The Taliban have been waging a particularly bloody offensive this year now that Afghan government forces are in charge of security. The result: Afghan army and police are suffering record numbers of casualties — far more than NATO ever did at the height of its troop presence in Afghanistan.
So even as NATO forces are preparing to leave, they are working to bolster the medical capabilities of Afghan forces at hospitals, clinics and training centers across the country.
Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 2:56 pm
What will it take to make intrauterine devices sexy?
IUDs are highly effective forms of contraception, but fear of side effects, lack of training for doctors and costs can keep women away. Health organizations and private companies are trying to change that by breaking down misconceptions and broadening access.
The contraceptives are inserted into the uterus and can prevent pregnancy for years. And they're reversible. Shortly after they're taken out, a woman can become pregnant.
For the first time on record, bicycles have outsold cars in Spain.
Higher taxes on fuel and on new cars have prompted cash-strapped Spaniards to opt for two wheels instead of four. Last year, 780,000 bicycles were sold in the country — compared to 700,000 cars. That's due to a 4 percent jump in bike sales, and a 30 percent drop in sales of new cars.
Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 10:37 am
U.S. forces carried out two commando raids on suspected terrorist in Northern Africa Saturday.
In Libya, an al-Qaida leader indicted in the United States for the 1998 attacks on two U.S. embassies in East Africa was captured in a daytime military raid. U.S. special forces captured the militant, known as Abu Anas al-Libi, near Tripoli.
Update at 12:15 p.m ET: Libya Asks U.S. About 'Kidnapping'
Christina Bellantoni is the politics editor for "PBS NewsHour." She joins us to talk about the latest from Washington. Christina, welcome.
CHRISTINA BELLANTONI: Thanks for having me.
RATH: So first, let's talk about how this is playing out politically. There's been a lot of talk about who's to blame for the shutdown. Polls are showing most Americans blame the Republicans in the House. But do you think that's going to continue, if the shutdown drags on?
Sales of the insanely popular video game "Grand Theft Auto V" passed the billion-dollar mark just three days after its release this month. But not everyone sees mainstream titles as the industry's game changers. When searching for the next big thing, some of the biggest gaming companies actually look to the little guys: indie game developers. And as NPR's Daniel Hajek reports, they're finding them this weekend at a Los Angeles festival that brings out the underground talent.
If you're just joining us, it's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.
JPMorgan is one of the world's largest financial institutions. And now there are reports that JP may face the largest bank fine in American history. Bank regulators are in negotiations with JPMorgan over allegations involving bad mortgages. It's just the latest in a string of legal troubles for JPMorgan.
From NPR West, it's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Arun Rath.
The U.S. government has been shut down for five days. Earlier today, the House of Representatives voted to grant federal workers back pay when the shutdown ends, but there is no sign that end is coming anytime soon. And frustration among those on the job is growing.
Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 6:50 pm
(Updated 8:50 p.m. ET)
A force that struck foreign fighters in Somalia early Saturday included members of a U.S. Navy SEAL team, according to reports. The team targeted a senior leader of the militant group al-Shabab, but there were conflicting reports about that man's fate.
Reddit calls itself "the front page of the Internet." The social news site and global discussion board has become increasingly popular since it launched in 2005. Topics range from politics and entertainment to animal videos and conspiracy theories. Many public figures have used Reddit to reach out to fans and supporters, and last year, President Obama used the site to answer voter questions live.
The Department of Defense is ordering most of its furloughed civilian employees back to work, in a move announced just after midday Saturday. The plan will put hundreds of thousands of workers back on the job next week.
"Today, I am announcing that most DoD civilians placed on emergency furlough during the government shutdown will be asked to return to work beginning next week," Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in a statement.
Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 1:32 pm
Pirate Joe's, the grocery store that made waves — and attracted a lawsuit — for selling Trader Joe's items in Canada, has won a battle in its legal fight with the supermarket chain. A U.S. district court judge has granted the Vancouver store's motion to dismiss a trademark infringement lawsuit.
After the lawsuit was filed, Pirate Joe's took on the name _Irate Joe's. The store's owner, Mike Hallatt, says he began his enterprise on a small scale last year, driving groceries across the border from Washington State to Vancouver. Trader Joe's does not operate any stores in Canada.
Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 1:15 pm
The man who set himself on fire on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., Friday has died of his injuries, according to a police spokesman cited by the AP. The man reportedly used gasoline to commit the act, which drew attempts from passers-by to extinguish the flames.
Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 1:58 pm
Federal workers who were furloughed by a government shutdown will receive back pay once they return to work, if a bill approved by the House of Representatives Saturday meets Senate approval. The White House has said it favors such a move.
The vote came after the U.S. government began the fifth day of a shutdown that has put 800,000 people out of work. The bill was approved without a vote against it. The Senate is expected to hold its own Saturday session that begins at midday.
Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 9:45 am
The federal shutdown that has idled some 800,000 government workers could be over by now — if members of Congress were able to vote on a bill that doesn't include an attack on the new U.S. health care system, President Obama says. "There are enough votes in the House of Representatives to make sure that the government reopens today," he told The Associated Press Friday.
Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 2:15 pm
More than two feet of snow has crippled roadways in western South Dakota, the worst-hit target of a storm that brought snow to Wyoming and tornadoes to Nebraska Friday. Heavy snowfall and low visibility have combined to cause crashes and shut down roads.
Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 7:51 am
The death of Miriam Carey, killed by police gunfire Thursday after leading a car chase from the White House to the Capitol, is prompting questions from her family about whether she deserved to die. The incident, of which details remain unexplained, is leading experts to analyze the actions of the officers present.
"We're still very confused as a family why she's not still alive," Carey's sister Amy Carey-Jones told the AP late Friday. "I really feel like it's not justified, not justified."
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:
The Affordable Care Act has been at the center of the budget debate that has shut down the government.
Tea Party Republicans in the House have led the charge to try to repeal or delay Obamacare in exchange for funding the government.
They were cheered for taking on the health law by Tea Party activists across the country, including Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder and national coordinator for the group, Tea Party Patriots. Martin told Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon recently that Congress ignored the will of the people when Obamacare was enacted.
The work that Shaun O'Connell does is required by law, yet now he's sidelined by the government shutdown.
O'Connell reviews disability claims for the Social Security Administration in New York, checking that no one's gaming the system, while ensuring people with legitimate medical problems are compensated properly.
Billions of dollars are at stake with this kind of work, yet O'Connell is considered a nonessential employee for purposes of the partial government shutdown.
For one month each fall, residents of interior Alaska don chest waders and splash through the clear, frigid water of the Chatanika River. With large homemade lanterns hanging from their necks and spears in their hands, the fishermen keep their eyes peeled for whitefish.
Lifelong Alaskan Cory Kuryla leads his best friend Dave Ensley and me down a dark forest trail.
"We make rookies take a bite out of the first fish they catch!" he says.
I'm walking through Times Square, the crossroads of the world. Just when I reach the line for cheap Broadway tickets, I see it: a giant billboard with the word "capitalism" in bright white lights and the words "works for me!" in cursive below. There's a podium and two buttons where you can vote whether the statement is "true" or "false."
Peggy Demitrack, a tourist from Cleveland, is adamant when she pushes the "true" button. She says capitalism works for anyone who strives and educates themselves.
David Shannon has written books about an adorable West Highland terrier, a duck on a bike and a fairy named Alice. Maybe he's tired of drawing cute. So, now the author and illustrator has done a book called "Bugs in My Hair," and it isn't about pets, forests or fantasy creatures. No, it's about head lice. David Shannon joins us from the studios of KQED in San Francisco. Thanks so much for being with us.