Manullah Ahmadzai, 27, lost the sight in his right eye while serving as a front-line soldier in the Afghan military. Ahmadzai is one of many soldiers who have been severely injured and say promised government benefits don't always arrive.
Last month, the Taliban carried out their largest coordinated attack across Afghanistan, including three sites inside the capital Kabul. It took an 18-hour gunfight to end the assault.
But even as they took cover, Kabul residents saw something new: their own soldiers taking the lead, with limited help from NATO. Television footage showed Afghan soldiers moving confidently into the building where the militants were holed up, avoiding reckless gunfire that might have endangered civilians in the crowded city.
Senate Republicans gave a thumbs down to a Democratic plan that would have frozen interest rates for 7.4 million students taking out new federally subsidized Stafford loans.
The vote was 52-45. Sixty votes were needed to avoid a certain Republican filibuster and to move the bill toward debate.
From the Republican perspective, it wasn't the idea of keeping the rate at 3.4 percent rather than letting it double starting in July. The impasse was over how to fund the one-year rate freeze, which would cost the government $6 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Chicha is a corn-derived liquor native to the South American Andes since ancient times. It's also a quirky style of pop music that developed in the Peruvian Amazon in the 1960s and '70s. All of that provides inspiration for the Brooklyn band Chicha Libre, which has just released its second album, Canibalismo.
Founder Olivier Conan developed a passion for chicha music while crate-digging through old vinyl in Peru. He says all pop-music innovators are really sonic predators.
As if further proof were needed that the Republican primaries are essentially dead and buried, here's another piece of firm evidence: Mitt Romney praised former President Bill Clinton in a speech in Michigan Tuesday, and not once but twice.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Over the past few weeks, our colleagues at MORNING EDITION have been telling a series of stories called "Family Matters," about the challenges that over 50 million of we Americans now face: multigenerational households, homes where two or more generations of adults live under one roof.
For more than 30 years, Henry Louis Gates Jr. has been an influential public intellectual with a distinct style, who makes complex academic concepts accessible to a wider audience.
Gates — known widely as "Skip" — may be best known for his research tracing the family and genetic history of famous African-Americans. "There are just so many stories that are buried on family trees," Gates tells host Neal Conan. "My goal is to get everybody in America to do their family tree."
FBI bomb experts continue to study the device involved in the latest al-Qaida plot to bring down a U.S.-bound airliner. U.S. officials say the explosive is a more advanced version of the underwear bomb that malfunctioned aboard a jet in 2009.
NPR's Neal Conan reads from listener comments about previous shows including living with cancer, mainstreaming special education kids, and advice for new graduates. And "Zuul the Terrordog" sings along to the Talk of the Nation theme.