In Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai is demanding that the United States hand over control of a prison facility that houses about 3,000 inmates. An Afghan commission has alleged abuse of prisoners there, and says that conditions violate the Afghan constitution. The demands may have more to do with a growing animosity between President Karzai and Washington, however, as NPR's Kabul bureau chief Quil Lawrence tells host Rachel Martin.
Two years ago, the U.S. Army launched a program to teach soldiers how to be emotionally and psychologically strong. This week, the Army released a review of the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program. Host Rachel Martin speaks with the program's director, Brig. Gen. James Pasquarette, and Sgt. 1st Class Michael Ballard, a resiliency trainer in the program, about what it takes to prepare troops mentally for combat.
This blogger's mom was a knitter. She and a friend made hundreds of knit caps that went to children in Rochester, N.Y. Some made their way to a village in Afghanistan when her youngest son went there on assignment for USA Today in 2002 and 2003.
Watching her, it always seemed as if knitting was calming and challenging at the same time. It's repetitive, yet also has to be done precisely right if you want to succeed. And if you mess up, you may have to unravel and start over.
Tensions with Iran these days are as high as they've been in years, and managing them will be one of the top challenges facing the Obama administration this year. With Iran threatening to block U.S. ships from entering the Persian Gulf, and the United States vowing not to back down, the stage seems to be set for war. And yet, what's happening with Iran right now may be more of an economic confrontation than a military standoff.
Americans' religious liberties are under attack — or at least that's what some conservatives say.
Newt Gingrich warns the U.S. is becoming a secular country, which would be a "nightmare." Rick Santorum says there's a clash between "man's laws and God's laws." And in a campaign ad, Rick Perry decried what he called "Obama's war on religion," saying there is "something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can't openly ... pray in school."
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is no stranger to budget battles.
He was head of the Office of Management and Budget and White House chief of staff under President Clinton. But now, the former congressman faces what could be some of the toughest budget decisions of his career — how to cut more than $480 billion from the Pentagon's bottom line.
When a gunman opened fire on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., and others at a shopping center near Tucson exactly a year ago — killing six people and injuring Giffords and many others — some people were quick to blame the episode on the overheated political climate.
Once more, the great media consensus was confounded. Saturday night's debate at St. Anselm's College in Manchester, N.H., produced another battle among half a dozen presidential contenders, much like a dozen before it. Front-runner Mitt Romney was neither knocked out nor even knocked down. He was scarcely even knocked around.
Once again, the evening ended with the bruises pretty equally distributed among the contestants. And with the New Hampshire primary bearing down on Tuesday, virtually no time remains for Romney's rivals to bring him down.