As China's political season gets underway, pictures of delegates to the National People's Congress wearing expensive suits and carrying designer handbags have gone viral. It's estimated the richest 70 Chinese legislators have more wealth than the entire U.S. Congress.
We're following news this morning of more killings in the Syrian city of Homs. That's the city where rebel neighborhoods came under artillery fire for weeks and where two Western journalists were killed. Rebels later retreated, but residents and activists say pro-government militias have massacred dozens of civilians, mainly women and children. NPR's Kelly McEvers is following this story from Beirut.
When an American soldier reportedly walked through two villages in southern Afghanistan and methodically killed 16 civilians, including children, it caused an uproar from Kabul to Washington, D.C. Now, let's get a view from where the killings happened - Kandahar. I first met Ehsan Ullah two years ago when I reported on a Canadian-funded girls' school that he runs in that city.
U.S. officials have not released the name of the U.S. soldier accused of killing some 16 Afghan civilians in southern Afghanistan over the weekend. The shootings come as anti-Americanism already is boiling over in Afghanistan after U.S. troops burned Qurans last month.
Here's one thing that many people mean when they say Washington is broken. They may mean that politicians from different parties seem unable or totally unwilling to compromise, and many voters hate that. And yet many voters also hate it if politicians from their own party should compromise with the other side. That could be considered giving in. NPR's science correspondent Shankar Vedantam joins us regularly to talk about social science research, and he's found some that relates to this political problem. Hi, Shankar.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
The American soldier who allegedly shot and killed 16 men, women and children in two Afghan villages was from an Army base outside Tacoma, Washington. The Army/Air Force installation, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, is one of the biggest in the military.
It's also, as NPR's Martin Kaste reports, one of the most troubled.
Thousands of doses of cholera vaccine sit in a refrigerated trailer in a United Nations compound in Saint-Marc, Haiti. Vaccination was supposed to begin last week, but bureaucratic problems have delayed the start. April is the beginning of Haiti's rainy season, which will likely intensify Haiti's cholera outbreak.
The vaccine — $417,000 worth of it — is stacked high in refrigerated containers to protect it from the Haitian heat.
Hundreds of health workers are trained and ready to give the vaccine. They're armed with programmed smartphones and tablet computers to keep track of who has been vaccinated and who needs a second dose.
And 100,000 eager Haitians, from the teeming slums of Port-au-Prince to tiny hamlets in Haiti's rice bowl, have signed up to get the vaccine.
The killings of some 16 civilians in Afghanistan on Sunday allegedly by a U.S. soldier are raising new questions about U.S. military strategy: whether the surge of American troops worked, and whether the U.S. troops have won over the Afghan people or alienated them.
The place where the killings happened was a "no-go zone" for American and even Afghan troops as recently as two years ago — it was Taliban country.
When you think about blockbuster best-sellers, genres like mystery, crime and romance typically come to mind. Ethical or moral fiction? Not so much. But that's how Jodi Picoult, who has 33 million copies of her books currently in circulation, describes her novels. So how did an author who writes about divisive issues get so popular?
As the presidential primary season marches on around the country, the nasty political ads and robo calls are taking their toll. Many people are, to paraphrase former Vice President Al Gore, getting snippy about their political differences. If we're going to make it till Election Day, commentator Gwen Thompkins thinks we'd better all learn how to disagree without being disagreeable.
We're going to learn more now about the alleged shooter and what the incident might mean for U.S. strategy in Afghanistan. I'm joined by NPR's Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman. And, Tom, the sergeant has not yet been named, but you have been finding out some more details about him. What have you learned?
For many following the Republican presidential contest, the big question is who's winning.
That's not easily answered if you go only by who has won each state's primary or caucus. But if you measure who's won the most pledged convention delegates, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is clearly in the lead.
So much so, in fact, that Romney's campaign insists there's no way his rivals can catch up or keep him from getting the 1,144 delegates needed for securing the nomination in Tampa this summer during the Republican National Convention.
The Israeli military says its Iron Dome system has been extremely effective against Palestinian rockets coming out of the Gaza Strip. Here, an Israeli missile is launched Monday near the city of Ashdod in response to a Palestinian rocket.
Credit Anonymous / AP
A Palestinian tries to extinguish a fire after an Israeli airstrike in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on Saturday.
In the Gaza Strip on Monday, Palestinian families mourned their dead.
Those killed included a 65-year-old farmer who was watering his tomatoes and checking on his greenhouses, his 35-year-old daughter, and a 15-year-old boy.
Israel says Palestinian militants were hiding among the local population and firing rockets from northern Gaza into southern Israel. Palestinians in one Gaza community told NPR that militants had been operating in the area but said the civilians were innocent.
Rosemarie Colvin, mother of slain Times of London correspondent Marie Colvin, walks behind the casket of her daughter after a funeral at St. Dominic's Catholic Church on Monday in Oyster Bay, New York.
The American journalist killed while on assignment in Syria was laid to rest in New York today.
Critic Tom Moon reviews two contrasting perspectives on the intersection of jazz and gospel music. Multi-instrumentalist Don Byron has just released "Love, Peace and Soul" featuring his New Gospel Quintet. Also out is a set of duets between the late pianist Hank Jones and bassist Charlie Haden, titled "Come Sunday." Moon says the two projects reimagine old-time religious tunes in surprisingly different ways.