Politics

Politics
2:24 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

Texas Congressman Pulled In Two Directions Over Immigration

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 3:45 pm

Second term GOP congressman Blake Farenthold is being targeted during Congress' summer recess by advocates of the Senate's immigration bill. Activists are organizing petitions and a demonstration at Farenthold's "open house" at his Corpus Christi office. And opponents are fighting back.

National Security
2:24 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

Obama Calls For Transparency In Surveillance Operations

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 3:45 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

At the White House today, on the eve of his vacation, President Obama stepped up to the microphones for his first solo press conference since April. Sometimes joking, sometimes defiant, the president hit on a wide range of issues - relations with Russia, health care. But the president put one issue front and center, balancing the government's need to gather intelligence while protecting American civil liberties.

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The Two-Way
2:18 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

Mexican Court Frees Drug Lord Convicted In Killing DEA Agent

Mexican federal police patrol Friday near Puente Grande State prison (background) in Zapotlanejo, Jalisco state, Mexico, where former top Mexican cartel boss Rafael Caro Quintero was released.
Hector Guerrero AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 6:28 am

A Mexican court has thrown out the conviction of infamous drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero, 28 years after he was convicted and imprisoned for the 1985 kidnapping and murder of U.S. DEA agent Enrique Camarena.

Quintero had been serving a 40-year sentence for torturing and killing Camarena, but the court voided the sentence on a technicality — saying he should have been tried in a state court instead of the federal court where he was convicted.

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Politics
12:47 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

Al-Qaida Leaks Reveal Both Security And Political Worries

A police officer checks a car Wednesday at the entrance of Yemen's Sanaa International Airport. Security forces in the Middle East and Africa have been on heightened alert because of concerns about potential terrorist attacks.
Hani Mohammed AP

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 1:01 pm

Revelations this week that the U.S. intercepted communications between top al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri and other key terrorist figures in the Arabian Peninsula offered a pretty good plug for the work of the National Security Agency.

As leaks go, this was a big one. Was it a signal that government officials are going to be more open about intelligence gathering in the aftermath of the Edward Snowden affair?

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The Two-Way
12:33 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

President Faces Tough Questions On Latest NSA Leaks

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President Obama talks with Jay Leno during the taping of his appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Obama told Leno: "We don't have a domestic spying program."
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 1:04 pm

President Obama, appearing Friday for his first news conference in more than three months, will no doubt be fielding tough questions on a new round of revelations regarding the NSA's top-secret electronic surveillance programs.

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The Two-Way
12:16 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

President Obama Proposes Reforms To Surveillance Programs

President Obama walks out of the East Room of the White House after holding a news conference Friday.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 4:50 pm

In the shadow of classified leaks that exposed some of the government's most secret surveillance programs, President Obama said he will work with Congress to reform the law governing their function.

Speaking at a press conference in the East Room of the White House on Friday, Obama defended the programs but said the reforms will bring greater oversight and transparency.

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Movie Interviews
9:46 am
Fri August 9, 2013

'The Butler': 'It's Not A Movie — It's A Movement'

Forest Whitaker stars in The Butler, loosely based on the life of Eugene Allen.
Anne Marie Fox The Weinsten Co.

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 5:03 pm

Lee Daniels has directed critically acclaimed films that deal with difficult subject matter before, but he says working on The Butler was "the hardest thing he's ever done."

The film chronicles the life of a man who rose from the cotton fields of North Carolina to work in the White House, witnessing some of the most important moments in this nation's history.

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The Two-Way
4:40 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Obama Set For News Conference Friday Afternoon

President Obama at the White House on Thursday.
Kevin Dietsch UPI /Landov

President Obama is set to hold a news conference at the White House on Friday at 3 p.m. ET — his first such formal give-and-take with the press corps since "NSA leaker" Edward Snowden starting spilling secrets about National Security Agency surveillance programs in June.

So we should expect questions about Snowden, spying and civil liberties, as well as strained relations with Russia, the economy and other subjects.

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Politics
4:00 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Clinton Movie Projects Criticized By Both Sides Of The Aisle

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 10:06 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Hillary Clinton has been one of the big stories this week, both in Washington and also in the entertainment world. Two movies were recently announced about the former Secretary of State, former senator, former first lady and also possible 2016 presidential candidate. These projects, one from NBC, the other from CNN, are only in the planning stages right now. But they've already sparked a lot of criticism from the both the right and the left.

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Politics
4:00 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Can Congress Figure Out How To Rescue The Post Office?

U.S. Postal Service letter carrier Jamesa Euler delivers mail in the rain in Atlanta in February.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 4:56 pm

The U.S. Postal Service lost some $16 billion last year and continues to bleed red ink. Congress has been unable to agree on a rescue plan.

The latest proposal would allow the post office to end Saturday delivery in a year and enable it to ship wine and beer.

The Postal Service's woes are familiar: People don't really send letters anymore, so first-class mail is down, and Congress makes the post office prepay future retiree benefits to the tune of $5.5 billion a year.

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Politics
3:13 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Hillary Clinton Still Mum On 2016, But She Hasn't Slowed Down

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 4:56 pm

More than six months have passed since Hillary Clinton stepped down from her position as Secretary of State. At the time she said she was eager for some down time — to rest and do the things she didn't normally have time for, like catch up on episodes of Love It or List It. But Amy Chozick of the The New York Times, who has been following Clinton's transition out of office, tells Melissa Block that there hasn't been much R & R in her agenda.

National Security
3:13 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Sen. Corker: 'Congress Needs Ownership' Over Covert Activities

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 4:56 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Politics
4:03 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Government Shutdown? Odds Are Uncomfortably High

Protesters urging a government shutdown and spending cuts demonstrate in front of the U.S. Capitol in 2011.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

It's going to be another ugly fall in Washington.

The federal government runs out of money on Oct. 1, unless spending authority is granted to agencies for the new fiscal year. If Congress can't pass its spending bills by then, most of the government will shut down.

It's no empty threat. Many who watch the budget process closely think there's a very good chance that's exactly what's going to happen.

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Politics
2:31 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Obama Skirts Traditional Media To Get His Message Out

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 2:50 am

President Obama, like his predecessors George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, has chafed at the conventions of communicating through the mainstream media. So while he uses print and broadcast every day, he and staff have sought out a host of non-traditional media means for reaching new audiences in new ways.

Planet Money
1:13 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Egypt May Not Need Fighter Jets, But The U.S. Keeps Sending Them Anyway

An American F-16 fighter plane arrives at an airbase in Egypt on March 27, 1982.
Foley AP

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 11:51 am

Every year, the U.S. Congress appropriates more than $1 billion in military aid to Egypt. But that money never gets to Egypt. It goes to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, then to a trust fund at the Treasury and, finally, out to U.S. military contractors that make the tanks and fighter jets that ultimately get sent to Egypt.

The U.S. started sending M1A1 Abrams tanks to Egypt in the late '80s. In all, the U.S. sent more than 1,000 tanks to Egypt since then — valued at some $3.9 billion — which Egypt maintains along with several thousand Soviet-era tanks.

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It's All Politics
4:58 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Hubbub Over Hillary Clinton Movies: A Dress Rehearsal For 2016

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appears at the Women in Public Service Project leadership symposium in Bryn Mawr, Pa., on July 9.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 5:33 pm

Commotion over a pair of movies that haven't even been made proves, if anything, that the Clintons need not lift a finger to inspire a controversy.

That said, the hubbub over a planned CNN documentary and a proposed NBC Entertainment miniseries on Hillary Clinton, the former first lady and secretary of state, does feel somewhat premature. Clinton hasn't said whether she intends to run for president in 2016.

But it's never too early to take a Democratic Party titan down a few pegs, especially one who polls well ahead of all Republican presidential possibilities.

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The Two-Way
4:35 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Military Veterans Accuse San Diego Mayor Of Sexual Harassment

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner entered a two-week behavioral therapy program on Monday.
Sam Hodgson Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 8:59 pm

Two military veterans are the latest women making allegations against San Diego Mayor Bob Filner.

Eldonna Fernandez, a retired master sergeant from the Air Force, and Gerri Tindley, an Army veteran, said Filner made unwanted advances back when Filner was serving his 10th term as a U.S. congressman in 2012. What's more, they told CNN in an interview, he did so knowing the two women had said they were raped while in the military.

CNN reports:

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It's All Politics
4:25 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

5 Memorable Moments When Town Hall Meetings Turned To Rage

Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pa., listens to a man voice his complaints during a town hall meeting in Lebanon, Pa., on Aug. 11, 2009.
Bradley C Bower AP

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 4:59 pm

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It's All Politics
3:13 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

4 Years After Fiery Town Halls, Activists Try To Revive Spark

Members of the audience argue before a town hall forum on the health care overhaul hosted by Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., and former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, in Reston, Va., on Aug. 25, 2009.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 10:24 am

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Europe
2:31 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Cancellation Of Putin Meeting Highlights U.S.-Russia Tensions

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 5:21 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

President Obama has canceled a planned summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The decision comes not long after Russia announced it was granting temporary asylum to Edward Snowden. He faces charges in the U.S. that he leaked secret documents on government surveillance programs. As NPR's Michele Kelemen reports, today's reversal is just the latest sign that U.S.-Russia relations are not in a good place.

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Shots - Health News
2:13 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Fix Is In For Congressional Obamacare Glitch

The new health law has left some 20,000 workers on Capitol Hill unsure of their health care options for the coming year.
Dwight Nadig iStockphoto

Finally, the federal HR department has released the health rule much of Capitol Hill has been waiting for.

There's now an explanation from the Office of Personnel Management on how members of Congress and much of their staff will get their health insurance starting next year.

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Governing
6:42 am
Wed August 7, 2013

In Some Cities, Gays Face Greater Risk Of Becoming Homeless

A rainbow flag against a San Francisco roofline.
Torbakhopper via Flickr

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 8:48 am

Tim Oviatt was once a successful businessman. For 32 years, he owned an apparel store in San Francisco called All American Boy.

"If you wore my logo T-shirt, people knew you were gay all over the world," he says.

Now, Oviatt finds himself symbolizing something stark about the gay community. Having lost his business, his longtime partner and finally his home, Oviatt, who is 64, has mostly been sleeping in his car the past nine months.

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Politics
3:24 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Obama Focuses On Making Home Ownership More Accessible

President Obama is in California, where he'll visit Marines at Camp Pendleton. On Tuesday, he spoke about housing in Phoenix. Among other items, he talked about winding down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the companies that guarantee most long-term fixed-rate mortgages in the U.S.

Around the Nation
3:24 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Detroit Voters Narrow Mayoral Field For November Election

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 4:10 am

Less than four weeks after Detroit filed for the nation's largest municipal bankruptcy in history, city residents went to the polls Tuesday to narrow down the field of 16 mayoral contenders for the November election. There are also more than 50 hopefuls seeking nine city council seats.

Law
2:22 am
Wed August 7, 2013

With Holder In The Lead, Sentencing Reform Gains Momentum

Attorney General Eric Holder is calling for significant changes to the way the nation deals with convicted criminals. And he's not alone.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 9:21 am

Sit down with the attorney general to ask him about his priorities, as NPR did earlier this year, and he'll talk about voting rights and national security. But if you listen a bit longer, Eric Holder gets to this: "I think there are too many people in jail for too long, and for not necessarily good reasons."

This is the nation's top law enforcement officer calling for a sea change in the criminal justice system. And he's not alone.

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The Two-Way
10:55 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Obama To Leno: 'There Is No Spying On Americans'

President Obama jokes with Jay Leno during a commercial break at the taping of his appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on Tuesday in Los Angeles.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 9:01 am

President Obama defended the U.S. government's surveillance programs, telling NBC's Jay Leno on Tuesday that: "There is no spying on Americans."

"We don't have a domestic spying program," Obama said on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. "What we do have is some mechanisms that can track a phone number or an email address that is connected to a terrorist attack. ... That information is useful."

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It's All Politics
2:49 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

With 'Post' Purchase, High-Tech Continues Its March On D.C.

Jeff Bezos, CEO and founder of Amazon.
Reed Saxon AP

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 3:44 pm

It's kind of an obvious thought: Jeff Bezos' purchase of The Washington Post is Richard Nixon's revenge.

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It's All Politics
2:32 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Cory Booker: Supermayor Or Self-Promoter?

Newark Mayor Cory Booker speaks about his Senate campaign, outside the Grove Path Station in Jersey City, N.J., last month.
Ashlee Espinal The Jersey Journal/Landov

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 5:25 pm

In one week, voters in New Jersey go to the polls in a special primary election for a U.S. Senate seat.

No one on the ballot has more name recognition than Cory Booker, the 44-year-old mayor of Newark, who is considered a rising star in the Democratic Party. But Booker's critics say he's been more focused on his own ambitions than on governing New Jersey's largest city.

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Economy
2:08 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Obama To Endorse Privatizing Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 5:25 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

President Obama was back on the road talking about the economy today. Lately, he's been taking a trip or two a week all over the country with a different focus each time. Today, he was talking about housing in Phoenix, where the 2008 crash was louder and more painful than in most places. The president laid out some new proposals to help the housing industry, and he described some old ones too.

NPR's Ari Shapiro joins us here. Hi, Ari.

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Hi, Audie.

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Africa
10:07 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Do Zimbabweans See Election As A Sham?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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