Afghan President Hamid Karzai passes an honor guard as he arrives for his swearing in ceremony as the country's president at the Presidential Palace in Kabul on November 19, 2009. (Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images)

He's got another term. (Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images)

By Mark Memmott

Good morning.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai was sworn in for a second term today, and at his inauguration in Kabul promised to crack down on corruption. This comes, of course, after an election marred by massive fraud.

As NPR's Philip Reeves reports from Kabul, Karzai has "been under intense pressure from the international community, especially since he was elected in August in a contest marred by widespread fraud. His speech was tailored to address some of those concerns. He heavily emphasized the need for his government -- which has a reputation for rampant graft and ineptitude -- to bring an end to corruption":

Just across the border from Afghanistan, in Peshawar, Pakistan, there's been more deadly violence. Reuters writes that "a suicide bomber blew himself up outside a court building in Peshawar on Thursday, killing 18 people, officials said, in the latest of a series of attacks on the northwestern Pakistan city."

Later this morning, the Senate Homeland Security Committee opens hearings on the Fort Hood massacre. Chairman Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., and ranking Republican Susan Collins of Maine want to know about any breakdowns in communications that might have contributed to the tragedy.

Yesterday, as Frank posted, NPR's Daniel Zwerdling reported on a memo written in 2007 about the lone suspect in the killings of 13 people and wounding of more than 30. The chief of psychiatric residents at Walter Reed, Maj. Scott Moran, detailed a series of problems concerning Army Maj. Nidal Hasan.

On Morning Edition today, Daniel followed up with more about that memo:

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama is on his way home from his tour through Asia. He left South Korea earlier today.

The Los Angeles Times says the White House is trying to put a "positive spin" on the president's trip.

Other stories making headlines this morning include:

-- ABC News -- Which Hospitals Are Ignoring New Mammogram Recommendations? There's A List: "Medical leaders across the country announced they will not heed the recommendations to stop routine mammograms for low-risk women in their 40s." ABC compiled a list of such centers that told the network about their decisions.

Related reports on Morning Edition --

NPR's Richard Knox on the medical debate:

NPR's Mara Liasson on the politics of the recommendation:

-- Politico -- "Obama Rewards Big Donors With Plum Jobs Overseas": "Of the nearly 80 ambassadorship nominations or confirmations since Obama's Inauguration, 56% were given to political appointees and 44% have gone to career diplomats, according to records kept by the American Foreign Service Association. ... White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said it is unfair to judge the Obama administration by its first wave of ambassadorial nominations. ... 'We're well-aware of the historical target of career vs. noncareer ambassadors, and we will be right on that target,' said Vietor. That historic benchmark is roughly 30% political appointees to 70% career diplomats."

-- The Wall Street Journal -- "Some Courts Raise Bar On Reading Employee E-mail": "Recent cases have shown that employees sometimes have more privacy rights than they might expect when it comes to the corporate email server. Legal experts say that courts in some instances are showing more consideration for employees who feel their employer has violated their privacy electronically."

Contributing: Chinita Anderson of Morning Edition.

categories: Afghanistan, Foreign News, Foreign Policy, Health, Morning Roundup

7:40 - November 19, 2009