The U.S. formally recognized the Somali government for the first time in 20 years on Thursday when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mahamud at the State Department. Hassan is the first permanent Somali president since 1991 and faces a daunting task of rebuilding a nation torn by conflict and Islamist insurgencies.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
I'm Robert Siegel. And we begin this hour with a brazen rescue attempt in Algeria. Government forces launched an assault today on an oil and gas facility in the remote Algerian desert. There, Islamist militants had been holding hundreds of hostages, including 41 Westerners, since yesterday. The Algerian military went in swiftly and decisively, stunning Western governments, who might have handled such a hostage drama more delicately.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish.
Here's something we haven't bee able to report for a while: State budgets are looking better. Thanks to an improving economy, spending cuts and some tax increases, more than 33 states and the District of Columbia report their financial condition is stabilizing. Even California, the poster child for the budget mess, is looking OK, at least in the short run.
The economy has been growing in Kansas, but the state's budget is still projected to be in the red next fiscal year. A tax cut passed last year is aimed at growing the economy, but it's predicted that there will be a significant shortfall first.
House Republicans have left Washington, D.C., and reconvened three hours south, just outside Williamsburg, Va., for a closed-door retreat. They've heard from pollsters about why the public doesn't like them. Now they'll hear from consultants about how to woo women and minorities. David Welna talks to Audie Cornish.
Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 4:27 pm
As part of our "Sense of Place" tour of Memphis, we're on to Royal Studio, where Al Green, Ann Peebles and others made some of the 1970s' most important soul music for Hi Records.
Most of that music was produced by the late Willie Mitchell. Here, we've dug up a 2005 interview with Al Green wherein he tells the story of how Mitchell helped him find his voice. We also talk with Mitchell's son, Boo, who grew up at Royal. His dad told him, "Don't turn Royal into a museum when I die." Don't worry; he hasn't.
Originally published on Mon April 22, 2013 11:26 am
Correction: The audio of this segment mentions a February performance by the Mingus Jazz Orchestra. There will be no Mingus Jazz Orchestra concert this year. The audio and text of this segment also misidentified the dates of the 2013 Mingus High School Competition. The competition is Feb. 15-18.
Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 4:04 pm
Hours after French troops launched a ground offensive in Mali to quash an Islamist rebellion, militants retaliated by seizing dozens of hostages, reportedly including Americans, in neighboring Algeria — an attack that underscores Western fears of a deteriorating security situation in northwestern Africa.
Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 2:28 pm
Nearly three years after a deadly mine explosion in West Virginia, a former Massey Energy mine superintendent has been sentenced to prison and federal regulators have toughened a regulation that could have helped prevent the disaster.
And another story we've been following the past couple of days: Yesterday, an extremist group in Algeria attacked a remote natural gas production complex in the Sahara Desert and seized hostages, most of them Algerian, but including some Americans and other Westerners. Today, Algeria's military responded. Reports conflict on numbers. It seems clear some hostages have escaped, others have been killed.