A Russian court found whistle-blower Sergei Magnitsky guilty of tax evasion on Thursday, ending a convoluted case that caused a diplomatic row between Moscow and Washington. It gets even more bizarre given the fact that the man on trial died in 2009.
The posthumous conviction is unprecedented in modern times – even in a country with a history of show trials. But it's not entirely unheard of throughout the ages.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene. Good morning. Pork was on the menu on Capitol Hill yesterday, but not the kind Congress produces. Lawmakers on the Senate Agriculture Committee were focused on the takeover of Smithfield Foods by a big Chinese company.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.
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And I'm David Greene.
The massive immigration bill passed in the Senate with bipartisan support is now facing a challenge in the House. The Republican speaker has served notice that he will not put any bill to a vote that doesn't have the support of a majority of Republicans. And yesterday, almost every House Republican crowded into a closed-door meeting in the basement of the Capitol to discuss the issue.
The prospects for an immigration overhaul effort that could reshape the contours of American society appeared grim Wednesday after a closed door meeting of House Republicans.
A majority of the fractious House Republican Conference lined up in opposition to (barely) bipartisan legislation already approved by the Democratic-controlled Senate, despite the urging of leaders to do something on the issue.
U.S. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., speaks at a press conference Wednesday on Republican plans to delay enactment of the Affordable Care Act. Looking on are Sens. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., John Barrasso, R-Wyo., and John Cornyn, R-Texas.
Sensing that recent delays in key portions of the Affordable Care Act have caught the Obama administration at a weak point in its rollout of the law, Republicans in Congress are doubling down on their efforts to cripple the measure, at least in the eyes of the public if not in fact.
The Republican Party seems like two parties these days. In the Senate, Republicans joined a two-thirds majority to pass an immigration bill. But in the House, Republicans are balking.
Strategist Alex Lundry says it's hard to figure out the way forward when your party's base of power is the House of Representatives.
"One problem we have in the wilderness is that there are a thousand chiefs," he says. "And it is hard to get a party moving when you don't have somebody at the top who is a core leader who can be directive."
An influential conservative group is going after longtime Republican Rep. Mike Simpson from Idaho — and it's getting started nearly a year in advance of the 2014 primary.
The Club for Growth is throwing its weight behind GOP challenger Bryan Smith, calling him a fiscal conservative: anti-tax and pro-growth. The lawyer from Idaho Falls is the first candidate endorsed through a website the club launched earlier this year called PrimaryMyCongressman.com.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
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The push for a big rewrite of the nation's immigration laws has moved from one side of the Capitol to the other. Late last month, the Democratic-led Senate passed a sweeping immigration overhaul. Now it's up to the GOP-led House to act.
Americans will get the same ham slabs and bacon slices they have enjoyed for generations, even after Smithfield Foods becomes a Chinese subsidiary, Smithfield CEO Larry Pope told Congress on Wednesday.
Photos of President Franklin D. Roosevelt sitting in a wheelchair are also rare and weren't shown to the public while he was in office. In this image from 1941 he's with his dog Fala and Ruthie Bie, the granddaughter of a gardener who worked for the Roosevelt family.
President Obama is considering pulling all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan by the end of next year, but the White House says no decision is imminent. Administration officials say the U.S. and Afghanistan are still talking about whether the U.S. will keep some residual force in Afghanistan after 2014.
The Senate is planning to vote Wednesday on a plan to bring interest rates on subsidized federal student loans back down to 3.4 percent for one more year. The rate doubled on July 1 when the chamber failed to agree on a plan.
While the Senate prepares to take the issue back up, college students are left staring at several competing proposals.
Senator Carl Levin, the Michigan Democrat and chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee said last night that U.S. aide to Egypt should be suspended and Senator Levin joins us now. Welcome to the program once again.
James Comey, the president's choice for FBI director, had a relatively easy time fielding questions Tuesday at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Lawmakers wanted to know about surveillance, waterboarding and other controversial issues, but they posed their questions gently.
"Teresa Heinz Kerry continues to improve and remains in fair condition at Massachusetts General Hospital, while doctors seek the cause of seizure-like symptoms she experienced on Sunday," State Department spokesman Glen Johnson says in a statement sent to reporters Tuesday afternoon.
In the most extensive comments so far about her condition, Johnson also says that:
When Alfredo Corchado went to cover Mexico for TheDallas Morning News, he was determined not to focus on drugs and crime but rather to cover issues critical to the country's future — immigration, education and the economy.
As we just heard, Eliot Spitzer is hardly the only politician to attempt a political comeback after a sex scandal. In addition to Anthony Wiener, there is also former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford. He won a seat in Congress this year, after famously slipping off to Argentina for an extra-marital affair.
NPR's Ari Shapiro looks at what makes some political sex scandals survivable.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
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And I'm Robert Siegel.
Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer has become the latest politician to ask voters for a second chance. Five years after resigning amid a prostitution scandal, Spitzer is running for public office again, this time to be New York City comptroller.
As NPR's Joel Rose reports, some voters seem willing to listen.
Eliot Spitzer is surrounded by media Monday as he tries to collect signatures for his run for New York City comptroller. The former governor, who stepped down in 2008 amid a prostitution scandal, says he is planning a political comeback.
It's a political ticket only Jon Stewart could dream up.
With Anthony Weiner leading the race for New York mayor in some polls, fellow Democrat Eliot Spitzer now hopes to appear on the same ballot in the city comptroller slot.
This latest news comes in a season that has already seen the return of South Carolina Republican Mark Sanford to the House.
"Sanford's success led to Weiner's reassessment, and Weiner's positive polls have led to Spitzer's thinking, 'Why not me?' " says Lara Brown, a political scientist who wrote a dissertation on congressional scandals.
NPR is taking a look at the demographic changes that could reshape the political landscape in Texas over the next decade — and what that could mean for the rest of the country.
Within a decade, Hispanics are projected to eclipse non-Hispanic whites as the largest race or ethnic group in Texas. It's a development that could someday shift the state's — or, given the size of Texas, even the nation's — politics.
A few months ago, the Republican National Committee released several recommendations for broadening the party's voter appeal. The report told the GOP to reach out to women, younger voters and Hispanics. But so far, that has not been the direction party leaders have taken in Congress or in the media.
Rates on federally subsidized Stafford loans, which help low and middle-income college students, doubled on July 1. There is now pressure for a deal to undo the increase. NPR's David Greene talks to Matthew Chingos, a fellow at the Brookings Institution's Brown Center on Education Policy.
Each week,Weekend Edition Sundayhost Rachel Martin brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.
As immigration legislation moves through Congress, there are still major obstacles to any kind of compromise. It's a tense waiting game for those in the country illegally — even for those who supposedly have a leg up in the process because they have married a U.S. citizen.
Everything about the New York City mayor's race is supersized.
No less than a dozen candidates are vying to succeed Michael Bloomberg as leader of the nation's biggest city — five Republicans and seven Democrats. The candidates have appeared at more than 100 forums and debates, and the primary is still two months away.
Observers say that the crowded field could favor big personalities.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has signed a bill that would require women seeking an abortion to get an ultrasound. The bill also puts restrictions on doctors who perform abortions, reports Marti Mikkelson of member station WUWM in Milwaukee.