This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.
The Republican candidates for president faced off in their second debate of the weekend this morning in New Hampshire. Last night, front-runner Mitt Romney was able to stay above the fray, as his opponents attacked each other in the fight for second place. But this morning, they turned their fire on Romney.
New Hampshire Republican Congressman Frank Guinta is a veteran of New Hampshire politics. The former state representative and mayor of Manchester gives host Rachel Martin a sense of the state's mood just two days before the primary.
In the days leading up to Tuesday's primary, with so much political activity compressed into such a small state, New Hampshire is pretty much nirvana for anyone fascinated by politics. Yes, all the candidates are there. But so are reporters, pundits, researchers, and as NPR's Greg Allen discovered, political tourists.
This blogger's mom was a knitter. She and a friend made hundreds of knit caps that went to children in Rochester, N.Y. Some made their way to a village in Afghanistan when her youngest son went there on assignment for USA Today in 2002 and 2003.
Watching her, it always seemed as if knitting was calming and challenging at the same time. It's repetitive, yet also has to be done precisely right if you want to succeed. And if you mess up, you may have to unravel and start over.
Gabby Pahinui (center), playing in his family's backyard with (from left to right) Leland "Atta" Isaacs, Philip Pahinui, Cyril Pahinui and Martin Pahinui. This photo is in the album insert for the 1972's Gabby.
As the Oscar race heats up, one contender has already won over fans in Hawaii, where the movie was filmed. And not just for its story of a family grappling with death and infidelity — but also for its soundtrack. The Descendants has no orchestral score. Instead, director Alexander Payne chose to fill his movie exclusively with music by Hawaii artists — much of it from existing recordings.
Payne didn't know much about the music when he started the project. Then he discovered one of the giants of Hawaiian music, Gabby Pahinui.
Tensions with Iran these days are as high as they've been in years, and managing them will be one of the top challenges facing the Obama administration this year. With Iran threatening to block U.S. ships from entering the Persian Gulf, and the United States vowing not to back down, the stage seems to be set for war. And yet, what's happening with Iran right now may be more of an economic confrontation than a military standoff.
Americans' religious liberties are under attack — or at least that's what some conservatives say.
Newt Gingrich warns the U.S. is becoming a secular country, which would be a "nightmare." Rick Santorum says there's a clash between "man's laws and God's laws." And in a campaign ad, Rick Perry decried what he called "Obama's war on religion," saying there is "something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can't openly ... pray in school."
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is no stranger to budget battles.
He was head of the Office of Management and Budget and White House chief of staff under President Clinton. But now, the former congressman faces what could be some of the toughest budget decisions of his career — how to cut more than $480 billion from the Pentagon's bottom line.