In director Antoine Fuqua's new action thriller, Olympus Has Fallen, the White House — code-named "Olympus" — is invaded by North Korean terrorists. The president and his staff are held hostage in an underground bunker, and their only hope of coming out alive is a disgraced Secret Service agent.
In theaters March 22, the film opens at a politically sensitive time, perhaps by coincidence. North Korea is much in the news for its nuclear threats and its rocky relationship with South Korea.
Credit R. Bertraine Heine/Minnesota Historical Society / AP
Mike McConnell (left) and Jack Baker -- the couple in the Baker v. Nelson case — attempt to get a marriage license in Minneapolis in May 1970. The AP reported in December 2012 that the two are still together.
Credit Bill Hudson / AP
Doris Dennis, a volunteer handing out literature for the Save Our Children group headed by Anita Bryant, gets into a debate with Alan Rockway, a volunteer handing out literature for a gay rights group, at a shopping center in Miami in 1977.
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Suzanne Rotondo of New York holds daughter Phoebe while kissing Kristi Habedanck after they receive a marriage license in Provincetown, Mass., on May 17, 2004.
Credit Steve Yeater / AP
Richie Beanan of Los Angeles puts a sign on a bus in support of California's Proposition 8 gay marriage ban after a rally in Sacramento in October 2008.
David Wilson (left) and Rob Compton embrace after being married by a Unitarian minister at the Arlington Street Church in Boston on May 17, 2004. They were one of the first couples in Massachusetts to be legally wed.
Credit Jaime E. Connolly/Fotique / AP
U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., (left) and Jim Ready pose at their wedding reception on July 7, 2012. Frank married his longtime partner in a ceremony officiated by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick in Newton.
Credit Kelley McCall / AP
Missouri state Rep. Kevin Engler, a Republican, speaks during a rally for a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage on May 3, 2004, in Jefferson City, Mo.
Gays and lesbians have adopted the phrase "it gets better" as a kind of slogan to assure young people that life won't always be so tough.
Looking back, life has gotten dramatically better for LGBT people in the United States in a very short period of time. The modern gay rights movement began less than 50 years ago. Today, supporters of same-sex marriage outnumber opponents.
Now, the Supreme Court is about to hear two big cases that could shift the landscape for gay rights again.
In Congress this week, there's a lot of action related to the federal budget. Today, the Senate approved a measure known as the continuing resolution. It would avoid a shutdown, keeping government operations funded through September. The House is expected to sign off on the same measure quickly. Also this week, both the House and Senate are expected to pass budget resolutions.
Sen. Rob Portman, an Ohio conservative Republican who recently said he now supports same-sex marriage because he has a gay son, evidently has plenty of company.
A new poll from the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press suggests that many Americans have changed their minds — going from opposing to supporting same-sex marriage — because they personally know someone who is gay.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. A double-switch on gay marriage, Sanford back in the South Carolina sun, and you think Reince Priebus has been listening to the show? It's Wednesday and time for a...
REINCE PRIEBUS: Stuffy old men.
CONAN: ...edition of the Political Junkie.
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PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.
VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: Where's the beef?
This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR news. I'm Michel Martin. Today, we are going to spend some time across North Africa and the Middle East. It's the first day of spring, and that means it's the Persian New Year. We are going to celebrate Nowruz later in the program, with a comedian who's putting a new spin on the holiday. That's in just a few minutes.
In New York, expected rules on hydro-fracking for natural gas are overdue, and leaders in Albany seem poised to slow the rule-making process further. The delays are not going over well with some people who hope to cash in on the gas boom.
Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 4:04 pm
One of the most interesting observations we've seen regarding the Republican National Committee's latest effort to win the hearts and minds of minorities, women and young voters was to be found on a blog that promotes a
Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 2:48 pm
The prospects of an assault weapons ban emerging as part of any post-Newtown gun control law looks highly unlikely after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid opted not to include it in a Democratic proposal to be offered on the Senate floor in coming weeks.
"My understanding is it will not be [part of the base bill]" to be introduced on the Senate floor, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said after meeting with Reid on Monday, according to Politico. "The leader has decided not to do it."
Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 12:02 pm
Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky doubled down Tuesday on a previous call for a path to citizenship, telling a major Hispanic business group that his message to the nation's illegal immigrants is: "If you wish to live and work in America, then we will find a place for you."
Conservatives, he told the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, must "become part of the solution" to immigration, including dealing with the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants now living in the U.S. In his Washington speech, Paul said:
Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 1:24 pm
The release of a "postmortem" report on the 2012 national election by the Republican National Committee is either the first step toward the GOP's recovery or the latest sign that the party is headed for a breakup.
And the Republican Party has issued a blistering assessment of why it lost the 2012 election. The Republican National Committee Growth and Opportunity Project told the party that if it wants to win national elections in the future, it needs to change the way it communicates with voters and runs its campaigns.
After failing to take the presidency or U.S. Senate in 2012 and losing House seats, Republicans launched the "Growth and Opportunity Project" to understand what went wrong. Party Chairman Reince Priebus and others toured the country and released a report with recommendations on Monday.
In the east room of the White House today, union leaders sat side by side with civil rights luminaries as President Obama announced his choice for secretary of Labor. The nominee, Justice Department lawyer Thomas Perez, has a back-story the president finds irresistible.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Like so many Americans, Tom knows what it's like to climb the ladder of opportunity. He's the son of Dominican immigrants. He helped pay his way through college as a garbage collector and working at a warehouse.
NPR's business news starts with a new labor secretary.
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MONTAGNE: President Obama has chosen justice department lawyer Thomas Perez for the post. Perez is the son of immigrants from the Dominican Republic. He ran the labor department in his home state of Maryland and he will add a high profile Latino voice to the cabinet. But, NPR's Carrie Johnson reports, his nomination is not without controversy.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, R&B heavyweight Brian McKnight has sold more than 20 million albums over the course of his 20 year career. He'll tell us about his latest and he pushes back against some critics and the fans who think he may have gotten just a little too grown for their taste. We'll tell you what we mean in just a few minutes.
Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 10:57 am
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has announced that she supports same-sex marriage, saying gays and lesbians are "full and equal citizens and deserve the rights of citizenship."
"That includes marriage," Clinton says in an online video released Monday by the gay rights advocacy group Human Rights Campaign. Clinton adds that she backs gay marriage both "personally and as a matter of policy and law."
Louie and guest host Dennis Woo talk to Julie Zimet and David Thackston about the National Issues Forum, which tackles several public issues of national concern each year, and invites the community to bypass the political process and discuss the issues rationally amongst themselves. Zimet and Thackston talk about the effectiveness of the National Issues Forum in impacting political change. Learn about an upcoming forums by calling 915-751-6481 or visiting www.nifi.org.
Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford chats with a diner at a restaurant in Charleston, S.C. Sanford is one of 16 Republicans in Tuesday's GOP primary for the special election to fill the vacant 1st Congressional District seat.
Two Democrats and 16 Republicans are running for South Carolina's 1st Congressional District seat in a special election Tuesday. The seat is open because former Rep. Tim Scott was tapped to replace Sen. Jim DeMint, who retired midterm.
The biggest name in the race is former Gov. Mark Sanford, whose infamous affair led to his political downfall. Sanford is trying to stage the political comeback of a lifetime.
And he's doing it one diner at a time — greeting customers over eggs and grits at Page's Okra Grill, just outside Charleston in Mount Pleasant.
Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 9:36 am
It is remarkable how fast the issue of same-sex marriage has moved the American public. Of course, some long-time proponents will argue the opposite, that it has taken far too long for it to gain acceptance. And they say that there is no shortage of efforts around the country to block or overturn the practice.
The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Monday in a case that could upend the federal effort to spur and streamline voter registration.
At issue is an Arizona law that requires prospective voters to provide proof of citizenship when they register to vote. A federal appeals court ruled last year that the state law must fall because it conflicts with federal law.
Palestinian scholar Rashid Khalidi has closely watched the role of the United States as mediator in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In his new book "Brokers of Deceit," he argues that U.S. involvement has made the goal of a lasting peace less attainable than ever. Rashid Khalidi is with us now from our studios in New York.