Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 4:20 am
The fierce debate over immigration played out in earnest in Bakersfield, Calif., on Wednesday. Immigration overhaul supporters are pressuring Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy to join them. While the House majority whip agrees the immigration system needs to change, he is unwilling to support the bill that passed the Senate.
Civil rights leaders meeting in Atlanta say states, including Texas and North Carolina, are deliberately trying to make it more difficult for voters. They're calling for a national campaign to strengthen voting rights, increase voter participation and eliminate long lines at the polls.
Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 4:34 am
Jesse Jackson Jr. has been sentenced to 30 months in prison. The former Illinois congressman stole hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign funds to buy luxury items for himself and his family. His wife Sandra Jackson received a year in prison for filing false tax returns.
Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 6:40 am
Congressional Republicans agree that the new federal health care program should be ended. But they are finding themselves bitterly divided over how.
They have tried dozens of times to repeal it. Now, some GOP lawmakers want to block all money for Obamacare in a stopgap spending bill that must be approved next month to prevent the government from shutting down on Oct. 1. But other Republicans say that won't work and may well backfire.
The government's decision Tuesday to oppose the merger of US Airways and American Airlines stunned airline analysts, but many predicted the deal eventually will win go through.
"Given that other airline mergers were approved, this was a surprise," University of Richmond transportation economist George Hoffer said. Other major carriers already have been allowed to combine forces, so "it's illogical to oppose this merger. This move comes a day late and a dollar short," he said.
Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 12:59 pm
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed into law Monday a controversial measure that overhauls the state's election laws. It requires government-issued photo IDs at the polls, reduces the early voting period by one week and ends same day registration.
Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 6:14 pm
The conclusion of Beyonce's high-wattage Super Bowl spectacular — and the subsequent blackout in the New Orleans Superdome — are the first and second most tweeted-about moments in Twitter history, according to the social media giant.
You're listening to TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, the elderly population is booming and people wonder what it'll take not only to survive but to thrive for the millions of Americans living past the traditional retirement age.
But first, let's talk a little politics. President Obama took questions from the press for the first time in months on Friday before he headed off to vacation on Martha's Vineyard.
Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 9:42 am
"It was feeling like some kind of Klan rally."
That's the reaction of spectator Perry Beam to Saturday's appearance at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia, Mo., of a rodeo clown wearing a mask meant to look like President Obama and what happened during his performance.
Videos that Beam took show some of the scene and capture some of what the rodeo announcer and another clown were saying. The Kansas City Star has posted two of the clips on its YouTube channel.
She's dated Democrats in the past, but she found their acceptance of abortion heartbreaking and their support of President Obama nearly as off-putting.
"He was going off to celebrate Obama becoming president, and I felt betrayed and like he didn't understand me," recalls Northrup, who is 30 and works in real estate in Chattanooga, Tenn. "I think that's why eventually the two can't be together. It's such a big difference."
The State Department has announced that 18 U.S. embassies closed last week because of terror threats will reopen tomorrow. The U.S. post in Sana'a, Yemen, however, will remain closed. Prudence Bushnell is a former U.S. Ambassador to Guatemala and Kenya. She joins us now to talk about this. Welcome to the program.
For more on the strained relationship between Russia and the U.S., we're joined by Steven Pifer. He's former ambassador to Ukraine, and a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. Ambassador, welcome.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Scott Simon is away. This week, President Obama said he's open to reforms of the National Security Agency's surveillance program. Speaking at a White House news conference, the President said he still believes the programs have adequate protections for Americans' privacy.
Republican dreams of a U.S. Senate takeover have been shattered in recent elections by a collection of "unelectable" nominees — the term of art used by political pros to refer to not-ready-for-prime-time candidates whose extreme views doomed their chances with mainstream voters.
There was Delaware's Christine "I'm Not A Witch" O'Donnell, and Nevada's Sharron "Some Latinos Look More Asian To Me" Angle in 2010.
Last year's contests starred Indiana's Richard "Rape Pregnancies Are A Gift From God" Mourdock, and Missouri's Todd "Legitimate Rape" Akin.
Heading into Friday's news conference, President Obama had a delicate balancing act before him: how to acknowledge widespread concerns about National Security Agency surveillance without in any way legitimizing the actions of leaker Edward Snowden.
The best course, the president decided, was to acknowledge that Snowden's revelations to some degree forced his administration to accelerate and expand a review of the federal government's surveillance activities.
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.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
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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.
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.
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?