The Congressional supercommittee, charged with coming up with a plan to cut the national deficit, had been invested with handling so many unrelated tasks that its failure last week has left Congress with a sizeable workload in its remaining weeks this year. Among them: possible extensions of the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits, and a continuation of the entire federal budget. NPR congressional correspondent David Welna joins us to set the stage for December.
A group of human rights activists in Mexico has asked the International Criminal Court in The Hague to investigate President Felipe Calderon in connection with the deadly war on drug cartels. The complaint, spearheaded by human rights lawyer Netzai Sandoval, claims war crimes have occurred. The complaint was filed a day after two dozen bodies were found dumped in Guadalajara. NPR's Jason Beaubien has more.
The drug war in Mexico is taking a terrible toll in Central America. The region now has the highest homicide rate in the world, according to a new UN report, as traffickers move more and more U.S.-bound cocaine through Central America's struggling, weak states. Nick Miroff reports with support from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.
A 71-year-old amnesiac in Germany has become well known in medical circles there. Even though the patient has lost nearly all memory of his past and has difficulty planning anything in the present or for the future, new research shows the former concert cellist is still able to learn new music. Audie Cornish speaks with Dr. Carsten Finke, a neurologist at The Charite university hospital in Berlin, about the unique patient.
Protests continue in Egypt ahead of Monday's parliamentary elections, the first since the fall of President Hosni Mubarak and his replacement by a military council. Audie Cornish speaks to NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson about the scene in Alexandria.