Melissa Block speaks with our regular political commentators, E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and Brookings Institution and David Brooks of The New York Times about the lackluster January jobs report, the debate surrounding a new report from Congressional Budget Office and the renewed debate over immigration policy.
Emily Bazelon recommends a memoir about facing the danger and squalor of addiction and eventually overcoming it, while Abigail Deutsche ponders the love story at the heart of Edward St. Aubyn's novel Bad News: The one between a man and his drugs.
The 2014 Winter Olympics officially opened Friday with a ceremony celebrating Russian culture and introducing Olympic athletes from around the world. NPR's Robert Smith was at the ceremony in Sochi and joins us to recount the pomp and pitfalls on display.
Pakistan's government and the Pakistani Taliban are holding a first round of peace talks in Islamabad. Expectations are low for any substantial progress toward ending what has been a particularly bloody insurgency. Some analysts believe that the Pakistani military will soon launch a major offensive against the militants in their strongholds along the border with Afghanistan.
The Afghan presidential campaign is under way, and on the surface it looks like what you'd see in any other democracy. But underneath the decorations and sloganeering lies the shadowy practice of wooing tribal elders, warlords and other influential Afghans who can "deliver" votes or, in some cases, prevent opponents' voters from making it to the polls.
Communication breakdowns can be fatal for firefighters, but are all too easy when crews are shrouded in smoke and a blaze is moving fast. Florida, with its millions of acres of forest and grassland, has rolled out a new system that can pinpoint crews without relying on voice communication.
NPR's Audie Cornish talks to Cedella Marley about her new off-Broadway musical, Three Little Birds. It's adapted from her children's book — which itself was inspired by the song written by her father, the late reggae superstar Bob Marley.
Iran is preparing for a national holiday celebrating the Islamic Revolution 35 years ago, and NPR's Peter Kenyon is among the few foreign journalists in Tehran for the event. He's found that the optimism that greeted President Hassan Rouhani's election last year has moderated — but not vanished.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has invested tens of billions in hosting the Winter Olympics at Sochi, his favorite resort town. We look at why Putin has stacked so much on this event — and what he hopes to gain.
Actress Mia Farrow and two of her children have revived allegations that the film director sexually abused his daughter more than 20 years ago. The charges and countercharges are playing out not in the legal system but in social media, on blogs and in big-name publications.
A convoy of nearly 500 vehicles full of Muslim families filed out of the capital of Central African Republic on Friday, watched closely by crowds of cheering Christians. Two months of sectarian violence preceded the exodus, which Associated Press photographer Jerome Delay witnessed firsthand. Melissa Block speaks to Delay about the situation.
President Obama's strategy of governing by executive order is designed to deal with a recalcitrant Congress. But Republican lawmakers are signaling that they'll challenge the White House there too by demanding the legal analysis to support the president's actions.
Spain's royal family, which used to face little criticism, is increasingly becoming a target over its spending habits during Spain's economic woes. The king's youngest daughter, Infanta Cristina, and her husband have had their mansion confiscated are now facing allegations of fraud.
Even as they reached the Top 10 in Britain, appeared on TV and had young women swooning by the thousands across the pond, their first singles in the U.S. were released on tiny independent labels and went nowhere. What went wrong, and finally right, in the leadup to the night of Feb. 7, 1964.