Mitt Romney
5:15 am
Sun December 18, 2011

Romney Seeks Gingrich's Tea Party Lead In S.C.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks during a town hall meeting Saturday in Charleston, S.C. Romney is hoping to gain conservative support following the endorsement of South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.
Richard Ellis Getty Images

It was warm and beautiful in the seaside resort of Myrtle Beach, S.C., Saturday, where Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney held his final town hall meeting of the weekend. As he stood surrounded by supporters wearing campaign T-shirts, Romney's mood seemed as sunny as the 65-degree weather outside.

Romney had a lot to be happy about. South Carolina's Tea Party-backed Gov. Nikki Haley had not only endorsed him, she regaled him with glowing tributes at every campaign stop in the multi-city tour.

Lining Up With The Tea Party

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Leaving Iraq
8:00 pm
Sat December 17, 2011

Improvised Warfare In Iraq Leaves Lasting Effects

U.S. and Iraqi soldiers display "sticky IEDs" — magnetic bombs that militants attach to vehicles — found during a raid at a checkpoint near the Iraq-Iran border.
Peter Kenyon NPR

Army Sgt. Maj. Todd Burnett spent about three years in Iraq hunting for improvised explosive devices, also knows as IEDs.

"I can remember going out and one week I got blown up three times," Burnett says. He says back then, it wasn't whether you were going to get blown up, it was just a matter of when you were going to get blown up.

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Leaving Iraq
8:00 pm
Sat December 17, 2011

Huge Embassy Keeps U.S. Presence In Iraq

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani speaks at the opening of the huge U.S. Embassy in Baghdad on Jan. 5, 2009. It is the largest U.S. Embassy in the world.
Handout Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 18, 2011 11:40 am

As the final U.S. troops leave Iraq, they leave behind the largest U.S. Embassy in the world.

There will be about 16,000 people working for the State Department at the embassy in Baghdad and consulates elsewhere in Iraq.

At least 5,000 of those in Iraq will be private security contractors, and there are lots of questions about whether the State Department is ready to run such a big operation in such a volatile country.

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Middle East
5:02 pm
Sat December 17, 2011

The Arab Spring: A Year Of Revolution

Tunisians protest outside the gates to the French embassy in Tunis. The country is where the Arab Spring began when a fruit vendor set himself on fire in protest in front of a government building.
Fethi Belaid AFP/Getty Images

A year ago, 26-year-old Mohamed Bouazizi was getting ready to sell fruits and vegetables in the rural town of Sidi Bouzid, Tunisia.

Bouazizi was the breadwinner for his widowed mother and six siblings, but he didn't have a permit to sell the goods. When the police asked Bouazizi to hand over his wooden cart, he refused and a policewoman allegedly slapped him.

Angered after being publicly humiliated, Bouazizi marched in front of a government building and set himself on fire.

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Around the Nation
2:44 pm
Sat December 17, 2011

U.S. Somalis Lose Only Means Of Sending Cash Home

Just north of downtown Minneapolis stand two cement, skyscraper apartment buildings covered in faded pastel patches. Most of the people who live there are part of the city's large Somali community. Once a month, many of them walk across the street to the small, blue shop that houses Kaah Express, a money-wiring business that links Somalis in Minneapolis to relatives in camps throughout East Africa.

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Music Interviews
2:30 pm
Sat December 17, 2011

Dessa: A Twin City Rapper Explores A Softer Side

Dessa is a member of the Minneapolis-based hip-hop collective Doomtree. Her newest album is Castor, the Twin.
Kelly Loverud Courtesy of the artist

Dessa is best known as a member of Doomtree, a hip-hop collective based in Minneapolis. But there's much more singing than rapping on her latest album, Castor, the Twin, which puts a jazzy, melodic spin on some of her previous work.

Dessa says the title refers to the brothers Castor and Pollux from Greek and Roman mythology. Castor, she explains, is the milder of the two.

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Analysis
2:00 pm
Sat December 17, 2011

Week In News: Deal Keeps U.S. Afloat, For Now

Today, the Senate approved a $1 trillion bill to fund the government and a two-month payroll tax cut extension. Weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz speaks with James Fallows of The Atlantic about the last minute deal and other top stories from the past week.

Politics
2:00 pm
Sat December 17, 2011

Senate OKs Two More Months For Payroll Tax Cut

Each year, as Congress works to wrap up budget and tax bills and other "must-pass" legislation, inevitably not so must-pass items creep into the mix — inserted either to smooth passage for the more important things, or in the hopes that no one will notice. This year marks the first time that leadership has been unable to use earmarks to buy off reluctant votes, and has turned to other forms of grease instead. NPR's David Welna reports.

Iraq
2:00 pm
Sat December 17, 2011

How To Withdraw From A Country

In the run-up to the U.S. military's withdrawal from Iraq over the last few weeks, up to 60 convoys have been roaring across the country at any given time, hauling supplies south to Kuwait. But that's just the equipment the military is taking. Major General Thomas Richardson, the Army's chief logistician in Iraq, tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz that sometimes it's cheaper to leave it there.

The Record
2:00 pm
Sat December 17, 2011

Cesária Évora, Grammy-Winning Cape Verdean Singer, Has Died

Cesária Évora performing in Amsterdam in 2000.
Frans Schellekens Redferns

Originally published on Sat December 17, 2011 2:54 pm

Cesária Évora, the Grammy-winning singer from the West African island nation of Cape Verde, has died, the Associated Press reported Saturday. She was 70.

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