Middle East
2:00 pm
Sun October 30, 2011

Assad Warns Against Outside Intervention

Syrian President Bashar Assad warned of an "earthquake" if any outside forces intervened in his country. Meanwhile, protesters say dozens of people were killed in the last few days, making this one of the bloodiest weekends since the uprising began.

Afghanistan
1:54 pm
Sun October 30, 2011

Afghan Success Comes At High Price For Commander

Lt. Col. Jason Morris pays his respects at a memorial service in Sangin, Afghanistan, on Nov. 26, 2010, for three Marines who were killed: Lance Cpl. Brandon Pearson, Lance Cpl. Matthew Broehm and 1st Lt. Robert Kelly. Morris commanded a battalion in volatile Helmand province that suffered the highest casualty rate of any Marine unit in the Afghanistan War.

Lance Cpl. Joseph M. Peterson U.S. Marine Corps

Originally published on Fri November 4, 2011 4:57 pm

A year ago, nearly 1,000 U.S. Marine officers and enlisted men of the 3rd Battalion, 5th Regiment deployed to restive Helmand province in southern Afghanistan. By the time their tour ended in April 2011, the Marines of the 3/5 — known as "Darkhorse" — suffered the highest casualty rate of any Marine unit during the past 10 years of war. This week, NPR tells the story of this unit's seven long months at war — both in Afghanistan and back home.

First of seven parts

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Author Interviews
1:41 pm
Sun October 30, 2011

From Mafia Soldier To Cocaine Cowboy

In 1986, Jon Roberts was arrested as part a cocaine bust that ultimately unraveled his empire.

Jon Roberts Crown Publishing Group

Jon Roberts was born into the Mafia.

His father, Nat Riccobono, and his uncles came to New York City from Sicily and made money by running shady businesses throughout New York in the late 1940s. After his father was deported and his mother died, Roberts moved from home to home until he was 16 and joined his uncles in the Mafia.

By the time Roberts was 26, in 1978, he was a practiced criminal — committing robberies and dealing cocaine in New York City; but he was getting bored. That's when he moved to Miami and started working with the Colombians, importing cocaine.

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Science
1:15 pm
Sun October 30, 2011

Invasion Of The Mind-Controlling Parasites

Toxoplasma gondii is a parasite, seen here in brain tissue, that can alter the behavior of the host. It can make rodents attracted to cats, leaving them vulnerable to getting eaten.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Originally published on Sun October 30, 2011 5:35 pm

A few months back, something terrible happened to millions of flies around Washington, D.C.

"We were getting literally hundreds of reports of these crazy dead flies everywhere — on vegetation, on sign posts," says Mike Raupp, an entomologist at the University of Maryland.

He says the flies were attacked by a mind-controlling fungus.

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Music Interviews
11:50 am
Sun October 30, 2011

The U.S. Army's Rock 'N' Roll Past

A rare photo of East of Underground in performance. The band formed while its members were stationed in Germany during the Vietnam War.

Courtesy of Now Again Records

The thought of army music evokes a certain tradition — say, trumpets and drums in the style of "Pershing's Own." But that tradition was set on its ear back in the late 1960s and early '70s, when the PFCs stationed overseas formed their own pop bands. And instead of breaking them up, Army brass sent them on tour.

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Business
10:29 am
Sun October 30, 2011

Aussie Court Ends Qantas Strike, Fleet Grounding

Qantas planes could be flying again within hours after Australia's labor relations tribunal ruled n favor of the carrier over the labor dispute that's seen the company ground its entire fleet.

Fair Work Australia ordered the three unions in contract negotiations with Qantas to terminate all of their rolling work stoppages and other industrial action that have been going on for months. That's the outcome that Qantas hoped for and the government wanted when it referred the dispute to the labor relations board.

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Troop deployment
7:58 am
Sun October 30, 2011

Local soldiers headed for Afghanistan

 PARIS - Community members are invited to Paris Tuesday for the deployment of 175 National Guard Soldiers.

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The News Tip On Weekend Edition Sunday
7:20 am
Sun October 30, 2011

The News Tip: Don't Listen To Pay Wall Naysayers

Getting people to pay for news online isn't easy, but back in March, The New York Times gave it a shot. The pay wall was seen as a risky move at the time, but the Gray Lady's third-quarter profit reports are in, and the results are better than expected. The paper's profits are up, and the Times has seen a boost in digital subscribers.

Considering these results, NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik has this news tip: "If you only listen to the naysayers, you'll never succeed."

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Africa
7:00 am
Sun October 30, 2011

Kenya-Somalia Tension Rises Amidst Drought

Originally published on Sun October 30, 2011 11:45 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

In drought-stricken East Africa, Somali militants have vowed war on neighboring Kenya. It happened after Kenya sent hundreds of troops across the border to search out and destroy Islamist militants. The cross-border action followed a series of kidnappings and attacks in Kenya, targeting aid workers and Western tourists. Kenya now says its forces won't leave Somalia until the threat is over.

NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton is in Kenya's capital of Nairobi, and joins us now.

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Middle East
7:00 am
Sun October 30, 2011

Can Oil Fuel Libya's Reconstruction?

Transcript

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