It's election day Tuesday — this time in the Deep South as voters in Alabama and Mississippi head to the polls. GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney spent some time campaigning in the two states while Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich blanketed the region. And Santorum and Gingrich met at a forum Monday night in Birmingham in a last-minute effort to woo undecided voters.
The setting couldn't have been more picturesque: the stately Alabama Theater in downtown Birmingham. About 2,000 Republican faithful turned out for the presidential forum, which began with a prayer.
U.S. officials have not released the name of the U.S. soldier accused of killing some 16 Afghan civilians in southern Afghanistan over the weekend. The shootings come as anti-Americanism already is boiling over in Afghanistan after U.S. troops burned Qurans last month.
Here's one thing that many people mean when they say Washington is broken. They may mean that politicians from different parties seem unable or totally unwilling to compromise, and many voters hate that. And yet many voters also hate it if politicians from their own party should compromise with the other side. That could be considered giving in. NPR's science correspondent Shankar Vedantam joins us regularly to talk about social science research, and he's found some that relates to this political problem. Hi, Shankar.
A leather belt from Hermes priced at almost $1,000 — nearly a year's salary for the average Chinese farmer. A bright pink, $2,000 trouser suit from Emilio Pucci. A red snakeskin Celine handbag that costs $4,500.
These weren't items at a fashion show, but luxury goods spotted on delegates hurrying to China's annual legislative assembly sessions.
We're following news this morning of more killings in the Syrian city of Homs. That's the city where rebel neighborhoods came under artillery fire for weeks and where two Western journalists were killed. Rebels later retreated, but residents and activists say pro-government militias have massacred dozens of civilians, mainly women and children. NPR's Kelly McEvers is following this story from Beirut.
The killings of some 16 civilians in Afghanistan on Sunday allegedly by a U.S. soldier are raising new questions about U.S. military strategy: whether the surge of American troops worked, and whether the U.S. troops have won over the Afghan people or alienated them.
The place where the killings happened was a "no-go zone" for American and even Afghan troops as recently as two years ago — it was Taliban country.
The vaccine — $417,000 worth of it — is stacked high in refrigerated containers to protect it from the Haitian heat.
Hundreds of health workers are trained and ready to give the vaccine. They're armed with programmed smartphones and tablet computers to keep track of who has been vaccinated and who needs a second dose.
And 100,000 eager Haitians, from the teeming slums of Port-au-Prince to tiny hamlets in Haiti's rice bowl, have signed up to get the vaccine.
As the presidential primary season marches on around the country, the nasty political ads and robo calls are taking their toll. Many people are, to paraphrase former Vice President Al Gore, getting snippy about their political differences. If we're going to make it till Election Day, commentator Gwen Thompkins thinks we'd better all learn how to disagree without being disagreeable.
We're going to learn more now about the alleged shooter and what the incident might mean for U.S. strategy in Afghanistan. I'm joined by NPR's Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman. And, Tom, the sergeant has not yet been named, but you have been finding out some more details about him. What have you learned?
For many following the Republican presidential contest, the big question is who's winning.
That's not easily answered if you go only by who has won each state's primary or caucus. But if you measure who's won the most pledged convention delegates, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is clearly in the lead.
So much so, in fact, that Romney's campaign insists there's no way his rivals can catch up or keep him from getting the 1,144 delegates needed for securing the nomination in Tampa this summer during the Republican National Convention.
In the Gaza Strip on Monday, Palestinian families mourned their dead.
Those killed included a 65-year-old farmer who was watering his tomatoes and checking on his greenhouses, his 35-year-old daughter, and a 15-year-old boy.
Israel says Palestinian militants were hiding among the local population and firing rockets from northern Gaza into southern Israel. Palestinians in one Gaza community told NPR that militants had been operating in the area but said the civilians were innocent.
When we look at our Twitter feed, all we see is SXSW. That's the South by Southwest festival that happens every year in Austin, Texas. At one point, it used to be all about music, but now the interactive portion of it has become just as big.
Critic Tom Moon reviews two contrasting perspectives on the intersection of jazz and gospel music. Multi-instrumentalist Don Byron has just released "Love, Peace and Soul" featuring his New Gospel Quintet. Also out is a set of duets between the late pianist Hank Jones and bassist Charlie Haden, titled "Come Sunday." Moon says the two projects reimagine old-time religious tunes in surprisingly different ways.
Last year, Utah created jobs at a faster pace than any other state in the country — with the single exception of North Dakota. While the boom in North Dakota is being driven by oil and gas, the hot job market in Utah is being powered by technology companies.
Computer-system-design jobs in Utah shot up nearly 12 percent in 2011. Scientific and technical jobs jumped 9.7 percent. With job opportunities expanding, the state is having little trouble attracting new residents.
For Jill Layfield, the decision to move here from Silicon Valley was not a tough call.
Originally published on Mon March 12, 2012 6:08 pm
Mitt Romney's stilted efforts to relate to Dixie voters by tossing off a few "y'alls" and references to grits have been roundly mocked as awkward pandering.
And rightfully so, says political scientist Marvin King, who cringed at the GOP candidate's sprinkling of vernacular and Southern stereotypes into his patter during appearances in Mississippi and Alabama. The two states hold their Republican presidential primaries Tuesday.
"You can tell Romney wasn't expecting to campaign down here, and it shows," says King of the University of Mississippi.
Except he can't commit suicide because he has "locked-in syndrome," which means his mind works fine but everything below his neck is paralyzed. A 2005 stroke left the 57-year-old unable to speak and he communicates largely by blinking. His case has been making headlines in Britain because the man wants a court to OK a doctor to end what he calls his "dull, miserable, demeaning, undignified and intolerable" life.
Today, the country's high court said it would hear his case.