Secretary of State John Kerry is putting his diplomatic skills to the test this week. He is dealing with some difficult partners and trying to revive Israeli/Palestinian peace talks. Kerry spent the day yesterday in Baghdad and today he made an announced trip to Afghanistan to try to smooth over the latest disputes with President Hamid Karzai. NPR's Michele Kelemen is traveling with the secretary and joins us now from Kabul. Hey, Michele.
Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 10:00 am
Didn't have time to watch or didn't really care? If you're not up to speed on the weekend's news from the men's and women's Division I college basketball championships, but want to be armed with a few things to talk about if someone brings up basketball today, here goes:
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. We've been hearing a lot of stories of the new pope's modesty, and now this. The pope called a Buenos Aires newspaper kiosk to cancel his own subscription. The shocked kiosk owner thought it was a joke until his holiest customer said, seriously, I'm calling you from Rome. The news vendor told an Argentine daily of another humble habit. The then-cardinal always collected and once a month returned the rubber bands from his newspapers. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 8:34 am
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And police in Britain are piecing together the final days in the life of a Russian oligarch named Boris Berezovsky. They hope this may shed light on his sudden death this last weekend. Berezovsky used to be one of the wealthiest and most powerful men in Russia. Then he fell out with the Kremlin and sought asylum in Britain. NPR's Philip Reeves reports.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
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And I'm David Greene.
The tiny Mediterranean island of Cyprus was on the brink of bankruptcy. But at the last minute, European finance ministers approved a multibillion-dollar bailout for the country. The deal will keep the island's banking system from collapsing, but the country is far from out of the woods.
NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson begins our coverage from Berlin.
Secretary of State John Kerry is putting his diplomatic skills to the test this week. He is dealing with some difficult partners and trying to revive Israeli/Palestinian peace talks. Kerry spent the day yesterday in Baghdad. He's nudging the Iraqi government to stop letting Iran use Iraqi air space to send weapons into Syria. The United States does not have much leverage, however, as NPR's Michele Kelemen reports.
Cyprus has secured a $13 billion package of rescue loans in tense, last-ditch negotiations. Some in Cyprus question whether the European Union wanted Cyprus' recently discovered natural gas reserves or big bank deposits to go to German banks.
Both housing and the stock market have been on the upswing in recent months. But a full recovery in the housing market would be more significant to the overall economy. That's because more Americans have something at stake in home values than in stock prices.
The economy remains at the top of the list of voter concerns. And this weekend, for the first time in four years, the Democratically-controlled Senate passed a budget plan aimed at getting the federal deficit under control. That plan was very different from the budget passed by the House.
In 1953, the Swiss chemical company Ciba came to Toms River, N.J. By all accounts, the community was delighted to have it. The chemical plant for manufacturing textile dye brought jobs and tax revenue to the small town on the Jersey shore. The company invested in the town's hospital and donated land for a golf course.
It all started on a former plantation in Tennessee. That's where Sandra Arnold's great-grandfather, Ben Harmon, who was born a slave, is buried next to his wife, Ethel. Their final resting spots are clearly marked, gravestone and all, but next to them, Arnold noticed an entire area of unmarked slave graves. She wondered if they could be family, too.
Her research started on that plot, then expanded to the state of Tennessee. Eventually, Arnold learned that it wasn't uncommon to find unmarked slave burial places across the country.
A group of hobbyists has been tracking the movement of stamped "Where's George?" $1 bills across the country.
Credit Prince Roy / Flickr
Avid users of <a href="http://wheresgeorge.com">wheresgeorge.com</a> gather at Kabooz's Bar and Grill at New York's Penn Station to trade dollar bills and send off a group that's going on a cross-country train trip to Los Angeles.
In the New York City prison system, the outlook for juvenile offenders is bleak. They're falling through the cracks, being arrested repeatedly, and being re-released onto the same streets only to be picked up again.
The criminal justice system is failing these 16- and 17-year-olds, says Dora Schriro, the commissioners of the city's Department of Corrections.
After four years of self-imposed exile, Pakistan's former military ruler Pervez Musharraf has come home. His plan is to run for office and reclaim political influence, but death threats and legal battles complicate his return.
Overnight temperatures are dipping below freezing and the forecast calls for snow, but cold, boredom and discomfort haven't stopped more than 30 Supreme Court die-hards from camping out for a seat to history.
"I just really wanted to be part of this moment, so I had been planning to come down for months," said Darienn Powers, a college student who came to Washington from New York. "No matter what, it's worth it to be in there and really experience what's going on."