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Afghanistan
8:00 am
Sun March 18, 2012

Will Massacre In Kandahar Be A Policy Tipping Point?

Originally published on Sun March 18, 2012 9:57 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

In Afghanistan, the massacre of 16 unarmed Afghan civilians, allegedly by a U.S. service member, is the latest in a string of events which may have shifted the dynamic between the Afghan people and the U.S.-led Army that's been occupying the country for a decade.

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Sports
8:00 am
Sun March 18, 2012

NCAA Madness Marches On

Indiana forward Will Sheehey takes the game-winning shot against Virginia Commonwealth in the second half of an NCAA college basketball tournament third-round game in Portland, Ore., on Saturday. Indiana won 63-61.
Rick Bowmer AP

The madness marches on. Sunday holds eight more games in the NCAA Division 1 men's basketball tournament. On Saturday, thankfully, there were no major rip-up-your-bracket upsets. That is, if your bracket was in still in one piece. But there was plenty of drama. Two of the most exciting games were at the sub-regional in Portland, Ore.

March Madness isn't just screaming crowds and grown men and women chanting things like the University of New Mexico's "Everyone's a Lobo, woof, woof, woof." In fact, sometimes there's drama in hushed silence.

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Europe
5:52 am
Sun March 18, 2012

After Spain's Construction Bust, Gardens Bloom

This urban garden was started by a group of neighbors on land that was cleared for construction during Spain's housing bubble but never built upon. The garden was started in November 2011 and is tended by neighborhood volunteers.
Lauren Frayer for NPR

Spain is littered with vacant lots and half-built apartment complexes, where developers ran out of money when the construction bubble burst.

But in one Madrid barrio, neighbors are putting an abandoned tract of urban space to creative use.

Behind a chain link fence, in a dusty weed-filled lot between two soaring apartment blocks, Emilio de la Rosa is planting vegetables.

"Different types of products — garlic, beans, tomatoes, lettuce," he says. "We're teaching our children where tomatoes come from — not from the grocery store, but the ground."

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Economy
5:51 am
Sun March 18, 2012

Sweet Home: When Owning Isn't All About Money

Tamika Rhodes and her children (clockwise) Taneea, Takeema and Paul at their home in St. Paul, Minn. Rhodes says the house is more important to her as a source of stability than as an investment.
Ann Baxter NPR

It's not hard to figure out why the Rhodes family would want a house of their own. Their son Paul's passion for music makes it clear right away.

His mom, Tamika Rhodes, says in their last place, a two-bedroom apartment, Paul couldn't play the drums because it would have driven the neighbors crazy.

Now he, his two sisters, mom and dad live in a big, five-bedroom house in St. Paul, Minn. Rhodes says they all feel much more comfortable.

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The Impact of War
5:50 am
Sun March 18, 2012

Troops' Mental Health: How Much Is Unknown?

Gen. Peter Chiarelli, former vice chief of staff for the U.S. Army, says the Army lacks reliable diagnostic tools to screen for mental health.
Susan Walsh AP

The killing of 16 Afghan civilians last Sunday is now one of the greatest points of tension between the United States and Afghanistan. U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales allegedly killed the civilians in cold blood; those close to him say they were shocked by the news.

According to the Pentagon, Bales had been treated for a traumatic brain injury that he suffered in Iraq in 2010, though the extent of the damage is unclear.

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Afghanistan
4:40 am
Sun March 18, 2012

For Suspect In Afghan Attack, A Praised Record

Then-Capt. Brent Clemmer said Staff Sgt. Robert Bales distinguished himself as a team leader in Clemmer's C Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment during the Battle of Zarqa, Iraq. The faces of the rest of Bales' squad have been obscured.
Courtesy Maj. Brent Clemmer

Originally published on Sun March 18, 2012 1:13 pm

There is still only sketchy information available about Staff Sgt. Robert Bales' recent experience in Afghanistan, but five years ago in Iraq, he was considered an excellent and upbeat soldier.

Bales is suspected of killing 16 unarmed Afghan civilians last Sunday. He has yet to be charged, and his civilian lawyers say they will meet with him at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., to learn the facts of the case.

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The Two-Way
6:06 pm
Sat March 17, 2012

Former Captain: Afghan Shooting Suspect Showed 'Valorous Conduct' In Battle

Bales joined the military after Sept. 11, 2001. He served three times in Iraq before being deployed to Afghanistan.
Courtesy Maj. Brent Clemmer

Originally published on Mon March 19, 2012 6:45 am

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales' commanding officer once recommended him for a medal of valor after a major battle in Iraq.

Bales was named on Friday as the U.S. soldier who allegedly killed 16 Afghan civilians last Sunday. "I was shocked that it was him," Maj. Brent Clemmer told Austin Jenkins of the Public Radio Northwest News Network. "I am still in shock about it."

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The Two-Way
6:00 pm
Sat March 17, 2012

WikiLeaks Founder Assange To Run For Australian Senate

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
Kirsty Wigglesworth AP

Originally published on Sat March 17, 2012 7:50 pm

Here's one way to spend time under house arrest: The WikiLeaks creator will run for the Senate in Australia, his home country. The revelation appeared, typically, on WikiLeaks' Twitter feed:

Assange is under house arrest in England, fighting extradition to Sweden, where he's accused of two sex crimes.

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Movie Reviews
4:48 pm
Sat March 17, 2012

Betting On Two Pairs Of Filmmaking Brothers

Two pairs of filmmaking brothers are both releasing movies this weekend. In Jeff, Who Lives at Home, by the Duplass brothers Jay and Mark, Pat (Ed Helms) and Jeff (Jason Segel) encounter each other in a day fraught with fateful events. Also opening is The Kid with a Bike, a Belgian slice-of-life drama from the Dardenne brothers, Jean-Pierre and Luc..
Paramount Vantage

Originally published on Sat March 17, 2012 6:42 pm

Call it an accident of the calendar: two pairs of filmmaking brothers both opening movies on the same weekend, both films about the awkwardness of growing up. Jeff, Who Lives at Home is a post-mumblecore slacker comedy from the Duplass brothers, Mark and Jay. The Kid with a Bike is a Belgian slice-of-life drama from the Dardenne brothers, Jean-Pierre and Luc.

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Three-Minute Fiction
4:44 pm
Sat March 17, 2012

Minor Details: Three-Minute Fiction's Age Rules

Kahlo Smith, 11, wanted to enter Three-Minute Fiction but found out she was ineligible because of her age. She contacted NPR to find out why.
Courtesy Brian Smith

This week, along with the nearly 1,000 stories that were submitted to weekends on All Things Considered's writing contest, Three-Minute Fiction, there was a letter from 11-year-old Kahlo Smith of Felton, Calif.

Dear Mr. Raz,

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