It now appears that the militants who stormed a gas plant in Algeria last month, resulting in the deaths of dozens of hostages, ultimately wanted to create a giant fireball by blowing up the plant. They just couldn't figure out how. David Greene talks to Adam Nossiter of The New York Times, who recently went to the plant and gathered accounts of some former hostages.
The movement to overhaul the nation's immigration system is gathering steam. A bipartisan group of senators and the White House have put forward proposals for comprehensive reform.
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Those plans would give undocumented workers a way to come out of the shadows and become legal. They would create a better system for foreigners who want come to the U.S. in years to come, and they would beef up border security.
This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.
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And I'm Renee Montagne.
President Obama is taking his campaign against gun violence to the country, beginning today with a trip to Minneapolis and a visit to that city's police department. Many police organizations favor tougher gun laws. The president leaves behind a new Congress that's getting down to business. And consuming most of lawmakers' time: the budget and the deficit.
Refrigerators, foam buoys and even ketchup bottles are piling up on Alaska's beaches. Almost two years after the devastating Japanese tsunami, its debris and rubbish are fouling the coastlines of many states — especially in Alaska.
At the state's Montague Island beach, the nearly 80 miles of rugged wilderness looks pristine from a helicopter a few thousand feet up. But when you descend, globs of foam come into view.
The U.S. government is investing millions of dollars in what it considers a promising new industry for American manufacturing: nuclear reactors. The plan is to build hundreds of mini-reactors, dot them around the U.S. and export them overseas.
Maurice Sendak, one of America's most beloved children's book authors, evocatively captured both the wonders and fears of childhood. His books, including Where the Wild Things Are, In the Night Kitchen and Outside Over There, revolutionized picture books by adding danger and darkness to the genre.
Over the course of his life, Sendak wrote and illustrated more than a dozen widely acclaimed books and illustrated almost 80 more. And although he died last May at 83, Sendak still has one more volume on the way.
Home health care aides are waiting to find out if they will be entitled to receive minimum wage. A decades-old amendment in labor law means that the workers, approximately 2.5 million people, do not always receive minimum wage or overtime.
The Obama administration has yet to formally approve revisions to the Fair Labor Standards Act that would change that classification.
As Malian forces backed by French and African troops have retaken the West African nation's contested northern region, there have been allegations of human rights abuses. Human Rights organizations accuse the Malian army of summary executions, among other abuses.
Drug-resistant bacteria are a growing problem at hospitals across the country. The bacteria, such as Staphylococcus and Clostridium difficile, are difficult to prevent and impossible to treat.
"The problem is expanding, and it's going up and up and up," explains Dr. Trish Perl of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. "We're running out of antibiotics to treat, and so the challenge is can we prevent?"
Moaz al-Khatib sent waves through the Syrian activist community this week when he announced via Facebook that he was open to talks with representatives of Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime on two conditions: that political prisoners, thought to number in the tens of thousands, be released; and exiled Syrians be able to renew their passports at embassies abroad.
Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 1:40 pm
A 25-year-old man has been charged with killing the author of American Sniper and another person at a Texas gun range.
Former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle wrote American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History, a best-seller that detailed his more than 150 kills of insurgents between 1999 and 2009. He also set up FITCO Cares, a nonprofit that helps soldiers deal with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 3:24 pm
Iran's foreign minister on Sunday welcomed Vice President Joe Biden's comments that the U.S. was willing to hold direct talks with the Islamic republic over its nuclear program.
"We have no red line for bilateral negotiations when it comes to negotiating over a particular subject," Ali Akbar Salehi said at a security conference in Munich, Germany. "If the subject is the nuclear file, yes, we are ready for negotiations but we have to make sure ... that the other side this time comes with authentic intention, with a fair and real intention to resolve the issue."
Once a poet and an English teacher, Jim McCormick has become a powerhouse Nashville songwriter.
Credit Scott Saltzman / Courtesy of the artist
Credit Scott Saltzman / Courtesy of the artist
McCormick (right) with singer-songwriter Brantley Gilbert. Gilbert's song "You Don't Know Her Like I Do," which McCormick co-wrote, hit the top of <em>Billboard</em>'s Hot Country Songs chart in the summer of 2012.
Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 8:13 am
Headlines were circulating last week about how, as Slate put it, "almost everybody" is rooting for the San Francisco 49ers over the Baltimore Ravens in Sunday's Super Bowl. Of course, it turns out that what this actually meant was more like "substantially more than half of the area of the country is included within counties in which more people like the 49ers on Facebook than like the Ravens on Facebook."
After stints as a lawyer, furniture salesman and stand-up comic, Eddie Huang found success as the owner of Baohaus, a Taiwanese bun shop on the Lower East Side.
Credit Atisha Paulson / Spiegel & Grau
Eddie Huang, co-owner of Baohaus and author of <em>Fresh Off The Boat</em>, holds a pair of "The Taiwanese Te-Bao," a Taiwanese pork chop with curry seasoning, pickles daikon-carrot, jalapeno, aioli and cilantro in a steamed bun.
Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 6:16 am
Alex Stone is the author of Fooling Houdini.
I first saw Guns N' Roses on MTV when I was in middle school. Mary Jordan had just ended our rocky three-week relationship — by phone — and I was sulking on a friend's couch. "Check it out," he said, gesturing at the TV. "Sweet Child O' Mine" was playing. "These guys are my new favorite band." Four minutes and 12 seconds later, they were mine too.
Last week, former Sen. Chuck Hagel faced a very critical confirmation hearing in his quest to become the next secretary of defense, and President Obama and a bipartisan group of senators made the pitch for immigration reform. Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin speaks with NPR's Mara Liasson about the week in politics.
Johannes Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring is one of his most famous paintings, but very little is actually known about it. The girl herself is a mystery who has inspired both a novel and a movie speculating on her true story.