Politics
7:00 am
Sun December 4, 2011

Cain Out; Political Favor Shifts Toward Gingrich

Insurgent candidate Herman Cain suspended his campaign on Saturday. As Cain has fallen back, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has emerged as the leading alternative to one-time presumptive front-runner Mitt Romney. NPR's Mara Liasson talks with host Audie Cornish about the changing political climate.

Around the Nation
7:00 am
Sun December 4, 2011

Historic Drug Bust Highlights Underground Network

More than 32 tons of marijuana were found last week in an underground tunnel along the U.S.-Mexico border. It was one of the largest pot busts in U.S. history. Host Audie Cornish talks with Derek Benner, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agent, about the tunnel they found and the seasonal aspects of the drug trade.

As a roving NPR correspondent based in Austin, Texas, John Burnett's beat stretches across the U.S., and, sometimes, around the world. Currently, he is serving as NPR's Religion correspondent.

Europe
5:17 am
Sun December 4, 2011

Curtain Could Fall On A Dazzling Arts Center In Spain

The Niemeyer Center for the arts will shut its doors on Dec. 15 after being open for only nine months in Aviles, Spain. It's a victim of political squabbling during difficult economic times.
Lauren Frayer for NPR

Originally published on Sun December 4, 2011 6:08 pm

In the boom years, Spain spent billions on big infrastructure projects — high-speed railways, roads and gleaming structures like the Niemeyer Center for the arts in Aviles, in the country's north.

Opened in March this year, the dazzling museum has hosted sold-out performances by Kevin Spacey and Woody Allen. But it's slated to close on Dec. 15, after barely nine months of operation, because of regional budget cuts.

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Around the Nation
5:16 am
Sun December 4, 2011

Migrants Say They're Unwilling Mules For Cartels

A Border Patrol agent looks for footprints from illegal immigrants crossing the U.S.- Mexico border in 2010. Traffickers have begun using immigrants as drug smugglers, recruiting voluntarily and forcibly.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 4, 2011 6:06 pm

Mexican drug cartels have found a new source of labor to backpack marijuana into the United States: illegal immigrants.

Federal agents, prosecutors, defense attorneys and migrants themselves say that traffickers have begun recruiting undocumented immigrants at the border, both voluntarily and forcibly. Now, U.S. courts along the border have to decide what to do with terrified immigrants who come before them and say, "The cartel made me do it."

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Environment
11:12 pm
Sat December 3, 2011

What's At Stake In South Africa Climate Talks?

South Africans light up a Baobab tree by riding bikes in Durban as part of a renewable energies display on the beach front during the United Nations Climate Change Conference.
Alexander Joe AFP/Getty Images

Representatives from 191 countries are meeting in Durban, South Africa, this week for United Nations climate change talks. One of the biggest questions is what will become of the Kyoto Protocol — a climate treaty signed in 1997. Key provisions of that expire next year and its future hangs in the balance. Another major question is whether nations can agree to a timeline that would lead to a new treaty that would include the world's biggest greenhouse-gas emitters, including the United States and China. The U.S.

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The Two-Way
4:16 pm
Sat December 3, 2011

A Look Back: The Beginning Of The War In Iraq

A U.S. marine watches a statue of Saddam Hussein being toppled in Firdaus Square, in downtown Baghdad, on April 9, 2003.
Jerome Delay AP

Originally published on Sun December 4, 2011 5:30 am

December marks the beginning of the end of the U.S. war in Iraq.

The withdrawal has already begun as hundreds of U.S. troops are leaving Iraq every day; military vehicles, personnel and weapons are being shipped out of the country, and by Dec. 31, all U.S. troops will be gone after a conflict that started nearly a decade ago.

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The Two-Way
4:00 pm
Sat December 3, 2011

Cain's Train Comes To A Stop

Originally published on Sat December 3, 2011 4:16 pm

In case you haven't heard yet:

Republican Herman Cain effectively ended his presidential campaign this afternoon, as the toll from allegations about sexual harassment and an affair (all of which he has denied) combined to effectively end his chances at getting the GOP nomination.

Here's how the story is playing:

-- "Campaign Over, Cain Vows To Go With 'Plan B'." (NPR.org)

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It's All Politics
3:44 pm
Sat December 3, 2011

5 'Lowlights' Of Herman Cain's Campaign

He added 9-9-9 to the national lexicon and slipped lyrics from a Pokemon movie into his stump speeches. Now that Herman Cain has suspended his presidential campaign, we look back at just a few of its most memorable — and excruciating — moments:

1. His brain freeze on Libya. His editorial meeting with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Nov. 14 made for painful YouTube watching.

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Herman Cain
2:44 pm
Sat December 3, 2011

Campaign Over, Cain Vows To Go With 'Plan B'

With his wife, Gloria, standing behind him, Herman Cain announces that he is suspending his run for the GOP presidential nomination, outside his campaign headquarters in Atlanta on Dec. 3.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:13 am

It wasn't supposed to end this way for Herman Cain.

His improbable run for the GOP presidential nomination should have served to burnish his CEO credentials, sell his books and enhance the fee the Baptist lay minister charges for motivational speeches and appearances.

This fall, the simplicity of Cain's 9-9-9 tax-reform plan propelled him to the top of a volatile field. Soon other candidates were rushing to introduce their own versions of a flat tax.

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