Writer and commentator Frank Deford is the author of sixteen books. His latest novel, Bliss, Remembered, is a love story set at the 1936 Berlin Olympics and in World War II. Publishers Weekly calls it a "thought-provoking...and poignant story, utterly charming and enjoyable." Booklist says Bliss, Remembered is "beautifully written...elegantly constructed...writing that is genuinely inspiring."

On radio, Deford may be heard as a commentator every Wednesday on NPR's Morning Edition and, on television, he is the senior correspondent on the HBO show RealSports With Bryant Gumbel. In magazines, he is Senior Contributing Writer at Sports Illustrated.

Afghanistan
10:01 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Afghans Worried About Early Exit Of French Troops

A French gunner mans a machine gun in a Puma helicopter as it flies over Afghanistan. French President Nicolas Sarkozy recently ordered the withdrawal of all French troops from the country a year ahead of schedule.
Joel Saget AFP/Getty Images

Uncertainties surrounding the future of the NATO mission in Afghanistan are of particular concern for an area near Kabul that French troops have controlled for the past decade. France now plans to withdraw its army a year ahead of schedule, sparking fears of a potential crisis in Kapisa province.

On a plateau amid the towering Hindu Kush mountains, Hukum Khan, a 31-year-old Afghan farmer, says the presence of French troops hasn't made much difference in his life in the past 10 years.

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Europe
10:01 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Labor Law Changes May Offer Relief For Spain's Youth

Spaniards march through the streets of Madrid, Nov. 27, 2011, to protest spending cuts, high unemployment and political corruption. The government is proposing an overhaul of the country's two-tier labor system, in order to close the gap between temporary and permanent workers.
Pedro Armestre Getty Images

For his age group, Spaniard Miguel Viada is one of the lucky ones. The 25-year-old has a temp job, at the help desk of a tech company in Madrid. But three out of his four roommates are unemployed.

They spend hours on the computer, sending out resumes, he says.

"It's impossible. They find jobs, but for one month, or something like that. And not in very good places or situations," says Viada, who has a master's degree.

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Afghanistan
10:01 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Afghans Hedge Bets Amid Mixed Messages From U.S.

Afghan men walk past American soldiers in Ghazni province on Thursday. U.S. and Afghan officials are in talks that will determine how many American troops stay in Afghanistan after the NATO mission ends in 2014.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

After a long hiatus, the Afghan and U.S. governments this week reopened talks on a strategic partnership that will determine how many American troops stay in Afghanistan past the end of the NATO mission in 2014.

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Sweetness And Light
8:00 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

For Love And The Game, A Star Shines In Delaware

Delaware's Elena Delle Donne, seen here during a game against Princeton, made headlines when she turned her back on the University of Connecticut.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Wed February 8, 2012 11:11 am

Imagine being not only the best high school player in the country — probably the world — and signing to play for the best college program in the country, but then walking away from the sport. Why would any kid do that?

But, of course, Elena Delle Donne did exactly that, and the reason she did is simply that she did not want to be away from her older sister.

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As NPR's correspondent covering campaign finance and lobbying, Peter Overby totes around a business card that reads Power, Money & Influence Correspondent. Some of his lobbyist sources call it the best job title in Washington.

Overby was awarded an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia silver baton for his coverage of the 2000 campaign and the 2001 Senate vote to tighten the rules on campaign finance. The citation said his reporting "set the bar" for the beat.

In 2008, he teamed up with the Center for Investigative Reporting on the Secret Money Project, an extended multimedia investigation of outside-money groups in federal elections.

NPR Story
4:26 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Obama Changes Tone On SuperPACS, Endorses Own

Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 4:31 pm

As a candidate and as president, Barack Obama has disparaged the role of big money in politics. At his 2010 State of the Union address, he even called out the Supreme Court for a ruling that opened the door to unlimited personal and business contributions. But, faced with a Republican opposition that's raising millions from a handful of sources, President Obama let his fundraisers loose to play the game too.

The Two-Way
4:10 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Holding Source Code, Hackers Try To Extort $50K From Symantec

Symantec's pcAnywhere program.
Symantec

A case of what appears to be a high-tech extorsion came to an abrupt end last night, when hackers, which call themselves Lords of Dharmaraja, made good on their promise to release the source code of Symantec's PCAnywhere software, which allows a user to access their computers remotely.

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Health
4:00 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Poll: Many Catholics Support Birth Control Coverage

A new federal policy would require most employers, including Catholic hospitals and universities, to include birth control in their employees' health insurance.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has joined the chorus criticizing President Obama over a controversial policy that would require most employers, including Catholic hospitals and universities, to include birth control in their employees' health insurance.

Catholic opinion leaders have denounced the policy as an assault on their religious freedom.

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It's All Politics
3:59 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

South Carolina Sues Justice Department For Blocking Its Voter ID Law

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder speaks last month in Columbia, S.C. The state is now suing Holder over the Justice Department's decision to reject its new voter ID law.
Mary Ann Chastain AP

Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 4:46 pm

In the escalating fight over voter identification laws, South Carolina has filed a federal lawsuit to overturn a Justice Department decision blocking the state's new photo ID requirement.

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, representing his state in the case, said in the complaint filed Tuesday that the law "will not disenfranchise any potential South Carolina voter," as the Justice Department contends.

The lawsuit further argues:

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