At last, the rivals who were supposed to savage front-runner Mitt Romney in the final weekend before Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire got down to business.
In the opening minutes of their debate Sunday on NBC's Meet the Press, several of those chasing Romney in the polls let fly the roundhouse punches they'd been pulling through weeks and months of TV debates.
(SOUNDBITE OF MONTAGE OF PEOPLE SAYING "DEAR TUCSON")
RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
It's been a year since a gunman opened fire at a Tucson grocery store. Six people were killed and 13 injured, including Representative Gabrielle Giffords. NPR's State of the Re:Union asked people who were present that day at the shooting to write letters to Tucson, reflecting on their city and the year since the tragedy.
RON BARBER: Unlike most places, Tucson is green in the dead of winter.
Two years ago, the U.S. Army launched a program to teach soldiers how to be emotionally and psychologically strong. This week, the Army released a review of the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program. Host Rachel Martin speaks with the program's director, Brig. Gen. James Pasquarette, and Sgt. 1st Class Michael Ballard, a resiliency trainer in the program, about what it takes to prepare troops mentally for combat.
In Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai is demanding that the United States hand over control of a prison facility that houses about 3,000 inmates. An Afghan commission has alleged abuse of prisoners there, and says that conditions violate the Afghan constitution. The demands may have more to do with a growing animosity between President Karzai and Washington, however, as NPR's Kabul bureau chief Quil Lawrence tells host Rachel Martin.
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.
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.
There were lots of attacks and counter-attacks at the Republican candidates debate in New Hampshire Saturday night. Mostly the candidates fought among themselves, while front-runner Mitt Romney stuck to his talking points on President Obama. Host Rachel Martin talks with NPR's Mara Liasson about the takeaways from the event.
The NFL postseason is under way. Saturday night's games included a record-setting performance by the New Orleans Saints, and Sunday's matchups feature two Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks, plus a third who still manages to grab headlines: Tim Tebow. Host Rachel Martin talks with NPR's Mike Pesca about the first weekend in the NFL playoffs.
One year ago Sunday a gunman opened fire while Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was holding a "Congress on Your Corner" event at a shopping center. She was shot in the head, one of 13 who were wounded. Six others were killed. Tucson is remembering the day with memorials, a candle-light vigil and dozens of other events. Host Rachel Martin talks with NPR's Ted Robbins about the day's services.
There are calls on Capitol Hill to scale back U.S. military aid to Egypt. Congress is furious over Egyptian raids on American democracy promotion groups, and some lawmakers accuse the Obama administration of being too timid in its response. As NPR's Michele Kelemen reports, several U.S.-funded, non-governmental groups have had their offices in Cairo shuttered for more than a week.