5:05am

Sun February 24, 2013
National Security

Overseas Trip A Road Test For Secretary Of State Kerry

Originally published on Sun February 24, 2013 7:34 am

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks to the press prior to talks with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida at the State Department in Washington on Friday.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

John Kerry sets off Sunday on his first foreign trip as secretary of state, visiting Europe and the Middle East.

One dominant theme of the trip will be how to resolve the crisis in Syria, where an estimated 70,000 people have been killed over the past two years. Kerry is portraying his trip as a listening tour, and he expects to hear a lot about Syria.

He told reporters recently that he wants to talk with U.S. allies about how to persuade Bashar Assad to agree on peace talks that would end the Syrian leader's bloody rule in Syria.

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5:04am

Sun February 24, 2013
The Two-Way

In China, Not Everything Has Changed

Shen Lixiu, 58, says she had her front teeth kicked out in a re-education through labor camp. Chinese authorities say they are considering "reforms" to a system that is coming under increasing public criticism.
Frank Langfitt NPR

A lot of journalism about China focuses on the country's rapid and stunning changes, but equally telling are the things that stay the same. I did my first story on China's re-education through labor camps back in 2001.

I met a former inmate named Liu Xiaobo for lunch in Beijing. Liu, soft-spoken and thoughtful, had written an article mourning those who had died in the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown. He had also called for democracy.

So, one day, police took him from his house and charged him with "slandering the Communist Party" and "disrupting social order."

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5:35pm

Sat February 23, 2013
The Two-Way

Flipping The Switch: What It Takes To Prioritize Electric Cars

Originally published on Sun February 24, 2013 10:48 am

A Ford Focus electric concept car with a home charging unit on display at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Mich., in January.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

"Electricity is the most likely out of all of the alternative fuels ... to be the next fuel for the consumer."

That's what Jonathan Strickland of the website HowStuffWorks tells NPR's Jacki Lyden.

But electric vehicles are not without their controversies or challenges. One of the biggest questions is how a transition from gasoline to electric fuel can actually take place.

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5:23pm

Sat February 23, 2013
Author Interviews

Craving Solitude In 'Ten White Geese'

Originally published on Sat February 23, 2013 6:40 pm

Gerbrand Bakker's new international best-seller, Ten White Geese, opens with a mysterious woman alone on a Welsh farm. Humiliated by an affair with a student, she turns up alone at the farm, looking for nothing and no one. She answers to the name Emily, but that is actually the first name of the American poet about whom she is writing her doctoral dissertation. Her husband has no idea where she is.

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5:01pm

Sat February 23, 2013
It's All Politics

Top GOP Voter ID Crusader Loses Virginia Election Panel Post

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 9:24 am

Hans Von Spakovsky in his official FEC photo taken during former President George W. Bush's administration.
FEC.gov

To those who closely follow the voter ID wars, Hans von Spakovsky is a household name, one of the nation's leading crusaders against voter fraud, and also one of its more controversial. Days before the 2012 election, The New Yorker profiled him as "the man who has stoked fear about imposters at the poll."

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4:51pm

Sat February 23, 2013
NPR Story

Three-Minute Fiction Reading: 'Voice Mail Is For ...' And 'Chubby Bunny'

Originally published on Sat February 23, 2013 10:20 pm

NPR's Bob Mondello and Tamara Keith read excerpts from Round 10 of our Three-Minute Fiction contest. The entries are "Voice Mail Is For Suckers" by Kristin Bonilla of Fulshear, Texas, and "Chubby Bunny" by Katie Camlin of Warrensburg, Mo. Read the full stories below and see other submissions and past winners on our Three-Minute Fiction page.

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4:51pm

Sat February 23, 2013
NPR Story

Week In News: Sequestration Looms

Originally published on Sat February 23, 2013 6:40 pm

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden.

Later in the show, a haunting and sometimes menacing Dutch novel, a talk with former Smiths' guitarist Johnny Marr and backstage at the Oscars. But first, we're back to the sequester debate.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Instead of compromising, instead of asking anything of the wealthiest Americans, they'd rather let these cuts fall squarely on the middle class.

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4:51pm

Sat February 23, 2013
NPR Story

Oscars By The Numbers

Originally published on Sat February 23, 2013 6:40 pm

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

You're listening to WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden. Anthony Breznican said he can't predict Oscar winners. But here's a guy who says he's done just that. Conor Gaughan is the chief strategy officer for Farsite, and they've been looking at all kinds of data to predict who will take home those little golden men.

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1:56pm

Sat February 23, 2013
Oscars 2013: The 85th Annual Academy Awards

The Four Biggest Best Picture Oscar Upsets, Statistically Speaking

Originally published on Sat February 23, 2013 2:28 pm

The cast of Crash celebrates after its surprise upset of Brokeback Mountain for best picture, at the 78th Academy Awards in 2006.
Mark J. Terrill AP

1:37pm

Sat February 23, 2013
It's All Politics

Bloomberg's Anti-NRA Message — And Money — Could Sway House Race In Chicago

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's gun control superPAC has poured more than $2 million into a Democratic primary in Chicago for a U.S. House seat.
Brendan McDermid Reuters/Landov

One of the most important events in the national gun violence debate will take place Tuesday — in the snows of Chicago, a thousand miles from Newtown, Conn., or Washington, D.C.

That's where Democratic voters will choose their nominee to replace Jesse Jackson Jr. Because the district is so heavily Democratic, the winner will almost certainly be sworn in at the Capitol following the April general election.

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