A blind legal activist who fled house arrest in his Chinese village is under the protection of American officials, overseas activists said Saturday, putting the U.S. in a difficult position days ahead of a visit by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Chen Guangcheng, who has exposed forced abortions and sterilizations in villages as a result of China's one-child policy, escaped a week ago from his guarded home in Shandong province in eastern China. Chinese-based activists say he was driven away by supporters and then handed over to others who brought him to Beijing.

Political Tensions Mount Between Sudans

Apr 28, 2012

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

Sports: NBA Playoffs About To Begin

Apr 28, 2012

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon, and time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: The NBA playoffs are about to begin. Will LeBron James and the Miami Trio live up to their promise? Will Metta World Peace ever live up to his name? And will Albert Pujols ever live up to his salary?

NPR's Tom Goldman joins us. Morning, Tom.

TOM BOWMAN, BYLINE: Happy opening day of the playoffs day to you, Scott.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

The Woes Washington Baseball Fans

Apr 28, 2012

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'What Good' Does Congress Do? Don't Ask

Apr 28, 2012

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The U.S. Congress doesn't win any popularity contests. Approval ratings for the legislative branch run the gamut from dismal to embarrassing. Nine percent at their lowest, and all the chaos and discord in the 112th Congress have distressed a lot of its members too. Democratic representative Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri called the last-minute deal to raise the debt ceiling, quote, "a sugar-coated Satan sandwich. If you lift the bun, you will not like what you see."

Immigrant Sweeps In Greece Spark Protests

Apr 28, 2012

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The economy is still the biggest issue for Greeks in next weekend's early parliament elections. But polls show that immigration is also high on the list. Politicians are responding by cracking down on undocumented migrants.

Joanna Kakissis has the story from Athens.

(SOUNDBITE OF PROTESTERS SPEAKING THROUGH MEGAPHONES)

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio spent the week in the spotlight as the latest potential running mate for presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. The Hispanic lawmaker, anointed as the party's best hope for appealing to more Latino voters, came loaded for bear — rolling out an alternative to the Democrats' Dream Act.

The guilty verdict against former Liberian President Charles Taylor, who was convicted of aiding and abetting war crimes in Sierra Leone this week, is sinking in across West Africa. The historic judgment of the first African president to be prosecuted in an international court leaves Taylor facing a lengthy sentence in a British prison.

The past few years in Texas have seen a parade of DNA exonerations: more than 40 men so far. The first exonerations were big news, but the type has grown smaller as Texans have watched a dismaying march of exonerees, their wasted years haunting the public conscience.

Yet a case in Williamson County, just north of Austin, is raising the ante. Michael Morton had been sentenced to life in prison for murdering his wife. He was released six months ago — 25 years after being convicted — when DNA testing proved he was not the killer.

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Almost the same number of Texans who signed up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) during the last enrollment period signed up this time, according to the federal government. The figure took experts by surprise because there were federal cuts in funding for outreach and assistance.

We live in an age of heightened awareness about concussions. From battlefields around the world to football fields in the U.S., we've heard about the dangers caused when the brain rattles around inside the skull and the possible link between concussions and the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

2017 was among the warmest years on record, according to new data released by NASA and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration.

The planet's global surface temperature last year was second warmest since 1880, NASA says. NOAA calls it the third warmest year on record, due to slight variation in the ways that they analyze temperatures.

Both put 2017 behind 2016's record temperatures. And "both analyses show that the five warmest years on record have all taken place since 2010," NASA said in a press release.

When Army Capt. Mark Nutsch and 11 fellow Green Berets jumped off their helicopter into the swirling dust of northern Afghanistan in October 2001, their Afghan partner informed them they would be battling the Taliban — on horseback.

"In that situation, they're certainly not going to give you their very best horses," Nutsch said dryly.

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