This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The dying and suffering in Syria gets worse every week, even as turmoil in other areas demands coverage, too. Last September 10th, President Obama seemed to make the case for U.S. involvement following Bashar al-Assad's use of chemical weapons against civilians. This is not a world we should accept, said the president. It is in the national security interests of the United States to respond to the Assad regime's use of chemical weapons through a targeted military strike.
It may not be in full retreat, but the Federal Communications Commission certainly seemed to be in a major strategic withdrawal from a plan that has caused a political firestorm: a study that would have asked journalists and media owners how they decide what is and isn't news.
In northeast Texas, from the Dallas suburbs to Texarkana, Republican Ralph Hall is seeking an 18th term in Congress. Hall is 90 years old and the oldest member of Congress. At a time of deep voter anger with Washington, Hall's long incumbency and his age have drawn a crowded field of primary challengers. He's assuring his constituents that it will be his last campaign, but if there's an anti-incumbent wave building, his east Texas district may be an early barometer.
NPR national political correspondent Don Gonyea reports.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. We'd like to take a moment now to check in on the evolving debate over crime and punishment. Right now we want to focus on the voting rights of people who have served their sentences.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We'd like to start the program today talking about two disturbing situations from two different parts of the world that have been very much in the news this week. There are the violent protests in Ukraine that have been going on all week. More than 70 people have died there. And while the Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and opposition leaders have reached an agreement to end the violence, tensions are still very high there.
For a political party already facing a difficult midterm election the way the Democrats are, the fewer internally divisive issues the better.
And few items were more divisive among Democrats than President Obama's previous proposal to reduce Social Security entitlement spending by using a less generous formula to calculate cost-of-living increases, so long as Republicans agreed to raise revenue by ending or reducing loopholes that would raise revenue.
Rascally former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards was once so confident about re-election that he declared "the only way I can lose is if I'm caught in bed with either a dead girl or a live boy."
That was 30 years ago, when Edwards, 86, was a much younger man. It was long before the Democrat served eight years in prison for racketeering, conspiracy and extortion.
And it was a lifetime – or two — before a recent cringe-inducing reality television show about life with his young wife, her teenage sons and his own grandmother-aged daughters from a previous marriage.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. We're going to spend some time today talking about the U.S. relationship with Mexico. This after President Obama made a trip across the border yesterday to meet with the Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto as well as the Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper. It was called the Three Amigos Summit. And here's President Obama speaking from the meeting.
A Wisconsin court has released an enormous number of emails — 27,000 pages — from a former aide to Gov. Scott Walker.
Kelly Rindfleisch was convicted last year of using her government job to do illegal campaign work. At the time, Walker was the Milwaukee County executive.
The emails paint a picture of constant coordination between Walker's county office and his 2010 gubernatorial campaign. They were made public in the middle of Walker's gubernatorial re-election campaign, and at a time when the governor is considered a presidential hopeful for 2016.
Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 7:02 pm
Judging from an attack by one of his Republican opponents, you could easily draw the conclusion that Democratic Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska opposes a road that would serve as a lifeline to the remote Aleutian village of King Cove. But you would be wrong.
Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 4:05 am
Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz announced a multibillion-dollar loan guarantee Wednesday for building nuclear reactors in Georgia, underscoring the White House's plan for an "all of the above" energy strategy.
The two reactors will be the first built in this country in nearly three decades.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel
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President Obama is in Mexico today, for a one-day summit meeting with his fellow North American leaders. Trade tops the agenda. And President Obama signed an executive order today designed to speed up cross-border commerce. But the president's broader trade agenda appears to be slowing in the face of stiff congressional opposition.
Tom Steyer, a billionaire retired hedge-fund investor, is aiming to spend $100 million to make climate change a priority issue in this year's midterm elections.
As the New York Times reported Tuesday, the Democrat is working to raise $50 million from donors to add to $50 million of his own money to bankroll his San Francisco-based political organization, NextGen Climate Action.
When workers at a Volkswagen factory in Chattanooga narrowly rejected the United Auto Workers in a recent vote on whether to unionize, it was a stinging setback for a labor movement looking for a big organizing victory in a Southern state.
Los Angeles may be known for its celebrities, glitz and glam, but the city's mayor, Eric Garcetti, is focused on something decidedly less flashy: infrastructure.
Take the city's airport LAX, for example. You'd be forgiven for mistaking its terminals for a cramped bus station. And stepping out onto the curb can feel like an assault on the senses, with the horns, aggressive shuttle drivers and travelers jostling for taxis.
Coffee is important to many of us, but let's say your coffee maker breaks. Finding a new one is as easy as typing "shop coffee maker" into your browser. Voila — you've got models, prices and customer reviews at your fingertips.
But say you need something less fun than a coffee maker — like a colonoscopy. Shopping for one of those is a lot harder. Actual prices for the procedure are almost impossible to find, and Bob Kershner says there's huge variation in cost from one clinic to the next.
Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 3:48 pm
With 435 seats up for grabs every two years, House candidates typically raise more money overall than those running for the Senate, where only about one-third of the chamber's 100 seats are contested every two years.
Control of Congress won't be the only big question in this fall's elections. A quieter but critical battle is being waged over state-level races for secretary of state. In most states, that's the official in charge of running elections. Elections have become a political lightning rod. Many conservatives rail against voter fraud and lax rules, liberals say that's voter suppression. And now, as NPR's Peter Overby reports, superPACs want to nationalize the fight over secretary of state.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
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A new report out this afternoon poured some gasoline on the already raging debate over whether to raise the minimum wage. The report from the Congressional Budget Office says boosting the federal minimum to $10.10 an hour, as President Obama has proposed, would lift 900,000 people out of poverty. But it would also cost about half-a-million jobs.