This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Jennifer Ludden in Washington; Neal Conan is away. We still don't know why a U.S. Army soldier allegedly murdered 16 men, women and children in Afghanistan. That investigation continues. The consequences, though, seem clear.
The families involved are devastated. The Taliban promises revenge. The Afghan Parliament issued a statement saying Afghans had run out of patience with foreign soldiers, and the New York Times reports that the Obama administration is debating a speedier pullout from the country.
An advertising agency sparked controversy at the South by Southwest technology conference when it hired homeless people in Austin to act as "Homeless Hotspots." Critics charge that it exploits the homeless. But Megan Garber, a staff writer for The Atlantic, sees some good in the project.
NPR's Jennifer Ludden reads from listener comments on previous show topics including the controversy over mapping Muslims, the jump in grey divorces, reaction to the viral video Kony 2012, and leaving the Catholic Church.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Jennifer Ludden, in Washington. Neal Conan is away. Losing a loved one is, simply put, painful. Such separation brings extreme sadness that can feel sometimes too heavy to bear. The Irish writer C.S. Lewis chronicled his suffering and healing after his wife died of cancer at the age of 45.
In Afghanistan and other conflict zones, the military is often first on the ground, followed by diplomats, contractors and journalists. Next, in many cases, are aid workers: People who work for private organizations and strive to remain impartial in some of the world's most dangerous places.
The NFL found some two dozen players for the New Orleans Saints took part in a pay-for-hits program that paid bounties for knocking specific players out of games. Those involved likely face fines or suspensions. But lawyer Eldon Ham argues that doesn't go far enough, and proposes criminal charges.
A Department of Education study found from 2009 to 2010, black students were 3 1/2 times more likely to be suspended or expelled than white ones. Though the reasons are unclear, many argue harsher punishments push many black and Latino students out of schools and into the criminal justice system.
Chances are, you've fallen victim to earworms — pesky songs or melodies that get stuck in your head and just won't get out.
Research suggests that there are psychological reasons why some songs are more likely to stick, including memory triggers, emotional states, and even stress. Some researchers hope to better understand why this happens and figure out what, if anything, music memory can teach psychologists about how to treat patients dealing with memory loss.
It's been an unusually warm winter in some parts of the country, with springtime temperatures and very little snow. How is nature responding? Purdue entomologist Tom Turpin and horticulturalist Kristin Schleiter of the New York Botanical Garden discuss how an early spring affects flower buds, beetles and bees.