Russians are voting today in an election that's expected to return Vladimir Putin to the presidency. There's not a lot of suspense about the choice, but there are big questions about whether a growing segment of Russian society will accept the result. Russia's parliamentary elections, in December, were tainted by allegations of massive vote fraud. This time, thousands of volunteer poll watchers have been deployed to try to curb any attempts to rig the vote.
When President Obama meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Monday, he is expected to try to convince Netanyahu to put off any plans his government may have to attack Iran's nuclear facilities. Host Rachel Martin speaks with Martin Indyk, director of the Foreign Policy Program at the Brookings Institution and a former U.S. ambassador to Israel.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney pulled way ahead of his rivals in Washington State's presidential straw poll on Saturday, with more than one-third of the votes. Romney finished well ahead of Ron Paul, who himself squeaked past Rick Santorum by just over 500 votes. Newt Gingrich had to settle for about one vote in 10.
Suzanne Ciani's start in music was traditional enough. She was classically trained, majored in music at Wellesley College, and got a fellowship to study composition at UC Berkeley. But when she arrived there in the mid-1960s, just in time to witness the student protests that consumed the Bay Area during that decade, her focus shifted.
Israeli soldiers get ready to launch the Skylark drone during a drill in January. Israelis are required to serve in the military, and a push for exemptions for ultra-Orthodox Jews has created a fierce debate.
In Israel, a country where citizens serve a mandatory military service of two to three years, the exemption of some has become a topic of heated debate. It's fiercer now, after the Supreme Court struck down a law which had excused ultra-Orthodox Jews from serving in the military.
The decision highlights growing tensions between the religious and secular elements of Israeli society. As the ultra-Orthodox population continues to grow, many are asking what part they will play in the Jewish state.
Residents of Wukan in China's southern Guangdong province fill in forms before voting in village elections on Saturday.
Credit Anonymous / AP
Xue Jinbo, a key representative from Wukan village, speaks to the villagers from a stepladder during a protest in Wukan in December. Xue Jinbo, detained during a protest, died in police custody.
In southern China, a village that rebelled against corrupt Communist officials has elected the main protest leaders as its new village committee leaders. Reformers are hoping this could be a template for defusing unrest through grassroots democracy, but others say the experience of the rebellious village is unique.
Sandra Fluke, a third-year law student at Georgetown University, waits to testify before the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee on Feb. 23.
Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh apologized today to a Georgetown University law student he called a "slut" and a "prostitute" this week. His comments about Sandra Fluke, who testified on Capitol Hill that insurers should provide no-cost contraception, outraged women's groups and others, including the president, who called her on Friday.
Former Judge Mark Ciavarella leaves the federal courthouse in Scranton, Pa., in 2009. Ciavarella was convicted last year of racketeering and conspiracy for taking nearly a million dollars from the developer of two for-profit prisons.
Credit Matt Rourke / AP
Ciavarella sentenced Hillary Transue to a wilderness camp for building a MySpace page that lampooned her assistant principal.
More than 2,000 young people in Pennsylvania are trying to put one of the nation's worst juvenile justice scandals behind them. It's been a year since a former judge was convicted in the so-called "kids for cash" scandal.
New rules intended to protect the rights of children took effect this week, but questions about Pennsylvania's juvenile justice system remain.
A cross with the words "Promises Made"-- referring to statements from BP and government officials — stands in front of a pile of crosses symbolizing things that were impacted by the spill, in a front yard in Grand Isle, La.
The deal was announced late Friday and prompted a federal judge in New Orleans to postpone a Monday trial, but the proposed settlement solves only one piece of BP's legal exposure from the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history.
The animal disease center that the Homeland Security department has maintained since Sept. 11 has fallen into disrepair. A proposed new location in Kansas has been riddled with neighborhood concerns, safety threats and escalating costs. Laura Ziegler of Harvest Public Media reports.
Mormons around the world are getting this warning Sunday: Stop posthumous baptisms of "unauthorized groups, such as celebrities and Jewish Holocaust victims."
"Our preeminent obligation is to seek out and identify our own ancestors," says a letter to be read in every Mormon congregation. "Those whose names are submitted for proxy [baptisms] should be related to the submitter."
The Syrian government continued shelling the city Homs overnight. The latest United Nations report estimates 7,500 people have been killed since unrest began nearly a year ago. The government has also continued to refuse entry to the International Committee of the Red Cross. NPR's Kelly McEvers reports.
David Rohde is a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and former New York Times reporter, who's now a foreign affairs columnist for Reuters and The Atlantic. He talks to host Scott Simon about what he calls the "Obama doctrine" in a piece that appears in the current issue of Foreign Policy magazine.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.
Baseball has begun its spring training season. That used to be taken as a sign of spring. Is it now a sign of ka-ching in Major League Baseball? Jim Bouton, who pitched for the New York Yankees, the Seattle Pilots, Houston Astros, Atlanta Braves and about a dozen other major, minor, and semi-pro teams, the man who shook up baseball 40 years ago with his classic diary, "Ball Four," so widely quoted and reissued, joins us from the studios of New England Public Radio in Amherst.