Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta, far right, escorts Afghanistan's Minister of National Defense Abdul Rahim Wardak (center) and Minister of Interior Gen. Bismillah Khan Mohammadi (left) in the Pentagon.
The bulk of the U.S. military force in Afghanistan is slated to leave the country by 2014. But the Pentagon is willing to keep some Americans there to train Afghan forces, according to a report by NPR's Tom Bowman.
Here's Tom's report for NPR's Newscast:
"Afghan Defense Minister Adbul Rahim Wardak says his country is looking for an enduring long-term relationship with the United States. And part of the relationship centers on training and equipping Afghan soldiers and police."
A North Korean soldier stands guard in front of the Unha-3 (Milky Way 3) rocket on a launchpad at the West Sea Satellite Launch Site, during a guided media tour by North Korean authorities northwest of Pyongyang on April 8.
Credit Bobby Yip / Reuters/Landov
Mosaics of the two late North Korean leaders — Kim Jong Il (right) and Kim Il Sung, the country's founder — are unveiled Monday during celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of Kim Il Sung's birth, in Pyongyang, North Korea.
Credit Kim Kwang Hon / AP
North Koreans in Pyongyang rehearse for the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Kim Il Sung's birth on April 15.
As North Korea gears up to launch a long-range rocket, political changes are afoot, too: Pyongyang has consolidated its succession process, giving a new title to its new leader, Kim Jong Un, who came to power in December after his father's death.
The rocket launch, which could come as early as Thursday in North Korea, has been condemned by the international community as being in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions. So why now?
The fallout from the consumer backlash to so-called "pink slime" continues to hurt meat sales. Now, some companies are taking steps to label the product they call "lean, finely textured beef" in hopes that they can earn back consumer trust.
Tyson and Cargill, two multinational firms that sell ground beef containing the processed trimmings, say they have submitted labeling requests to the U.S. Department of Agriculture in hopes that some customers will feel better about buying ground beef containing LFTB if it's labeled.
The Federal Reserve's policymakers seem to be reluctant to consider any more efforts to inject a monetary stimulus into the U.S. economy — but that doesn't mean you should expect the central bank to raise interest rates any time soon.
This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. I'm Viviana Hurtado. Michel Martin is away. She's visiting Syracuse University and member station WRVO is Oswego, New York. Still to come, we take a look at some of the political upheaval in the Middle East. As another deadline has come and gone, the violence continues in Syria. More on that in a few minutes.
In Bahrain, demonstrators are demanding the release of imprisoned activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja. He has been on hunger strike for more than two months and his family now fears for his health. Guest host Viviana Hurtado speaks with his daughter, Zainab al-Khawaja and Middle East expert, Joshua Landis.
Dismissed Arkansas football coach Bobby Petrino at an April 3 news conference, following his release from a hospital where he was treated for injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident. That mishap led to the revealing of his affair with a younger woman, payments he made to her and that he had arranged for her to get a job at the university.
Originally published on Wed April 11, 2012 10:12 am
After hearing that football coach Bobby Petrino had not only lied about who he was with when he had a motorcycle accident on April 1, but that he was also having an affair with that young woman, had paid her $20,000 and had arranged for her to get a job with the university, Arkansas Razorbacks fans are saying they agree with the decision to fire him.
For President Obama, the Buffett Rule is the political equivalent of a Swiss army knife, a tool he clearly intends to use any number of ways as he fights to be re-elected and deny the White House to Republican Mitt Romney.
From the Democrats' perspective, the proposed rule, which would require that superwealthy taxpayers with at least $1 million in taxable income after deductions, pay taxes at a minimum 30 percent rate, has so much going for it, they can hardly stop talking about it.
The Met's exhibit examines Christian Byzantium and Islam as they first came into contact in the Middle East in the seventh to ninth centuries. This ivory carving is from what is known as the Grado Chair, a Christian artifact from the Eastern Mediterranean or Egypt in the seventh to eighth century.
Credit Reunion des Musees Nationaux/Art Resource, NY / The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Silver chalices made in Syria in the sixth or seventh century. They are known as the Attarouthi Treasure, named after the prosperous Byzantine merchant town of Attarouthi.
The yearlong tumult of the Arab Spring has reached all the way to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
A stunning and timely new show, "Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition," covers exactly the places caught up in modern day revolts, and many of the developments from more than a millennium ago are closely linked to the events of today.
Originally published on Wed April 11, 2012 9:09 am
As al-Jazeera and other news outlets report being told by activists that Syrian government forces are shelling the city of Homs and attacking and arresting opponents of President Bashar Assad in other places, former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan continues to press for a true ceasefire to take effect on Thursday.
Patrick Sullivan, the former sheriff in Arapahoe County, Colo., who's serving a 38-day sentence for trying to trade methamphetamine for sex with a man, isn't being held any longer in a jail that bears his name.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Texts from Hillary went viral last week. That spoof site imagines the Secretary of State's cool, detached texts to the famous, from Jay Z to Joe Biden. One shows Lady Gaga texting from one influential woman to another, XO. Clinton's response: Who is this? Yesterday, the site heard from the real Clinton, who texted that she was ROFL, rolling on the floor laughing, signed Hillz. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Surrounded by members of his family, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum announces he will suspend his campaign at the Gettysburg Hotel on Tuesday in Gettysburg, Pa.
Credit Jeff Swensen / Getty Images
<b>HALEY BARBOUR</b><br /><i>Announcement: April 25, 2011</i><br /><br/>The two-term Mississippi governor and former chairman of the Republican National Committee cited a lack of passion for the presidential slugfest. "A candidate for president today is embracing a 10-year commitment to an all-consuming effort, to the virtual exclusion of all else," Barbour said in a statement. "His (or her) supporters expect and deserve no less than absolute fire in the belly from their candidate. I cannot offer that with certainty, and total certainty is required."
Credit Brendan Smialowski / Getty
<b>MIKE HUCKABEE</b><br /><i>Announcement: May 14, 2011</i><br /><br/>The former Arkansas governor, ordained Southern Baptist minister, winner of the 2008 Iowa caucuses and runner-up to John McCain in the ultimate delegate count that year announced on his Fox News Channel program that he wasn't running again. "All the factors say go, but my heart says no," Huckabee said. "And that's the decision that I have made."
Credit Chip Somodevilla / Getty
<b>DONALD TRUMP</b><br /><i>Announcement: May 16, 2011</i><br /><br/>The businessman/reality TV star declared that if he ran he'd win, but that he wouldn't run. "I have spent the past several months unofficially campaigning and recognize that running for public office cannot be done half heartedly," Trump said in a statement. "Ultimately, however, business is my greatest passion and I am not ready to leave the private sector."
Credit Andrew Burton / Getty
<b>MITCH DANIELS</b><br /><i>Announcement: May 23, 2011</i><br /><br/>The second-term Indiana governor, former political director for President Ronald Reagan and former budget director for President George W. Bush broke the news to supporters via email. "If you feel that this was a non-courageous or unpatriotic decision, I understand and will not attempt to persuade you otherwise. I only hope that you will accept my sincerity in the judgment I reached." Daniels told <i>The Indianapolis Star</i> that his wife and daughters had the final say. "Simply put, I find myself caught between two duties. I love my country; I love my family more."
Credit Michael Conroy / AP
<b>TIM PAWLENTY</b><br /><i>Announcement: Aug. 14, 2011</i><br /><br/>The former two-term Minnesota governor became the first official candidate to leave the race, announcing his decision hours after a third-place finish in the Iowa straw poll. "There are a lot of other choices in the race," Pawlenty explained. "The audience, so to speak, was looking for something different."
Credit Chip Somodevilla / Getty
<b>CHRIS CHRISTIE</b><br /><i>Announcement: Oct. 4, 2011</i><br /><br/>The first-term New Jersey governor went so far as to make a late-September speech on "Real American Exceptionalism" at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Library in Simi Valley, Calif. But a week later (and despite being implored by some Republican leaders to enter the race) Christie called a news conference at the New Jersey statehouse to decline. "Now is not my time. ... I have a commitment to New Jersey that I simply will not abandon."
Credit Jeff Zelevansky / Getty
<b>SARAH PALIN</b><br /><i>Announcement: Oct. 5, 2011</i><br /><br/>The former Alaska governor and John McCain's running mate on the 2008 Republican ticket used conservative talk radio to make official what most observers already had figured out. "Not being a candidate, really you are unshackled and you're able to be even more active," Palin said on Mark Levin's radio show. "I need to be able to say what I want to say."
Credit Charlie Neibergall / AP
<b>HERMAN CAIN</b><br /><i>Announcement: Dec. 3, 2011</i><br /><br/>While denying allegations of sexual harassment and claims of an extramarital affair, the former Godfather's Pizza executive, former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Mo., and conservative radio talk show host said "continued distractions" were forcing him from the race. Cain had been the surprise winner of September's Florida straw poll and gained attention for his simplified "9-9-9" tax plan.
Credit Joe Raedle / Getty
<b>GARY JOHNSON</b><br /><i>Announcement: Dec. 28, 2011</i><br /><br/>The former two-term governor of New Mexico, who had been excluded from most of the Republican debates, announced he was leaving the GOP race to seek the Libertarian Party's nomination. At a debate where he <i>was</i> included, on Sept. 22 in Orlando, Fla., Johnson voiced one of the most memorable TV moments of the campaign season: "My, uh, next-door neighbor's two dogs have created more shovel-ready jobs than this current administration."
Credit Jim Cole / AP
<b>MICHELE BACHMANN</b><br /><i>Announcement: Jan. 4, 2012</i><br /><br/>The day after a sixth-place finish in the Iowa caucuses, the Minnesota congresswoman left the race. "Last night, the people in Iowa spoke with a very clear voice, and so I have decided to step aside," Bachmann announced. Her candidacy reached a high point in August, when she won the Iowa Republican Party's straw poll. But that victory was blunted, and much of her Tea Party support diverted, that same weekend when Texas Gov. Rick Perry joined the race.
Credit Eric Gay / AP
<b>JON HUNTSMAN</b><br /><i>Announcement: Jan. 16, 2012</i><br /><br/>Six days after calling a third-place finish in the New Hampshire primary his "ticket to ride," the former Utah governor left the race and endorsed his fellow Mormon and longtime rival. "Today I am suspending my campaign for the presidency. I believe it is now time for our party to unite around the candidate best equipped to defeat Barack Obama. Despite our differences and space between us on some of the issues, I believe that candidate is Mitt Romney."
Credit Charles Dharapak / AP
<b>RICK PERRY</b><br /><i>Announcement: Jan. 19, 2012</i><br /><br/>Under pressure from some conservatives to throw his dwindling support to Newt Gingrich in an effort to halt the Mitt Romney train, the Texas governor did just that two days before the South Carolina primary. Declaring "no viable path forward" for his own campaign, Perry said: "I know when it's time to make a strategic retreat."
Credit David Goldman / AP
<b>BUDDY ROEMER</b><br /><i>Announcement: Feb. 23, 2012</i><br /><br/>After struggling to be taken seriously by the Republican establishment or get access to the all-important televised debates, the former Louisiana governor and member of Congress — and former Democrat — left the GOP race to seek the nomination of both the Americans Elect movement and the Reform Party.
Credit Matt Rourke / AP
<b>RICK SANTORUM</b><br /><i>Announcement: April 10, 2012</i><br /><br/>With the delegate math stacked against him and his 3-year-old daughter in the hospital over Easter weekend, the former Pennsylvania senator huddled with his family at the kitchen table where his candidacy began and decided to end his White House bid. The campaign has been "miracle after miracle," he said in a speech in Gettysburg, Pa. "This race was as improbable as any race you'll ever see for president."
Credit Jeff Swensen / Getty
<b>JOHN THUNE</b><br /><i>Announcement: Feb. 22, 2011</i><br /><br/>The junior senator from South Dakota became the first major figure to remove himself from contention after openly exploring a run for the presidency. "I feel that I am best positioned to fight for America's future here in the trenches of the United States Senate," Thune said in announcing his decision.
It may be hard to remember, but more than a dozen high-profile Republicans seriously explored 2012 presidential bids or actively entered the race. With Mitt Romney now the presumptive nominee, here's a look at how the field got winnowed to two.
Originally published on Wed April 11, 2012 7:04 am
A powerful, 8.6-magnitude earthquake and an 8.2-magnitude aftershock off the west coast of Northern Sumatra today led authorities to warn that potentially devastating tsunamis might roar across the Indian Ocean.
But to the relief of millions who were immediately reminded of the devastating tsunami that rolled across that ocean in 2004, the waves generated by today's temblors were minor and the tsunami "watch" was canceled just before 9 a.m. ET.
The other welcome news: Initial reports indicated that damage from the quakes themselves may not have been extensive.
A huge earthquake shook the ocean floor off the coast of Indonesia Wednesday. Early measurements by the U.S. Geological Survey give it a strength of 8.7. Surrounding nations have issued tsunami warnings.
In Tulsa, Okla., the families of the three victims killed during a shooting rampage Friday are planning funerals. Police say William Allen, 31, Bobby Clark, 54, and Donna Fields, 49, were shot in a predominantly black neighborhood on the north side of Tulsa by two white men.
Fields was walking home after playing a game of dominoes with friends. She was called Donna, but her given name was Dannaer. Her brother Kenneth says she was named after an aunt.
A tax-the-rich proposal named after Warren Buffett has little chance of passing this year, but that hasn't stopped the debate over what impact it would have.
Some economists are skeptical that a 30 percent minimum tax on people with million-dollar incomes — known as the "Buffett rule" — would do much to reduce the deficit or boost the economy. But the Obama administration says the proposal is necessary to make the tax code more equitable.
The U.S. is facing a growing surplus in natural gas. Renee Montagne talks to Amy Myers Jaffe, of the Energy Forum at the Baker Institute at Rice University, about the glut. She expects some consolidation in the industry.
The World Bank is expected to announce its new president in the next several days. For the past six decades, the bank has been led by an American. President Obama has already nominated Dartmouth College President Jim Yong Kim for the job. But for the first time in its more than 60-year history, there is serious international competition for the job.
After years of flagging sales, the embattled consumer electronics chain finds itself leaderless. Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn abruptly resigned Tuesday after the company launched an investigation into his "personal conduct." No word from the chain on the specifics of their probe.
It was a sold out game on a pure Southern California day.
"Isn't this beautiful? Blue sky, not a cloud in the air, nice little breeze," said Maury Wills, who was the Dodgers shortstop in 1962. "It's warm Southern California."
Wills joined a bunch of his old teammates Tuesday to celebrate Dodger Stadium's 50th anniversary. It's also the 50th anniversary of the Beach Boys. So they sang the national anthem after "Surfer Girl."