It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
This ranks among the more dismaying moments in a decade-long war. Americans have worked for years to position themselves as protectors of Afghans against murderous insurgents, and then yesterday a U.S. Army sergeant surrendered after a shooting rampage that left well over a dozen people dead. The list of those killed includes women and children, and the motive for the suspect remains unclear.
And today's last word in business is: raise the Red Flag.
We mentioned China's trade deficit earlier. This may be a small stab at turning it around. Beijing is telling government departments they should stop buying Audis, and should instead drive the Red Flag, China's version of the luxury sedan. It was used to shuttle around Communist luminaries like Chairman Mao, but was phased out a couple of years ago as a gas guzzler.
Japan is far from back to normal, after an earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster devastated the northeastern part of the country a year ago. U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos talks to Steve Inskeep about his latest visit to the hard-hit region of Tohoku.
In this country, many American kids are preparing for standardized tests. They're among the rites of spring and they cause a lot of stress. One Indiana school tries to manage that stress by obsessing over the test a little less. Rather than teaching every single thing on the test, they just teach how to take one. Here's Kyle Stokes of NPR member station WFIU.
KYLE STOKES, BYLINE: Quick - name the literary genres you learned about in school.
For all the difficult relations the U.S. has with Iran, the two countries share many ties, including millions of Iranian-Americans. Ryan Seacrest and Bravo make them the focus of a new reality show, called the "Shahs of Sunset." It examines the lavish lifestyles of some in Southern California's Iranian-American community. NPR's Amy Walters reports.
During March Madness, there's no shortage of options to watch basketball games. Fans can watch on their TVs at home or stream it on a computer at work. But the hot ticket this year is streaming it on a smartphone.
And we're also reporting on violence on the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip. The attacks stretched the weekend into today. Israeli airstrikes killed three more people today in Gaza - that Palestinian-held area - bringing the total to 21.
As Israelis have been bombing, Palestinians have been firing rockets into Israel. And NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro is following this story.
Here's another good reason to lose weight: It might benefit your friends, family and co-workers. Such altruism might be just the final "nudge" some of us need.
Researchers are finding that the friends and family of obese and overweight individuals who lose weight lost weight themselves, and sometimes a lot of it. Dr. John Morton, who directs Bariatric Surgery at Stanford Hospital & Clinics, calls obesity a "family disease."
Economists say many industries are looking up this year. But perhaps none has a better outlook than the energy sector.
New drilling technologies and rising fuel prices have generated a boom in drilling — and lots of high-paying jobs for people with the skills to work in the oil patch. On some college campuses, companies are so eager to find petroleum engineers that they are offering jobs to students even before they have graduated.
Workers burned during an explosion at an Apple supplier factory in Shanghai are seen at a hospital where they are receiving continued treatment for their injuries. According to the factory, 24 workers were burned in the explosion.
Credit Frank Langfitt / NPR
Worker He Wenwen's face was disfigured by a fireball during the December explosion at a plant that produced aluminum backings for Apple's iPad 2.
Apple's new iPad goes on sale this Friday, the latest version of a wildly popular product from an iconic company. In the past couple of months, though, Apple has come under criticism for working conditions in Chinese factories that help build iPads.
A New York Timesinvestigation focused on an explosion at an Apple supplier factory last May. In December, another explosion struck a different Apple supplier factory in Shanghai.
Audience members listen to President Obama talk about immigration in 2011 in El Paso, Texas. Hispanic voters face a choice this election season: continue to support Obama despite being disproportionately hurt by the economic downturn, or turn to Republicans at a time when many GOP presidential hopefuls have taken a hard line on immigration.
There's a man in Phoenix with a political playbook that has become valuable. So valuable, the Obama campaign believes it could help clinch the president's re-election.
Phoenix City Council Member Daniel Valenzuela is a fourth-generation Mexican-American. Last year, he won a seat on the Phoenix City Council in a traditionally Republican district, and he did it by increasing Latino voter turnout by 488 percent.
Let's now turn to news overseas and a story we've been following today out of Afghanistan. An American soldier is in custody after allegedly walking out of a military base in southern Afghanistan and opening fire on nearby houses. At least 16 people, including several children, were shot. Now, just a few hours ago, the acting American ambassador to Afghanistan, James Cunningham, spoke about the incident.
And if you're just joining us, this is WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.
Sunday morning, as it's said, is often the most segregated part of the week in America. The Southern Baptist church is still struggling to repair its segregated past. The Southern Baptist Convention is rooted in the rift over slavery, which it supported, and not too long ago, it backed segregation.
Round 8 of Three-Minute Fiction is open. Author Luis Alberto Urrea, the new judge, is on board and ready to read. The challenge this round: The story must begin with the sentence, "She closed the book, placed it on the table, and finally decided to walk through the door." As always, the story must be 600 words or fewer. To submit a story, go to npr.org/threeminutefiction.
Julius Rosenwald and Booker T. Washington came from vastly different backgrounds.
Rosenwald, president of Sears, Roebuck and Co., was one of the richest men in America; Washington rose out of slavery to become a civil rights leader. But their meeting led eventually to the construction of thousands of schools for black children in the segregated South.
Stephanie Deutsch tells the story of their friendship in her new book You Need a Schoolhouse: Booker T. Washington, Julius Rosenwald, and the Building of Schools for the Segregated South.
Philadelphia hosted the world's oldest and largest indoor flower show this week.
Since 1829, the Philadelphia International Flower Show has attracted gardeners looking for ideas they can try at home. But in an effort to attract more than just gardeners, the show modernized this year.
"We cannot just have exhibits, and [have] people come to look at exhibits. That's old-school," said Drew Becher, the new president of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. "Museums are getting away from that. We have got to be interactive."
This week, more than 2,000 bands will perform live as part of the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas — and each will hope to stand out somehow. It's one thing to play SXSW, but another to generate excitement.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.
American officials say that a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan walked off a base in the predawn hours this morning and began shooting at civilian homes in the southern province of Kandahar. Initial reports say 15 civilians are dead, including women and children. Relations between the United States and Afghanistan had been slowly returning to normal after last month's accidental burning of the Quran at an American military base. But this morning's news may erase that progress.
Japan is remembering the massive earthquake and tsunami that killed nearly 20,000 people and triggered a nuclear crisis a year ago today. At 2:46 P.M. local time, trains stopped, sirens blared, and people across Japan bowed their heads in silence. But one year on, rebuilding has not even begun on much of the country's devastated northeast coast.
And as NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports, the fishing town of Minamisanriku is still too early for most of the wounds to heal.
(SOUNDBITE OF A BELL AND A CHANTING BUDDHIST MONK)
Achim Aretz holds the Guinness World Record for running the half marathon, backward. But now, the 27-year-old German athlete says he's tired of doing something almost no one else does and wants to head in a new direction. Reporter Caitlan Carroll caught up with him in Hannover, Germany.
This past week, five Irish immigrant laborers were laid to read in Philadelphia, 180 years after their death. From member WHYY, Peter Crimmins reports they were part of a forgotten railroad work crew that was buried in a mass grave under the very railroad tracks they helped construct.
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum won Kansas' Republican caucuses Saturday. Neither Mitt Romney nor Newt Gingrich spent any time campaigning in the state. Kansas Public Radio's Stephen Koranda reports.
Ahead of the primary voting in Mississippi and Alabama, guest host Linda Wertheimer talks with William Martin Wiseman, director of the John C. Stennis Institute of Government and Professor of Political Science at Mississippi State University, about the religious politics of the South.