The Two-Way
6:15 am
Mon December 12, 2011

Iraqi Leader Says Iran Won't Be Interfering Anymore

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
Hadi Mizban AP

Originally published on Mon December 12, 2011 6:16 am

As the last U.S. combat troops prepare to leave Iraq, the question of whether neighboring Iran will try to fill any vacuum looms large.

Read more
It's All Politics
2:02 am
Mon December 12, 2011

U.S. Troops Leaving Iraq This Year; Obama Could Benefit Next Year

On this April 7, 2009, visit to Iraq, President Obama greets U.S. troops at Camp Victory in Baghdad. On Dec. 2, 2011, the base was handed over to the Iraqi government. All U.S. soldiers are to be gone from Iraq by year's end.
Charles Dharapak Associated Press

Originally published on Tue December 13, 2011 9:25 am

The last American troops are coming home from Iraq this month, and President Obama is marking the occasion with a series of events to commemorate the conclusion of the war.

On Wednesday at Fort Bragg, N.C., he and the first lady will thank troops for their service.

This event is a decade in the making, with far-reaching implications including domestic political consequences.

Read more

Frank Langfitt is NPR's international correspondent based in Shanghai. He covers China, Japan, and the Koreas for NPR News. His reports have included visits to China's infamous black jails –- secret detention centers — as well as his own travails taking China's driver's test, which he failed three times.

Before moving to China, Langfitt was NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi. He reported from Sudan and covered the civil war in Somalia, where learned to run fast in Kevlar and interviewed imprisoned Somali pirates, who insisted they were just misunderstood fishermen. During the Arab spring, Langfitt covered the uprising and crushing of the reform movement in Bahrain.

Still No Job: Over A Year Without Enough Work
11:01 pm
Sun December 11, 2011

The Impacts Of Long-Term Unemployment

Originally published on Mon December 12, 2011 1:55 pm

  • Hear Marilyn Geewax On 'Tell Me More'

The country has been trying to recover from the Great Recession for three years. But the U.S. job market remains weak, leaving roughly 5 million workers unemployed for a year or more.

The Kaiser Family Foundation teamed with NPR to conduct a survey, seeking to describe the experiences of those long-term unemployed workers. Here are some highlights of the survey findings.

The long-term unemployed tended to be low-wage workers.

Read more
Still No Job: Over A Year Without Enough Work
11:01 pm
Sun December 11, 2011

The State Of The Long-Term Unemployed

People wait to see a career adviser at a training center operated by the New York Department of Labor in New York City. NPR and the Kaiser Family Foundation conducted a survey on the emotional, physical and financial effects of being without work for a year or more. Nearly 70 percent of respondents would like the government to offer more job training opportunities.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 12, 2011 11:02 am

Millions of Americans wake up each morning without a job, even though they desperately want to work. It's one of the depressing legacies of the financial crisis and Great Recession.

NPR and the Kaiser Family Foundation conducted a poll of people who had been unemployed or with an insufficient level of work for more than a year. The results document the financial, emotional and physical effects of long-term unemployment and underemployment.

Read more
Asia
11:01 pm
Sun December 11, 2011

Absent President Ignites Rumors In Pakistan

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari speaks in Sri Lanka on Nov. 29. The president has been treated at a hospital in Dubai since Dec. 6. Aides say he is recovering.
Ishara S. Kodikara AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 12, 2011 7:59 am

Pakistan is a country where rumors are always flowing. So when President Asif Ali Zardari was rushed to a hospital in the United Arab Emirates on Dec. 6, it set off all sorts of speculation.

His aides are doing their best to quell talk that he might step down. They say Zardari has been undergoing treatment and tests for a pre-existing heart ailment, and is recovering well in Dubai.

But that hasn't stopped politicians from considering what Pakistan's political landscape might look like without him.

Read more
Business
11:01 pm
Sun December 11, 2011

Unpaid Bills Land Some Debtors Behind Bars

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan thinks more can be done to keep debtors out of jail. She says the state is investigating creditors that it thinks are abusing laws by incarcerating debtors.
Joshua Lott Getty Images

Although debtors' prisons are illegal across the country, it's becoming increasingly common for people to serve jail time as a result of their debt.

Collection agencies are resorting to some unusually harsh tactics to force people to pay their unpaid debt, some of whom aren't aware that lawsuits have been filed against them by creditors.

Take, for example, what happened to Robin Sanders in Illinois.

Read more
Shots - Health Blog
11:01 pm
Sun December 11, 2011

French Lessons: Why Letting Kids Drink At Home Isn't Tres Bien

Many European parents, and some American ones, too, have long figured if they let their kids drink alcohol at home, they'd be less likely to go hog wild with their friends. But recent studies of teen drinking behavior don't bear that out.

That's unwelcome news in places like France, where these scientific developments are running head long into a culture that loves its wine.

Read more
Shots - Health Blog
11:01 pm
Sun December 11, 2011

Road Rage: A Symptom Of Much More Than Bad Traffic?

Los Angeles is no stranger to traffic jams and road rage.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon December 12, 2011 4:20 pm

It's not unusual for awful traffic conditions or incompetent driving to make some people really angry behind the wheel. But when enraged drivers actually lash out at others on the road, that's road rage — and experts say it can be a sign of deeper emotional problems.

The term road rage was coined in Los Angeles – a city long known for its epic freeway jams. Mike Shen got a taste of how bad it can get shortly after moving to L,A., when a woman viciously tailgated him on the freeway.

Read more
Asia
11:01 pm
Sun December 11, 2011

Despite Growth, China Too Faces Debt Problems

Cui Jinmin oversees an abandoned strip of unfinished highway in western China's Shaanxi province. Cui says the government stopped paying his workers in April and they went home in July.
Frank Langfitt/NPR

Originally published on Mon December 12, 2011 7:32 pm

As the U.S. and Europe have struggled with debt, China has seemed to be largely immune. This fall, the European Union even asked China for financial help, but China has a debt problem of its own.

Over the past several years, local governments have run up at least $1.5 trillion in bank loans for infrastructure projects intended to prop up the nation's economic growth. Analysts think much of that money will never be repaid.

Read more

Pages