When Herman Boudreau joined the U.S. Army in 1941, he set in motion a lifetime of public service. Boudreau, who died in April at age 93, served in the Army in New Zealand and the South Pacific during World War II.
He spent more than two years fighting the Japanese, and years later shared many of his war experiences with his daughter, Nancie Smith. In one incident, she says, he had to secure an airfield while removing the last Japanese resistance on three occupied islands.
Melissa Block speaks with New York Times reporter Karla Zabludovsky about El Salvador's national policy restricting abortions under any circumstances — a decision that puts one 22-year-old at particularly high risk.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. Over more than two years, the conflict in Syria progressed from protest to civil war, opposition aims from reform to revolution, and the nature of the fighting became increasingly sectarian. Now another important turn as foreign troops openly join one side.
The gray line in the upper left comes from an aerial view of Afghanistan's crucial Highway 1, the main route between Kabul and Kandahar, the two biggest cities. U.S. forces are still working to secure the route which runs through lush farm valleys and the high desert terrain.
Credit David Gilkey / NPR
Lt. Col. Brad Moses looks out the window of his helicopter while flying south of Kabul. Moses commands all U.S. Army Green Beret teams in eastern Afghanistan. The teams are attempting to shore up security before American forces withdraw.
Credit David Gilkey / NPR
An Afghan police commander, Capt. Daoud, talks with U.S. forces at a checkpoint near Sayed Abad, in Wardak province south of Kabul.
Credit David Gilkey / NPR
An Afghan policeman stands on a shipping container that's been turned into a makeshift checkpoint on a road leading into Sayed Abad. The Taliban have been active in the area, and securing the roads remains a major challenge.
As the American military winds down its efforts in Afghanistan, grand plans for nation building are giving way to limited, practical steps: building up the Afghan forces and denying the Taliban key terrain, especially the approaches to Kabul.
About an hour south of the capital Kabul, one Green Beret team returned to a village where American forces had pulled out.
Lt. Col. Brad Moses, who was in the Sayed Abad district four years ago, wandered around the government center and expressed disappointment at the scene.
When the crackdown against pro-democracy protests started in Bahrain, blogger and online activist Ali Abdulemam went into hiding. He was later tried in absentia by a military court for plotting against the regime. Host Michel Martin speaks to Abdulemam about his escape from Bahrain, and how he now feels about his country.
And he looks ever the boy when he puts on an industrial-sized apron, thick gloves and a metal helmet - the tools of an apprentice welder at the Don Bosco center in this city in southern Colombia.
It's a big complex, complete with classrooms, basketball courts, a dormitory and work rooms. It's home to boys and girls, as well as very young adults, who defected from the FARC rebels or were captured by the Colombian army.
Yusra Hammed, 15, puts the finishing touches on a drawing on a wall inside her family's home in Silwad, a village in the West Bank. Hammed says, like many Palestinian girls, she does not throw rocks at Israeli soldiers; but she expresses her opposition through alternate channels, such as art.
Credit Emiliy Harris / NPR
Israeli soldiers came to the home of the Hammed family at 2 a.m. and took 17-year-old Tareq Hammed away. Accused of throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers, he was released after 17 days, the result of a plea bargain and a four-year parole deal. Here, Tareq waters the roses in his family's garden after his release.
Credit Abbas Momani / AFP/Getty Images
Palestinian youths hurl rocks at Israeli soldiers in Silwad on April 19, during clashes after a protest against the expropriation of Palestinian land by Israel. Last month, the Israeli prison authority said all of the Palestinian youths in prison for throwing rocks were boys.
In the middle of the night a few weeks ago, 15-year-old Yusra Hammed watched Israeli soldiers arrest her brother Tareq. Two years older than Yusra, Tareq Hammed was among several Palestinian teenagers taken into custody that night, accused of throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers in their village, Silwad, in the occupied West Bank.
While he was being detained, his mother described him as a patriot.
"He wanted so badly to do as same what his father did, to defend his country," Suhaila Hammed said, sitting on a tawny gold couch in their home in Silwad.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his government forces aren't the only concern for Syria's rebels. The opposition coalition is struggling with deep and perhaps irreconcilable differences within its own ranks. Diplomats from the U.S., Europe, and Arab states have converged on an opposition meeting in Istanbul in what appears to be a last-ditch attempt to resolve some of those differences. If the effort fails, observers fear it will mean an end to efforts to convene direct talks between the opposition and Assad's government.
Another big piece of President Obama's new national security vision is a rethinking of how the U.S. uses drones. Last night, for the first time since the president laid out new stricter conditions for their use, the U.S. launched a drone attack. It appears to have killed a top military commander in the Pakistani Taliban. NPR's Dina Temple-Raston reports.
Police in France say that a 21-year-old Muslim convert who confessed to stabbing a French soldier was apparently motivated by his religious beliefs, in an eerie echo of an attack last week in London, in which a British serviceman was killed.
Pvt. Cedric Cordiez, 25, was approached from the back and stabbed in the neck at a shopping mall in a suburb of Paris on Saturday. He was treated at a military hospital and released on Monday, officials said.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
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And I'm Robert Siegel. Smithfield Foods, one of the country's biggest meat producers is being sold to a Chinese company, the price $4.7 billion. If approved by regulators, this will be the biggest acquisition in history of a U.S. corporation by a Chinese company. NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.
A couple waits for a high-speed train in the Chinese city of Qinhuangdao. Modern infrastructure and the expanding private sector have greatly increased efficiency and customer service in many parts of Chinese life.
It's not confirmed that he's dead. But if a suspected U.S. drone strike on Wednesday did kill Waliur Rehman, as Pakistani officials say it did, then a top Pakistani Taliban commander with a $5 million price on his head has been taken off the battlefield.
A coordinated attack has struck the offices of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, Gunmen reportedly assaulted the compound after a suicide bomber detonated a device at the entrance, where a guard was killed.
Update at 3:58 p.m. ET. Reaction From Red Cross:
"We condemn this attack in the strongest possible terms," ICRC's head of operations for South Asia, Jacques de Maio, says. "Right now, our thoughts go out to the family of our dead colleague."
Deepak and Sanjiv Chopra both followed in their father's footsteps and became physicians. But while one chose Western medicine, the other took a spiritual approach. Now they've teamed up for a memoir. Tell Me More host Michel Martin speaks with the Chopras about their new book, Brotherhood: Dharma, Destiny, and the American Dream.
On the different paths each took
Deepak Chopra: "I like to say that Sanjiv took care of the body and I took care of the soul."
Remember the disappointment you felt as a kid at the souvenir shop when that personalized key chain wasn't available in your name? For me, it was never finding "Allison" with two L's. My colleague Maria says she was always stuck with "Mary" as her only option.
Facebook fans of Coca-Cola's new "Share a Coke" campaign are having similar frustrations. As part of its new campaign, which recently launched in Europe, the soda giant is printing popular first names on labels of Coke, Diet Coke and Coke Zero.
Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne with a follow-up on the record for oldest person to scale Mount Everest. An 81-year-old Nepalese climber earned the title five years ago when he was 76. Last week, an 80-year-old Japanese climber took the crown. Now Min Bahadur Sherchan has given up his attempt to snatch it back but bad weather, due to the season, forced him to turn back. Disappointing. Still, it wasn't age that proved the ultimate barrier.
It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
On this Wednesday, we are following developments in Pakistan. A U.S. drone strike has killed four suspected militants, including - according to some reports - the Taliban's second-in-command in Pakistan. Now, we should say the militant group denies that he's dead. This is the first strike since President Obama's speech last Thursday, announcing that the use of drones would be scaled back to limit civilian casualties.
On a Wednesday, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.
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And I'm Renee Montagne. You could call it a failing performance review. Recently uncovered correspondence from the North African branch of al-Qaida lays out - in bullet points - the shortcomings of one of its local leaders. In the letter, he is chastised by his bosses for sloppy expense reports, ignoring emails and failing to pull off, quote, "any single spectacular operation."
The Communist Party's new leadership has pledged to change China's slowing economy by putting a greater emphasis on private enterprise and reining in huge but far less profitable state-owned businesses. Economists say the party has no choice but to update if it wants to stay in power, but they doubt that a genuine overhaul is in the works.
Pope Francis, shown here at his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on Wednesday, has emphasized inclusiveness in many of his speeches. In recent remarks, he reached out to atheists.
Pope Francis has been in office for just over two months and has been making headlines for many remarks that emphasize inclusiveness, contrasting sharply with his predecessors' style and apparently even with centuries-old Catholic dogma.
The latest was a statement last week that all human beings, even atheists, can be redeemed.
The international community talks of arming Syria's rebels against President Bashar Assad, but in the capital many people still hope the rebels will lose.
That's the thinking we found around a Muslim shrine in Damascus, a tribute to the granddaughter of the Prophet Muhammad. She lived centuries ago, but a Damascus doctor we met spoke of her in the present tense.
A destroyed home in Tawargha, south of Misrata, on June 5, 2012. Residents have not returned home for fear of death.
Credit Leila Fadel / NPR
Ali Arroz, a radiologist, left Tawargha with only the clothes he was wearing, under fire from Misrata militiamen.
Credit Leila Fadel / NPR
Residents of the Libyan town of Tawargha were driven from their homes in Libya's 2011 civil war. Girls from the town hold up a sign that says "we want our homeland, Tawargha" during a protest outside Libya's Parliament. Residents say they will return next month, which could lead to a showdown.
Little boys play soccer in the afternoon heat at a makeshift camp near Libya's capital Tripoli. Their homes, or what's left of them, are in Tawargha, a small town about 20 miles from the Mediterranean coast.
The town has been empty since August of 2011. Its residents fled in cars and on foot, under fire from rebel militiamen from the nearby town of Misrata.
The siege of Misrata was one of the bloodiest battles of the Libyan war. Forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi shelled Misrata relentlessly, killing hundreds.