Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is taking his first overseas trip since taking the top job at the Pentagon. He'll be visiting troops and key officials in Afghanistan. Host Rachel Martin speaks with NPR's David Welna, who is along on the trip.
Military Police Sgt. Joshua Hancock and Nero, his Dutch shepherd, play at Forward Operating Base Frontenac in Kandahar province in southern Afghanistan. Nero is trained to sniff out improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, and to attack.
Credit Sean Carberry / NPR
Hancock says Dutch shepherds like Nero aren't that common in the field, but they are great working dogs.
Lucy is a stereotypically giddy black labradoodle. She's not what you picture when you think of a military dog serving on the front lines in Afghanistan. She wiggles around the room chasing her tennis ball and thinks my microphone cover is a chew toy.
But her handler, Spc. Heath Garcia, says when Lucy is on a mission, she's all business. She's highly trained to sniff out improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, which are the No. 1 killer of civilians and troops in Afghanistan.
It is just one week until Selection Sunday. What is Selection Sunday you ask? Well, that is the day when the NCAA announces the teams that will compete in this year's men's basketball tournament. NPR's Mike Pesca wanted to give us a heads-up now before the griping begins about which teams made the cut and which didn't. Hey, Mike.
MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Consider this the pre-gripe gripe.
MARTIN: Yeah. I figured you might have some - I mean, you have a lot of issues - but you have specific issues with the NCAA selection process.
Host Rachel Martin talks with Sen. Mark Begich, an Alaska Democrat, about his newly proposed gun violence legislation. He introduced it at a press conference with Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham this past week.
Despite the controversy we just heard about, John Brennan was confirmed by the Senate, making him the next director of the CIA. Scott Shane covers national security and intelligence issues for the New York Times. We asked him what kind of CIA John Brennan will inherit.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. It takes a special kind of person to blaze a trail. A bit later this hour, we'll hear from actress Rita Moreno about her amazing life from her childhood in Puerto Rico to the harrowing boat trip that brought her to New York City to becoming an acclaimed actress, singer and dancer and a mainstay of American stage and screen. But now...
On-air challenge: Every answer is a word containing an A and a Z. Given anagrams of the remaining letters, name the word. For example, given "leg," the answer would be "glaze".
Last week's challenge: Eight people are seated at a circular table. Each person gets up and sits down again — either in the same chair or in the chair immediately to the left or right of the one they were in. How many different ways can the eight people be re-seated?
James Best played Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane, the bumbling minion of Jefferson Davis "Boss" Hogg, a corrupt county commissioner and the show's Big Bad. Rosco's dog Flash was played by a basset hound named Sandy.
Credit CBS / Getty Images
Tom Wopat (left), John Schneider and Catherine Bach played Luke, Bo and Daisy Duke — rowdy country cousins in a Georgia town — in the '80s TV series <em>The Dukes of Hazzard.</em>