Afghan soldiers stand at attention during a ceremony transferring authority from NATO-led troops to Afghan security forces in Afghanistan's Kunar province. The transfer of responsibility for security from NATO-led ISAF forces to Afghan troops is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2014.
America's exit strategy in Afghanistan is to have Afghan forces take the lead in fighting for their country. But too often these days, the job still falls to U.S. troops.
A senior officer in Afghanistan tells NPR that Americans continue to coddle Afghan forces and that this must stop. Tough love is in, the officer says. He says the Afghan forces are far more capable than the U.S. estimates and have simply grown accustomed to the U.S. doing everything for them.
That pretty much sums up the situation in southern Afghanistan earlier this year.
A visitor looks at a bank of TV screens at a consumer electronics show in Berlin. While TV and movies are available on many devices, consumers often struggle to find exactly what they want, television critic Eric Deggans says.
Credit Justin Sullivan / Getty Images
Steve Jobs demonstrates the movie function of the iPad in 2010. The introduction of the tablet as a means of watching movies and television shows contributed to changing viewing habits.
While sitting on a couch and gazing at a 50-inch TV remains a popular pastime in America, smaller screens have also edged their way into our lives. Phones, tablets and video game devices crowd pockets and coffee tables, offering access to what used to be called "TV," at any time of the day.
Nick Staback, who lost both of his legs to a bomb in Afghanistan, talks with his mother, Maria Staback, in Scranton, Pa. Maria Staback took a leave of absence from her job to move in with her son while he was recuperating at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center outside Washington, D.C.
Credit David Gilkey / NPR
Staback takes aim with a replica sniper rifle on his back porch in Scranton, Pa. After a year at Walter Reed, he's moving into an apartment with a friend near the hospital in Bethesda, Md.
On furlough from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center this summer, 21-year-old Nick Staback lounges on his parents' back porch in Scranton, Pa., taking potshots at sparrows with a replica sniper rifle. The long plastic gun fires pellets that mostly just scare the birds away.
It's been a tough year for Staback since his last foot patrol in Afghanistan.
"We [were] just channeling down a beaten trail, of course, you just don't know what's on it," he says. "We had the mine sweepers out front and everything like that."
Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 12:34 pm
Despite its status as a device that defines the modern age, the television has its roots in the 19th century, when scientists found ways to transmit images and sound. Even the word "television," combining Greek and Latin roots to mean "far-sight," stems from the 1900 world's fair.
Breeder Pape Dieng massages the head of his ram, Salmane, as judges decide the results of the national final of the televised sheep reality competition Khar Bii, in Dakar, Senegal, on Saturday. Salmane finished third.
Matthew Spencer receives intravenous infusions of a potent antifungal drug at home twice a day for an indefinite period to treat a suspected case of fungal infection linked to a contaminated steroid drug that came from New England Compounding Center in Massachusetts.
The news out of Syria these days is a barrage of images: destroyed buildings, gruesome casualties, weeping mothers. It's both disturbing and inspiring to a thriving movement of Syrian songwriters, rappers, poets, writers, graffiti artists and actors trying to cope with what's happening around them.
NPR's Kelly McEvers recently attended a performance by Syrian artists in Beirut and sent this report.
Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 8:30 am
As the father of two rambunctious boys (ages 4 and 7), Halloween is a holy day at my house. Kids have forced me to shed the cynicism that I associated with this holiday, and I've fully embraced the celebration. Just don't ask me to wear a costume.
It's largely forgotten now — but there was a time when the mere mention of Brooklyn would produce a cascade of laughs. It was like saying "woman driver" — surefire guffaws. Everybody from Brooklyn was supposed to be a character.
Every platoon in every war movie had one wise guy from Brooklyn in it. Brooklyn natives spoke funny. They said, most famously, "youse guys." At a time when African-Americans, Asian-Americans and Hispanics barely existed — visibly — in movies or on radio or television, Brooklyn was the all-purpose stand-in for our great American ethnic diversity.