Afghanistan
2:35 pm
Mon August 29, 2011

Afghan President Pardons Would-Be Suicide Bombers

Incarcerated children sit at the Kabul Juvenile Rehabilitation Center May 18, in Kabul, Afghanistan. The four boys were believed to have been recruited by the Taliban as suicide bombers. In an end-of-Ramadan tradition, President Hamid Karzai recently ordered the release of two dozen children held as suspected suicide bombers.
Paula Bronstein Getty Images

As part of the traditional celebration of the end of Ramadan, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has pardoned prisoners from Kabul's juvenile detention center. This time it was two dozen youths who had been arrested for planned or attempted suicide bomb attacks, and many were under the age of 12.

Karzai presented the captured suicide bombers on national television — the youngest only 8 years old.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:34 pm
Mon August 29, 2011

Even If Chocolate Doesn't Ward Off Heart Disease, It's Still Yummy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide, but the tools to fend it off — low-fat diets, exercise, statin drugs — leave a little bit to be desired in the charm department.

Then there's chocolate. It's hard to resist the notion that eating lots of one of the world's most delicious foods could be the key to cardiovascular health.

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Frank Langfitt is NPR's international correspondent based in Shanghai. He covers China, Japan, and the Koreas for NPR News. His reports have included visits to China's infamous black jails –- secret detention centers — as well as his own travails taking China's driver's test, which he failed three times.

Before moving to China, Langfitt was NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi. He reported from Sudan and covered the civil war in Somalia, where learned to run fast in Kevlar and interviewed imprisoned Somali pirates, who insisted they were just misunderstood fishermen. During the Arab spring, Langfitt covered the uprising and crushing of the reform movement in Bahrain.

Asia
2:24 pm
Mon August 29, 2011

In Japan, Next Prime Minister Faces Many Skeptics

Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda was chosen leader of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan on Monday, Aug. 29, 2011. That all but assures his selection as Japan's next prime minister.
Hiro Komae AP

Japan is about to get a new prime minster — the sixth in five years.

As early as Tuesday, Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda could formally get the job.

He all but captured the post Monday when he won the leadership race of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan. The challenges he faces will be huge. They include helping Japan recover from last spring's devastating nuclear and natural disasters and winning over a skeptical public.

That skepticism was on display Monday.

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The Two-Way
2:15 pm
Mon August 29, 2011

Irene's Toll: At Least 35 Deaths In 10 States

A somber update from The Associated Press:

"Hurricane Irene has led to the deaths of at least 35 people in 10 states."

The wire service says:

-- Two deaths have been reported in Connecticut. An 89-year-old woman died in a fire started by downed power lines, and a 46-year-old man drowned when his canoe capsized on a flooded street.

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The Two-Way
2:09 pm
Mon August 29, 2011

Two Disqualifications Roil World Athletics Championships

The World Athletics Championships have been roiled by controversy. Two days in a row elite runners have been disqualified and medals have been awarded by default.

Today, Cuban hurdler Dayron Robles was stripped of his gold medal in the 110 meter hurdles after he seemingly reached for China's Liu Xiang with his right hand. Robles was disqualified after China launched a complaint. The gold went to the United States' Jason Richardson who finished 13.16 seconds.

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NPR Story
2:00 pm
Mon August 29, 2011

Obama Names Krueger Chief Economic Adviser

Originally published on Mon August 29, 2011 6:38 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, host: This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, host: And I'm Robert Siegel.

President Obama has chosen Princeton economist Alan Krueger to fill the top spot on his Council of Economic Advisors. The appointment comes as Mr. Obama prepares to unveil a new jobs package in hopes of reducing the nation's painfully high unemployment rate.

NPR's Scott Horsley reports that Krueger is a student of the job market. And he is expected to advocate more aggressive government action.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:58 pm
Mon August 29, 2011

Bird Flu Flies Again, Prompting UN Advisory

Workers at the Jurong Bird Park in Singapore catch flamingos last year as part of a drive to vaccinate them against avian flu.
Roslan Rahman AFP/Getty Images

Out of the public eye, the bird flu has been making a comeback.

The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization warned today about a "possible major resurgence" of H5N1 influenza, including a mutant virus that appears to be unfazed by available vaccines.

The latest fatality from the infection occurred in Cambodia earlier this month. A 6-year-old girl became the eight person to die from avian flu there this year, the World Health Organization said.

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Conflict In Libya
1:35 pm
Mon August 29, 2011

Libya's Ex-Prisoners Finding Their Way Home

The walls of the Libyan Red Crescent office in Benghazi, Libya, shown here on Monday, are covered with photos of the missing. Some disappeared during Libya's revolution, but some have been missing for more than 10 years. Now, thousands released from Libya's prisons are being reunited with their families.
Susannah George NPR

Originally published on Mon August 29, 2011 7:06 pm

In Libya, thousands of rebel fighters and political prisoners freed from Moammar Gadhafi's notorious prisons are making their way home. But tens of thousands more are still missing.

Anxious relatives and friends in the eastern city of Benghazi have flooded the airport and docks night after night in hopes of finding their loved ones arriving by plane or by boat.

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Around the Nation
1:00 pm
Mon August 29, 2011

'Left Out': Post-Katrina Housing Battle Continues

Dorothy McClendon in Gulfport, Miss., hopes the state's latest housing program to help low-income residents will provide assistance so she can repair her moldy house.
Marisa Penaloza NPR

Six years ago Monday, Hurricane Katrina blew up the U.S. Gulf Coast, killed more than 1,800 people and left hundreds of thousands homeless. The story of the coast's recovery varies from place to place.

For some, life is back to normal. Along the Mississippi coast, thousands affected by Katrina still live in battered houses. They've been trapped by a technicality. Their homes were damaged by wind gusts rather than Katrina's storm surge.

In Biloxi, railroad tracks separate some of the neighborhoods that got the most help from those who got little or no aid.

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