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Africa
4:29 am
Sat January 19, 2013

'Algerian Style': Cooperative, To A Point

People gather Friday outside a hospital in eastern Algeria as they try to get information on those wounded during a military raid on a gas plant where Islamic extremists were holding hostages.
Anis Belghoul AP

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 10:19 pm

The Algerian government gave no advance notice that it was planning to launch a military operation to rescue hostages at the remote In Amenas natural gas field, despite offers of support and advice by many nations, including the U.S.

The anger and disappointment in Washington is muted, however, because the U.S. sees Algeria as a critical ally in the fight against terrorism.

Logistical Dependence

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Music News
1:03 am
Sat January 19, 2013

Jin, 'The Chinese Kid Who Raps,' Grows Up

After a failed career at home in the U.S., the Chinese-American rapper Jin found an unexpected second chance at stardom on the other side of the world.
Louis Trinh Courtesy of artist

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 6:25 pm

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Music Interviews
1:03 am
Sat January 19, 2013

A Bagpipe-Slinging Spaniard Finds A Home In New York Jazz

On the new album Migrations, Cristina Pato plays the gaita, a bagpipe from her native region of Galicia in northwest Spain.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 1:18 pm

Cristina Pato is a jazz pianist from Spain who also plays flute and sings. But on her new album, Migrations, there's a striking sound not often heard in jazz: a bagpipe. Pato has been playing the traditional gaita (pronounced "GY-tah"), a version of the bagpipe from her native region of Galicia, since she was 4 years old.

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Science
4:24 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Powerful But Fragile: The Challenge Of Lithium Batteries

A United Airlines 787 Dreamliner arrives at O'Hare international Airport in Chicago in November. Aviation authorities in the U.S. and abroad have grounded the planes because of problems with batteries on board.
Nam Y. Huh AP

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 6:58 pm

Boeing announced late Friday that it is postponing deliveries of its new 787 Dreamliner because of problems with its big batteries. Aviation authorities in the U.S. and abroad grounded the new jetliners after those batteries failed in two planes operated by Japanese airlines, including one battery that burned while the plane was on the ground.

These lithium-ion batteries are new to jetliners. They're powerful and lightweight, and, unfortunately, they're also fragile.

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Around the Nation
4:14 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Stink Bug's Resurfacing May Squash Farmers' Hopes For A Strong 2013

The stink bug population is six times larger this year than last.
Matt Rourke AP

If you live along the East Coast, there's a pretty good chance that stink bugs may be lurking in your attic or even behind your curtains. The invasive insects from Asia, which exude a rubber-like stench when you crush them, are a nuisance for you, but a serious pest for farmers.

Crop producers received a reprieve from the bugs in 2012, but the insects may be coming back and with a greater spread of attack.

Bob Black says he was not in a good place in 2010.

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U.S.
4:09 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

N.Y. Governor Flexes Political Muscle To Pass Tough Gun Law

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a new gun control law in Albany on Tuesday. It's the nation's first gun law enacted since the December school shooting in Newtown, Conn.
Mike Groll AP

On Tuesday, New York became the first state in the nation to pass a tough new gun control law. Gov. Andrew Cuomo convinced his state's Legislature to act, even before President Obama took executive action to limit access to guns.

The governor's legislative victory followed his impassioned State of the State address earlier this month, delivered the first day of the 2013 legislative session.

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It's All Politics
4:09 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

For Cartoonists Who Cover Obama: Four More Ears

For editorial cartoonists, Obama's ears are his signature. In some depictions, they've grown throughout the years, but Matt Wuerker says cartoonists have gotten lazy. "We did the same thing to George W. Bush. By the end of his administration he was just Dumbo."
Courtesy of Matt Wuerker/Politico

Four years ago, when the nation's first African-American president was inaugurated, even conservative editorial cartoonists marked the moment with reverence.

As Scott Stantis, now of the Chicago Tribune, tells All Things Considered host Audie Cornish: "There are times in our history where we can just take half a step back from our partisanship and revel in the history and wonder of something."

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Middle East
4:09 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

U.S., Iran Running Low On Options Over Nuclear Program

With time running out on efforts to monitor Iran's nuclear program, 2013 could well be the year when the United States must decide whether to take military action to block Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

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It's All Politics
4:09 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Speechwriters: After Bland First Inaugural, Second Is Tougher For Obama

President Obama gives his first inaugural address on Jan. 20, 2009.
Ron Edmonds AP

A presidential inauguration is an event defined by huge, sweeping optics: the National Mall full of cheering Americans; a grandiose platform in front of the Capitol building; the parade down Pennsylvania Avenue. And the centerpiece: a speech.

On Monday, President Obama will give his second inaugural address — and he faces a challenge in crafting a speech for this moment.

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The Two-Way
4:08 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

When To Act? The Dilemma In Every Hostage Crisis

The remains of a burned-out U.S. helicopter and an abandoned chopper in the eastern desert of Iran on April 27, 1980, after the aborted American commando raid to free U.S. Embassy hostages.
AP

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 4:47 pm

At least some of the hostages seized by Islamic militants in Algeria reportedly died during a military rescue operation, once again illustrating the tough choices and dangers inherent in such efforts.

While many details are far from clear, NPR's Tom Bowman says U.S. officials believe three Americans were among those seized when the natural gas site was attacked by a group calling itself "the Signatories of Blood" on Wednesday.

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