Observation Post Mustang sits high in the mountains of northeastern Afghanistan, near the Pakistan border. At an altitude of 5,600 feet, the soldiers stationed there from the Army's 2-27th Infantry Regiment have a stunning view of the Kunar River Valley far below.
But it's not all just beautiful vistas and clean mountain air. On Sunday, the forward operating base that sits in the valley below took enemy fire. NPR's David Gilkey, who is embedded with the 2-27th Infantry, photographed American soldiers as they engaged in a firefight with insurgents across the valley.
The latest round in the legal battle over same sex marriage will be fought Tuesday in a hearing before the California State Supreme Court.
The arguments will focus not so much on same-sex marriage itself, but on Proposition 8, the voter-approved initiative banning such marriages. A federal judge has ruled Prop. 8 unconstitutional and the issue before the court on Tuesday is whether proponents of the initiative have the legal authority, or standing, to pursue an appeal.
Father Mychal Judge became a fire department chaplain in 1992 — and he liked to join company drills. One retired fireman recalls, "I could picture him, chopping down a door with an axe. He would love to do that, too."
Credit Holy Name Province Franciscans
When planes hit the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, Father Mychal Judge ran into the North Tower alongside the firemen he served. Not long after, he became the first recorded victim of the terrorist attacks.
But 10 years later, his friends and colleagues remember Judge as vividly in death as they knew him in life: a gregarious, irreverent man wholly devoted to God, whom many considered a saint, in large part because of his own personal struggles.
Priest On A Fire Ladder
From the first, Mychal Judge loved to be where the action is.
A tinderbox landscape and unusually windy conditions have caused more than 60 wildfires to explode across Central and East Texas — creating a hellish Labor Day for thousands of Texans. Two people have been killed so far.
The worst fire is in Bastrop County, just southeast of Austin, where the blaze has been burning out of control for more than a day.
No one in Bastrop has ever seen anything like it. The tall, pine forests that were a favorite getaway for campers and city commuters have erupted into an inferno.
President Obama speaks during Labor Day celebrations Monday outside General Motors' headquarters in Detroit.
Credit Mandel Ngan / AFP/Getty Images
President Obama said Monday that congressional Republicans must put their country ahead of their party and vote to create new jobs as he used a boisterous Labor Day rally to aim a partisan barb at the GOP.
In a preview of the jobs speech he will deliver on Thursday to Congress, Obama said there are numerous roads and bridges that need rebuilding in the U.S., and over 1 million unemployed construction workers who are available to build them.
Originally published on Tue September 6, 2011 1:44 am
An undated photograph purportedly shows senior al-Qaida leader Younis al-Mauritani, who was arrested by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency in Quetta.
Credit AFP/Getty Images
Pakistan's military announced Monday that the country's main intelligence agency has captured a senior al-Qaida leader responsible for planning and conducting international operations.
Younis al-Mauritani, also known as The Mauritanian, was among three suspected al-Qaida operatives captured in the city of Quetta, which is the capital of southwest Baluchistan and has long been a transit point for militants crossing between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Originally published on Mon September 5, 2011 12:03 pm
"I'm in it for the money." "It's a holiday. I'm still here." Summing up your work can be difficult — especially in six words. Smith Magazine has published a string of successful books in recent years with six-word memoirs. Contributors offer their life stories, brushes with fame, tales of love or pregnancy — and now their work story — in exactly six words. Magazine co-founder Larry Smith joins us as listeners share their six-word memoirs of work — from lessons learned to terrible bosses.
NEAL CONAN, host: This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. For a couple of years, school administrators fended off the full effect of the Great Recession with federal stimulus funds, but in most places that money is gone, and the new school year ushers in some serious changes.