The case of a former FBI agent who disappeared from an Iranian resort island nearly five years ago has come back into the headlines. His family has decided to tell the media, for the first time, about some developments in the case that occurred last year — including a video of the former agent, Robert Levinson, who is shown asking the government to work for his release. NPR's Dina Temple-Raston talks to Lynn Neary about the questions surrounding the case and the family's efforts to bring Levinson home.
At the E.U. summit in Brussels, Britain was the only nation to rule out treaty changes aimed at saving eurozone countries from default and saving the euro. A look at what's behind Britain's latest show of euro skepticism — and what it means for the Tory Prime Minister David Cameron, who, ironically, is in a coalition with the pro-Europe Liberal Democratic party.
Time for some hot stove baseball now. Yes. Even in chilly December, there's still reason to talk about the nation's pastime. For instance, one of baseball's biggest stars is changing uniforms.
Albert Pujols is leaving the World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals. He's been with the Cards for 11 seasons and two World Series rings, but money talks and Pujols is on his way to L.A. and the other league. He'll be playing for the Angels.
The U.S. has poured $28 billion of economic assistance into Egypt in recent decades. But now when Egypt's needs are the greatest, the U.S. and Europe are cash strapped. The Obama administration is trying to quickly reprogram aid to make sure it helps bolster democratic forces in the country and creates jobs to help ease the country's transition. The International Monetary Fund's chief Christine Lagarde says her door is open as well, but countries like Egypt need to ask for aid, which does come with some conditions. Meanwhile, leading members of Congress say the U.S.
Mitt Romney was also in Iowa today. His campaign has spent the past several days on the offensive against Newt Gingrich. As Iowa Public Radio's Kate Wells reports, the former Massachusetts governor is facing a bigger challenge than he planned.
KATE WELLS, BYLINE: Remember when Mitt Romney wasn't supposed to really need Iowa?
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
LYNN NEARY, HOST:
And I'm Lynn Neary. European officials are moving ahead today with a new package of economic reforms. That's after a long night of talks in Brussels. The effort to address the unyielding debt crisis has threatened European unity and one important country, the United Kingdom, has refused to sign off on the reforms. More on that in a moment, but first we hear about the new rules from NPR's Jim Zarroli.
Ron Paul is surging in the polls — at least in Iowa — reflecting the implosion of other candidates, his memorable debate performances and eclectic libertarian positions. He's for ending the wars — as well as what he calls the "socialist big government." What is his role in the GOP nomination race? Who is he hurting and helping? Could he conceivably win the nomination? Does he want to be president?
Congress isn't doing much — with the major exception of cybersecurity. Citing rare bipartisan agreement and a common sense of purpose, members of both parties are advancing bills designed to protect American businesses and government agencies from hackers and intellectual property pirates. The proposed laws allow the government to block Americans' access to certain overseas websites, as well as make it legal for Internet service providers to share with the government information about emails and other traffic traveling their networks, in the interest of detecting and stopping cyberattacks.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Lynn Neary.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
I'm Robert Siegel.
And it's time now for our weekly talk on politics. And joining me are our regular political observers, columnists E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and the Brookings Institution, and David Brooks of The New York Times. Hello, to both of you.