When Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner travels to Asia and the Middle East this month, she won't be flying on the official presidential plane. That's because Argentina fears the Boeing 757 jet known as Tango 1 will be seized when it lands by creditors, bond holders who hold sovereign debt that Argentina has defaulted on. So, instead of taking that risk, President Fernandez will be flying on a rented charter plane at the cost of $880,000.
Three Kurdish women were killed this morning in downtown Paris, in what the French Interior Minister described as an execution. One of the women was a founder of the PKK, or Kurdish Workers Party. The group has been fighting for decades for an autonomous Kurdistan. The killings sent a shockwave through the large Kurdish Diaspora in Europe, and cast a shadow over peace talks between the PKK and the Turkish government.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
And I'm Audie Cornish.
Jury selection began today in the terrorism trial of a young Somali-American. He's accused of trying to bomb a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland, Oregon two years ago. But the case is drawing attention for another reason: There was no bomb. The defendant was the target of an FBI sting operation.
And as NPR's Dina Temple-Raston reports, his lawyers are expected to argue their client was entrapped.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
I'm Melissa Block. And in this part of the program, what Washington can do to reduce gun violence. Vice President Biden says he'll have his recommendations to the president by Tuesday. He held a second day of meetings on the subject today, conferring with gun rights advocates.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez remained in Cuba, where he's receiving treatment for cancer, and was not present for his planned inauguration in Caracas on Thursday. However, thousands of supporters gathered outside the presidential palace to show their backing.
Credit Juan Barreto / AFP/Getty Images
Chavez has been receiving cancer treatment since the middle of 2011. He's shown here at the presidential palace on Sept. 17, 2011, a few months after his treatment began.
Three Latin American presidents turned up, as did foreign diplomats. And thousands of President Hugo Chavez's supporters flooded the streets Thursday outside the presidential palace in Venezuela's capital, Caracas.
But Chavez himself didn't show — he remained in Cuba, incapacitated after his latest round of cancer surgery.
Still, the carefully choreographed show did go on, and Chavez's aides said he remains in charge.
Pakistani police officers and residents gather at the site of a bomb blast that targeted paramilitary soldiers in a commercial area in the city of Quetta, killing 11 people. Later in the day, twin blasts at a snooker club in the city killed at least 80 people.
Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 3:53 pm
Back-to-back bomb blasts in the Pakistani city of Quetta on Thursday have claimed the lives of at least 80 people.
"The death toll has risen to 81 so far," Mir Zubair Mehmood, a senior police official, said at a news conference. He said 121 people were wounded. His comments were reported by the privately owned Geo TV.
Florida and several other states are wrestling with a decision: whether to expand Medicaid.
When the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act last year, the court said states could opt out of that part of the law. But it's key. It would provide coverage to millions of low-income Americans who currently have no health insurance.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott says he's concerned about how much expanding Medicaid would cost. But others charge the governor is exaggerating.
Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 10:34 am
A re-elected president who gets to choose a second-term Cabinet has much more knowledge of the kind of team he needs than he did the first time around.
That's one simple way to understand President Obama's decisions as he creates his Cabinet 2.0.
The choices are not those of a president-elect who hasn't moved into the White House, or of a green president who hasn't watched his first international crisis unfold from his leather seat in the White House Situation Room.
Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 11:05 am
Xiao Liwu made his public debut Thursday at the San Diego Zoo. Fans crowded around the exhibit, their camera lenses extended, hoping to catch a glimpse of the 5-month-old giant panda cub. If they're lucky and actually do see the 16-pound panda (his Chinese name means "Little Gift"), there'll be much oooing and aaahing.
You'd have to be heartless not to agree that pandas, especially the youngest of them, are as cute as all get-out. Right? But why?
Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 9:42 pm
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of joining Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton on All Songs Considered as they previewed some of the big upcoming releases of 2013. My pick was No Beginning, No End by the chameleonic vocalist Jose James.
Major League baseball will begin random regular-season blood tests for human growth hormone, seen here in an injector pen holding about one week's worth of HGH doses at the clinic of Dr. Mark Molitch of Northwestern University.
Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 4:47 am
Major League Baseball will expand its effort to fight performance enhancing drugs to include random blood tests for human growth hormone and other substances during the regular season, under the terms of an agreement with the players union that was first reported by
Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 1:19 pm
Junior Seau, the former NFL linebacker whose suicide last May at age 43 shocked fans and former teammates, suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a neurodegenerative disease associated with repetitive head injuries, according to a study by the National Institutes of Health.
Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 4:33 pm
There was a shooting incident at a high school in Taft, Calif., this morning. Now that many reports have come in from the scene, it appears that two people were injured and a shooter has been taken into custody.
Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 3:38 pm
In the heart of the Moroccan oasis and palm grove of Skoura, west of Marrakesh, yellow and reddish dates dangled heavily from branches high above us. It's going to be a good year, a man harvesting dates said, offering me a handful of fresh, still-yellow fruit cut from the tree just moments before.
President Obama nominated Jack Lew, his current chief of staff, for Treasury Secretary today. Former cabinet members explain what it takes to put together a good cabinet, and how to get the members to work together.
The music of Mystical Weapons, a duo formed by Sean Lennon and Deerhoof drummer Greg Saunier, is entirely improvised — made up on the fly without any agenda or deeper meaning in mind. But in the hands of video director and animator Martha Colburn, the group's latest single, "Colony Collapse Disorder," takes on apocalyptic themes with swirling religious symbolism.
Deputy provincial governors and district governors selected under a new merit-based program are sworn in Tuesday in Kabul. The development is part of an effort to address rampant corruption in Afghanistan.
Regularly ranked as one of the most corrupt countries in the world, Afghanistan has implemented what for it is a novel new program: selecting provincial and district officials on the basis of their skills, rather than connections.
By all accounts, Afghanistan's corruption is endemic at all levels of government. It's hoped the new effort will begin to curb graft, patronage and nepotism in the country's 34 provinces and roughly 360 districts.
Daniel Day-Lewis takes on one of America's most famous presidents in Lincoln.
Credit Pete Souza / White House
President Obama is seen during a September meeting at the White House, juxtaposed with the paintings of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, busts of Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Lincoln, and the Emancipation Proclamation.
Lincoln may not be a political film for the ages, but it's certainly a movie that speaks to our own time.
Although the movie centers on the abolition of slavery, Lincoln taps into one of the deepest desires of our historical moment — the desire for politicians in Washington to get their acts together and compromise to succeed in passing major legislation.
Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 1:22 pm
The thief who stole Harly and Courtney Forbes' bicycle seemed not to know how important it is to their lives. Because after dashing off with the tandem bike early Monday, the bike was returned Wednesday. Police say the thief was apparently moved to remorse by the pair's story of how they were now without a way of getting around on their own.
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Jan. 2. Financial market participants will be keeping a close eye on upcoming deadlines affecting the U.S. debt ceiling, scheduled automatic budget cuts and federal funding.
Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 1:39 pm
Maybe you were hoping you'd never hear the phrase "fiscal cliff" again after Congress passed legislation Jan. 1 to address that tax-break-expiration deadline.
Three more cliff-type deadlines are fast approaching. They involve: 1) raising the federal debt ceiling 2) modifying automatic, across-the-board spending cuts and 3) funding the government to avert a shutdown.
The deadlines all hit between Valentine's Day and Easter, which means new rounds of chaotic congressional negotiations may start up just after the Jan. 21 presidential inauguration parade ends.
I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up, that devastating earthquake hit Haiti three years ago. The country is still trying to rebuild. We'll hear from an author who has been traveling to Haiti for years, both before and after the earthquake, and she offers some bracing observations about what has actually made a difference in the country and what hasn't. We'll talk with the author of a book called "Farewell, Fred Voodoo." That's in just a few minutes.
The Obama administration spent more money on immigration enforcement last year than it did on all other major federal law enforcement agencies combined, according to a new report. Host Michel Martin discusses that budget and unsettled immigration issues with the report's author Doris Meissner.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Now, we want to return to a story we've visited many times before, especially in the last three years. That's when an earthquake devastated the nation of Haiti. It left tens of thousands of people dead - nobody's really sure how many - and tens of thousands of people displaced.
A federal judge struck down an element of a New York City law that allowed police to stop, question, and search people without a warrant. Host Michel Martin speaks with John Jay professor Gloria J. Browne-Marshall about 'stop-and-frisk' policies.