Today, California State Senator Leland Yee is scheduled to appear in court. The corruption charges he faces range from the common to the extraordinary. The Democrat is accused of taking money from favors - that happens a lot - but this part does not: the FBI says Yee offered to connect undercover agents to international arms traffickers in exchange for campaign contributions. San Francisco journalist Tim Redmond is covering this case.
For all the criticism about long lines and other Election Day snafus, most states actually improved the way they handled elections between 2008 and 2012, according to a new study from the Pew Charitable Trusts.
The report found that, overall, wait times at polling stations decreased by about three minutes over 2008, and 40 states and the District of Columbia improved their "election performance index" scores, which Pew calculated from 17 indicators that make up the index.
After a lengthy clash over competing military sexual assault reform bills, Sens. Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York are teaming up to push for increased funding to investigate and combat sexual assault on college campuses.
Republicans in Massachusetts have lost the past 92 U.S. House races. That's a staggering number — the worst GOP drought in the country.
But analysts say this year the party might have a man who could snap that losing streak. He is vying for a seat in the Massachusetts 6th Congressional District, just north of Boston.
In many ways, Richard Tisei is a quintessential New England politician. He even sports the classic side-part hairstyle with a bit of that Kennedy swoosh. Old ladies tell him he's handsome. He's a veteran state senator and a local boy.
Election season is getting underway in states all over the country, and voting rights advocates worry some of those places may move to disenfranchise minorities by exploiting a Supreme Court ruling.
That ruling last June blew up a system that had forced states with a history of discrimination to win federal approval before making election changes.
Now, legal groups are responding by training a new generation of activists to sue. Consider this recent gathering of a few dozen lawyers and community activists on the 28th floor of an Atlanta skyscraper.
Seeking to advance the cause of equal pay for women, President Obama plans to sign an executive order Tuesday barring federal contractors from retaliating against employees who discuss their salaries with each other.
Federal contractors would also be forced to give the Labor Department data about their employees' pay along with their race and gender, under new rules the president is instructing the agency to adopt.
As winter loosens its grip, employers are taking on more help.
Hotels, bars and restaurants added 33,000 workers, while retailers tacked on 21,000 jobs in March, the Labor Department said Friday. Economists say those increases suggest employers are growing more confident that Americans will be spending more this year.
Former President George W. Bush worked with many world leaders while in office. Now, he's unveiling 24 portraits he painted of some of them. As Lauren Silverman of KERA reports, the exhibit will be at his new presidential library.
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Well, now it's time to talk politics with our Friday regulars, columnists E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and the Brookings Institution, and David Brooks of The New York Times. Good to see you both.
There's a small frame hanging on the wall near the computer Josie Maisano uses to search for work. Inside there's a picture of her at this year's State of the Union address and a blue ribbon that Democrats wore that night to highlight the plight of people like Maisano, whose unemployment benefits stopped at the end of December.
"Oh, my God. It was just a once-in-a-lifetime experience," says Maisano. "Listening to President Obama, it was just very, very heartwarming."
In what world does an annual salary of $174,000 meet the definition of underpaid?
That would be in the nation's capital, where soon-to-be-retired Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., said Americans should know that their members of Congress — as the board of directors for the "largest economic entity in the world" — are underpaid.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Now it's time for our political chat. This week there's a lot to talk about. The Supreme Court struck down some campaign contribution limits. The White House beat it's a goal of 7 million Americans signed up for coverage through the Affordable Care Act, and Republican Congressman Paul Ryan debuted his own budget proposal, something that could be a blueprint for a White House run in 2016. So joining us to help us unpack those political headlights is Corey Dade.
The Senate intelligence committee voted yesterday in favor of declassifying a huge report that's been kept under wraps for nearly a year and a half. It's the so-called torture report on the interrogation and secret detention program carried out by the CIA following the 9/11 attacks. NPR's David Welna reports.
DAVID WELNA, BYLINE: Only a 450-page summary of the report and its 20 findings would actually be declassified. New Mexico Democratic Senator Martin Heinrich predicts a big impact.
There's news today about the 2016 presidential campaign that has nothing to do with the growing list of would-be candidates with White House aspirations.
It's about the big nominating conventions the Democrats and Republicans hold every four years. Legislation the president signed Thursday afternoon means those huge political extravaganzas will no longer receive millions of dollars in taxpayer support. It's not the only change that's likely for conventions.
The world could soon get its first official look at the CIA's post-Sept. 11 interrogation and detention activities now that the Senate Intelligence Committee has voted to make public a blockbuster report about the agency's secret program.
The Senate panel'smove to declassify key parts of the 6,300-page document comes just weeks after a rancorous battle erupted between the committee's Democratic chairwoman, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, and the CIA over allegations the agency spied on members through their computers.
The new NPR poll had good news for Republicans and Democrats. As NPR correspondent Mara Liasson reported for Morning Edition, likely voters were nearly split evenly between support and opposition to the Affordable Care Act, with 51 percent against and 47 percent for.
American consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about the working conditions of the people who pick, pack and harvest their food. And retailers are responding. Wal-Mart is now paying Florida farm workers more for each pound of tomatoes picked. Whole Foods is using worker wages to rank the sustainability of the produce and flowers it sells.
A new bipartisan NPR poll shows approval numbers rising for Obamacare — which is now slightly more popular than its namesake.
Our survey of likely voters, conducted for Morning Edition by Democrat Stan Greenberg of Democracy Corps and Republican Whit Ayres of Resurgent Republic, shows the president's health care law is still unpopular, but it might not be as heavy a millstone for Democrats as expected.