As tensions mount between China and several neighboring countries over control in the Asia-Pacific region, U.S. Sen. James Webb talks with NPR's Neal Conan about the role the United States can and should play in the growing disputes in the South China Sea.
Ambassador Chris Stevens and four other Americans died Tuesday after a mob attacked the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya in protest of a film that mocks Islam. In Egypt, protesters stormed the U.S. embassy in Cairo. These attacks raise concerns about U.S. policy in the region.
Spanish-language network Univision announced Wednesday that, along with Facebook, it will host discussions with the presidential candidates next week, calling them "the first-ever events of their kind targeting Hispanic Americans."
The "Meet the Candidate" events — featuring Republican nominee Mitt Romney on Sept. 19 and President Obama on Sept. 20 — will be held at the University of Miami and will be broadcast on Univision and streamed online in English.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan at NPR West today. We'll bring you the latest on Libya and Egypt later this hour, after the death of the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans in an attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi and an attack on the U.S. embassy in Cairo, where a mob took down the American flag.
This year's presidential debates have no Latino moderators on the slate. So one network is taking matters into its own hands. Univision's Jorge Ramos is set to moderate discussions with each of the major party presidential candidates. He tells host Michel Martin it's time for the Commission on Presidential Debates to move into the 21st century.
Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 12:55 pm
Some well-funded pro-Mitt Romney superPACs and other advocacy groups are pulling their TV ad dollars in Pennsylvania and Michigan and are doubling down on efforts in what they consider to be more crucial swing states — such as Florida, Ohio, Iowa and Colorado.
Those are states where President Obama has also been spending considerable time campaigning lately, but where he's facing a barrage of attack ads from his Republican rival and the conservative superPACs, such as American Crossroads, and nonprofit advocacy groups, like Americans for Prosperity.
The United States' southern border bristles with technology and manpower designed to catch illegal immigrants and drug smugglers. Since 1986, the government has spent hundreds of billions of dollars on fences, aircraft, detention centers and agents.
But even as federal budgets shrink and illegal immigration ebbs, experts say that there's no end in sight for the growth of the border-industrial complex.
Today, in Reno, Nevada, Mitt Romney previewed the pitch he'll make at that foreign policy debate. National security and foreign policy were the topics of a speech he delivered at the annual National Guard convention.
MITT ROMNEY: With less than two months to go before Election Day, I would normally speak to a gathering like this about the differences between my and my opponent's plans for military and for our national security. There is a time and place for that, but this day is not that.
Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 4:19 pm
Getting caught in a fight between two important allies is not where a president locked in a tight re-election race would willingly choose to be.
But that's where President Obama is today as he attempts for now to stay above the fray pitting the striking Chicago teachers against Mayor Rahm Emanuel who, in an earlier incarnation, was Obama's White House chief of staff.
Mitt Romney's rally in Mansfield, Ohio, on Monday began the way every political event begins. "Please stand for the Pledge of Allegiance and our country's national anthem."
This is always an uncomfortable moment for me. While I sat at my laptop, most of the reporters around me stood and put their hands over their hearts. This time instead of just sitting and working, I tweeted what I was feeling:
Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 3:05 pm
When Mitt Romney uses the Pledge of Allegiance as a metaphor for all that's good and right with America, how many in his audience know that the two-sentence loyalty oath was penned not by the Founding Fathers in 1776, but a fascist preacher more than 100 years later?
Or that the original recommended posture was with a straightened arm raised upward and outward? Or that it was changed to the hand over the heart during World War II after the Nazis adopted the original as their salute?
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. They say it takes a village to raise a child, but maybe you just need a few moms in your corner. Every week, we check in with a diverse group of parents for their common sense and savvy advice and, if you followed the political conventions, then you know that there was a lot of talk about leadership and the economy, but there was also a lot of talk about family.
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's proposal to overhaul the tax code continues to draw scrutiny.
Romney says it is possible to cut tax rates without driving the government deeper into the red, and that he can make up for the lost revenue by closing tax loopholes. But analysts have had a hard time testing Romney's claim because he hasn't offered many specifics.
When he was pressed by NBC's David Gregory this weekend to give an example of a loophole he would close, Romney didn't offer much detail.
To try to get a sense of what it really means to be the president of the United States, writer Michael Lewis spent six months in President Obama's shadow. Lewis hoped to find out just what it's like to be in the president's shoes — down to something as simple as how he decides what to wear every day.
Around the country there are moves to tighten restrictions on voters at the polls, some of which fall under the purview of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Melissa Block takes a step back with voting and election law expert Nate Persily of Columbia University, to talk about the Voting Rights Act, and in particular Section 5. That provision, originally aimed at states in the South, requires certain states, counties and townships to get "pre-clearance" from the federal government before changing laws that affect voters.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block.
In Chicago today, teachers walked picket lines at more than 600 schools. It's the city's first teacher strike in 25 years. Over the weekend, negotiators failed to reach agreement on a contract. They're back at the bargaining table today in hopes of sending 350,000 students back to school before the public's patience wears thin.
From member station WBEZ in Chicago, Becky Vevea has the story.
Eight weeks before the presidential election, new laws passed by Republican legislatures that concern who can vote and when remain in the hands of federal and state judges.
Among the cases: The Pennsylvania Supreme Court this week will hear an appeal to overturn that state's new voter ID law. An appeal is expected in a case involving early voting in Ohio. And a federal court is still considering whether South Carolina can go ahead with its new voter ID law.
They may have shut down Stephen Strasburg, but they'll never shut down ScuttleButton.
ScuttleButton, of course, is that once-a-week waste of time exercise in which each Monday or Tuesday I put up a vertical display of buttons on this site. Your job is to simply take one word (or concept) per button, add 'em up, and, hopefully, you will arrive at a famous name or a familiar expression. (And seriously, by familiar, I mean it's something that more than one person on Earth would recognize.)
I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up: The designers are sending their creations down the runway at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City. And just in case your invitations to some of those big-name shows got lost in the mail, we will bring the runway to you. We'll talk with a reporter who's in the mix to tell us what's hot and what's not. That's later in the program.
The Democrats were no sooner out of Charlotte when the bad economic news came.
A more disappointing job report than had been forecast. Economic numbers weaker than expected. Just 96,000 jobs were created in August, far fewer than what economists were anticipating. And even a lower unemployment rate — down to 8.1 percent from 8.3 — was explained as that more people had simply stopped looking for work. The hope of four years ago is quickly becoming a fading memory, especially for those whose lives have not seen the change Barack Obama once promised.
Foreign policy has not been a major focus of this election campaign, but whoever wins in November will have a messy inbox when it comes to the delicate tangle of issues in the Middle East.
For decades, the U.S. relied on authoritarian regimes to provide stability in the region. Now, it must deal with a new government in Egypt, an intensifying conflict in Syria, nervous allies in the Persian Gulf — and a major decision about Iran.
There's a new stimulus plan underway in America: $5.8 billion is being injected into the U.S. economy, particularly in states like Ohio, Virginia, Colorado and Florida.
We're talking of course about campaign spending, and this year's elections will be the most expensive in history. In fact, by the time we all head to the voting booth on Election Day, nearly $6 billion will have been spent on campaigns — big and small — all across America.