The supercommittee, charged with cutting federal deficits by at least $1.2 trillion over the next decade, is down to the final days before its Nov. 23 deadline, and the group appears to be at an impasse. NPR's Tamara Keith and Mara Liasson talk with host Audie Cornish to explain both the economic and political consequences of supercommittee success or failure.
A night of intense clashes between protesters and police in Cairo has left hundreds injured and two dead. This comes just eight days before Egypt's first parliamentary election since former President Hosni Mubarak stepped down in February. Merrit Kennedy in Cairo reports that protesters are angry about the way the ruling military council has handled the transition period.
President Obama returns to Washington Sunday after an unusually long, 10-day trip to Asia. The president is keen to spread the word that the U.S. is shifting its focus to the region, which he sees as a major source for economic growth and new U.S. jobs in the coming century. Host Audie Cornish talks to NPR's Anthony Kuhn in Bali, Indonesia, about what the trip achieved.
This weekend, the Southeastern chapter of the Pearl Harbor Survivors held its final meeting. Seventy years have passed since the attack on Pearl Harbor and surviving membership is dwindling, so the worldwide organization has finally decided to disband. Kate Sweeney of member station WABE reports.
Afghan leaders have wrapped up their latest grand assembly, known as a loya jirga, where delegates from all over Afghanistan discussed topics key to the country's future. Among the issues they discussed was the level of U.S. involvement after the 2014 drawdown. Host Audie Cornish talks with Alissa Rubin of The New York Times for more.
The U.S. Army is working to use smartphones on the battlefield as a way to keep soldiers connected and give them better tools. Specialist Nicholas Johnson has designed a group of applications meant to help troops on the ground. Host Audie Cornish has more.
In South Africa, the topic of homeownership comes down to land and race. At the end of apartheid, the new South African government laid out many plans for achieving economic and social equality, which included land reform. The government hoped to transfer nearly a third of all white-owned farmlands into black ownership by 2014. But as Anders Kelto reports, they're falling well short of that goal.
Six Republican presidential hopefuls gathered in Des Moines, Iowa, Saturday, and each made a pitch for the state's very important Christian conservative vote.
The event was not a debate, but a roundtable discussion. The candidates sat side-by-side at what was described as a Thanksgiving table, complete with pumpkins and autumn leaves. Not present at the table was former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who chose not to attend.
A number of studies of homeless youth in big cities put forth a startling statistic: Depending on the study, somewhere between 30 and 40 percent of homeless youths identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
It's largely because gay youths are more often kicked out of their homes than straight youths. And even if they are not kicked out, they may feel so uncomfortable that they leave.
In New York City, nearly 4,000 young people are homeless every night — many of them gay.
As the drawdown of American combat troops in Afghanistan nears, the U.S. is facing an increasingly dangerous opponent. The Pakistan-based Haqqani network, allied with the Taliban, is believed to be behind a recent string of deadly attacks in Afghanistan, and it's forcing the U.S. to rethink an earlier strategy for stabilizing the country.
But the strategy hinges on help and cooperation from Pakistan — which is never a sure thing.
Officials in the United States have been wringing their hands lately over how to revitalize domestic manufacturing and keep factories from moving overseas.
But not all of those plants are going across the ocean to China or India or some other low-cost production hub in Asia. Many are relocating just south of the border to Mexico, prompting business leaders to argue that the U.S.-Mexico border region may be the key to rejuvenating manufacturing in North America.
In 1990, a fire broke out in a house in Jacksonville, Fla., killing two women and four children. The husband of one of the women became the prime suspect, and that's when a fire investigator named John Lentini was called in.
At the time, Lentini says, the initial evidence pointed to a fire that was deliberately set. He calculated that it would have taken about 20 minutes for the house to become engulfed in flames — what's called a flashover — leaving plenty of time for someone to set the fire and get out.
The Department of Justice plans to tighten current laws regarding websites' terms of service conditions. That means if you press that "Agree" button on websites, you better mean it. Some say broadening the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act could even make using a pseudonym on social media outlets a felony. Weekends on All Things Considered guest host host Laura Sullivan talks with Orin Kerr, a professor at George Washington University Law School, about how the government can strengthen the Internet's defenses against cyber warfare while keeping the law reasonable.
The number of student athlete injuries has decreased greatly since the early 1970s thanks to the work and recommendations of Fred Mueller, longtime director of the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research. Mueller's ground breaking changes in high school pole vaulting and swim competitions have saved lives. Weekends on All Things Considered guest host host Laura Sullivan speaks with Fred Mueller about his latest area of concern: Cheerleading.
It's Weekends on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Laura Sullivan.
MAHMOUD SHAMMAM: What we can confirm now that Saif al-Gadhafi has been arrested and he should be tried in front of the Libyan court, by Libyan people and by Libyan justice.
SULLIVAN: That's Mahmoud Shammam, Libya's National Transitional Council's information minister, announcing that Moammar Gadhafi's son Saif al-Islam had been captured. The U.S. State Department hasn't confirmed it yet.
Billy McCarthy lost his mother to suicide when he was a teenager. He cared for his schizophrenic brother as best he could after that, but his brother landed in solitary confinement in prison, where he eventually took his own life, too. Somehow, McCarthy found a way to rise above his anguish — as a songwriter. He began playing music while living in foster care in California.
Kurt Vonnegut was a counterculture hero, an American Mark Twain, an avuncular, jocular friend to the youth — until you got to know him.
"Kurt was actually rather flinty, rather irascible. He had something of a temper," author Charles Shields tells weekends on All Things Considered host Laura Sullivan. Shields is the author of a new biography of Vonnegut, called And So It Goes: Kurt Vonnegut: A Life.
"But as I also point out in the book," Shields adds, "he was a damaged person."
Originally published on Sat November 19, 2011 4:37 pm
LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News, I'm Linda Wertheimer. In Libya today, news that Moammar Gadhafi's son, Seif al-Islam has been captured as he was traveling in a convoy across the southern desert of Libya. Seif was the only Gadhafi family member still at large. Officials said he would be held in the mountain town of Zintan until his transfer to Libya's capital, Tripoli. Joining us to talk more about this development is Leila Fadel, The Washington Post correspondent based in Cairo. Leila, good morning.
Operation Pedro Pan shaped the lives of a generation of Cuban-Americans. Between 1960 and 1962, the program airlifted more than 14,000 Cuban children from Havana to the U.S. Fifty years later, those children are recalling how that flight changed their lives.
In Miami this weekend, a group of Cuban-Americans — now in their 50s and 60s — are gathering to commemorate the flights that took them from their homeland to America.
The journey began in early January 1959, after Dictator Fulgencio Batista fled the country. Fidel Castro arrived in Havana soon after and took control.
With Thanksgiving just days away, many are struggling this weekend with what to prepare. Thanksgiving dinner's menu is hard to change, but maybe we can get away with reconsidering dessert. Guest host Linda Wertheimer gets recommendations from chef Frank Stitt, author of Southern Table.
The holiday movie season offers a short break from the assault of summer blockbusters, and it's the last chance for movie studios to push some of their award season contenders. Guest host Linda Wertheimer speaks with Washington Post movie critic Ann Hornaday about the films of this holiday season.
Italy and Greece, two European countries mired in debt, are pinning their hopes on technocrats. It got us wondering, what exactly is a technocrat? For some answers, we first turned to former technocrat Ricardo Hausmann. He's an economist by trade and currently teaches at Harvard. But for a brief moment, starting in 1992...
RICARDO HAUSMANN: I was a, yeah, I was a minister of planning in the government of Venezuela.
WERTHEIMER: Hausmann left the post the following year. Politics, he says, has never been his calling.
It's a politics-filled Saturday as Republicans hold a presidential candidate forum and the Democrats have their Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in Des Moines, Iowa. This year's dinner features Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel as the keynote speaker; four years ago the dinner launched then-Sen. Barack Obama's presidential candidacy into high gear. Guest host Linda Wertheimer talks with NPR's Don Gonyea about the events.
The bipartisan supercommittee enters the final weekend prior to its Nov. 23 deadline with little tangible progress to show for over two months of work. NPR's Andrea Seabrook tells guest host Linda Wertheimer that several of its members are huddling in Washington this weekend, trying to come up with a way to reduce the government's budget deficit.