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Europe
5:52 am
Sun March 18, 2012

After Spain's Construction Bust, Gardens Bloom

This urban garden was started by a group of neighbors on land that was cleared for construction during Spain's housing bubble but never built upon. The garden was started in November 2011 and is tended by neighborhood volunteers.
Lauren Frayer for NPR

Spain is littered with vacant lots and half-built apartment complexes, where developers ran out of money when the construction bubble burst.

But in one Madrid barrio, neighbors are putting an abandoned tract of urban space to creative use.

Behind a chain link fence, in a dusty weed-filled lot between two soaring apartment blocks, Emilio de la Rosa is planting vegetables.

"Different types of products — garlic, beans, tomatoes, lettuce," he says. "We're teaching our children where tomatoes come from — not from the grocery store, but the ground."

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Economy
5:51 am
Sun March 18, 2012

Sweet Home: When Owning Isn't All About Money

Tamika Rhodes and her children (clockwise) Taneea, Takeema and Paul at their home in St. Paul, Minn. Rhodes says the house is more important to her as a source of stability than as an investment.
Ann Baxter NPR

It's not hard to figure out why the Rhodes family would want a house of their own. Their son Paul's passion for music makes it clear right away.

His mom, Tamika Rhodes, says in their last place, a two-bedroom apartment, Paul couldn't play the drums because it would have driven the neighbors crazy.

Now he, his two sisters, mom and dad live in a big, five-bedroom house in St. Paul, Minn. Rhodes says they all feel much more comfortable.

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The Impact of War
5:50 am
Sun March 18, 2012

Troops' Mental Health: How Much Is Unknown?

Gen. Peter Chiarelli, former vice chief of staff for the U.S. Army, says the Army lacks reliable diagnostic tools to screen for mental health.
Susan Walsh AP

The killing of 16 Afghan civilians last Sunday is now one of the greatest points of tension between the United States and Afghanistan. U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales allegedly killed the civilians in cold blood; those close to him say they were shocked by the news.

According to the Pentagon, Bales had been treated for a traumatic brain injury that he suffered in Iraq in 2010, though the extent of the damage is unclear.

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Afghanistan
4:40 am
Sun March 18, 2012

For Suspect In Afghan Attack, A Praised Record

Then-Capt. Brent Clemmer said Staff Sgt. Robert Bales distinguished himself as a team leader in Clemmer's C Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment during the Battle of Zarqa, Iraq. The faces of the rest of Bales' squad have been obscured.
Courtesy Maj. Brent Clemmer

Originally published on Sun March 18, 2012 1:13 pm

There is still only sketchy information available about Staff Sgt. Robert Bales' recent experience in Afghanistan, but five years ago in Iraq, he was considered an excellent and upbeat soldier.

Bales is suspected of killing 16 unarmed Afghan civilians last Sunday. He has yet to be charged, and his civilian lawyers say they will meet with him at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., to learn the facts of the case.

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The Two-Way
6:06 pm
Sat March 17, 2012

Former Captain: Afghan Shooting Suspect Showed 'Valorous Conduct' In Battle

Bales joined the military after Sept. 11, 2001. He served three times in Iraq before being deployed to Afghanistan.
Courtesy Maj. Brent Clemmer

Originally published on Mon March 19, 2012 6:45 am

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales' commanding officer once recommended him for a medal of valor after a major battle in Iraq.

Bales was named on Friday as the U.S. soldier who allegedly killed 16 Afghan civilians last Sunday. "I was shocked that it was him," Maj. Brent Clemmer told Austin Jenkins of the Public Radio Northwest News Network. "I am still in shock about it."

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The Two-Way
6:00 pm
Sat March 17, 2012

WikiLeaks Founder Assange To Run For Australian Senate

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
Kirsty Wigglesworth AP

Originally published on Sat March 17, 2012 7:50 pm

Here's one way to spend time under house arrest: The WikiLeaks creator will run for the Senate in Australia, his home country. The revelation appeared, typically, on WikiLeaks' Twitter feed:

Assange is under house arrest in England, fighting extradition to Sweden, where he's accused of two sex crimes.

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Movie Reviews
4:48 pm
Sat March 17, 2012

Betting On Two Pairs Of Filmmaking Brothers

Two pairs of filmmaking brothers are both releasing movies this weekend. In Jeff, Who Lives at Home, by the Duplass brothers Jay and Mark, Pat (Ed Helms) and Jeff (Jason Segel) encounter each other in a day fraught with fateful events. Also opening is The Kid with a Bike, a Belgian slice-of-life drama from the Dardenne brothers, Jean-Pierre and Luc..
Paramount Vantage

Originally published on Sat March 17, 2012 6:42 pm

Call it an accident of the calendar: two pairs of filmmaking brothers both opening movies on the same weekend, both films about the awkwardness of growing up. Jeff, Who Lives at Home is a post-mumblecore slacker comedy from the Duplass brothers, Mark and Jay. The Kid with a Bike is a Belgian slice-of-life drama from the Dardenne brothers, Jean-Pierre and Luc.

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Three-Minute Fiction
4:44 pm
Sat March 17, 2012

Minor Details: Three-Minute Fiction's Age Rules

Kahlo Smith, 11, wanted to enter Three-Minute Fiction but found out she was ineligible because of her age. She contacted NPR to find out why.
Courtesy Brian Smith

This week, along with the nearly 1,000 stories that were submitted to weekends on All Things Considered's writing contest, Three-Minute Fiction, there was a letter from 11-year-old Kahlo Smith of Felton, Calif.

Dear Mr. Raz,

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Afghanistan
4:08 pm
Sat March 17, 2012

Karzai: U.S.-Afghan Relations 'At The End Of Rope'

Afghan President Hamid Karzai lashed out at the United States on Friday, saying he is at the "the end of the rope" because of the lack of U.S. cooperation into a probe of a killing spree allegedly carried out by an American soldier.
Ahmad Jamshid AP

The tension between the United States and Afghanistan has reached a boiling point.

More details are emerging about Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, the U.S. soldier accused of killing 16 unarmed Afghans this past week, and there is still anger over the accidental burning of copies of the Quran by soldiers on a military base.

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Music Interviews
3:50 pm
Sat March 17, 2012

On 'Port Of Morrow,' The Shins Sail Back To The 1970s

James Mercer has been the singer and songwriter behind The Shins since 1997.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon March 19, 2012 8:06 am

James Mercer's distinctive voice and earnest songwriting have always been at the heart of The Shins, but these days they are the band's only constant. Port of Morrow, the group's new album and its first in five years, finds Mercer leading a completely new set of musicians.

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History
9:22 am
Sat March 17, 2012

Convicted Nazi Guard John Demjanjuk Dies

John Demjanjuk emerges from the courtroom with his lawyers after a judge sentenced him to five years in prison for charges related to 28,060 counts of accessory to murder in May 2011 in Munich, Germany.
Johannes Simon Getty Images

John Demjanjuk, the retired U.S. autoworker convicted of being a guard at in an infamous Nazi death camp, died Saturday at the age of 91. Demjanjuk died a free man in a nursing home in southern Germany, where he had been released pending his appeal.

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Economy
8:00 am
Sat March 17, 2012

Markets Hit Milestones; Goldman Sachs Gets Bashed

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden. Checking on your retirement and mutual fund statements is getting a bit less scary. The stock market cleared another hurdle this week with the S&P 500 closing above 1,400 for the first time in almost four years, and the Dow Jones Industrials up almost 25 percent from in recent low back in early October. NPR's John Ydstie is here to tell us what's driving the market. John, thank you for coming in.

JOHN YDSTIE, BYLINE: You're welcome, Jacki.

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Europe
8:00 am
Sat March 17, 2012

London Starts Digging Massive Tunnels For Transport

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

The history of the city of London dates back to the Romans and beyond. So, when you start digging massive tunnels beneath that place, it's always going to be interesting. And that's just what's about to happen.

MAYOR BORIS JOHNSON: I hereby declare Ada and Phyllis unleashed.

(SOUNDBITE OF BUZZER)

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Around the Nation
8:00 am
Sat March 17, 2012

Soldier Suspected Of Killing Afghans In Kan. Prison

Originally published on Sun March 18, 2012 10:07 am

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. Scott Simon is away. I'm Jacki Lyden. The soldier suspected of killing 16 Afghan civilians is today being held at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas. Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales now has an attorney and the lines of his defense are beginning to emerge. The case has also put America's prosecution of the war in Afghanistan on trial. There are new disputes between the U.S. and Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

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Afghanistan
8:00 am
Sat March 17, 2012

Where Is Counterinsurgency In Afghanistan Now?

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

As further details emerge about this week's shootings in Afghanistan, the situation on the ground there continues to develop. As we've heard, in recent years a lot of emphasis has been placed on the counterinsurgency effort, on winning hearts and minds as opposed to targeting terrorist cells. So what do these latest incidents mean for that already fragile effort? John Nagl is a military counterinsurgency expert. He is now teaching at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis.

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Politics
8:00 am
Sat March 17, 2012

When Polls Conflict: What Political Gauges Mean

Originally published on Sun March 18, 2012 10:07 am

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

If you paid any attention to the polls this past week, you might have come away pretty confused. For example in one survey, a plurality of Americans said that they disapproved of President Obama's performance by a wide margin. Another poll showed just the opposite.

To explain why polls taken during the same period may give conflicting results, we're joined by Andy Kohut. He's the president of the Pew Research Center.

Andy, thank you so much for coming in.

ANDY KOHUT: Happy to be here.

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Sports
8:00 am
Sat March 17, 2012

A Basketball Wrap-Up, In Verse

Originally published on Sun March 18, 2012 10:07 am

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, BYLINE: Every school invited to the NCAA basketball tournament has had a chance to play. So we thought we'd bring you details of every game. Well, maybe not details, but at least a mention from NPR's Mike Pesca. And what he lacks in specifics, he makes up for in rhyme.

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Around the Nation
8:00 am
Sat March 17, 2012

Suspect In Afghanistan Shooting Shocks Neighbors

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

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Politics
8:00 am
Sat March 17, 2012

Clooney One Of Many Celebrities To Grace The Hill

Actor George Clooney is led away in handcuffs from Sudan's embassy in Washington, D.C., on Friday. Clooney, his father, Nick, and others including Democratic Rep. Jim Moran of Virginia and NAACP President Ben Jealous, were arrested as they demonstrated to bring attention to the humanitarian crisis in Sudan.
The Washington Post/Getty Images

Washington, D.C., was dazzled this week by a VIP. He visited the White and got the prized seat next to the first lady at this week's state dinner.

No, we're not talking about British Prime Minister David Cameron, though he was in town also.

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Politics
8:00 am
Sat March 17, 2012

Who Will Rule In Congress? A Look At The Races

Originally published on Sun March 18, 2012 10:07 am

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

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Media
8:00 am
Sat March 17, 2012

'This American Life' Pulls Apple Story

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, BYLINE: This weekend, the public radio program "This American Life" will air a retraction and apologize to listeners for a segment that aired in January about factories in China which make the Apple iPad. The story described hazardous working conditions at the plant. It was told by a man named Mike Daisey, who claimed to have interviewed workers injured there. Many elements of Daisey's story have now been discredited.

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Music Interviews
8:00 am
Sat March 17, 2012

Composer Matches Music To Horse Hooves

Originally published on Sun March 18, 2012 10:07 am

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

As London prepares for an Olympic influx, the world's athletes are not the only ones limbering up. Composer Tom Hunt is at work with members of a British team who compete in the equestrian sport called dressage. He joins us from the BBC studios in Salford.

Thank you for joining us.

TOM HUNT: Thank you for having me.

LYDEN: The music that you compose for the equestrian competition, tell us how the music and the horse work together.

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Europe
6:23 am
Sat March 17, 2012

Greek Bailout Is Accompanied By Greek Resentment

Shipyard workers demand their unpaid wages in central Athens on Thursday, the day that countries in the 17-nation euro zone formally approved a second bailout of $36.6 billion for Greece.
Petros Giannakouris AP

Originally published on Sun March 18, 2012 10:07 am

Debt-beleaguered Greece has secured a second international bailout. But for many Greeks, the conditions set by the International Monetary Fund, European Union and European Central Bank — known as the "troika" — are a breach of their sovereignty.

A recent demonstration in central Athens was organized by a group of lawyers who claim the latest bailout agreement turns Greece into the ward of its international lenders.

Demonstrator Irini Lazana says it violates the country's legislative foundations.

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Author Interviews
6:23 am
Sat March 17, 2012

'The O'Briens': A Multigenerational Canadian Epic

Pantheon

In the Law of Dreams, Canadian writer Peter Behrens' first novel, an Irish immigrant, based on Behrens' grandfather, makes his way out of famine-starved Ireland to Canada. The novel came out in 2006 to wide acclaim and won Canada's Governor-General's award for fiction.

Now, Behrens has followed up with another multigenerational novel. The O'Briens opens in 1867, with teenage Joe O'Brien scratching out a living in Quebec after his father and mother have both died.

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Poetry
6:22 am
Sat March 17, 2012

A St. Patrick's Poem On Shamrocks And Stereotypes

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun March 18, 2012 10:07 am

Ireland has launched some of the greatest writers in English literature, from William Butler Yeats to Oscar Wilde to George Bernard Shaw.

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