Last night in Tucson, Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords made a rare public appearance at a vigil marking the anniversary of the shooting there last year. Giffords was shot in the head, a dozen others were wounded and six people were killed.
NPR's Ted Robbins attended a weekend of memorial events.
The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Monday in a tangle of Texas redistricting cases, with repercussions beyond the Lone Star State. Consolidated into one test, the cases pit the Voting Rights Act and its protections for minority voters against state legislative powers β with an overlaying sheen of sheer political calculus.
The case has been called a puzzle of three courts, a reference to the interplay between two lower courts and the Supreme Court.
More than 70 percent of Italy's gross domestic product comes from small businesses β and they're not growing. Economists are worried this will make it impossible for Italy to climb out of its massive $2.6 trillion debt.
Even in a global economy, something as small as Italy's accordion industry can have an impact. The work of its craftsmen has reached millions of ears.
Every four years in January, Washington, D.C., plays host to the country's biggest "prom." Inaugural balls bring out happy winners, administration bigwigs and a gown β on the first lady β that will become a part of history.
An exhibition at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History displays some of those gowns. NPR Special Correspondent Susan Stamberg took her dance card to the show.
You may remember the controversial studies linking food coloring and additives to hyperactivity in kids. Or you may know parents who have pinned their hopes on an elimination diet to improve their kids' rowdy behavior.
The Arab uprisings have ousted or weakened some American allies. Elections in Tunisia and Egypt have shown the strength of Islamist political parties. And after the long, hard war in Iraq, the U.S. appears to have a diminished appetite for new, complicated undertakings in the region. In the last of our six-part series on the upheavals changing the Middle East, NPR's Deborah Amos looks at what it all means for America.
New Hampshire voters could make Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's nomination a near-certainty on Tuesday, when the state holds the first primary of the 2012 election.
Every presidential candidate in modern history who has won both Iowa and New Hampshire has gone on to win the party's nomination. (Romney narrowly won the Iowa caucuses last week). Since 1920, New Hampshire has been the first state to hold a presidential primary, and Granite State voters guard that status fiercely.
So tomorrow night for the first time in the history of the Bowl Championship Series, two teams from the same conference, the Southeastern Conference, the two best teams in college football, Louisiana State University and the University of Alabama, will face off in the BCS National Championship in New Orleans. Who's going to win? Well, to help us answer that question, Mike Pesca joins me now.
The city plans to revitalize its once-glitzy downtown shopping district. New Jersey News Service reporter Nancy Solomon tours Broad Street with Newark's head of economic development, and reports on plans to lure back high-end shoppers.
The six remaining Republican presidential candidates held two debates over the past 24 hours β one Saturday night, another Sunday morning. Guy Raz talks to NPR National Political Correspondent Mara Liasson about what transpired in those debate.
Just a few hours ago, bells rang across Tucson in remembrance of the first anniversary of the shootings there, which left six people dead and wounded 13 others, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. That day, a gunman fired more than 30 shots at a constituent event hosted by Giffords outside a Safeway supermarket. NPR's Ted Robbins joins me now from in front of that Safeway. Ted, it's hard to believe it's already been a year.
Best-selling e-author Amanda Hocking grew up in the small town of Austin, Minn., which, she says, is known for Spam. Spam as in the food, not the e-mail spam.
"We invented Spam," the 27-year-old novelist tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz.
Hocking's dad was a truck driver. Her mom was a waitress. Even as a very young child, she had always been a kind of natural storyteller β especially when it came to fantasy stories. Stories about dragons, unicorns, pirates and more.
During this final sprint toward Tuesday's New Hampshire primary, candidate stops will be full of local diners and doughnut shops where the presidential hopefuls can chat up "real" voters β locals who stop in for a meal or a coffee.
But customers in one New Hampshire restaurant are over it. In response, a Portsmouth breakfast spot has banned candidates completely, reports Seacoast Online:
At last, the rivals who were supposed to savage front-runner Mitt Romney in the final weekend before Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire got down to business.
In the opening minutes of their debate Sunday on NBC's Meet the Press, several of those chasing Romney in the polls let fly the roundhouse punches they'd been pulling through weeks and months of TV debates.
When it comes to last words, there's a kind of poetry in even the oddest ones. Oscar Wilde hated the wallpaper in the room where he died: "One of us has to go," he muttered. Salvador Dali: "Where is my clock?" Steve Jobs: "Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow," according to his sister, who was in the room.
(SOUNDBITE OF MONTAGE OF PEOPLE SAYING "DEAR TUCSON")
RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
It's been a year since a gunman opened fire at a Tucson grocery store. Six people were killed and 13 injured, including Representative Gabrielle Giffords. NPR's State of the Re:Union asked people who were present that day at the shooting to write letters to Tucson, reflecting on their city and the year since the tragedy.
RON BARBER: Unlike most places, Tucson is green in the dead of winter.
The NFL postseason is under way. Saturday night's games included a record-setting performance by the New Orleans Saints, and Sunday's matchups feature two Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks, plus a third who still manages to grab headlines: Tim Tebow. Host Rachel Martin talks with NPR's Mike Pesca about the first weekend in the NFL playoffs.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.
The Republican candidates for president faced off in their second debate of the weekend this morning in New Hampshire. Last night, front-runner Mitt Romney was able to stay above the fray, as his opponents attacked each other in the fight for second place. But this morning, they turned their fire on Romney.
New Hampshire Republican Congressman Frank Guinta is a veteran of New Hampshire politics. The former state representative and mayor of Manchester gives host Rachel Martin a sense of the state's mood just two days before the primary.
In the days leading up to Tuesday's primary, with so much political activity compressed into such a small state, New Hampshire is pretty much nirvana for anyone fascinated by politics. Yes, all the candidates are there. But so are reporters, pundits, researchers, and as NPR's Greg Allen discovered, political tourists.
In Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai is demanding that the United States hand over control of a prison facility that houses about 3,000 inmates. An Afghan commission has alleged abuse of prisoners there, and says that conditions violate the Afghan constitution. The demands may have more to do with a growing animosity between President Karzai and Washington, however, as NPR's Kabul bureau chief Quil Lawrence tells host Rachel Martin.
Two years ago, the U.S. Army launched a program to teach soldiers how to be emotionally and psychologically strong. This week, the Army released a review of the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program. Host Rachel Martin speaks with the program's director, Brig. Gen. James Pasquarette, and Sgt. 1st Class Michael Ballard, a resiliency trainer in the program, about what it takes to prepare troops mentally for combat.
Pull back U.S. military aid to Egypt. That is the call from some on Capitol Hill these days. Congress is furious about raids last month by Egyptian security forces on pro-democracy groups in Cairo. The nonprofit groups include the National Democratic Institute, Freedom House and the International Republican Institute. All these groups get U.S. funding and they're in the country helping monitor Egypt's parliamentary elections.
One year ago Sunday a gunman opened fire while Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was holding a "Congress on Your Corner" event at a shopping center. She was shot in the head, one of 13 who were wounded. Six others were killed. Tucson is remembering the day with memorials, a candle-light vigil and dozens of other events. Host Rachel Martin talks with NPR's Ted Robbins about the day's services.
This blogger's mom was a knitter. She and a friend made hundreds of knit caps that went to children in Rochester, N.Y. Some made their way to a village in Afghanistan when her youngest son went there on assignment for USA Today in 2002 and 2003.
Watching her, it always seemed as if knitting was calming and challenging at the same time. It's repetitive, yet also has to be done precisely right if you want to succeed. And if you mess up, you may have to unravel and start over.
Tensions with Iran these days are as high as they've been in years, and managing them will be one of the top challenges facing the Obama administration this year. With Iran threatening to block U.S. ships from entering the Persian Gulf, and the United States vowing not to back down, the stage seems to be set for war. And yet, what's happening with Iran right now may be more of an economic confrontation than a military standoff.
Americans' religious liberties are under attack β or at least that's what some conservatives say.
Newt Gingrich warns the U.S. is becoming a secular country, which would be a "nightmare." Rick Santorum says there's a clash between "man's laws and God's laws." And in a campaign ad, Rick Perry decried what he called "Obama's war on religion," saying there is "something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can't openly ... pray in school."
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is no stranger to budget battles.
He was head of the Office of Management and Budget and White House chief of staff under President Clinton. But now, the former congressman faces what could be some of the toughest budget decisions of his career β how to cut more than $480 billion from the Pentagon's bottom line.