Last year's U.S. troops surge in southern Afghanistan was aimed at ousting the Taliban from much of its home turf. So what does Kandahar province look like today? NPR's Quil Lawrence spent a week in the region and shares his impressions with host Audie Cornish.
Roland Fryer studies economic disparities and race in America as an economics professor at Harvard University. Fryer is the recent winner of the MacArthur genius fellowship and he joins us from Concord, Massachusetts.
Roland, welcome to the program.
PROFESSOR ROLAND FRYER: Oh, thanks for having me.
CORNISH: How deep are the disparities between whites and other groups - blacks and Hispanics - when it comes to jobs and when it comes to wealth?
The release of more than 1000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit is being trumpeted as a major victory by the Islamist Hamas faction that has held Shalit for five years. The boost for Hamas has sidelined the Palestinian Authority and President Mahmoud Abbas, who was just recently feted for his efforts to win Palestinian statehood recognition from the UN. The political shift leaves Palestinian supporters of a two-state solution feeling isolated. NPR's Peter Kenyon reports.
The deadline for presidential candidates to file their third-quarter reports with the Federal Election Commission passed at midnight. The reports detail how much money the candidates have raised and spent. NPR's Peter Overby joins host Audie Cornish to talk about what he's learned.
President Barack Obama hits the road this week on a three-day bus tour through North Carolina and Virginia. Both states traditionally vote Republican, but Obama won them both in 2008. Host Audie Cornish talks with Rep. David Price, a Democrat from North Carolina, and former congressman Tom Perriello, a Democrat from Virginia, about the political climate and Democratic prospects for the 2012 race.
Speculators in the agricultural commodities markets are forcing grocery prices to rise too quickly and erratically, according to some top economists marking World Food Day on Sunday.
"Excessive financial speculation is contributing to increasing volatility and record food prices, exacerbating global hunger and poverty," wrote 461 economists, from more than 40 countries, in an open letter.
From the outset of the Syrian uprising last spring, Syria's president, Bashar Assad, offered promises of reform. Activists, meanwhile, documented abuses by his security forces, including video footage of shootings against unarmed protesters.
Now, the Assad government appears to be relying exclusively on brutal repression, giving free reign to the security services to crush the revolt, according to analysts inside and outside the country.
New campaign finance reports offer the first detailed look at the haves and the have-nots among the Republican presidential candidates, with just over a year left in the race for the White House.
In the reports released Saturday, two of the top Republican contenders, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, brought in more than $30 million combined. Meanwhile, businessman Herman Cain, who surged into the top tier of candidates in recent polls, raised significantly less.