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A woman and three children walk past a soldier standing guard in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Tuesday, March 3, 2009. (AP)
A woman and three children walk past a soldier standing guard in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Tuesday, March 3, 2009. (AP)

Delicate Diplomacy in Mexico

With a slowing economy and spiraling drug violence, some say Mexico may be turning into the first foreign policy crisis for the Obama White House. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives there today just a day after the US announced it would send more money and manpower to the border. We'll speak with Jason Beaubien, NPR's Mexico correspondent.

Atul Gawande on Solitary Confinement

Atul Gawande, a surgeon and a writer, asks a question in the current issue of The New Yorker: If the US says solitary confinement is torture when used against American POW's in Vietnam or hostages in Lebanon, why isn't it torture when used in American prisons?

Prepaid Tuition Plans in a Bad Economy

Eighteen states are running short on cash in their prepaid college tuition program, and only a handful of them guarantee payment back to children whose family have invested in the program. The worst case is Alabama. We speak with Larry Menefee, a parent and an attorney in Montgomery, who is saving for triplets; and Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of FinAid.org, a tuition finance information site.

Reporter's Notebook: Afghanistan

Veteran BBC correspondent Lyse Doucet is just back from a trip to Afghanistan, where she spoke with former Soviet soldiers who stayed behind after the Soviet military pulled out in 1989.

Ubiquitous Chinese Restaurants

Did you know that there are more Chinese restaurants in the United States than McDonalds, Burger King and KFC's combined? We revisit a conversation we had with author Jennifer 8. Lee about the popularity and adaptability of Chinese cuisine. Lee is the author of "The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food" which has just been released in paperback.

Music from the show

  • Air, "Mike Mills"
  • Four Tet, "Slow Jam"
  • Mstislav Rostropovich, "Bach: Suites for Solo Cello"
  • Freddie Hubbard, "Gibraltar"
  • Radiohead, "In Limbo"
  • Funk Brothers, "You Keep Me Hangin' On"
  • Abigail Washburn & The Sparrow Quartet, “Overture”

This program aired on March 25, 2009.

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