Around the Nation
6:27 am
Sun January 8, 2012

Familiar Rubik's Cube Challenge Gets A New Edge

The new generation of Rubick's Cube players are stepping up their game, learning tips in online videos to solve the puzzle in seconds.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun January 8, 2012 10:16 am

When Lucas Etter's grandparents bought him a Rubik's Cube while he was visiting their retirement home, it was mainly to pass the time. Fast-forward two years, and that pastime is now an obsession.

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Tom Gjelten covers a wide variety of global security and economic issues for NPR News. He brings to that assignment many years covering international news from posts in Washington and around the world.

Gjelten's overseas reporting experience includes stints in Mexico City as NPR's Latin America correspondent from 1986 to 1990 and in Berlin as Central Europe correspondent from 1990 to 1994. During those years, he covered the wars in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Colombia, as well as the Gulf War of 1990-1991 and the wars in Croatia and Bosnia.

Religion
6:10 am
Sun January 8, 2012

Has Obama Waged A War On Religion?

Some political and religious leaders say there is a White House-led war against religion.
Joe Drivas Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 3:35 pm

Americans' religious liberties are under attack — or at least that's what some conservatives say.

Newt Gingrich warns the U.S. is becoming a secular country, which would be a "nightmare." Rick Santorum says there's a clash between "man's laws and God's laws." And in a campaign ad, Rick Perry decried what he called "Obama's war on religion," saying there is "something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can't openly ... pray in school."

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National Security
6:10 am
Sun January 8, 2012

U.S., Iran Play Economic Knockdown

A member of the Iranian military takes position in a military exercise on the shore of the Sea of Oman in December.
Mohammad Ali Marizad AP

Originally published on Sat January 14, 2012 9:09 am

Tensions with Iran these days are as high as they've been in years, and managing them will be one of the top challenges facing the Obama administration this year. With Iran threatening to block U.S. ships from entering the Persian Gulf, and the United States vowing not to back down, the stage seems to be set for war. And yet, what's happening with Iran right now may be more of an economic confrontation than a military standoff.

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National Security
6:09 am
Sun January 8, 2012

Panetta: 'Human Side' Makes Pentagon Cuts Tough

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta speaks about the Defense Strategic Review, outlining defense budget priorities and cuts, during a press briefing at the Pentagon on Jan. 5.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun January 8, 2012 10:16 am

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is no stranger to budget battles.

He was head of the Office of Management and Budget and White House chief of staff under President Clinton. But now, the former congressman faces what could be some of the toughest budget decisions of his career — how to cut more than $480 billion from the Pentagon's bottom line.

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Around the Nation
6:07 am
Sun January 8, 2012

A Year After Tucson Tragedies, Incivility Continues

Captain Mark Kelly hugs his wife, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords at the White House in October.
Pete Souza The White House via Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:09 am

When a gunman opened fire on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., and others at a shopping center near Tucson exactly a year ago — killing six people and injuring Giffords and many others — some people were quick to blame the episode on the overheated political climate.

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It's All Politics
2:07 am
Sun January 8, 2012

Time Is Running Out To Knock Romney Down

Republican presidential candidates (from left) Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum participate in the ABC News, Yahoo! News and WMUR Republican Presidential Debate at Saint Anselm College on Saturday in Manchester, N.H.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Once more, the great media consensus was confounded. Saturday night's debate at St. Anselm's College in Manchester, N.H., produced another battle among half a dozen presidential contenders, much like a dozen before it. Front-runner Mitt Romney was neither knocked out nor even knocked down. He was scarcely even knocked around.

Once again, the evening ended with the bruises pretty equally distributed among the contestants. And with the New Hampshire primary bearing down on Tuesday, virtually no time remains for Romney's rivals to bring him down.

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It's All Politics
12:29 am
Sun January 8, 2012

New Hampshire Debate Left Us Really Ready For Some Football

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Gov. Rick Perry (left to right) take their positions after a break in a debate in Manchester, N.H., Saturday.
Elise Amendola AP

Originally published on Sun January 8, 2012 11:25 pm

Many of the journalists and professional political types who dutifully watched Saturday night's Republican presidential debate in New Hampshire probably had the same thought occur to them at several points: "For this we missed most of the NFL wildcard game between the New Orleans Saints and Detroit Lions?"

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Around the Nation
3:43 pm
Sat January 7, 2012

Political Diversity Defines Quirky New Hampshire

While people tend not to know much about New Hampshire, when it comes to presidential politics, the small state tucked into northern New England has some clout.

For the better part of the past week, all eyes have been focused on the 42nd most populous state, which holds its primary Tuesday. But who are the voters there, who play such a critical role in selecting the nation's next leader?

It's pretty easy to identify the classic stereotypes most outsiders associate with New Hampshire. Just ask long-time resident Earl Wingate:

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The Two-Way
1:51 pm
Sat January 7, 2012

A Year After The Shooting, Tucson Looks Forward

Captain Mark Kelly hugs his wife, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) at the White House in October.
The White House Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:09 am

  • From 'Weekend Edition Saturday': An Emotional Year After The Tucson Shooting

The people of Tucson, Ariz., are commemorating the one-year anniversary of the shooting that claimed six lives and left 13 people wounded, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.). As NPR's Ted Robbins reports, community-wide events are scheduled all weekend:

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