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Economy
8:00 am
Sat March 17, 2012

Markets Hit Milestones; Goldman Sachs Gets Bashed

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden. Checking on your retirement and mutual fund statements is getting a bit less scary. The stock market cleared another hurdle this week with the S&P 500 closing above 1,400 for the first time in almost four years, and the Dow Jones Industrials up almost 25 percent from in recent low back in early October. NPR's John Ydstie is here to tell us what's driving the market. John, thank you for coming in.

JOHN YDSTIE, BYLINE: You're welcome, Jacki.

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Europe
8:00 am
Sat March 17, 2012

London Starts Digging Massive Tunnels For Transport

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

The history of the city of London dates back to the Romans and beyond. So, when you start digging massive tunnels beneath that place, it's always going to be interesting. And that's just what's about to happen.

MAYOR BORIS JOHNSON: I hereby declare Ada and Phyllis unleashed.

(SOUNDBITE OF BUZZER)

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Around the Nation
8:00 am
Sat March 17, 2012

Soldier Suspected Of Killing Afghans In Kan. Prison

Originally published on Sun March 18, 2012 10:07 am

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. Scott Simon is away. I'm Jacki Lyden. The soldier suspected of killing 16 Afghan civilians is today being held at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas. Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales now has an attorney and the lines of his defense are beginning to emerge. The case has also put America's prosecution of the war in Afghanistan on trial. There are new disputes between the U.S. and Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

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Afghanistan
8:00 am
Sat March 17, 2012

Where Is Counterinsurgency In Afghanistan Now?

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

As further details emerge about this week's shootings in Afghanistan, the situation on the ground there continues to develop. As we've heard, in recent years a lot of emphasis has been placed on the counterinsurgency effort, on winning hearts and minds as opposed to targeting terrorist cells. So what do these latest incidents mean for that already fragile effort? John Nagl is a military counterinsurgency expert. He is now teaching at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis.

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Politics
8:00 am
Sat March 17, 2012

When Polls Conflict: What Political Gauges Mean

Originally published on Sun March 18, 2012 10:07 am

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

If you paid any attention to the polls this past week, you might have come away pretty confused. For example in one survey, a plurality of Americans said that they disapproved of President Obama's performance by a wide margin. Another poll showed just the opposite.

To explain why polls taken during the same period may give conflicting results, we're joined by Andy Kohut. He's the president of the Pew Research Center.

Andy, thank you so much for coming in.

ANDY KOHUT: Happy to be here.

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Sports
8:00 am
Sat March 17, 2012

A Basketball Wrap-Up, In Verse

Originally published on Sun March 18, 2012 10:07 am

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, BYLINE: Every school invited to the NCAA basketball tournament has had a chance to play. So we thought we'd bring you details of every game. Well, maybe not details, but at least a mention from NPR's Mike Pesca. And what he lacks in specifics, he makes up for in rhyme.

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Music Interviews
8:00 am
Sat March 17, 2012

Composer Matches Music To Horse Hooves

Originally published on Sun March 18, 2012 10:07 am

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

As London prepares for an Olympic influx, the world's athletes are not the only ones limbering up. Composer Tom Hunt is at work with members of a British team who compete in the equestrian sport called dressage. He joins us from the BBC studios in Salford.

Thank you for joining us.

TOM HUNT: Thank you for having me.

LYDEN: The music that you compose for the equestrian competition, tell us how the music and the horse work together.

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Europe
6:23 am
Sat March 17, 2012

Greek Bailout Is Accompanied By Greek Resentment

Shipyard workers demand their unpaid wages in central Athens on Thursday, the day that countries in the 17-nation euro zone formally approved a second bailout of $36.6 billion for Greece.
Petros Giannakouris AP

Originally published on Sun March 18, 2012 10:07 am

Debt-beleaguered Greece has secured a second international bailout. But for many Greeks, the conditions set by the International Monetary Fund, European Union and European Central Bank — known as the "troika" — are a breach of their sovereignty.

A recent demonstration in central Athens was organized by a group of lawyers who claim the latest bailout agreement turns Greece into the ward of its international lenders.

Demonstrator Irini Lazana says it violates the country's legislative foundations.

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Author Interviews
6:23 am
Sat March 17, 2012

'The O'Briens': A Multigenerational Canadian Epic

Pantheon

In the Law of Dreams, Canadian writer Peter Behrens' first novel, an Irish immigrant, based on Behrens' grandfather, makes his way out of famine-starved Ireland to Canada. The novel came out in 2006 to wide acclaim and won Canada's Governor-General's award for fiction.

Now, Behrens has followed up with another multigenerational novel. The O'Briens opens in 1867, with teenage Joe O'Brien scratching out a living in Quebec after his father and mother have both died.

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Poetry
6:22 am
Sat March 17, 2012

A St. Patrick's Poem On Shamrocks And Stereotypes

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun March 18, 2012 10:07 am

Ireland has launched some of the greatest writers in English literature, from William Butler Yeats to Oscar Wilde to George Bernard Shaw.

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Middle East
6:21 am
Sat March 17, 2012

Despite Restrictions, Gaza Finds A Way To Build

A Palestinian youth breaks up stones for construction in Gaza City. Despite restrictions on imports including building material, the area is going through a construction boom.
Mohammed Abed AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 18, 2012 10:07 am

A crowd of onlookers has gathered around the oily black tarmac recently being laid down in a section of downtown Gaza City. Gaza's potholed streets are finally getting a makeover, and infrastructure upgrades like this new road are still a novelty for residents.

The overseer of the project says that before, Gaza couldn't get enough material to fix the road. But now, everyone is building.

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Presidential Race
6:21 am
Sat March 17, 2012

Confusion Wins In Missouri's 'Chaotic' Caucus Process

Women count votes at the GOP presidential caucus in Barry County, Mo., on Tuesday. At this and other caucuses held in the state Saturday, voters selected delegates to go to the district and state conventions.
Frank Morris For NPR

Originally published on Sun March 18, 2012 10:07 am

Cassville, Mo., is a little town on the edge of the Ozark Mountains. During the Civil War, the Confederate state Legislature convened here. Tuesday, the Republican presidential caucus was the big draw. Most of the rest of the state holds its caucuses today.

Confusion On Caucus Night

The first caucus was a messy process. More than 250 people showed up, most planning to vote directly for the candidates. That was not to be.

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Afghanistan
2:22 am
Sat March 17, 2012

Neighbors: Suspect In Afghan Attack Was Family Man

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales (left), the U.S. soldier who allegedly shot and killed 16 civilians in Afghanistan, at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Calif., on Aug. 23.
Defense Video and Imagery Distribution System AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 18, 2012 12:59 am

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, the U.S. soldier alleged to have killed 16 Afghan civilians, was described by a former platoon leader Saturday as an "awesome" soldier.

"He always got the job done," said Cpt. Christopher Alexander, who led Bales on his second tour in Iraq. "You give this guy a task — it could be menial, it could be dangerous — either way, you never had to worry about whether he'd get it done and get it done well."

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U.S.
10:38 pm
Fri March 16, 2012

Soldier Suspected In Afghan Shootings Identified

Originally published on Fri March 16, 2012 11:03 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block. We now know the name of the American soldier who's in custody for killing 16 Afghan civilians last weekend. NPR has confirmed he is Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales, based out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington State. And for more, we're joined by NPR's Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman. Tom, the name has been withheld now for nearly a week since that shooting happened. Why is it out now?

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Music Interviews
6:27 pm
Fri March 16, 2012

Moot Davis: A Rocker With A Honky-Tonk Heart

Moot Davis' new album is Man about Town.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun March 18, 2012 10:07 am

Though guitarist Moot Davis grew up a New Jersey rocker, he had an appreciation for country music thanks to his West Virginian parents. But it wasn't until he saw a certain cola commercial that he really turned a corner.

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The Two-Way
6:23 pm
Fri March 16, 2012

Reports: Officials Identify Soldier Suspected Of Shooting Afghan Civilians

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales (left), the U.S. soldier who allegedly shot and killed 16 civilians in Afghanistan, at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Calif., on Aug. 23.
Defense Video and Imagery Distribution System AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 17, 2012 4:42 am

Pentagon officials say Staff Sgt. Robert Bales is the soldier suspected of killing 16 Afghan civilians, including women and children.

While a profile of him is not yet detailed, now that his name has been made public one is beginning to emerge.

Bales is a 38-year-old father of two from Lake Tapps, Wash. with a good military record. His neighbors describe him as friendly and "full of life."

His lawyer has said that he's been injured twice and that this Afghanistan deployment was his fourth tour and he was adamant about going.

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Election 2012
5:55 pm
Fri March 16, 2012

Incumbents Face Off In Illinois After Redistricting

Rep. Don Manzullo, a 10-term veteran, campaigns in Belvidere, Ill., on March 5.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Fri March 16, 2012 11:20 pm

Redistricting is forcing a handful of congressional incumbents of the same party to run against each other in primaries. On March 6, Rep. Marcy Kaptur defeated fellow liberal Democrat Rep. Dennis Kucinich in Ohio.

And next Tuesday, two conservative Republicans square off in Illinois.

The scene is the newly drawn 16th Congressional District, which covers mostly rural territory in the northern part of the state, curving around the suburbs and exurbs of Chicago, from the Wisconsin border north of Rockford to the Indiana border east of Kankakee.

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The Two-Way
5:54 pm
Fri March 16, 2012

'Invisible Children' Co-Founder Arrested In San Diego

Originally published on Fri March 16, 2012 6:09 pm

Over the past couple of weeks, Invisible Children has been in the news quite a bit. First because a video produced by the organization acheived viral success and shone a spotlight on the Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony.

Then, because the video caused controversy when some said it glossed over a complex issue.

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Election 2012
5:06 pm
Fri March 16, 2012

Buying A Political Ad? Let A SuperPAC Foot The Bill

There has been one constant throughout the GOP campaign — Mitt Romney and the superPAC that supports him have vastly outspent his rivals.

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Economy
4:51 pm
Fri March 16, 2012

The Market's Finally Looking Up: Will It Last?

Trader Peter Tuchman reacts on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on March 13. That same day, the Dow Jones industrial average had its highest close since 2007.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Fri March 16, 2012 11:03 pm

The stock market hit some major milestones this week: The Standard & Poor's 500 index reached its highest level in more than three years, the Dow Jones industrial average settled in above 13,000 — up about 24 percent since early October — and the Nasdaq rose to its highest level in 11 years. Still, the Federal Reserve has been warning not to get too excited about where the economy is headed next.

David Kotok, chairman and chief investment officer at Cumberland Advisors, says there are a bunch of reason for stocks to be rising.

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