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In Afghanistan, a grand assembly of some 2,500 tribal elders, politicians and civil society elites are meeting to decide whether to approve a security agreement with the United States. Approval by the grand assembly, called a loya jirga, would be in addition to the OK of the Afghan government. But as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has noted, the agreement can't go forward without the backing of the Afghan people. The security agreement would allow as many as 9,000 U.S. troops to remain in Afghanistan after the current NATO mission ends next year. Those troops would continue to train Afghan forces, but also conduct limited counterterrorism operations against al-Qaida fighters.

A former Massachusetts chemist is now behind bars because of sloppy drug testing that went on for years, compromising up to 190,000 criminal cases and costing the state millions of dollars. The scandal raises questions of accountability in forensic labs around the country.

Competition and compassion meet on the field in Springfield, Ill., Saturday, when two central Illinois high school football teams face off for a spot in the state championship. One team is a perennial powerhouse, but the other is from a town that was all but destroyed by a tornado one week ago.

Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin ordered the entire population of Tatars on the Crimean Peninsula rounded up and sent to the deserts of Central Asia in 1944. Nearly half of them died. Today, an estimated 250,000 Tatars have now returned and are organizing to claim what they see as their rights.

As the new chair of the Republican Governors Association, the New Jersey governor's duties will have him crisscrossing the country for photo ops, fundraisers and stump speeches — fueling speculation he's readying a White House run.

Jewish foodies say the flavors of Hanukkah and Thanksgiving are a culinary match made in heaven. And this Thanksgivukkah feast is especially sweet because it may not happen again for 80,000 years.

The Obama administration is shifting the start date of next year's sign-ups for health insurance from October to November. That gives insurance companies more time to prepare. But it also conveniently moves potential bad news about premium increases until after the midterm elections.

Louisiana is paying tribute Friday to the Rev. T.J. Jemison, a strong and steady voice against unequal treatment for blacks in the Jim Crow South. Jemison helped organize a bus boycott in Baton Rouge in 1953 and later advised Martin Luther King Jr. and others on how to orchestrate the Montgomery boycott.

The banking giant has agreed to pay a record sum to the U.S. government over charges that it knew it was selling risky mortgage products. But it's not clear exactly what, if anything, the bank is admitting to — or if the government's case would have held up in a jury trial.

Walter Cronkite anchored the CBS News coverage during the first hours after bullets hit President Kennedy in Dallas 50 years ago Friday. Cronkite returned to that day many years later in a piece for NPR, weaving together audio from the archives and his own reminiscences.

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