The halls of the State Department are haunted, not by actual ghosts, but by people who might as well be ghosts: whistleblowers, people who angered someone powerful and people who for one reason or another, can't be fired.
"People like me, that the State Department no longer wants, but for some reason can't or won't fire, are assigned to what we call 'hallwalking,'" says author Peter Van Buren.
When voters in Michigan go the polls Tuesday, it's unlikely many will tick the box for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. In part, that's because Gingrich has all but written off the state, leaving his opponents to fight over it.
Part two of a two-part series on the Keystone XL pipeline
Gas isn't like a rare bottle of wine that fetches a high price just because it's rare. But at the same time, no one can agree what drives gas prices. Demand for gasoline in the U.S. is at its lowest point in more than a decade; domestic oil production is at an eight-year high.
For a closer look at the chaos in Syria, we turn now to Jon Lee Anderson. He's a reporter for The New Yorker magazine, and last month he spent time in Syria, reporting on the rapidly devolving situation there.
We reached him at his home in England, and he told us about one moment that has stayed with him - his visit to a place called Clocktower Square, in Homs, the site of intense clashes over the past year.
The de facto replacement for The News of the World, The Sunday Sun, will premiere its first issue Sunday. Host Rachel Martin talks with Ray Snoddy, a British journalist, about what this means for Rupert Murdoch's media empire.
We're going to shift our focus to Egypt now, where the trial of 43 NGO workers has been adjourned until April. The Egyptian government has accused them of operating in the country illegally and spurring unrest. Many of those charged are American, including the son of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. In West Africa, the people of Senegal are voting for their new president today after days of violent street protests. The sitting president, 85-year-old Abdoulaye Wade, has been in power for 12 years, and he is seeking a third term in office. His opposition rivals say that's illegal, and they insist the president must go now.
The first phase of a wide-ranging trial for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon accident and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is scheduled to begin Monday. Host Rachel Martin talks with NPR's Debbie Elliott and Jeff Brady, who will cover the trial.
This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.
The Republican race for president heads to Michigan and Arizona this week. Both states hold primaries on Tuesday. Former Governor Mitt Romney was in Michigan yesterday, his campaign bus logging more than 250 miles across the state. He's fighting the recent surge of former Senator Rick Santorum.
Romney held three events in three towns - Lansing, Troy and Flint - and NPR's Ari Shapiro was with him at all three stops.
Host Rachel Martin speaks with Nate Silver, who writes the FiveThirtyEight blog for The New York Times, about the mechanics of the GOP primary, the number of delegates apportioned so far and how future contests will determine the delegate count.
Syrians vote on a new draft constitution Sunday, though the opposition has called for a boycott. Violence has been reported across the country. Host Rachel Martin talks with NPR's Peter Kenyon about the latest on the bombardment of Homs and other developments in Syria.
Hollywood's elite are gathering in Los Angeles tonight for the Academy Awards. If you're hosting your own viewing party, here are some tips on how to keep your guests flush with Oscar-themed food, drinks and challenging trivia, courtesy of Dan Shapiro. He's a big-time movie buff and co-owner of Modern Bite Bakery in Los Angeles, and he knows how to host festive Oscar parties.
Theologian Lauren Winner was 21 when she became a Christian.
Although she was raised in a Jewish household and had converted to Orthodox Judaism, she says she felt drawn to Christianity. Her surprising conversion is the subject of her first memoir, the bestseller Girl Meets God.
In Winner's new book, Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis, she writes about a spiritual crisis.
Winner, an ordained Episcopal priest who teaches Christian spirituality at Duke University, says it happened around the time her mother died and her marriage collapsed.
This week, weekends on All Things Considered begins a new series called "Why Music Matters": stories from fans, in their own words, about how music has changed their lives. In this first installment, Seattle resident Nathan Hotchkiss reflects on a sheltered childhood.
"My parents were very religious," he says. "I was limited to listening only to Christian music and classical. My father would stay away a lot, and my mother would be wrapped up in her own turmoil, and it would spill over onto me."
Part one of a two-part series on the Keystone XL pipeline
Gas prices are spiking once again; the cost of a gallon of regular unleaded is about 12 percent higher than it was a year ago. But winter typically isn't the time for a rise in gas prices. Demand for gasoline is at a 14-year low and domestic oil production is at an eight-year high.
Earlier today, a court ended a corruption trial against Silvio Berlusconi. But that's not the end of the road for the former prime minister, he still faces charges that he paid an underage teenager for sex. Friends of Berlusconi say that he is lonely and increasingly isolated. Weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz talks to writer Philip Delves Broughton who got unprecedented access to Silvio Berlusconi in Rome and wrote about the interview for The Atlantic.
Gas prices are on the rise and there's a slew of possible reasons as to why. Tensions with Iran, the Obama administration's policies, and Wall Street speculators have all been cited as factors. But it still doesn't answer why prices are increasing while U.S. demand for gasoline is going down. Weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz talks with NPR's John Ydstie about some hidden factors behind the jacked up gas prices.
Two American military officers were shot and killed today in the heavily guarded Interior Ministry building in Kabul. Weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz speaks to Kabul bureau chief Quil Lawrence about the shootings, which follow five days of riots and protests over the burning of Koran's at a NATO base earlier this week.
President Obama and his GOP rivals are sparing over gas prices. In an election year, that pocketbook issue could hurt the president, but Republican voters still have no clear cut nominee to face off in November anyway. Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney square off in Michigan on Tuesday, with poll numbers flipping between the two. Weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz speaks with Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page about these and other news stories from the week.
As the assault against Homs continues, Secretary of State Clinton is urging Syrian security forces to disobey orders from their own commanders and stop the violence against protesters. Aram Nerguizian researches Middle East military strategy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. We asked him about the possibility of further defections among the ranks.
Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week: