The Picture Show
11:01 pm
Mon September 5, 2011

A Beautiful View, But Still A Battle Zone

Pfc. Natan Martinez fires a machine gun at an enemy fighting position near the Pakistan border in Afghanistan.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:27 am

Observation Post Mustang sits high in the mountains of northeastern Afghanistan, near the Pakistan border. At an altitude of 5,600 feet, the soldiers stationed there from the Army's 2-27th Infantry Regiment have a stunning view of the Kunar River Valley far below.

But it's not all just beautiful vistas and clean mountain air. On Sunday, the forward operating base that sits in the valley below took enemy fire. NPR's David Gilkey, who is embedded with the 2-27th Infantry, photographed American soldiers as they engaged in a firefight with insurgents across the valley.

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Law
11:01 pm
Mon September 5, 2011

Proposition 8 Proponents Fight For Appeal Rights

The latest round in the legal battle over same sex marriage will be fought Tuesday in a hearing before the California State Supreme Court.

The arguments will focus not so much on same-sex marriage itself, but on Proposition 8, the voter-approved initiative banning such marriages. A federal judge has ruled Prop. 8 unconstitutional and the issue before the court on Tuesday is whether proponents of the initiative have the legal authority, or standing, to pursue an appeal.

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Science
11:01 pm
Mon September 5, 2011

A Final Smash For America's Giant Particle Collider

A view inside the Tevatron ring, currently in its final days as a particle superhighway.
Reider Hahn Fermilab

A physicist named Dmitri Denisov walks up wooden steps to the top of something that looks sort of like an abandoned railroad bed.

"Wow, look, it's beautiful," Denisov says, gazing out at a pond. "I didn't even know about these flowers."

The tall mound of dirt he's standing on stretches off into the distance, forming a huge circle nearly four miles around — and the inside of this ring is filled with acres of restored prairie.

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Insured
4:12 pm
Mon September 5, 2011

Phyllis: Organic

  • An error occurred ingesting this audio file to NPR

Phyllis Ryser discusses whether or not organic food is worth the extra cost.

Alan Cheuse has been reviewing books on All Things Considered since the 1980s. His challenge is to make each two-minute review as fresh and interesting as possible while focusing on the essence of the book itself.

After a stint on Capitol Hill, NPR National Correspondent Debbie Elliott is back covering her native South.

From a giant sinkhole swallowing up a bayou community in Louisiana to new state restrictions on abortion providers, Elliott keeps track of the region's news. She also reports on cultural treasures such as an historic church in need of preservation in Helena, Arkansas; the magical House of Dance and Feathers in New Orleans' lower 9th ward; and the hidden-away Coon Dog Cemetery in north Alabama.

She's looking back at the legacy of landmark civil rights events, and following the legal battles between states and the federal government over immigration enforcement, healthcare, and voting rights.

You Must Read This
2:55 pm
Mon September 5, 2011

In A High, Snowy World, A Quest For Self-Discovery

Being a seeker these days isn't easy. Our world wants us to be certain, whatever our views, and beyond that to be consumers — leaving little room for setting out in search of potentially important personal truths. Then, too, the notion of "seeking" got something of a bad name back in the '60s and '70s, when it became so entwined with drugs and pretend or misguided teachers.

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Barbara Bradley Hagerty is the religion correspondent for NPR, reporting on the intersection of faith and politics, law, science and culture. Her New York Times best-selling book, "Fingerprints of God: The Search for the Science of Spirituality," was published by Riverhead/Penguin Group in May 2009. Among others, Barb has received the American Women in Radio and Television Award, the Headliners Award and the Religion Newswriters Association Award for radio reporting.

Reflecting On Sept. 11, 2001
2:14 pm
Mon September 5, 2011

Memories Of Sept. 11's First Casualty Burn Bright

Father Mychal Judge became a fire department chaplain in 1992 — and he liked to join company drills. One retired fireman recalls, "I could picture him, chopping down a door with an axe. He would love to do that, too."
Holy Name Province Franciscans

When planes hit the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, Father Mychal Judge ran into the North Tower alongside the firemen he served. Not long after, he became the first recorded victim of the terrorist attacks.

But 10 years later, his friends and colleagues remember Judge as vividly in death as they knew him in life: a gregarious, irreverent man wholly devoted to God, whom many considered a saint, in large part because of his own personal struggles.

Priest On A Fire Ladder

From the first, Mychal Judge loved to be where the action is.

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