This week, European leaders will huddle in intense meetings, trying to work out a comprehensive plan to solve crushing debt problems.
Higher stakes are hard to imagine.
If all goes well at a summit in Brussels, the political leaders will make an announcement Friday, spelling out their long-term commitment to a plan to loosen a choking tangle of debt troubles. If they can't agree on a plan, the EU debt crisis could lead to the kind of financial chaos that economists say surely would hurt the United States.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.
The U.S. relationship with Pakistan is in crisis after last weekend's deadly border incident in which NATO troops killed 24 Pakistani soldiers along the Afghan border. The Pakistanis have cut off a key NATO supply line to Afghanistan, and they refused to take part in an upcoming conference on Afghanistan, which begins tomorrow.
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.
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.
Now, to a tiny village here in the U.S. attempting to solve an environmental challenge. Nestled in the remote valley in Washington's Cascade Mountains, Holden Village is about to be flooded with hundreds of workers there to clean up the contaminated remains of an old copper mine.
Anna King, of the Northwest News Network, reports on what the cleanup will cost the town.
In Durban, South Africa, thousands of men and women poured into the streets in front of the International Conference Center, where United Nations talks about climate change are taking place. Host Audie Cornish speaks with NPR's Richard Harris, who is at the conference.
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.
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."
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.