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Is The Arab Spring Good Or Bad For The U.S.?

For decades, the U.S. sought stability in the Middle East. But the upheavals of the past year have left the region in flux, and the U.S. is trying to define a new policy for dealing with changes that are still playing out.

U.S. Reconsiders Egypt Aid After NGOs Raided

There are calls on Capitol Hill to scale back U.S. military aid to Egypt. Congress is furious over Egyptian raids on American democracy promotion groups, and some lawmakers accuse the Obama administration of being too timid in its response. As NPR's Michele Kelemen reports, several U.S.-funded, non-governmental groups have had their offices in Cairo shuttered for more than a week.

Afganistan's Abuse Charges Surprise Washington

In Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai is demanding that the United States hand over control of a prison facility that houses about 3,000 inmates. An Afghan commission has alleged abuse of prisoners there, and says that conditions violate the Afghan constitution. The demands may have more to do with a growing animosity between President Karzai and Washington, however, as NPR's Kabul bureau chief Quil Lawrence tells host Rachel Martin.

U.S., Iran Play Economic Knockdown

With Iran threatening to block U.S. ships from entering the Persian Gulf and the United States vowing not to back down, the stage seems to be set for war. And yet, what's happening with Iran right now may be more of an economic confrontation than a military standoff.

Italian Shopkeepers Say 'No, Grazie' To More Hours

A new law that went into effect Jan. 1 allows shops, cafes and restaurants to stay open 24/7, all year long, holidays included. But Italian customs can be hard to break, and opponents argue deregulated hours will create problems for small businesses.

To Climb In U.S., Volkswagen Gets Less German

Volkswagen has come a long way since it tried to market cars to Americans with the "Fahrvergnugen" slogan. The company has adapted to the U.S. market with bigger, less quirky cars. It seems to have paid off, as sales rose last year in the U.S. — but the company is set on becoming No. 1 worldwide.

Rapper's Imprisonment Tests Moroccan Reforms

The opposition movement in Morocco adopted the music of provocative rapper Mouad Belrhouate. Now, supporters say his arrest and trial are attempts to silence him. Despite recent reforms, activists say Morocco still has a long way to go.

Diver Finds A Class Ring Lost During The '30s

Melissa Block and Robert Siegel talk about a diver who found a class ring lost in the 1930s — and reunited it with the owner's grandson nearly 40 years later.