If you think it's tough being a Cabinet secretary in the U.S., having to deal with the demands of a fiercely partisan Congress and testify a few times a year, try being the Afghan interior minister.
"I have been summoned by the lower house 93 times, and 79 times by the upper house," says Ghulam Mujtaba Patang, who for the past 10 months has been in charge of the ministry that oversees the Afghan National Police.
"Based on this calculation, I have had one day in a week to work for the people," he says.
Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 10:54 am
When someone uses the term "instant classic," I typically want to grab him and ask, "So this is, what, like the new Great Expectations? You sure about that?" But David Gilbert's novel & Sons, seductive and ripe with both comedy and heartbreak, made me reconsider my stance on such a label. & Sons feels deeply familiar, as though it existed for decades and I was just slow to find it. Revolving around a New York writer of J. D.
To figure out which countries dislike the U.S., one quick way is to simply look at which ones are getting the largest dollops of U.S. aid.
This wasn't the focus of a recent survey by the Pew Research Center. But it did emerge when Pew spoke to people in 39 countries about the U.S. and China, asking respondents if they had a favorable view of these two countries.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. At a station in Japan, a bunch of rush-hour commuters kept the train running on time and saved a life. When a woman stepping off the train fell between the stopped car and platform, about 40 commuters went into action. Along with transit workers, the passengers pushed the 32-ton train far enough away that the woman could be pulled up, pretty much unhurt. And the train? It left only eight minutes late. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
I mean, isn't it every white haired, husky, bearded man's ambition to look like Hemingway? Sure seemed that way at the annual Papa Hemingway Look-Alike Contest. The annual event was just held at Sloppy Joe's, a favorite Hemingway watering hole on Key West. The winner: software developer Stephen Terry. He beat out more than a hundred hopefuls, including the husband of chef Paula Deen. Those who didn't win, take heart, it was Terry's seventh try. Now that's one earnest effort.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne. Secretary of State John Kerry is trying to bring Israeli and Palestinian officials to Washington to discuss a possible resumption of peace talks. Kerry announced on Friday that the two sides have tentatively agreed to preliminary talks but when and if actual peace negotiations will occur is uncertain. White House spokesman Jay Carney said yesterday he hopes the parties will be in Washington in the coming weeks.
Okay. Political stories often come from the White House and they often take our political correspondents, say, to Iowa. That's where three of them are right now. But not for an election cycle, but actually to cycle. NPR's Don Gonyea, Scott Horsley and Brian Naylor are all on vacation together, pedaling across the state of Iowa, hundreds of miles with thousands of other cyclists. It's an annual summertime ritual known as RAGBRAI.
In Washington, D.C. the next election always seems just around the corner, even in the middle of summer when it seems a long way away to everyone else. Republicans are in the Senate minority today, but about now they're feeling confident about their prospects to pick up seats and maybe even regain the majority in 2014. NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson reports.
For three consecutive weeks this summer, Spanish-language TV network Univision won the prime-time ratings among young adult viewers. The network is bragging about its prime-time ratings domination with full-page ads in the LA Times, New York Times and Wall Street Journal. Its English-language video exclaims: "For the first time ever, Univision is now the number one network in any language."
And ever since the Alameda County study in California back in the 1960s linked breakfast — along with a host of other habits — to a longer lifespan, there's been a societal push towards breaking the fast.
It's not even noon yet but every table out front of the Pecan Lodge in downtown Dallas is filled with veterans with barbecue heaped on their plates, smirking at the gobsmacked newbies. First timers are easily discernible by the stunned looks on their faces when they walk in and see the line.
Dolphins are like humans in many ways: They're part of complex social networks and, just as in people, a dolphin's brain is big, relative to the size of its body. But there's something else, too — a study published Monday shows these acrobats of the sea use name-like whistles to identify and communicate with each other.
It appears that it's just a matter of days before it becomes official that Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Senate's top Republican, will be forced into a primary by a Louisville businessman with Tea Party backing.
The news that Matthew Bevin, owner of a bell-manufacturing company and an investment company executive, intends to soon announce his effort to oust McConnell is interesting because it appears to place McConnell in something of a bind.
Major League Baseball announced that it is suspending outfielder Ryan Braun for the rest of the season for violating its drug policy. Braun was the 2011 National League Most Valuable Player. Before that, he was Rookie of the Year and several times in All-Star. He plays for the Milwaukee Brewers, and he is one of several star players who faced scrutiny by baseball for apparent ties to an anti-aging clinic in Miami called Biogenesis.
Janet Napolitano's announcement that she'll be stepping down as Department of Homeland Security secretary after four years on the job leaves an opening at the top of the key Cabinet agency. But it's not the only job opening at Homeland Security.
Fifteen top posts at DHS, including secretary, are now vacant or soon will be. Many are being filled on a temporary basis, and lawmakers from both sides of the aisle want the Obama administration to get busy filling those jobs, too.
Ryan Braun, the National League's 2011 Most Valuable Player, has been suspended without pay for the rest of the season for "violations of [the] Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program," Major League Baseball said on Twitter today.
France's ban on face coverings — the so-called burqa ban — has been the law since 2011, but it's still a sensitive topic.
The latest round of unrest began Friday when police officers asked a woman wearing a head-to-toe veil to lift the garment and show her face.
Authorities say the woman's husband attacked the police officer. Muslim groups say the police were disrespectful. The man was eventually arrested, which sparked protests that degenerated into violence.
Detroit's emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, defended his decision to take the city into bankruptcy. The most contentious issue regarding the city is what bankruptcy protection could mean for the pensions of some retired city workers.
In a blunt interview with All Things Considered's Robert Siegel, Orr said that saying retirees will receive no money is false.
"We're just talking about adjusting them to today's realities," said Orr.
Last fall, Hurricane Sandy damaged homes, buckled boardwalks and ruined much of the infrastructure of the small vacation spot of Fire Island, just off the coast of New York. The storm also destroyed many of the island's copper phone lines. But the island's only traditional phone company has no plans to replace them. Instead, Verizon is offering customers a little white box with an antenna it calls Voice Link.
"It has all the problems of a cellphone system, but none of the advantages," says Pat Briody, who has had a house on Fire Island for 40 years.
Every home in the United Kingdom will be blocked from accessing pornography through Internet connections, under new measures announced by British Prime Minister David Cameron. When these go into effect later this year, Internet users who want to access porn will have to opt in with their Internet providers.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block.
On Wednesday, President Obama will return to Illinois and to the town of Galesburg. It was the site of a pivotal speech he gave about the economy in 2005, his first year as a senator. This week, the president will appear once again at Knox College in Galesburg, to lay out his economic vision as we approach the fifth anniversary of the financial crisis.