. J. Paul Vance said at a news conference Sunday. "These issues are crimes. They will be investigated, statewide and federally, and prosecution will take place when people perpetrating this information are identified."
Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 1:26 pm
Update at 12:43 p.m. ET, Dec. 20: After we published this post, Shannon Hicks of The Newtown Bee got in touch to clarify details from the day of the Sandy Hook shooting. The text below now reflects those clarifications. For details of the revisions, please see the bottom of the post.
Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 12:17 pm
A day after the names of children and educators killed by a gunman at a Connecticut elementary school were released by law enforcement officials, details about the victims and their lives are emerging. In the wake of Friday's depraved attack in which 20 students and 6 adults were murdered, family members and friends have made public statements about their loss. And some have chosen to mourn in private.
Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 4:26 am
Police on Sunday said 20-year-old Adam Lanza was armed with a high-powered rifle, two handguns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition when he forcibly entered a Newtown, Conn., elementary school and proceeded to gun down 20 young students and six faculty members.
The latest information on the tragedy, the worst violence at an elementary school in U.S. history, came ahead of President Obama's arrival in the town where Friday's mass shooting took place. The president met with families of the victims and planned to attend an evening vigil, where he will speak.
Originally published on Sun December 16, 2012 7:24 am
In Egypt, voters appear to have approved the controversial draft referendum on a proposed constitution in the first stage of the referendum held across half of the country yesterday.
The outcome is unofficial at this point as the government has said it will not announce official results until the referendum concludes in the rest of Egypt next Saturday. The vote is being held in two stages because a boycott by many judges who were supposed to supervise the elections. Those boycotting say they reject the constitution because it doesn't have a national consensus.
Sunday morning could see a pants revolution at church, at least if you're Mormon. A group of women in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is inviting all sisters to shed their skirts and dresses, and wear slacks or pantsuits in an attempt to change the conservative dress code.
The United States is now just over two weeks away from a plunge over the "fiscal cliff" — that is, unless Congress can agree on a deal to prevent automatic tax hikes and spending cuts in the new year. But once again, Congress seems headed for the brink.
That's been happening more and more in recent years. And it was noted sadly by a string of retiring senators as they were bidding their colleagues farewell this past week.
This evening in Newtown, Connecticut, Robbie Parker, the father of 6-year-old Emilie Parker who was killed in yesterday's shooting spoke publicly about the tragedy.
ROBBIE PARKER: It's a horrific tragedy. And we want everybody to know that our hearts and our prayers go out to them. This includes the family of the shooter. I can imagine how hard this experience must be for you, and I want you to know that our family and our love and our support goes out to you as well.
Originally published on Sun December 16, 2012 7:33 am
Many of us following the news out of Newtown, Conn., do not have a personal relationship with those murdered Friday. Some of us may not have children whom we need to guide as they see images from the scene.
Yet even without these connections, many people are looking for ways to process their grief and mourn the victims.
Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 10:50 am
In the category of unintended consequences, Susan Rice's announcement about her future could — under one scenario — mean a Republican in President Obama's inner circle, decorated Vietnam veterans overseeing the nation's military and its foreign policy, and another special election for Senate in Massachusetts.
We're going to turn to other news for a moment and a story out of Egypt. Voters in that country began to turn out for the first phase of a controversial constitutional amendment. Opponents of that Islamist-backed draft constitution have been mounting protests for weeks. Some of those clashes turned deadly. Reporter Merrit Kennedy is in Alexandria, and she sent this report.
It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz. Fred Rogers, better known as Mr. Rogers, was often asked by parents how to explain death to children. And so on his program one day, he decided to try and deal with that challenge. And here's how he started:
FRED ROGERS: When I was very young, I had a dog that I loved very much. Her name was Mitzi. And she got to be old, and she died. I was very sad when she died, because she and I were good pals. And when she died, I cried.
And as police begin to piece together a picture of the gunman, Adam Lanza, they will also be looking at possible motives. Here in the studio with me is NPR science correspondent Shankar Vedantam.
And, Shankar, you have reported in the past about building profiles of these kinds of assailants. I mean, usually, we're talking about men. We're talking about often about white men. Does what we know about Lanza fit that profile of a mass shooter?
Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 3:49 pm
Former South African President Nelson Mandela was recovering Saturday after surgery to remove gallstones, the government said. There was no indication when the 94-year-old anti-apartheid leader would be released from the hospital, though the government said he was recovering well.
Mandela was admitted to the unnamed hospital in the capital, Pretoria, a week ago. As the BBC's Karen Allen told our Newscast Unit, there's been much concern about his health and limited detail about his medical condition.
Originally published on Sat December 15, 2012 11:52 am
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who earlier this week canceled a trip to Morocco and the Middle East because she was ill with a stomach virus, is at home recovering from a concussion she suffered in a fall, her spokesman says.
According to an email that State has sent to reporters, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Philippe Reines says that: