Originally published on Tue September 6, 2011 10:20 am
Armed loyalists of Moammar Gadhafi, including his security chief, fled into neighboring Niger in multiple convoys across hundreds of miles of desert on Tuesday. Libya's former rebels — now the country's de facto rulers — claimed the convoys were a major flight by Gadhafi's most hardcore backers from his final strongholds.
The claims could not immediately be confirmed. Information on the size of the convoys and who was in them was scarce as they made their way across the vast swath of Sahara — over 1,000 miles — between any populated areas on the two sides of the border.
The new Republican frontrunner, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, will take part in his first presidential debate Wednesday night. In advance of his debut, we looked back at key moments from the previous debate performances of the longest-serving governor in Texas history.
Five of the top six Republicans running for president spent Labor Day taking a grilling from the conservative wing of their party at a forum in Columbia, S.C.
Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina — who is a powerful voice in the early voting state and a Tea Party favorite — organized the forum, which started on a bit of a deflated note with news that Texas Gov. Rick Perry backed out at the last minute to deal with raging wildfires in his state.
Observation Post Mustang sits high in the mountains of northeastern Afghanistan, near the Pakistan border. At an altitude of 5,600 feet, the soldiers stationed there from the Army's 2-27th Infantry Regiment have a stunning view of the Kunar River Valley far below.
But it's not all just beautiful vistas and clean mountain air. On Sunday, the forward operating base that sits in the valley below took enemy fire. NPR's David Gilkey, who is embedded with the 2-27th Infantry, photographed American soldiers as they engaged in a firefight with insurgents across the valley.
The latest round in the legal battle over same sex marriage will be fought Tuesday in a hearing before the California State Supreme Court.
The arguments will focus not so much on same-sex marriage itself, but on Proposition 8, the voter-approved initiative banning such marriages. A federal judge has ruled Prop. 8 unconstitutional and the issue before the court on Tuesday is whether proponents of the initiative have the legal authority, or standing, to pursue an appeal.
Los Angeles is arguably the epicenter of street gangs stretching back for generations. NPR's Mandalit del Barco has been documenting the lives of gang members in the city for nearly two decades. For the series "The Hidden World of Girls," produced with the Kitchen Sisters, del Barco revisits one gang girl she profiled for an NPR documentary in 1995.
When planes hit the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, Father Mychal Judge ran into the North Tower alongside the firemen he served. Not long after, he became the first recorded victim of the terrorist attacks.
But 10 years later, his friends and colleagues remember Judge as vividly in death as they knew him in life: a gregarious, irreverent man wholly devoted to God, whom many considered a saint, in large part because of his own personal struggles.
Priest On A Fire Ladder
From the first, Mychal Judge loved to be where the action is.
A tinderbox landscape and unusually windy conditions have caused more than 60 wildfires to explode across Central and East Texas — creating a hellish Labor Day for thousands of Texans. Two people have been killed so far.
The worst fire is in Bastrop County, just southeast of Austin, where the blaze has been burning out of control for more than a day.
No one in Bastrop has ever seen anything like it. The tall, pine forests that were a favorite getaway for campers and city commuters have erupted into an inferno.
President Obama said Monday that congressional Republicans must put their country ahead of their party and vote to create new jobs as he used a boisterous Labor Day rally to aim a partisan barb at the GOP.
In a preview of the jobs speech he will deliver on Thursday to Congress, Obama said there are numerous roads and bridges that need rebuilding in the U.S., and over 1 million unemployed construction workers who are available to build them.
Originally published on Tue September 6, 2011 1:44 am
Pakistan's military announced Monday that the country's main intelligence agency has captured a senior al-Qaida leader responsible for planning and conducting international operations.
Younis al-Mauritani, also known as The Mauritanian, was among three suspected al-Qaida operatives captured in the city of Quetta, which is the capital of southwest Baluchistan and has long been a transit point for militants crossing between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
NEAL CONAN, host: This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. For a couple of years, school administrators fended off the full effect of the Great Recession with federal stimulus funds, but in most places that money is gone, and the new school year ushers in some serious changes.
Rebels in Libya continue to prepare for a final push on Bani Walid, one of the last strongholds of ousted leader Moammar Gadhafi. As rebel forces continue to topple key cities, questions arise about what happens next. NPR foreign correspondent Lourdes Garcia-Navarro, New York Times foreign correspondent Anthony Shadid and Fouad Ajami, a senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, discuss the rapidly evolving situation in Libya and the country's next steps.
"We may still celebrate Labor Day, but our culture has given up on honoring workers as the real creators of wealth and their honest toil — the phrase itself seems antique — as worthy of genuine respect," he writes.
"I'm in it for the money." "It's a holiday. I'm still here." Summing up your work can be difficult — especially in six words. Smith Magazine has published a string of successful books in recent years with six-word memoirs. Contributors offer their life stories, brushes with fame, tales of love or pregnancy — and now their work story — in exactly six words. Magazine co-founder Larry Smith joins us as listeners share their six-word memoirs of work — from lessons learned to terrible bosses.
As people across the country suffer from long-term unemployment, the tech industry is experiencing a shortage of qualified workers. Particularly in software development, employers are waging bidding wars over a tightening supply.
Take the case of Mike Champion. He and his wife, Sandra, live in the Boston suburbs with their 9-month-old daughter, Molly.
Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak returned to court Monday as the first witnesses took the stand in his trial on charges of corruption and complicity in the killing of more than 850 protesters during the uprising that ousted him.
Mubarak, who is in ill health, was once again wheeled in on a stretcher and placed in a metal defendants' cage inside a police academy on the outskirts of Cairo where the courtroom has been set up.
Major U.S. companies are asking for tax breaks in order, they say, to create more jobs. But the question remains whether they will create American jobs or move their money overseas. Steve Inskeep talks to Washington Post reporter Jialynn Yang about her recent article on the subject, and how difficult it is to find data on overseas vs. domestic hiring.
Unions are under siege, as Republican governors have curtailed collective bargaining rights in some states. As well, national labor leaders say President Barack Obama and Democrats in Washington have let them down.
In Cairo, the trial of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is scheduled to resume Monday. On the first day that testimony is expected, the judge has banned cameras from the courtroom. Mubarak is accused of ordering the killing of protesters during the uprising earlier this year. The 83-year-old denies the charges.
Nearly three decades have passed since the debate began about a series of symptoms that have come to be known as chronic fatigue syndrome. It's cause is still unknown, but over the years, researchers have identified various brain, immune system and energy metabolism irregularities involved. Some patients describe the syndrome as feeling like an "unrelenting, unremitting flu."
Airlines have been experimenting with different boarding methods as the amount of carry-on luggage passengers bring on board has greatly slowed down the boarding process, with varying results. Steve Inskeep talks to Wall Street Journal "Middle Seat" columnist Scott McCartney about the highly contentious issue of how best to board airplanes.
Recent polls show that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's rival for the GOP presidential nomination, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, is more popular with the Tea Party rank and file. On the stump in New Hampshire over the weekend, the two leading candidates campaigned hard, and somewhat against type.
Stock exchanges across Asia dropped sharply Monday after Friday's dismal U.S. employment report showing no new jobs were added in August. Japan's Nikkei index fell nearly 2 percent — with markets in South Korea, Hong Kong and Shanghai also posting major losses. Investors remain concerned by the possibility of another recession in the U.S., where markets are closed Monday for Labor Day.
Since the revolution against the Libyan government began in February, 850,000 people have left the country. That number is expected to rise, given the country's uncertain future. Steve Inskeep speaks to Elizabeth Ferris, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, about the effect of the Arab spring on massive migration across North Africa's borders.
Rebel forces in Libya have surrounded the town of Bani Walid, southeast of the capital Tripoli. The rebels are still hoping to negotiate a peaceful takeover of the town, a stronghold of embattled leader Moammar Gadhafi, and avoid further civilian casualties. But Gadhafi loyalists are refusing to surrender.
The long Labor Day weekend is a time for backyard barbecues, catching up with friends and family, and for some, a game of Wiffle Ball.
Over the years, the Wiffle Ball has wound its way into the fabric of America. Those who don't even like baseball very much have taken a swing at that white plastic ball with the oval slots around one side.
There is something about the Wiffle Ball that's kind of irresistible — toy stores and even some hardware stores across the country sell them. And for consumers looking for a ways to spend more time outside, they're pretty cheap.
Three hundred and fifty thousand: That's a conservative estimate for the number of offenders with mental illness confined in America's prisons and jails.
More Americans receive mental health treatment in prisons and jails than in hospitals or treatment centers. In fact, the three largest inpatient psychiatric facilities in the country are jails: Los Angeles County Jail, Rikers Island Jail in New York City and Cook County Jail in Illinois.