Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 4:06 am
Japan marked for the first time Sunday the end of the allied occupation of the country following its defeat in World War II.
"We have a responsibility to make Japan a strong and resolute country that others across the world can rely on," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at a ceremony in Tokyo that was attended by dignitaries, including Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko.
Iraqi officials have suspended the right of 10 satellite TV channels to operate in the country, as media regulators say the stations' coverage of sectarian conflicts incites more violence.
"Most of the channels, including local stations such as 'Baghdad' and 'al-Sharqiya,' are pro-Sunni and often critical of the Shi'ite-led government," Reuters reports. "Al Jazeera is based in Qatar, a Sunni-ruled kingdom."
It seems almost trivial at first: the latest Human Rights Watch report on Afghanistan says female police officers need their own toilets. Sure, who's going to argue with that. But why is it a big deal?
Here's how it unfolds.
Female police officers are experiencing high levels of harassment, sexual assault and rape — often at the hands of their male colleagues. Where is most of this activity taking place? In police station bathrooms and changing rooms.
Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev "vaguely discussed" jihad during a 2011 phone conversation with his mother, according to a U.S. official who described the recording to the Associated Press. The call, taped by a Russian government agency, reportedly did not include any mention of a plot inside the U.S.
Foodie fiction has become a veritable genre, devoted to deliciousness, to making your mouth water, to making you feel suddenly, irrevocably starved — and to making everything, sprouts and bologna included, an aphrodisiac. But what happens when enough is enough? Or when, perhaps, you're on a diet, or a deserted island, or attempting celibacy, or learning to live without gluten? What happens when you're hungry for the kind of fiction that concerns food but isn't in love with food — and thereby won't make you hungry, or lustful, or both?
April is National Poetry Month, and to celebrate, Weekend Edition is talking with younger poets about why they chose to write poetry and why it's still important in our everyday lives. This week, we spoke to Bangladeshi-American poet Dilruba Ahmed.
Sokeel Park sees the effects of North Korea's repressive government every day. He lives in South Korea, but works for an NGO named Liberty in North Korea. His job is to debrief those who've managed to leave the North and help them start new lives in the South.
Park says that with so much focus on the country's nuclear weapons and leadership, it's easy to forget about the 24 million people going about their everyday lives. Those lives are heavily controlled by the North Korean government, citizens are told where to work, where to live, and are not allowed to leave.
The House was set to vote this week on a bill modifying the president's health care law. The Republican bill was supported by the leadership, but ran into trouble and was pulled from the floor before the scheduled vote.
It's an example of the kind of obstacles Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, faces in getting legislation through the House. In many recent cases, his problem hasn't been the Democrats as much as members of his own party, backed by proudly conservative outside groups.
Superstorm Sandy pummeled the East Coast six months ago, and, as with other natural disasters, the Federal Emergency Management Agency was there from day one, finding people temporary shelter and later supporting rebuilding efforts.
FEMA also has a lesser-known role. It oversees the creation of flood maps, which model the risk of flooding in different areas during storms. These maps are also used to set building codes and flood insurance rates. In New York and New Jersey, FEMA is updating those maps, and so far many homeowners don't like what they are seeing.
Kansan journalist Jason Probst says the Kansas he knows has disappeared.
"The great state of Kansas passed away on March 31, 2013 after a long and difficult battle with extremism," he wrote in an editorial for The Hutchinson News.
His faux obituary, lamenting Kansas' embrace of conservatism, went viral. Tens of thousands of people read it. Many were fellow Kansans who wrote to Probst to say they, too, were disturbed by their state's dramatic swing to the right.
Remember that cherry red Chevy Malibu convertible that John Travolta drives in Pulp Fiction? You know the one that he crashes, trying to get help after Uma Thurman overdoses? Did you know it's been missing for 19 years because it was stolen? Well, it's not missing anymore.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Twenty-five people were indicted in Baltimore this week, 13 of them prison guards in a story that involves gangs, bribes, drugs and sex - and it's real life, not a TV show. The indictments say a group of prisoners have essentially been in charge of the Baltimore City Detention Center, working with prison guards to run a lucrative drug and cell phone smuggling operation.
Less than a week after mandatory furloughs began that idled as much as 10 percent of U.S. air traffic controllers, the Federal Aviation Administration has ended its furlough program. The move comes after Congress voted to let the FAA move money around in its budget — a quick response that came after several days of travel delays that were either caused by or worsened by the furloughs.
In a statement released Saturday, the FAA said that it is suspending furloughs for all its employees.
Originally published on Sat April 27, 2013 3:55 pm
Faced with sharp financial losses stemming from the Boston Marathon bombing attack and the days of forced closure that followed, businesses in the affected Copley Square area can apply for federal help, the Small Business Administration announced Friday.
The news comes as people continue to flock to Boylston Street, to pay their respects to victims of the April 15 attacks and to support stores and restaurants that were open for the first Saturday since the bombings and the ensuing manhunt.