Originally published on Sun March 18, 2012 12:59 am
Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, the U.S. soldier alleged to have killed 16 Afghan civilians, was described by a former platoon leader Saturday as an "awesome" soldier.
"He always got the job done," said Cpt. Christopher Alexander, who led Bales on his second tour in Iraq. "You give this guy a task — it could be menial, it could be dangerous — either way, you never had to worry about whether he'd get it done and get it done well."
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block. We now know the name of the American soldier who's in custody for killing 16 Afghan civilians last weekend. NPR has confirmed he is Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales, based out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington State. And for more, we're joined by NPR's Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman. Tom, the name has been withheld now for nearly a week since that shooting happened. Why is it out now?
Though guitarist Moot Davis grew up a New Jersey rocker, he had an appreciation for country music thanks to his West Virginian parents. But it wasn't until he saw a certain cola commercial that he really turned a corner.
Redistricting is forcing a handful of congressional incumbents of the same party to run against each other in primaries. On March 6, Rep. Marcy Kaptur defeated fellow liberal Democrat Rep. Dennis Kucinich in Ohio.
And next Tuesday, two conservative Republicans square off in Illinois.
The scene is the newly drawn 16th Congressional District, which covers mostly rural territory in the northern part of the state, curving around the suburbs and exurbs of Chicago, from the Wisconsin border north of Rockford to the Indiana border east of Kankakee.
Originally published on Fri March 16, 2012 6:09 pm
Over the past couple of weeks, Invisible Children has been in the news quite a bit. First because a video produced by the organization acheived viral success and shone a spotlight on the Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony.
The stock market hit some major milestones this week: The Standard & Poor's 500 index reached its highest level in more than three years, the Dow Jones industrial average settled in above 13,000 — up about 24 percent since early October — and the Nasdaq rose to its highest level in 11 years. Still, the Federal Reserve has been warning not to get too excited about where the economy is headed next.
David Kotok, chairman and chief investment officer at Cumberland Advisors, says there are a bunch of reason for stocks to be rising.
Today, flying is like riding a bus. But it wasn't always that way. Vaulted from the sands of Kitty Hawk and freed from military exigencies by the end of World War I, aviation soared into the 1920s and '30s on a direct course to tomorrow. Here are three flyers who not only helped open the skies, but also brought literary gems back from the cutting edge of progress, from a time when flying was the most exciting thing in the world.
Poor Rutherford B. Hayes. It wasn't bad enough that the 19th president, a Republican, was called "His Fraudulency" by Democrats during his one term in office (1877-1881) because of the unusual circumstances of how he "won."
Now, the current occupant of the White House, President Obama, was spreading a most assuredly inaccurate story, according to experts, about Hayes' reaction to an early telephone.
We're going to follow the money now with our regular Friday political commentators, E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and David Brooks of the New York Times. Welcome back to you both.
DAVID BROOKS: Good to be here.
E.J. DIONNE: Good to be with you.
BLOCK: And I want to start with a hypothetical question. What would this primary contest, do you think, have looked like without superPACs and without the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision? David Brooks, a very different race?
The public radio show THIS AMERICAN LIFE has retracted a lengthy story it ran in January. The report painted an ugly picture of working conditions at Chinese factories where they manufacture iPhones and iPads. The story focused on a monologue told by performer and activist Mike Daisey about his interviews with factory workers. NPR's media correspondent David Folkenflik joins me now. And, David, this was THIS AMERICAN LIFE's most popular podcast. How are they explaining their decision to retract the story?
Here's one more piece of legal news. The U.S. Supreme Court will make same-day audio available of the upcoming arguments on the health care overhaul. The court says it's responding to extraordinary public interest in the case. Here's NPR's Nina Totenberg.
At age 44, Will Ferrell has played an anchorman, championship NASCAR driver, ice skater, an elf, and George W. Bush. What's his next challenge? Making a movie in which he speaks nothing but Spanish. The Mexican-set action comedy "Casa de mi Padre" is directed by Matt Piedmont, who collaborated with Ferrell on his website Funny Or Die. Film critic David Edelstein has a review.
Originally published on Fri March 16, 2012 4:16 pm
A highly popular episode of This American Life in which monologuist Mike Daisey tells of the abuses at factories that make Apple products in China contained "significant fabrications," the show said today.
Originally published on Mon March 19, 2012 12:42 pm
Illinois is in the worst fiscal shape of any state in the country.
Its pension system is $85 billion short of what it will need to pay promised retirement benefits, while it's already $8 billion behind on its everyday bills — money for schools, hospitals and private vendors for work already done and approved.
All of that could be good news next week — at least politically — says Illinois state Treasurer Dan Rutherford.
Originally published on Fri March 16, 2012 2:14 pm
The "family friend" who told The Oregonian that its editorial page editor was in his car on Saturday when he died of a heart attack turns out to have been another editor at the newspaper. She says she was trying to protect Caldwell's family from the public embarrassment that would come with the truth: that he had been in the apartment of a young woman with whom he was allegedly having sex.
Business and political leaders have repeatedly warned that America's scientists and engineers are in short supply. However, some economists say the numbers indicate the opposite — a glut of high-tech workers. A panel of experts debate whether America's schools produce the scientific workforce needed to compete globally.
The world's tallest peak. It's so iconic. It's so classic. You'd think we'd have learned everything there is to know about it by now, but you'd be wrong. Scientists still can't even agree on the exact height of the mountain. And what's more, they're not even sure what kind of rocks the mountaintop is made of.
Estimated altitude for this flight was about 115,000 feet, says Raul Oaida, 18-years-old. Raul launched the shuttle, along with a video camera and a GPS tracker, by way of a large helium balloon. Flight time was about three hours--the shuttle landing about 150 miles south of where it took off.
Astrophysicist Adam Riess shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2011 for his work on distant supernovae, which demonstrated that the universe was not only expanding--but that its expansion was accelerating. Now he's hunting for clues that might explain why, and one of the prime suspects is a mysterious force known as dark energy.