Republicans have repeatedly criticized President Obama for what they contend is a weak foreign policy. Their criticism now extends to how the president talks about his signature foreign policy success.
Here's NPR national political correspondent, Mara Liasson.
MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: President Obama's visit to Afghanistan and his address to the nation were reminders of the responsibilities of the commander-in-chief and the attention he can muster at a moment's notice.
Islamist protesters, unhappy their candidate was among several people disqualified from the election, held a demonstration outside the Defense Ministry. Five people were killed and more than 100 people were wounded in fighting that involved sticks, stones, batons and bullets.
Richard McGregor, Washington bureau chief for the Financial Times, talks to Steve Inskeep about how Chen Guangcheng may impact Thursday's talks between the U.S. and China. The blind activist left the U.S. Embassy in Beijing Wednesday, and U.S. officials escorted him to a hospital.
The Lebanese classical musician and composer Marcel Khalife is often compared to Bob Dylan — not for his music, but for his politics. The Middle Eastern musical and political icon sings about freedom and nationalism.
Khalife is famous for translating poetry into music. For years, he collaborated with the nationalist Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish.
"It began when I graduated from the music conservatory in Beirut. The civil war started in Lebanon — I wanted to change the world with music," says Khalife.
It's perhaps the most reproduced piece of art ever created. It has adorned key chains and coffee mugs, and the cover of Time magazine. Andy Warhol used it, and now one of the four versions of The Scream, Edvard Munch's iconic work — the only one outside Norway — is coming up for auction at Sotheby's in New York. Sale estimates are as high as $80 million.
Conservative critic Jonah Goldberg says he's inspired to write when he gets annoyed. "Aggravation is a muse," he says. And after speaking on a number of college campuses, he grew aggravated enough to write a book. It's called The Tyranny of Cliches: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas.
In the second part of his interview, Steve Inskeep talks to author Robert Caro about the process he goes through in writing his biographies of Lyndon Baines Johnson. The Passage of Power is the fourth volume of Caro's massive biography of Johnson.
The president's counterterrorism chief, John Brennan, made another statement yesterday. He argued that drone strikes to kill militants are legal.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
Brennan's remarks were unusual. It's rare that the administration mentions drones at all. Yesterday, Brennan chose to say that the missile strikes by unmanned aircraft which take place in countries like Yemen and Pakistan fit within international law.
The average caregiver is 49 years old. Cheryl Matheis, senior vice president for policy at AARP, tells Steve Inskeep when a worker has to leave their job to care for a relative, they lose on average $325,000 in lifetime income — from lost wages, Social Security and pensions.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
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And I'm David Greene. Over the course of more than 60 years in the media business, Rupert Murdoch has earned a reputation as a blunt-spoken businessman who comes out swinging. Well today, British parliamentarians didn't pull their punches against him. They released the findings of an investigative panel that spent months looking into the illegal phone-hacking practices at Murdoch's News of the World, the now-closed British tabloid.
The nation's second-largest bank is planning to layoff about 2,000 people at its investment banking, commercial banking and wealth management units, according to The Wall Street Journal. The cuts are notable because they include high earning employees in operations that account for most of Bank of America's profits since the financial crisis.
Wal-Mart remains under a cloud after The New York Times reported the retailers expansion in Mexico involved systematic bribes. To get a sense of how that might play out, Steve Inskeep talks to Peter Solmssen, a managing board member and general counsel for Siemens. The German engineering and electronics conglomerate was involved in its own bribery scandal.
South Sudan is the country that voted to break away from Sudan. They've been jostling for control of border zones, including oil fields. And just as the two sides were sitting down to negotiate, fighting broke out.
In a new report, the employment firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas predicts more jobs for teenagers this summer. While the jobs picture is improving, CEO John Challenger says teen hiring is still several years away from returning to pre-recession levels.
Two stories out of China — the escape of a blind dissident from house arrest and the corruption scandal involving a top politician and his family — have attracted international attention. But inside China, the picture is different. The government has successfully suppressed the story about the dissident, Chen Guangcheng, such that most Chinese have never even heard of him. The Communist Party has waged a smear campaign against the fallen official, Bo Xilai, whom citizens see as a loser in a power struggle, a corrupt politician or both.
Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire is the latest politician to appear on the campaign trail with presumed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. That's fueled speculation that Ayotte is being considered as a running mate.
Microsoft is committing $300 million to the venture with Barnes & Noble. They are working to create a new subsidiary of the bookseller. The two companies are hoping to energize sales of the Nook tablet.
Peggy McAlpine wasn't happy when she lost her world record. The Scottish woman was 100 when she became the oldest person to paraglide. That title was recently taken away by an American woman. So at age 104, McAlpine took the the skies again and regained the record.
China is clamping down on social media as it grapples with a crisis over the escape of a high-profile dissident, apparently to U.S. protection. The case presents new difficulties for a Chinese leadership already struggling to deal with the scandalous downfall of a powerful politician, and it complicates U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit to Beijing this week.
Yet China's use of social media in dealing with these two recent crises has been a study in contrasts.
Originally published on Mon April 30, 2012 5:03 am
Saudi Arabia is considering Egypt's request to restore diplomatic ties after the kingdom recalled its ambassador over the weekend. Relations between the two Arab countries are at their lowest point in three decades.
The International Labor Organization issued a report Monday warning that austerity measures imposed in many countries are hurting the job market, as well as failing to effectively reduce deficits. The major European economies received the brunt of the report's criticism. The report predicts a 3 percent rise in the global unemployment rate for 2012.
Originally published on Mon April 30, 2012 4:26 am
Tuesday marks one year from the day President Obama announced to the nation that Osama bin Laden had been killed. To underline the significance of the anniversary, the administration sent its counter-terrorism expert out on the airwaves Sunday. It also launched a controversial campaign ad about the raid against the al-Qaida leader.
And let's turn now to Africa and a story we'll be following this week. Sudan has declared a state of emergency along its border with South Sudan, the new country there, further raising fears that these two nations are heading toward all-out war. Earlier this month, South Sudan invaded and briefly occupied Sudan's main oil field. This followed aerial bombardments of South Sudan's border regions by the Sudanese air force.