Sean Carberry in his first report on the defections
(Sean Carberry is a producer on NPR's foreign desk. From Kabul, he sent us this glimpse into the challenge of reporting on events in places such as Afghanistan.)
A story broke Tuesday that an Afghan police commander had defected to the Taliban along with a number of officers under his command. Early statements from the governor's office in Farah province said that "Mirwais," the commander of a police checkpoint, had poisoned seven of his men who refused to go along with the defection, and then he and 13 others disappeared with weapons and police vehicles.
Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 11:06 am
Food, as we so often note on this blog, means a lot of different things to different people. To Olympic athletes, food is fuel for exceptional athletic performance. But there's a surprising amount of variety in just how much fuel elite athletes need.
Anyone who followed Michael Phelps' astonishing performance in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games surely will remember one of the secrets of his success: Consuming as many as 12,000 calories in a day.
An ambulance and police cars outside the Century 16 movie theater complex in Aurora, Colo, during the early hours of July 20, 2012. A gunman attacked an audience there — killing 12 people and wounding 58.
Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 12:43 pm
Taxes may be certain, but growth and job creation aren't.
As the U.S. edges closer to a year-end "fiscal cliff," Democrats and Republicans haven't budged in their fight over expiring tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans — and how best to help the middle class and get the country back to work.
An injured pedestrian cries out to end the destruction of local properties after violence erupted between police officers and protesters during demonstrations to show outrage for the fatal shooting of Manuel Angel Diaz.
Travelers crowd around a ticketing counter at John F. Kennedy International Airport in April 2010 in New York.
Credit PLoS ONE
U.S. airports ranked by their influence as spreaders of disease in the early stages of an epidemic. JFK comes out on top in a category that nobody wants to win. The circles show the extent of disease spread at 10 days.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we will remember Sherman Hemsley, the actor who played the brash, abrasive, yet hilarious George Jefferson. That's later in the program.
The President of Ghana unexpectedly died Tuesday, and Ghana's former Vice-President John Dramani Mahama has been sworn in as the country's new leader. The peaceful transition is in contrast to past coups and political problems. Host Michel Martin recently spoke to Dramani Mahama about the Ghana's turmoil, which he details in his new autobiography My First Coup D'Etat.
Greek track star Voula Papachristou has been suspended from her country's Olympic team, after she made a comment about Africans who live in Greece. The comment was widely noticed on her Twitter feed, and resulted in her removal from the London 2012 roster.
On Twitter, Papachristou also reportedly expressed support for the right-wing Greek political party Golden Dawn, particularly its views on immigration.
The Hellenic Olympic Committee said that Papachristou "is suspended after her comments that go against the values and ideals of Olympism."
"Senate leaders have reversed course and decided to stage showdown votes later today on rival Democratic and Republican plans for extending broad tax cuts next year that will otherwise expire in January," The Associated Press writes.
So, Democrats will get the chance to cast "yea" votes on their plan to extend the so-called Bush tax cuts only for those earning less than $250,000 a year. Republicans will get the chance to cast "yea" votes on their plan to extend the tax cuts for everyone.
Just as every Olympic athlete trains their heart out, every Olympic expert seems to wear themselves out describing what an unmitigated sham is being perpetrated on the host city. Many of those criticisms are valid, of course — especially concerns about overbuilding facilities.
Iranian judo champion Javad Mahjoub will miss the London 2012 Olympics because he needs a 10-day course of antibiotics, according to reports. But few Olympic observers are worried about the health of Mahjoub, 21. Many of them see the withdrawal as a ploy to keep from competing against an Israeli.
From London, Tom Goldman filed this report for NPR's Newscast:
In this photo released by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) and distributed in Tokyo by the Korea News Service on Monday, July 9, 2012, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, right, and a woman clap with others on Friday as they watch a performance by North Korea's new Moranbong band in Pyongyang. Now it appears they have gotten married.
The statistics on HIV and AIDS in South Africa are daunting.
In a country of 50 million people, more than 5.5 million people are living with HIV and almost 2 million people are on HIV drug treatment. Each year, roughly 300,000 more South Africans are infected with HIV, and half a million come down with tuberculosis.
Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. Matthew Feldman won't be competing in the Olympics, but he'll be trying to break a record this Friday in joggling. That's what it sounds like: juggling while jogging. He's trying to run one mile, continuously juggling five objects. He broke the Guinness world record in practice, and if he doesn't drop the ball Friday, he can make it official. But there are no gold medals for joggling so far. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
In these illustrations NASA produced from satellite data, the melt in Greenland on July 8 (at left) and July 12 are shown. According to NASA, "the areas classified as 'probable melt' (light pink) correspond to those sites where at least one satellite detected surface melting. The areas classified as 'melt' (dark pink) correspond to sites where two or three satellites detected surface melting."
George Jefferson was an upwardly mobile black businessman with a longsuffering wife, equal parts pride and frustration when it came to his family and neighbors. Actor Sherman Hemsley brought that vivid character to life on television in the 1970s and '80s. He was 74 when he died yesterday at his home in El Paso, Texas. NPR's Mandalit del Barco has this remembrance of the actor behind the headstrong, high-strung center of "The Jeffersons."
M1 Abrams tanks sit on the assembly line at a plant in Lima, Ohio, the only place where the tanks are manufactured. Plant and local officials fear the plant won't survive if the military temporarily halts new tank orders.
Credit Brian Bull / WCPN
The rusted hull of an old M1A1 tank waits to be restored at the General Dynamics Land Systems plant in Lima, Ohio.
M1 Abrams battle tanks are the rock stars of military armor. They're made in only one place: Lima, Ohio. The Army says it's done ordering them, but Congress appears intent on spending millions for more, arguing that cutting production is bad for the economy and national security.
NATO officials were hoping that insurgent activity in Afghanistan would taper off during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, but so far, insurgents appear to be pressing ahead with their summer offensive.
More than a dozen NATO troops and contractors have been killed since the beginning of Ramadan last Friday. In general, insurgents have been busier this summer than last, and more often than not, civilians are paying the price.
This fall, the U.S. Navy will contract three Cold War-era aircraft carriers — the USS Forrestal, the USS Saratoga and the USS Constellation — for scrapping. Often called "supercarriers" owing to their massive size, the ships contain nearly 60,000 tons of steel and other metal each.
All three carriers are likely to be sent to the landlocked city of Brownsville, Texas, to be ripped apart.
A Free Syrian Army solider mans a checkpoint in the northern town of Ariha, on the outskirts of Idlib, Syria, last month. In rural areas held by rebels, new institutions are cropping up to fill the void left by the receding Syrian state.
Tucked in the olive groves and rocky hills of northern Syria, the small village of Qurqanya doesn't seem like much.
Scratch the surface, though, and you realize that this is a hub for the revolution in northern Syria, where a kind of shadow state is forming.
As the Syrian state recedes, the people in this village and villages around it are filling in the blanks with their own institutions and, for better or for worse, their own ideas about how a country should be run.
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, influential conservative and pugilistic dissenter, is challenging everything from a recent leak about Supreme Court deliberations, to conventional wisdom about the court and its history.
In a new book co-authored with Bryan Garner, Scalia spells out his judicial philosophy, and on Tuesday, the always voluble, charming and combative justice sat for a wide-ranging interview — about the book, his relationships on the court, and the recent leak alleging anger among the justices over the recent health care decision.