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The Two-Way
11:18 am
Sun December 9, 2012

American Doctor Rescued From Captors In Afghanistan

Originally published on Sun December 9, 2012 4:03 pm

U.S. forces rescued Sunday an American doctor who was kidnapped in Afghanistan last week.

Dr. Dilip Joseph of Colorado Springs, Colo., was kidnapped Dec. 5 along with two other aid workers who were returning from a visit to a rural medical clinic outside Kabul. All three worked for Morning Star Development, a Colorado-based nonprofit.

NPR's Sean Carberry reported on the rescue for our Newscast Unit. Here's what he said:

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Afghanistan
3:10 am
Sun December 9, 2012

Afghan Contractors Feel Pinch Of Drawdown

Laborers work on a building in Kabul, Afghanistan. Following the drawdown of U.S. troops and NGOs, many construction companies are without projects and being forced to close offices and downsize.
Musadeq Sadeq AP

Originally published on Sun December 9, 2012 1:27 pm

The Afghan construction industry has been one of the big winners since the fall of the Taliban. NATO and the international community have pumped billions of dollars into building roads, schools and bases.

With the drawdown of troops and NGOs, however, comes a drawdown in construction spending, and that has Afghan contractors scrambling to find new business.

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Your Money
3:09 am
Sun December 9, 2012

Fiscal Cliff Leaves Accountants Hanging, Too

With major tax changes still undecided, accountants and other financial professionals must advise their clients on various possible scenarios.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun December 9, 2012 12:53 pm

The expiration of Bush-era tax cuts. A patch to the alternative minimum tax. An increase in capital gains taxes.

As the "fiscal cliff" approaches, all of these are possible, but none certain. That uncertainty solicits many questions from anxious taxpayers. But, for accountants and financial planners, there are a few definitive answers.

Financial professionals who spoke with NPR say they are not strangers to uncertainty. When the Bush tax cuts were up for expiration two years ago, for instance, the feeling was similar.

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World
3:06 am
Sun December 9, 2012

Spain's Economic Woes Take A Toll On The Media

El Pais journalists demonstrate outside the newspaper's headquarters in Madrid last month.
Dominique Faget AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 8:53 am

Three years of euro-zone recession have badly hurt Spain's media sector, where some 8,500 journalists have lost their jobs. Dozens of newspapers have closed and the remaining publications are sharply cutting back as ads plummet.

That's led to warnings from journalists, who see a threat to press freedom at a time when Spaniards want to understand why their financial stability is unraveling.

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It's All Politics
1:53 am
Sun December 9, 2012

Add This Group To Obama's Winning Coalition: 'Religiously Unaffiliated'

President Obama walks with his daughters Sasha, foreground, and Malia as they leave St. John's Episcopal Church in Washington, on Oct. 28. An analysis of exit polls shows that those who claim no specific religious affiliation were a key Obama voting bloc in the presidential race.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

The big demographic story out of the 2012 presidential election may have been President Obama's domination of the Hispanic vote, and rightfully so.

But as we close the book on the election, it bears noting that another less obvious bloc of key swing state voters helped the president win a second term.

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Europe
1:33 am
Sun December 9, 2012

Greek Hospitals Suffer In Ailing Economy

A hand-painted banner decrying drastic cuts to the health care budget is draped on the main entrance of the Regional Hospital of Serres in northern Greece.
Joanna Kakissis for NPR

Originally published on Sun December 9, 2012 12:36 pm

The economic crisis in Greece is strangling the country's hospitals, where budgets have been slashed by more than half. As a result, nearly all doctors in both public and private hospitals have seen their pay cut, delayed or even frozen.

"On top of that, we lack basic supplies to do our jobs," says Vangelis Papamichalis, a neurologist at the Regional Hospital of Serres in northern Greece and a member of the doctors union here. "We run out of surgical gloves, syringes, vials for blood samples and needles to sew stitches, among other things."

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Business
4:03 pm
Sat December 8, 2012

Not Just Patriotic, U.S. Manufacturing May Be Smart

General Electric's Appliance Park has been in Louisville, Ky., since 1951. But it's putting new power behind its U.S. production.
General Electric Co.

Originally published on Sat December 8, 2012 6:12 pm

  • As Heard On Weekends On 'All Things Considered'

The advantages to making products in the U.S. are starting to stack up — and companies are taking notice. Among them are Apple, which announced Thursday it plans to start producing some of its Mac computers here instead of in China, and General Electric, which is making big investments at home.

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Middle East
3:04 pm
Sat December 8, 2012

Egypt Remains Electrified In Protests

Originally published on Sat December 8, 2012 4:51 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

In a startling move, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi appears to have reversed a controversial presidential decree that granted him extraordinary powers and launched weeks of protest. NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson is in Cairo. She's covering that story and joins us now. And, Soraya, tell us what's going on.

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Business
3:04 pm
Sat December 8, 2012

Hoodie Company Put U.S. Manufacturing In Style

Originally published on Sat December 8, 2012 4:51 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.

We're talking about the small but significant trend called insourcing, manufacturing things here in the U.S. Earlier this year, Bayard Winthrop opened up a sweatshirt and hoodie business in San Francisco, and he called it American Giant. He's got 10 people in the front office and up to 150 workers in a factory where his entire line, soup to nuts, is made in America.

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The Two-Way
1:36 pm
Sat December 8, 2012

Why This Video Makes This Editor Think Clinton Will Run In 2016

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton watches a video about her public life that was played before she addressed the Saban Forum in Washington last week.
Mary Calvert Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 4:45 am

There's an event held every year in Washington known as the Saban Forum — named for Haim Saban, the Israeli-American media mogul who funds it. It's a night of elbow-rubbing between D.C. and Middle East political leadership, though foreign dignitaries are mostly Israeli.

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Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
12:49 pm
Sat December 8, 2012

Next Post-Sandy Challenge: The Sea Of Damaged Cars

Abandoned and flooded cars sit in the Rockaway neighborhood of Queens, N.Y., on Nov. 2. It's estimated that it could cost auto insurers $800 million to deal with all the claims from the storm.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Sat December 8, 2012 7:40 pm

Hurricane Sandy wrecked hundreds of thousands of cars all along the New York and New Jersey shorelines, and could cost auto insurers around $800 million. That's not their only problem; disposing of these water-damaged vehicles is not so simple.

If you have comprehensive coverage on a damaged car, the insurance company gives you a check and the car disappears from your life. But then what?

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U.S.
10:35 am
Sat December 8, 2012

Sign Of The Times: Labor Strikes May Make Comeback

An empty container ship waited near the Port of Los Angeles during the eight-day strike by members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. The stoppage put a halt to most of the work at the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 1:04 pm

When clerical workers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach reached an impasse in talks with management over job security last week, they took what has become something of a rare step: They went on strike.

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The Two-Way
9:20 am
Sat December 8, 2012

Egypt's Morsi Reportedly Poised To Allow Military To Arrest Civilians

Protesters gather in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, on Tuesday. Tens of thousands of Egyptians also gathered outside the presidential palace in Cairo in demonstrations that turned violent as tensions grew over President Mohammed Morsi's seizure of nearly unrestricted powers.
Maya Alleruzzo AP

Originally published on Sat December 8, 2012 1:47 pm

Some outraged protesters remain around the Egyptian presidential palace in Cairo today, as opponents of President Mohammed Morsi defy his recent ruling granting himself executive powers that can't be questioned by a court.

Now there's word he may have signed a new order allowing soldiers to detain and arrest civilians, a right that's reserved for police officers.

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Africa
5:38 am
Sat December 8, 2012

Tensions Continue Over Egypt's Constitution Fight

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

Tens of thousands of people were again protesting at the gates of the Presidential Palace in Cairo overnight. And yesterday, protesters broke through the barbed-wire barricades to climb on tanks that were stationed to keep them at bay.

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Strange News
5:38 am
Sat December 8, 2012

'Hey Bird, What Are You Doing With That Butt?'

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Simon Says
4:54 am
Sat December 8, 2012

Good Intentions, Complicated Results

The photo that touched many hearts: New York City Police Officer Lawrence DePrimo gives a shoeless man a pair of boots on a frigid night last month.
Jennifer Foster NYPD via Facebook

Originally published on Sat December 8, 2012 1:57 pm

When news organizations, including ours, told of New York Police Officer Lawrence DePrimo buying boots for a barefoot man on the streets of Times Square one cold night last month, it seemed an irresistible holiday story: A kindly cop in a hard city helps a bedraggled man walking with blistered feet over some of the richest streets in the world.

The nameless, shoeless man became the best-known street person in America — just long enough to be recognized walking along the Upper West Side, where a New York Times reporter found him.

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The Salt
4:54 am
Sat December 8, 2012

At Hanukkah, Pastry Reminds Portland Jews Of Their Mediterranean Roots

Called a boyo or bulema, this Turkish-style pastry was traditionally made for the Jewish Shabbat. Today, boyos are mostly reserved for holidays like Hanukkah.
Deena Prichep for NPR

Originally published on Sat December 8, 2012 5:29 pm

In some Jewish homes this Hanukkah, families will celebrate with an alternative to the traditional potato latke: the boyo. These Turkish-style stuffed pastries — also known as bulemas, depending on their shape and the village their maker comes from — are made by Jews whose ancestors lived in the Ottoman Empire.

Traditionally, boyos were made for Shabbat (the Sabbath) and the Jewish holidays. But these busy days, they're reserved mostly for the holidays.

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NPR Story
4:41 am
Sat December 8, 2012

Unemployment Rate Drops, But Picture Not All Rosy

Originally published on Sat December 8, 2012 5:37 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Turns out that Superstorm Sandy didn't do as much damage as many expected, to the nation's unemployment predicament. At least, that's what the government's monthly data on the jobs market told us yesterday. As NPR's John Ydstie reports, analysts and businesses are already looking past that report, to the dangers to jobs posed by the fiscal cliff.

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NPR Story
4:41 am
Sat December 8, 2012

Young Gazans Brave Fear To Welcome Hamas Leader

Exiled Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal (left) and Gaza's Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh wave during a news conference upon Meshaal's arrival at Rafah crossing in the southern Gaza Strip on Friday.
Suhaib Salem AP

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 7:14 am

Tens of thousands of people turned out for a mass rally in the Gaza Strip on Friday to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Hamas, which governs Gaza. The guest of honor was the leader of Hamas, Khaled Meshaal.

This is Meshaal's first-ever trip to Gaza, and it's been seen as a political milestone in Hamas' attempt to gain wider acceptance in the region.

Gaza is a small, very crowded strip of land that is full of young people. Roughly 1.7 million people live here, and about half are under the age of 18.

Young People, Politically Minded

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NPR Story
4:41 am
Sat December 8, 2012

Detroit Driving Toward Its Own Debt Cliff

Originally published on Sat December 8, 2012 5:38 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, BYLINE: The city of Detroit is approaching its own fiscal precipice. The city is deeply in debt and could run out of cash by the end of this month. That would mean more layoffs from a city workforce that's already been cut so much that a reported two-thirds of the city's streetlights do not work. The amount of empty, abandoned land in the city, which produces no tax revenue, is estimated to be as large as the entire city of Paris.

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Africa
3:29 am
Sat December 8, 2012

Voters Decide How To Share Ghana's Boom

Ghana's President John Dramani Mahama arrives at a polling station to cast his vote.
Pius Utomi Ekpei AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat December 8, 2012 7:39 pm

Voting for a new president and parliament in Ghana has been extended into a second day in some areas due to glitches with the new biometric voter verification system.

Ghana, which began pumping crude oil in 2010 and is also a major cocoa and gold exporter, has gained an enviable reputation in its often-turbulent West African neighborhood. It's admired for being a relative oasis of stability and peace in the region — despite tensions in the build-up to the vote.

A Peaceful Democracy

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Europe
3:28 am
Sat December 8, 2012

Getting The Royal Treatment En Route To Versailles

The Belvedere on Marie Antoinette's estate.

Courtesy of Christian Recoura

Originally published on Sat December 8, 2012 12:39 pm

The opulence of the court of Louis XIV ... on a commuter train from Paris?

That's the surprise awaiting some lucky visitors to the Palace of Versailles. The cars of about 30 trains traveling between Paris and the palace have been completely decked out to reflect the sprawling and stately residence of former French kings, providing a sneak preview of sorts.

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It's All Politics
3:27 am
Sat December 8, 2012

Once Boxed-In, Boehner May Finally Be Master Of The House

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 10:42 am

Not long ago, it seemed to many observers that the House of Representatives was a case of the tail wagging the dog, with Speaker John Boehner unable to keep in line many of his fellow Republicans, especially freshmen who came to Congress riding the 2010 Tea Party wave.

Now, however, the big dog seems back in control.

Some of the signs are subtle, some not. But as he faces off with President Obama during fiscal cliff negotiations, Boehner enjoys a stronger position with House Republicans than he had during earlier showdowns with the White House.

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Music Interviews
12:03 am
Sat December 8, 2012

Tracey Thorn Finds Joy And Angst In Christmas Songs

Tracey Thorn's new holiday-themed album is called Tinsel and Lights.
Molly Bloom StateImpact Ohio

Originally published on Sat December 8, 2012 5:38 am

A season for being with friends and family can be hard on those who are lonely; a season of giving can be hard on those who go without. All the tinsel and lights can also make people blink, shudder and wonder about which of life's gifts they'll never find under the tree — or which they'll unwrap and find fleeting and fragile.

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Shots - Health News
4:07 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Doctors And Women's Groups Urge Feds To Relax Plan B Restrictions

With the presidential election decided, doctors and some advocates are calling for the administration to relax restrictions on the sale of Plan B to teens.
AP

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 1:06 pm

Dozens of medical, women's health and reproductive health groups marked the first anniversary of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius' decision to maintain age restrictions on the sale of the morning-after birth control pill without a prescription by urging her to reconsider that decision.

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Law
3:53 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Supreme Court Takes Up Same-Sex-Marriage Cases

Edith Windsor, 83, is asking the Supreme Court to strike down the federal Defense of Marriage Act. When Windsor's female spouse died, the federal government, acting under DOMA, required Windsor to pay estate taxes that she would not have owed if her spouse had been a man.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 9:50 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court announced Friday that for the first time it will tackle the issue of same-sex marriage. Defying most expectations, the justices said they will examine two cases, presenting the possibility that the court could decide all the basic issues surrounding same-sex marriage in one fell swoop.

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Europe
3:49 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Nurse Who Took Prank Call At U.K. Hospital Is Dead

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 9:50 pm

A nurse at a London hospital who took a hoax call about Catherine the Duchess of Cambridge was found dead on Friday. Jacintha Saldhana let through a call from an Australian radio station purporting to be the Queen calling about the ailing Duchess.

Around the Nation
3:46 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

More Teachers 'Flipping' The School Day Upside Down

High school sophomore Jessica Miller watches her chemistry teacher's lectures on an iPad. Class time is used for working through problems and quizzes, rather than lecturing.
Grace Hood KUNC

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 7:12 am

Welcome to the 21st century classroom: a world where students watch lectures at home — and do homework at school. It's called classroom flipping, and it's slowly catching on in schools around the country.

When Jessica Miller, a high school sophomore in rural Bennett, Colo., sits down to do her chemistry homework, she pulls out her notebook. Then she turns on an iPad to watch a video podcast. Whenever the instructor changes the slide, Miller pauses the video and writes down everything on the screen.

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The Two-Way
3:44 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Damascus Airport Becomes A Target In Syria's War

Syrian rebels say they now consider the Damascus International Airport to be part of the battle zone in their fight against Syria's government. Here, a U.N. vehicle is unloaded at the airport on May 12.
Louai Beshara AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 6:00 pm

Syrian rebels declared the Damascus International Airport a "military zone" on Friday as part of their push to seize important symbolic and strategic locations held by President Bashar Assad's government.

Rebels say the airport is a camp for Syrian government soldiers and is the main transit point for weaponry believed to be supplied by Russia and Iran.

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U.S.
3:20 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

School District Owes $1 Billion On $100 Million Loan

Students leave Miramonte Elementary, in the Clovis Unified School District in Los Angeles. School districts across California have taken out loans requiring payments that far exceed the original loan amounts.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 2:10 pm

More than 200 school districts across California are taking a second look at the high price of the debt they've taken on using risky financial arrangements. Collectively, the districts have borrowed billions in loans that defer payments for years — leaving many districts owing far more than they borrowed.

In 2010, officials at the West Contra Costa School District, just east of San Francisco, were in a bind. The district needed $2.5 million to help secure a federally subsidized $25 million loan to build a badly needed elementary school.

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