NPR News

Adm. Mike Mullen retired last week after spending four years as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff trying to improve relations between the U.S. and Pakistan.

In his parting remarks, he had some advice for his successor, Gen. Martin Dempsey.

A protest in New York dubbed "Occupy Wall Street" appears to be settling in for the long term. Twice a day, protesters leave the tents, makeshift kitchen and free bookstore set up in Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan and begin a slow march down the sidewalk.

Syrian Army Faces Its Own Among Protesters

Oct 2, 2011

The Syrian government is continuing its brutal crackdown against protesters. For much of the past week, there have also been clashes between security forces and armed militants in the central town of Rastan and elsewhere. Most of those resisting the government with arms are thought to be defectors from the Syrian army. Host Audie Cornish talks with NPR's Deb Amos from Beirut, where she has been monitoring the Syrian crisis.

This past week, Bank of America announced plans to charge most of its debit card users $5 a month if they use the card to make purchases. The decision is meant to offset anticipated revenue losses from regulatory changes that took effect on Friday. Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois introduced those changes to last year's Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation. Durbin joins host Audie Cornish to explain why he thinks the legislation is important.

Texas governor Rick Perry spent the last two days in New Hampshire, his first visit since the Republican debate in which he defended a Texas law that allows illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition at state colleges. As Jon Greenberg reports, Perry faced headwinds among Republican primary voters.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, Host:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish. The Supreme Court returns to the bench this week after its summer recess. The new term begins tomorrow with some 50 cases on the docket. Several of them deal with hot-button political issues. Joining us for a primer on what to expect is NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg. Nina, welcome.

NINA TOTENBERG: Delighted to be here.

Dead Sea Scrolls Come Alive On Google

Oct 2, 2011

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, Host:

For 2,000 years, the Dead Sea scrolls were seen by no one. Today, they can be viewed by anyone with access to the Internet. Google and the Israel Museum in Jerusalem teamed up to put high-quality images of the scrolls online. Images of the relics - the oldest known copies of biblical text - went live on the Web last week. Jon Stokes writes about technology for Wired.com. He is also a scholar of biblical history. And he joins us from KALW in San Francisco. Jon Stokes, welcome to the program.

Town Rallies For School Team After Theft

Oct 2, 2011

A Detroit high school boy's football team had its equipment stolen and its season jeopardized. But through the goodwill of the community and an NFL player, the season will go on. Host Audie Cornish has more.

One of the spinoffs of the go-green movement has been do-it-yourself beekeeping, and it's beginning to swarm. Weekend Edition food commentator Bonny Wolf has the buzz.

Al-Qaida's Americans Were Link To The West

Oct 2, 2011

Friday's drone strike in Yemen eliminated two Americans who have played a key role in the development of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula. Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan were, above all else, the group's bridge to the West. The group is largely made up of Yemenis and Saudis who have hardly stepped foot out of the Middle East. That made Awlaki and Khan unique. Host Audie Cornish talks with NPR's Dina Temple-Raston.

In a surprising about-face, Afghan President Hamid Karzai appears to be abandoning his government's long-standing effort to hold peace talks with the Taliban in Pakistan, saying they aren't serious about negotiations. NPR's Quil Lawrence reports.

As the field of Republican presidential candidates jostle against each other in straw polls and debates, there are rumors that the field is not done growing. This past week, the Republican governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, was in the spotlight. Headlines were written about his potential to run for the highest office in the land, but in the end, he left things more than ambiguous.

NPR's media correspondent, David Folkenflik, has this advice for journalists: Don't ask political figures if they're running for president.

'The Gift Of Detroit': Tilling Urban Terrain

Oct 2, 2011

Detroit is a surprisingly green landscape during the spring and summer months. The site of many houses that are crumbling, boarded up or missing altogether is tempered by community gardens and even some urban farms.

There are some serious urban gardeners in this country, but few can match the agricultural output of Paul Weertz.

"I farm about 10 acres in the city, and alfalfa's my thing. I bale about a thousand bales a year," he says.

Welcome to Fiscal Year 2012...such as it is.

On each Sept. 30, the nation wraps up its old budget, and on Oct. 1, it starts a fresh spending cycle. Or at least, that's what is supposed to happen.

But once again, Oct. 1 has come and gone, and the country still has no formal budget in place. Instead, Congress last week approved a stopgap funding bill to keep the government operating temporarily, just as it has done time and again since the 1970s.

This year, the annual budget fight has become especially muddled. That's because Congress and the White House are actually engaged in three different, but related, budget debates that are going on simultaneously.

Ultimately, the three battles involve just one question: How much money should government take in and spend? But the separate tracks involve different time horizons, and each problem has to be resolved in a different way.

Here is a fresh look at the three ongoing budget battles:

1. The Fiscal 2012 Budget

Background:

Voters in West Virginia will choose the state's next governor on Tuesday, in a special election to finish the term of Democrat Joe Manchin. The popular former governor left office after being elected to the U.S. Senate last November.

On the ballot are the man who has been acting governor, Democratic state Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin, and GOP businessman Bill Maloney.

But Republicans are trying to make the race a referendum on someone not on the ballot: President Obama.

'We Got To Fight Back Washington'

After many awful seasons this year's Detroit Lions are — can you believe it — undefeated. To add to the glory, each of the Detroit car makers is showing signs of health with increased quality and profitability. It's long-awaited good news for a city that's been through bad times.

There's no denying that Detroit has had an image problem for quite a while. A whole cottage industry has sprung up over the years with many people from all walks trying to help turn that image around.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, Host:

We're back with ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

(SOUNDBITE OF MONTAGE)

CHRIS CHRISTIE:

I'm 100 percent certain I'm not going to run. I don't want to run. I don't feel like I'm ready to run. First, you have to have in your heart, you got to want it more than anything else. More than anything else. I don't want it that badly.

Al-Qaida's Continuing Loss Of Leadership

Oct 1, 2011

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, Host:

Now, that al-Qaida leader killed this week, Anwar al-Awlaki, he was born in New Mexico. And a decade ago, he was already branding himself as a kind of spokesman for Muslim Americans. Here he is as a guest on NPR's TALK OF THE NATION back in 2001, two months after 9/11.

More than 50 of America's most decorated war heroes are in Louisville, Kentucky, this weekend to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Medal of Honor. Three men have received the honor in the last year — the first time the Congressional Medal of Honor Society has welcomed new living members since Vietnam. Reporter Brenna Angel of member station WUKY, reports on how they shared their stories across generations.

More than half a million people work for the U.S. Postal Service making it the seventh largest employer in the world. But like a lot of other businesses, this one is being hit hard by the tough economy and transformed by the Internet.

Democracy Steadily Takes Root In Africa

Oct 1, 2011

The international spotlight has been on North Africa this year, where Arab autocrats have been overthrown by government opponents seeking democracy in three separate countries – Libya, Egypt and Tunisia.

But farther south on the continent, a less dramatic democratic trend has been playing out for years.

Seventeen of the 49 nations in sub-Saharan Africa are holding national elections this year. That's partly an accident of timing. But it's also a sign that holding power in Africa these days increasingly requires a leader to hold regular elections.

Pakistan is a leading recipient of U.S. economic aid, receiving billions of dollars every year in both civilian and military support. However, the recent rocky patch between the two countries is pushing many members of Congress to reevaluate the assistance package.

Turkey's leaders have called Israel the "West's spoiled child," and the "bully" of the eastern Mediterranean. When a Tel Aviv soccer team showed up in Istanbul recently for a match, the welcome was less than warm.

In September, Turkey kicked out the Israeli ambassador, suspended military and trade deals and threatened legal and naval action to challenge Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip.

A joint CIA and U.S. military operation targeted and killed the cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in an air strike this week. Awlaki had been linked to terrorist attacks against the United States and was a key target for several years. NPR's Rachel Martin shares the latest with host Scott Simon.

The books closed at midnight on another reporting period for the Federal Election Commission, as candidates and political action committees continue to fill their coffers for the 2012 election. Host Scott Simon talks with Tony Corrado, professor of government at Colby College, about campaign fundraising for the 2012 presidential race.

Super PACs Promise A Super-Packed 2012

Oct 1, 2011

Many political watchers say the 2012 presidential campaign is shaping up to be the most expensive election cycle in American history. One reason: the growing influence of political action committees, independent groups that raise money largely from corporations, trade unions and the wealthy. Host Scott Simon talks with Bill Burton, co-founder of the Democratic Super PAC Priorities USA, about his group's fundraising efforts for the 2012 presidential election.

Bahrain Doctors Face Prison After Protests

Oct 1, 2011

This week, a military court in Bahrain handed down harsh sentences to 20 doctors and medical personnel accused of stockpiling weapons and illegally occupying a hospital during recent protests. The doctors say they're being punished for treating demonstrators injured in anti-government protests. Host Scott Simon speaks with Dr. Fatima Hajji, one of the medical professionals sentenced to prison.

It's been more than a hundred days since Matt Rutherford has walked on dry land. With any luck, it'll be another 200 before he does. The 30-year-old Marylander is sailing around North and South America. Alexandra Gutierrez of member station KUCB in Unalaska reports that if he makes it, he'll be the first person to do the 23,000-mile trip alone and without stopping.

The 2011 baseball playoffs have begun, but fans are still reeling from perhaps the single most exciting end to baseball's regular season since Babe Ruth ate 30 hot dogs. Host Scott Simon talks with NPR's Tom Goldman about this week's playoff action and more.

Pages