Host Scott Simon talks with NPR's Mara Liasson about whether the Obama administration and Congressional Republicans can find some common ground and overcome the political gridlock that characterized much of the president's first term.
Spc. Lance Pilgrim was among the first Army troops to enter Iraq in March 2003. Eventually, he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and died from an accidental overdose in 2007 at the age of 26.
His father, Randy Pilgrim, says he first realized something was wrong when his son broke down at the sight of an animal that had been run over. The image had triggered the memory of a traumatic time overseas.
President Obama says he's willing to use "whatever power his office holds" to stop gun violence, but the fate of many of his White House proposals will rest in no small part with one man: the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
After the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December, the town arranged for students to go to school at a building in the neighboring town of Monroe. Now, Newtown is deliberating what to do with the building where the shootings took place and whether to build a new school.
Newtown officials held a second public meeting Friday night to hear what community members think should happen to the school.
This weekend, hundreds of thousands of people — including President Obama and his family — are participating in volunteer activities around the country. Saturday's National Day of Service kicks off the president's second inauguration and honors the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday.
As budgets tighten and personal schedules fill, nonprofits are looking for new ways to attract extra helpers, and organizers for the national event hope it will lead to a permanent boost in volunteerism.
The Algerian government gave no advance notice that it was planning to launch a military operation to rescue hostages at the remote In Amenas natural gas field, despite offers of support and advice by many nations, including the U.S.
The anger and disappointment in Washington is muted, however, because the U.S. sees Algeria as a critical ally in the fight against terrorism.
Cristina Pato is a jazz pianist from Spain who also plays flute and sings. But on her new album, Migrations, there's a striking sound not often heard in jazz: a bagpipe. Pato has been playing the traditional gaita (pronounced "GY-tah"), a version of the bagpipe from her native region of Galicia, since she was 4 years old.
If you've ever seen a motley crew of ten or so individuals in Pastime Ace Hardware in El Cerrito sketching a row of toilet seats — enraptured — or tracing columns of roast ducks on a corner in Oakland Chinatown, you've probably encountered the Bay Area branch of Urban Sketchers. Their subjects may skew toward the ordinary, but their goal is to capture the extraordinary therein.