A secret surveillance court has issued a very rare public defense of the U.S. program that collects massive data on phone calls. The court wrote that this program which stores numbers and call times but not content, we're told, does not violate privacy rights.
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The American Civil Liberties Union countered that it is folly to trust privacy decisions to a secret court.
Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 3:19 am
In the aftermath of this week's shooting rampage at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., there has been no revival of the debate over gun control. In fact, the response from both sides in the debate has been muted. That's very different from what happened after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in December.
Now that Larry Summers has withdrawn his name from consideration to lead the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, Vice Chair of the Fed, has emerged as the frontrunner. For more on Yellen and her career, Audie Cornish talks with Alan Blinder, a professor of economics at Princeton University.
In a slap to the United States, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff announced she is postponing her state visit to Washington. It was scheduled for Oct. 23 and would have been the first state visit of President Obama's second term. The postponement follows revelations that the National Security Agency spied on Rousseff, her top aides and Brazil's state-run oil company.
Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 4:45 pm
When William M. Daley — son and brother of famous Chicago mayors, former Obama White House chief of staff and all-around Democratic pooh-bah — was President Clinton's commerce secretary, he kept in his office a framed passage from Theodore Roosevelt's "Citizenship in a Republic" speech.
"It's not the critic who counts. ... The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena."
Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 4:17 pm
A gunman shoots up a military facility, kills a dozen people and puts a fair chunk of the nation's capital on lockdown.
The political response to Monday's massacre at the Navy Yard in Washington?
Measured, bordering on muted.
From the words of the president to those on both sides of the gun control debate, caution has been the rule, with even the sharpest partisans tending to hold their tongues in the hours still suffused with tragedy.
Host Michel Martin kicks off a special broadcast in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, by looking at some of the biggest political stories - in particular those resonating with Latinos. Martin is joined by Democratic strategist Maria Cardona and syndicated columnist Ruben Navarrette.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
President Obama says the nation does not want to watch another game of chicken in Washington, D.C. this fall, and he's warning congressional Republicans not to force his hand. Congress must, once again, raise the debt ceiling, or the federal government won't be able to pay all of its bills. Mr. Obama told GOP lawmakers yesterday they should lift that limit on borrowing, without trying to extract concessions from him.
Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 2:35 pm
By taking his name out of consideration for the Federal Reserve chairmanship this weekend, Lawrence Summers became a metaphor for the difficulties President Obama has had in pursuing his economic agenda.
And the end of Summers, at least as Ben Bernanke's potential successor, signaled that the president's inability to get traction on his economic agenda is likely to get worse, not better. Now even lawmakers in his own party are willing to break with him on high-profile economic decisions.
The world watches and waits to hear if the Assad government will give up Syria's chemical weapons stock. In the meantime, George Perkovich of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace talks with host Michel Martin about Israel's view on the Syrian conflict.
Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 1:36 pm
New York City Democrats breathed a sigh of relief late Monday morning when Bill Thompson conceded the mayoral primary to Bill de Blasio, avoiding what could have been a nasty intraparty battle.
Thompson, 60, made his announcement on the steps of New York's City Hall in lower Manhattan, flanked by de Blasio and New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
"I am proud to stand here today and support Bill de Blasio to be the next mayor of the city of New York," said Thompson, a centrist former city comptroller who finished a distant second in last week's nine-candidate primary.
Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers has withdrawn from consideration as the next chairman of the Federal Reserve. He cited a potentially divisive nomination hearing. Summers was widely thought to be President Obama's top choice to replace Ben Bernanke next year.
In the weeks since Iran's President Hasan Rowhani was elected this summer, he and President Obama have swapped letters, Obama says. The U.S. president discussed the exchange for the first time publicly in an interview with George Stephanopoulos that aired on ABC's This Week Sunday.
Originally published on Sun September 15, 2013 1:56 pm
Sometimes presidents have to make things up as they go along.
President Obama's decisions have had an improvisational air these past three weeks. His course on Syria kept shifting, at times seemingly guided by offhand remarks.
But the results are what count.
"If it works out in the end, the president's allowed to be uncertain," says Tim Naftali, a former director of the Nixon presidential library. "Oftentimes, the judgment you get during the crisis is not the judgment you get at the end."
Another Colorado story now. Gun control advocates had hoped that last year's shootings in Newtown, Connecticut and Aurora, Colorado might move more Americans to call for stricter gun laws. Gun control measures ground down in the U.S. Congress but some states did pass legislation, including Colorado. Yet this past week, Colorado voters recalled two lawmakers who had backed the legislation.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish. The week began with President Obama seeking congressional approval for military action. Now, it is ending with talks in Geneva aimed at a diplomatic solution. In this part of the program, the politics of the crisis in Syria. We'll talk to our regular weekly commentators and we'll start with a report on the man leading the U.S. diplomatic effort, Secretary of State John Kerry.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now it's time for our weekly visit to the barbershop where the guys talk about what's in the news and what's on their minds. Sitting in the chairs for a shape-up this week are writer Jimi Izrael, with us from Cleveland. Here in our Washington, D.C. studios, sports writer and journalism professor Kevin Blackistone, Corey Dade, contributing editor for The Root, and NPR editor Ammad Omar decided to stick around. What do you know?
There's a lot of searching on Capitol Hill but no discovery yet of a way to avoid a federal government shutdown at the start of next month.
Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor are searching for enough House GOP votes for a spending bill that could pass in the Democratic-controlled Senate and keep the government open past Sept. 30.
Tea Party-affiliated lawmakers are searching for a way to repeal the Affordable Care Act with the help of the Democratic-controlled Senate and President Obama.
Now, the future shape of the economy will be influenced, in part, by negotiations in Congress this month. What could possibly go wrong? If Congress doesn't act by the end of this month, there will be a partial government shutdown and then in October a fight over the debt ceiling looms. Some Republicans want to rerun a tactic they used in 2011, refusing to borrow to pay for commitments Congress previously made unless the White House agrees to Republican budget demands. NPR congressional correspondent Tamara Keith has the latest.
Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 5:09 pm
Leaders who respect each other and have a good relationship don't mock each other.
Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin do not have a good relationship.
Just as Russia and the U.S. are attempting to work out a delicate deal to rid Syria of chemical weapons, the Russian president published an op-ed in The New York Times thumbing his nose at President Obama.