Around the Nation
5:46 am
Sun September 9, 2012

VFW Posts Become Refuge For Women, Too

From left, Linda Ausen, Marvin Jansma, Diane Sandberg and David Griffith volunteer during bingo night in July at the VFW post in Rosemount, Minn.
Jennifer Simonson MPR

Originally published on Sun September 9, 2012 1:43 pm

For decades, Veterans of Foreign Wars posts have played vital roles in small towns throughout America. But in recent years, as World War II veterans have passed away, membership in VFWs has fallen drastically, and many posts have closed. Now, though, some are facing a possible renaissance, thanks to female soldiers returning from overseas.

The main room of the VFW post in Rosemount, Minn., is half-bar and half-bingo hall, with long card tables. In a corner, two men on a stage rotate a round cage of balls and call out bingo numbers.

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House & Senate Races
5:45 am
Sun September 9, 2012

GOP Has Rare Shot At Winning House Seat In Mass.

Richard Tisei is running for U.S. House in Massachusetts, where he could be the first Republican in that seat in 15 years.
Josh Reynolds AP

Originally published on Sun September 9, 2012 1:43 pm

U.S. House candidate Richard Tisei is openly gay. He's also openly Republican.

"You know what, in Massachusetts, it's a lot easier to be gay than be a Republican," he says, "as far as trying to get elected to office."

But Tisei could make political history for the Massachusetts GOP. Not just because they could win their first U.S. House seat in 15 years, but also because Tisei would be the first openly gay Republican to be elected to a term in Congress.

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Europe
5:39 am
Sun September 9, 2012

Istanbul, A City Of Spies In Fact And Fiction

Though not the capital, Istanbul is the cultural, economic and financial heart of Turkey. Situated on the Bosporus strait, this metropolis spans Europe and Asia — and has a storied history as a gathering place for spies.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 9, 2012 1:43 pm

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Africa
5:39 am
Sun September 9, 2012

Yet Again, Congo Faces The Specter Of Civil War

The eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo has been ravaged by rebel groups for years. A new faction, the March 23 Movement, or M23, already controls a large area, and there are fears this could ignite another war. Here M23 fighters go out on a patrol.
Mackenzie Knowles-Coursin for NPR

Originally published on Sun September 9, 2012 1:43 pm

For years, armed militias have been stalking the lush forests in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, committing all sorts of atrocities against villagers. And now one of the most war-ravaged countries in the world has another looming problem: an emerging rebel group.

"A notorious group of human rights violators" is how the U.N. human rights commissioner describes the group, known as the March 23 Movement, or M23.

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The Two-Way
5:37 pm
Sat September 8, 2012

Bomb Explodes Near NATO Headquarters In Kabul

Afghan police carry the remains of a suicide attack victim in the Kabul's diplomatic quarters, home to many Western embassies, on Saturday.
Shah Marai AFP/Getty Images

A suicide bomber has blown himself up near NATO headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan. There are conflicting reports, but The Associated Press cites the police, saying at least six people were killed. The International Security Assistance Force, the NATO-led coalition in Afghanistan, says on Twitter that there have been no reports of ISAF casualties.

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The Salt
5:12 pm
Sat September 8, 2012

America's Best Chefs Answer The Call To Serve Their Nation

America's state chefs might be called on to prepare state dinners, travel abroad or host culinary experts from around the world.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 4:10 pm

The State Department is deploying a new, elite force onto the precarious stage of international diplomacy. More than 80 top chefs from across the nation were inducted into the first-ever American Chef Corps on Friday.

How will these culinary soldiers serve their country? The Associated Press says:

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Sports
5:04 pm
Sat September 8, 2012

At 42, Detroit Lions Kicker Earns Admiration

Detroit Lions place-kicker Jason Hanson attempts a field goal in a preseason game against the Oakland Raiders. Hanson, 42, has played 21 consecutive seasons for the Lions.
Thearon W. Henderson Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 8, 2012 8:55 pm

As the NFL's regular season gets under way this weekend, one player is adding another year to an already record-setting career. At 42, Detroit Lions place kicker Jason Hanson is the oldest active player in the NFL.

And despite playing a notoriously tenuous position, Hanson has also been with one team longer than anyone in the history of the league — no small feat in an industry where players often switch teams in search of a bigger paycheck or where a missed kick can cost you your career.

A High-Pressure Position

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It's All Politics
10:36 am
Sat September 8, 2012

Words Wealthy Democratic Donors Should Get Used To: 'It's Me, Rahm'

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants you ... if you're a wealthy Democrat who can write a $10 million or $20 million check.
Lynne Sladky AP

Originally published on Sat September 8, 2012 2:11 pm

Now that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is in charge of raising really big dollars for a superPAC that supports President Obama, wealthy Democrats all over the country may be eyeing their phones nervously.

Emanuel, the former Obama White House chief of staff, is known for not taking no for an answer and for aggressively going after what he wants.

Indeed, he's a ferocious fundraiser who gets to the point, often throwing in an epithet or two for emphasis, just the sort of rainmaker needed by Priorities USA Action, the pro-Obama superPAC that desperately needs cash.

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Around the Nation
6:06 am
Sat September 8, 2012

Looking To 'Future,' Ga. Schools Require Mandarin

Instructor Huiling Li encourages second-grader Trinity Faulkner on the first day of Mandarin Chinese classes at Brookdale Elementary School in Macon, Ga.
Adam Ragusea for NPR

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 11:57 am

Public schools in Macon, Ga., and surrounding Bibb County have a lot of problems. Most of the 25,000 students are poor enough to qualify for free and reduced lunch, and about half don't graduate.

Bibb County's Haitian-born superintendent Romain Dallemand came into the job last year with a bag of changes he calls "The Macon Miracle." There are now longer schools days, year-round instruction, and one mandate nobody saw coming: Mandarin Chinese for every student, pre-K through 12th grade.

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