It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.
Intensive diplomatic efforts are under way in the Middle East to broker a truce between Israel and Hamas. Those efforts haven't stopped the two sides from escalating their attacks. And if the diplomacy fails, Israel could decide to invade Gaza. NPR's Anthony Kuhn joins us now from Gaza with the latest. Anthony, what's been happening today so far?
The conflict between Israel and the Gaza Strip continues to escalate after Israeli airstrikes flattened key targets in Gaza, and Palestinian rockets threatened deeper into Israel than ever before.
The death toll in Gaza doubled overnight to at least 39 people, NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports from Gaza City. Around 300 airstrikes overnight hit the Hamas prime minister's headquarters, a police compound and a vast network of smuggling tunnels, among other targets.
Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 8:30 am
Sarah and Yael Levintin raised their wine glasses to the sky and toasted the Iron Dome system that had just been deployed outside Israel's commercial center.
The two sisters decided to leave their apartment Friday evening after two rockets fired into the Tel Aviv area were successfully intercepted by the system.
"We had stayed home all day because we didn't want to take the chance that, you know, we'd be away from the bomb shelter," said Yael Levintin. "We aren't used to war. I guess we are kind of babies about it."
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — A ruling from Alabama's Supreme Court means that Jefferson County will not have to reimburse workers and businesses for roughly $100 million in taxes. That ruling helps pave the way for the county's exit from bankruptcy. The case began in 2010 when Circuit Judge Charles Price ruled that Jefferson County's occupational tax was invalid because the law enabling it was unconstitutionally passed by state lawmakers. AL.com (http://bit.ly/TZceVs ) reports that Price ordered some refunds, but not $100 million requested by parties representing taxpayers.
Originally published on Sat November 17, 2012 2:53 pm
For the sake of argument, let's agree that when we use the word "inauguration" in this particular post, we are talking about the multiday, ball-bestrewn, soiree-soaked, tuxedo-dappled extravaganza that costs tens of millions of dollars and often leaves many Americans out in the cold — figuratively and literally.
The scandal ensnaring General Patreaus has raised new questions about the CIA and the FBI. For more, we're joined by Tim Weiner. He's the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of two books on security services - one, "Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA," the second, "Enemies: The History of the FBI." He joins us from New York. Thanks very much for being with us.
TIM WEINER: My pleasure, Scott.
SIMON: It's been a week of revelations, ruined careers, shaken families. Any crimes revealed?
Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 8:29 am
SCOTT SIMON, HOST:
The violence in Gaza is the first escalation of this intensity since uprisings in the Arab world almost two years ago. We're joined now by Rob Malley. He's with the International Crisis Group. He joins us from Dubai. Mr. Malley, thanks so much for being with us.
ROB MALLEY: Thanks for having me.
SIMON: And do you think a ground war is just a matter of time?
As President Obama and congressional leaders started negotiations Friday to find a way to avoid the nation's going over the fiscal cliff, it was fairly plain that even some of those who are wisest in the ways of Washington couldn't agree on whether policymakers would actually be able to prevent the federal government from becoming a cliff diver.
President Obama hasn't even named his choice to replace Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who plans to step down at the end of this term. But there's been a lot of heated rhetoric this week over one of the front-runners, Susan Rice.
Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, spoke on behalf of the administration on five Sunday talk shows days after the attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans. At the time, she suggested the attack began as a spontaneous protest over an anti-Muslim video. U.S. officials now say it was a terrorist attack.
Originally published on Sat November 17, 2012 1:16 pm
David Petraeus' resignation from the CIA further complicated the debate over the September attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.
Petraeus, a key figure in the events, stepped down as director after admitting to an extramarital affair. But members of Congress were so anxious to hear from him that they brought Petraeus back to Capitol Hill on Friday to get his version of the Benghazi story.
Alabama's governor isn't changing his mind about not operating a health insurance exchange even though President Barack Obama's administration has given states an extra month to decide.
Friday was supposed to the deadline for states to decide if they would run an exchange under the Affordable Care Act or let the federal government do it. The Obama administration announced Thursday night it was extending the deadline to Dec. 14. The extension came at the request of some Republican governors.
Alabama's unemployment rate has declined for the second month to 8.1 percent.
The state Department of Industrial Relations announced Friday that October's rate is down from a revised rate of 8.2 percent in September. Alabama's unemployment rate increased for four months during the late spring and summer, hitting 8.5 percent in August before declining for the last two months.
Nearly 9,000 more Alabama residents were working in October than in the prior month.