Michael McFaul, the architect of the reset of relations with Russia, is now the U.S. ambassador to Moscow as the countries work through a series of difficult issues. Here, McFaul is shown at his Jan. 10 swearing-in at the Sate Department, a ceremony presided over by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The Justice Department's massive copyright case against the file-sharing website Megaupload.com had the Internet world hopping this week. But it also got lawyers talking, about the scope of a criminal investigation that spanned eight countries and the hard-nosed tactics that the government deployed.
Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:
Rick Santorum is officially the winner of the Jan. 3 Iowa Republican presidential caucus. The state Republican Party reversed itself from a previous assertion that it would not declare one, given problems at eight precincts, as The Des Moines Register reported.
In a news release late Friday, the party said it called the race "in order to clarify conflicting reports and to affirm the results released Jan. 18 by the Republican Party of Iowa."
When the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI shut down the web site Megaupload yesterday, there were many responses, from outrage to confusion to applause, and nearly as many questions. One that stood out was simple: If Megaupload provides a service that can be used for legal pursuits, are they legally responsible for the users who use it to illegally share copyrighted material?
The album Little Spark evokes a sound you might have heard 40 years ago, piercing through the static of your AM radio. The big string sections and angelic choruses are all there, echoing the hallmarks of classic orchestral pop. But Little Spark is the work of a modern singer-songwriter named Jessie Baylin.
Javier Sicilia is a novelist and a poet. In 2009, he was awarded Mexico's prestigious Aguascalientes National Poetry Prize. This September, he read a poem dedicated to his son, Juan Francisco, at a rally:
A member of Colombia's secret police, or Administrative Department of Security, listens to intercepted telephone calls in 2009. Reports of illegal wiretapping by secret police contributed to President Juan Manuel Santos' 2011 decision to close the agency.
President Juan Manuel Santos announced late last year that he was liquidating Colombia's troubled intelligence agency, and the country, he said, knew exactly why.
The Administrative Department of Security, or DAS, had been mired in scandal by reports of agents illegally wiretapping government critics and selling classified information to drug lords.
Despite a furious lobbying effort by the Catholic Church, the Obama administration today said it won't weaken new rules that will require most health insurance plans to offer women prescription contraceptives at no additional out-of-pocket cost.
Republican presidential candidates, left to right: former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and Texas Rep. Ron Paul at a debate Thursday in Charleston, S.C.
Credit Win McNamee / Getty Images
Supporters of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich campaign outside the Southern Republican Leadership Conference Friday in Charleston, S.C.
Saturday's South Carolina Republican primary may be the last good chance for Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's challengers to stop his march to the nomination. Every election year since 1980, the winner of South Carolina's Republican primary has gone on to win the nomination.
Families displaced by drought line up for food this week in Mogadishu, Somalia.
Food is getting elbowed out of the discussion on climate change, which could spell disaster for the 1 billion people who will be added to the world's population in the next 15 years. That's the word today from scientists wondering why food and sustainability get such short shrift when it comes to thinking about how humans will adapt to climate change.
Snow Patrol's newest album is titled Fallen Empires.
Blending melodic, powerful, guitar-driven indie rock with hook-filled pop and Coldplay-style balladry, Scottish band Snow Patrol has become an international sensation with heavy touring, chart-topping albums and beautiful singles. In 2003, Final Straw vaulted the group onto the international music scene.
If you're seriously into reading, chances are, if you're not a nerd, then you've at least got some nerdy DNA somewhere in your intellectual genome. I know I do. But as a reader I sometimes feel like I'm being asked to identify with a hero who isn't nearly geeky enough — a hero with uncorrected vision and excellent orthodontics and really good hair. Sure, he's nice, but I doubt I would have wanted to sit at his table in the cafeteria in high school.
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney and his wife Ann wish a happy birthday to South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (left) at Romney's campaign headquarters in Charleston, S.C., on Thursday.
Credit Mary Ann Chastain / AP
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and then-gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley (left) during a 2010 rally in Columbia, S.C.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, one of the Tea Party's early superstars, has seen her approval ratings fall, and some of her core supporters are baffled by Haley's endorsement of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
Haley won election in 2010 as a true fiscal conservative, capturing the endorsement of Sarah Palin, who said Haley was willing to challenge the good old boys of the state's politics.
Joseph Nixon, attorney for the Rick Perry campaign, speaks to the media outside federal court in Richmond, Va., on Jan. 13. A federal judge refused Perry and other candidates' request to be added to the Virginia ballot.
Federal judges have been getting hammered pretty hard in this Republican presidential campaign.
Rick Santorum has joked about banishing liberal, federal judges to Guam. Erstwhile candidate Rick Perry has been a longtime advocate for states' rights, calling himself a "tenth amendment believing governor." And Newt Gingrich has repeatedly criticized the country's judicial system, targeting what he calls quote "activist judges."
The presidential election brings out the media's obsession with regional differences. Reporters and politicians do stand-ups from cornfields in the Midwest, beaches in California, honky-tonks in Texas — and in front of this sand sculpture of the GOP candidates in Myrtle Beach, S.C., last weekend.
The race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination is fixing to get, as we Southerners tongue-in-cheekly say, about as slippery as a greased pig in a hog wallow. Nasty as a old possum in a croaker sack. Murky as South Carolina swamp mud.
The Republican primary focus is shifting to the South, where folks talk and act different from the rest of the country. And where they look for different characteristics in candidates than other regions of the ...
Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign stop at Seven Oaks Park this week in Irmol, S.C. Jobs are likely to be an important issue for South Carolina voters in Saturday's primary, with the state's unemployment rate at 9.9 percent.
In a presidential election that most expect will be all about the economy, South Carolina is a state where economic issues are front and center. The state's unemployment rate is 9.9 percent, well above the national rate. But even that number is deceptive. There are pockets around the state where the conditions are much more severe. In Lancaster County, for example, the rate is above 12 percent.
Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom, also known as Kim Schmitz, in an Auckland, New Zealand, court today.
The arrest of four executives of Megaupload, a major Internet file-sharing site, has triggered an online backlash and raised fresh questions about electronic piracy and copyright violations. What's behind the controversy? NPR asked two experts to help clarify the facts behind the arrests.
The Supreme Court has tossed out a lower Texas court's redistricting maps and told it to take a new look at election maps drawn up by the Texas Legislature. The stakes are high because primaries are coming right up, and Texas is getting four new seats in the House of Representatives.