Weekend All Things Considered

Weekends at 4pm
Guy Raz
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2:59pm

Wed February 6, 2013
U.S.

As Drought Intensifies, 2 States Dig In Over Water War

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 6:28 pm

Harlan County Lake, the Republican River's main reservoir in Nebraska, dropped 10 feet during the summer drought and hasn't recovered.
Grant Gerlock

Epic water battles are the stuff of history and legend, especially in the West. And as a severe drought drags on in the Midwest, a water war is being waged over a river that irrigates agriculture in Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas.

It's that last border crossing where this water war is under way. Kansas has gone to the Supreme Court to argue that Nebraska uses too much water from the Republican River, and that there's not enough left for Kansas farmers.

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11:32am

Wed February 6, 2013
Afghanistan

U.S., Afghanistan At Odds Over Weapons Wish List

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 5:12 pm

Afghan soldiers conduct an artillery training exercise in the northwest province of Badghis in July 2012.
Sean Carberry NPR

The U.S. and the international community have pledged $16 billion to support Afghan security forces after NATO troops complete their drawdown at the end of 2014. That money covers the cost of troops and equipment.

But just what equipment will be provided? Afghan military officials want big-ticket planes, tanks and other conventional weapons.

The U.S., however, says the Afghans need to get their strategic priorities in order, and focus less on prestige hardware and more on weaponry and equipment suitable for counterinsurgency warfare.

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5:36pm

Tue February 5, 2013
Business

S&P Lawsuit Puts Ratings Firms Back In The Spotlight

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 6:17 pm

In a lawsuit, the Justice Department alleges Standard and Poor's misled investors with fraudulent credit ratings. The agency could seek more than $5 billion in damages.
Henny Ray Abrams AP

The Justice Department said Tuesday it could seek more than $5 billion in damages from Standard & Poor's, the nation's biggest credit ratings company, a day after it sued the company, alleging that S&P defrauded investors by giving triple-A ratings to risky subprime mortgage investments.

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4:33pm

Tue February 5, 2013
Middle East

For The First Time In Decades, Iran's President Visits Egypt

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 5:36 pm

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visits an Islamic shrine Tuesday in Cairo. He became the first Iranian leader to visit Egypt since the 1970s.
Amr Nabil AP

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Tuesday became the first Iranian leader to visit Egypt since the 1970s, the latest sign of the thawing of relations between the rival Muslim nations.

Ahmadinejad received a red-carpet welcome as Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi greeted him on the tarmac at Cairo International Airport with a kiss on each cheek.

Under Egypt's former leader, Hosni Mubarak, a visit like this would never have happened.

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3:48pm

Tue February 5, 2013
Business

Why Is It So Hard To Make A 100 Percent American Hand Dryer?

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 7:17 pm

The Xlerator hand dryer is made almost entirely of American components and assembled in Massachusetts. But the company's owner says it's simply not cost-effective to use an American-made motor.
Andrea Hsu NPR

Fifteen years ago, Denis Gagnon bought a company that made a product nobody really liked: hand dryers. But he quickly managed to turn Massachusetts-based Excel Dryer into an innovator with the Xlerator — a high-speed dryer that cut drying time from more than 30 seconds to less than 15.

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