It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.
While Republicans prepared to debate yesterday, a debate we've heard elsewhere in this program, President Obama was visiting New Hampshire. He appeared in that state, which holds the nation's first primary. New Hampshire is also an important general election state and the president's appearance offered a counterweight to all the Republicans who've been busy there. NPR's Scott Horsley reports.
Originally published on Wed November 23, 2011 11:00 am
The big theme out of Tuesday night's Republican presidential debate in Washington was Newt Gingrich's compassionate stance toward illegal immigrants who have put down deep roots in the U.S.
That position by Gingrich, who has recently surged to join Mitt Romney at the head of the Republican field according to recent polls, conflicted with the more hardline views of many conservative voters.
Many of those GOP voters who will decide their party's nominee oppose allowing illegal immigrants to remain in the U.S., period.
A cook's secrets are meant to stay in the kitchen. An off-recipe substitution, a unique addition, an improvised technique — they often come from inspiration, or just a sense of craft, that can make a home chef both proud and protective. Luckily for us, Chris Kimball of America's Test Kitchen is happy to share the secrets he's picked up in more than 30 years of cooking.
Pakistan's ambassador to the U.S. has resigned amid a brewing scandal involving his country's civilian leadership and its powerful military.
Hussain Haqqani, a well-regarded ambassador for more than three years, is alleged to have been involved in writing a memo that asked the U.S. to prevent a military coup in Pakistan, something he denies. This latest crisis will do little to calm an already-turbulent relationship between Pakistan and the U.S.
The auto industry has work ahead to meet ambitious fuel efficiency goals of 55 miles per gallon by 2025 — nearly twice the current average required. Hybrid and electric cars will play a role, but the plain old internal combustion engine can't be overlooked.
Four years ago, on the cusp of what would become a national economic meltdown, Kansas City made a bet. And the Missouri river town bet big, plunking down $300 million for a brand-new sports arena with no full-time tenant.
Today, that bet is paying off. Pollstar magazine ranks Kansas City's Sprint Center as America's fifth-busiest arena and No. 13 among worldwide venues.
South Africa's Parliament has passed a highly controversial state information bill that gives a limited number of government officials the authority to classify information and imposes harsh penalties on those who possess or distribute state secrets. Critics say it will allow officials to cover up corruption and greatly restrict the flow of information.
The most involved sports fans cannot let a little thing like death get in their way for their devotion to a team.
For several years now it's been possible to buy caskets that feature the logo of your favorite, so that you can lie forever with, say, the emblem of the Chicago Cubs resting right before your sightless eyes. Not perfect, but the best available option.
The U.S. Office of Special Counsel is one of those small corners of the government with an important mission: It's supposed to help protect federal whistle-blowers and shield civil service workers from politics.
But during the Bush years, the office was engulfed in scandal. It was raided by FBI agents, and its chief was indicted for obstructing justice.
It's into that unsettled environment that the new leader, Carolyn Lerner, arrived five months ago. And good government groups say she's already taking the office in new directions.
The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission wants AT&T to prove that its merger with T-Mobile would be "in the public interest." Julius Genachowski sent the request for a hearing to the other three commissioners.
The move throws another roadblock in the proposed $39 billion merger. As we reported back in August, the Justice Department is already suing AT&T over the merger.
For Lindsey Santana and her young family, video Web chats via Skype are an integral part of their lives. Her husband, Capt. Paul Santana, is a helicopter pilot serving in Iraq. And their video phone calls have helped them make the best of things during his deployment, which continues past this Thanksgiving.
The couple was also linked via video during the birth of their first child, Natalie, in West Virginia this past summer. And since then, Paul has been able to see his daughter "at least a few times a week," Lindsey tells NPR's Linda Wertheimer.
Originally published on Tue November 22, 2011 3:52 pm
The moment of last-minute head counts and late-night runs to the supermarket has nearly arrived. But a small but proud segment of the population simply smiles and puts their feet up. They're having Thanksgiving dinner served to them in a restaurant.
The congressional supercommittee announced Monday that it failed to come to an agreement on reducing the deficit. After three months of negotiating, the Democrats and Republicans just couldn't agree on how much spending to cut or how high to raise taxes.
But this is not a story about how the left and right disagree with each other. In fact, they actually largely agree.
When Talk of the Nation's Neal Conan asks for callers on a given topic, there's no telling what he'll get. Today, the show followed up with NPR's Tom Bowman on his series about the tremendous sacrifices of the "Darkhorse" Battalion — the Marines of the 3rd Battalion, 5th Regiment. Lance Cpl. Jake Romo lost both his legs in Afghanistan with the battalion, and he spoke with Conan and Bowman about his tour.
The government is expected to shut down at least 3,000 post offices — and one hobbyist who visits post offices around the country has taken notice.
Evan Kalish collects hand-cancellation marks and blogs about it on Going Postal, where he posts photographs of each location.
Kalish, who's also a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania in geospatial analytics, started his hobby right out of college — and he has run up an impressive tally of how many he's visited: 2,745.
When scientists brought the Bulbophyllum nocturnum back to the Netherlands, they were perplexed. They had found the plant on the island of New Britain, near Papua New Guinea. They knew the plant came from a rare group, but the orchid's blooms would die before opening up. At least that's what the scientists thought.
The orchid's uniqueness never became clear until one scientist brought it home with him. Here's how MSNBC tells the story:
Newt Gingrich was in his 20s when he was hired at West Georgia College as a history professor. He had just returned from Belgium, where he was doing research for his doctoral dissertation.
"He was very much a person of intellect," says Mel Steeley, who taught history at the college for four decades and helped bring Gingrich to the school in 1970. "He would wander across campus and didn't notice people. He'd have something in his mind, always be thinking about something. When he first came, you kind of wondered if he was a student or a professor."
From pregnancy on, parents often keep a stack of bedside reading full of advice on raising children — survival tips from the terrible toddler years through annoying adolescence. Los Angeles comedy writer Gail Parent figured she'd be done with all that once her kids turned the magical age of 21.
"Because I didn't tell my parents anything bad or negative," she says. "I let them be very peaceful about me when I was an adult. But I had told my kids to tell me everything when they were young."
U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe appealed to Congress on Monday to help him reform the Postal Service.
"We're in a deep financial crisis today because we have a business model that is tied to the past. We are expected to operate like a business, but do not have the flexibility to do so," he said at the National Press Club.
Donahoe also rejected the postal reform bills that have passed committees of the Republican-controlled House and the Democratic Senate.