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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.
NPR

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.
NPR

Panetta: 'Human Side' Makes Pentagon Cuts Tough

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is no stranger to budget battles. But now, the former congressman faces what could be some of the toughest budget decisions of his career — how to cut more than $480 billion from the Pentagon's bottom line.
NPR

U.S. Navy Ship Saves Iranians From Pirates

A U.S. Navy ship has rescued the crew of an Iranian fishing vessel from pirates. The Iranians had apparently been held for weeks. The U.S. ship, part of the USS Stennis carrier battle group, took some 15 pirates prisoner. The Stennis is the same ship that Iran threatened just a few days ago as it transited out of the Persian Gulf. Robert Siegel talks to NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman for the latest.
NPR

Sept. 11 Case A Litmus Test For Military Commissions

The trial of five men accused of helping plan the Sept. 11 attacks is scheduled to begin early in 2012 at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The case will test a new system of justice reserved for suspected terrorists, and experts say the trial could make or break the military commission system.

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