"It's nonsense," Moroccan actor Mehdi Ouazzani says of the fuss created by some conservative TV talkers who think Ouazzani was made to look as much like President Obama as he did Satan in The History Channel miniseries "The Bible."
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, the Louisville Cardinals capped off a dramatic journey through March Madness to take the NCAA men's crown last night. We'll look back on the men's college basketball tournament. We'll look ahead to the women's final. That conversation is just ahead.
Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 10:24 am
An audio recording has surfaced of Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and some of his campaign aides seeming to discuss whether they would use actress Ashley Judd's past bouts with depression against her if she challenged McConnell in 2014.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene. President Obama is preparing to send budget plan to Capital Hill this week and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew will be key in selling that plan to Congress.
Right now, Secretary Lew is on another mission: to sell European leaders on the idea of easing austerity to boost economic growth. We reached Secretary Lew in Berlin. Mr. Secretary, welcome back to the program.
President Obama will release a new budget proposal on Wednesday. We already have some idea what will be in it and there are already protests about it from seniors and others who oppose reductions in spending for Medicare and Social Security. One flashpoint is a change in the way the government measures inflation. The switch is to something called a chained CPI or consumer price index and it would result in smaller cost of living adjustments for Social Security.
Congress returns from a two-week recess amid reports that a gun deal in the Senate may have gained late momentum; a focus on immigration to include a rally on Capitol Hill; and a budget proposal from President Obama that already has some in his own party fuming.
As an icon of the American conservative movement in the 1980s, it would have been difficult to find a more unlikely figure than Britain's Margaret Thatcher, who died Monday following a stroke.
Thatcher became prime minister in 1979, a full year and a half before Ronald Reagan became president. She hailed from a country seen as a hopeless bastion of socialism by conservatives, many of whom, like Reagan himself, were strongly invested in the idea of American exceptionalism.
If this is President Obama's "make-or-break week on guns," as Politico declares, then it starts with considerable confusion about where things stand regarding the likelihood of passing new gun control laws.
As the Senate returns from a two-week spring recess Monday, topping its agenda is legislation to try to curb the kind of gun violence that took the lives of 20 first-graders in Connecticut last December.
Recent polls show broad popular support for enhanced background checks and bans on military-style guns and ammunition. But many members of Congress side with gun-rights advocates who oppose such measures.
And those advocates are increasingly making the case that Americans need guns to fight government tyranny.
The U.S. Senate was scheduled to begin voting on gun control measures this week when Congress returns from recess, but Senate staffers say a bipartisan agreement has yet to be reached on universal background checks. That snarl may end up delaying a vote on gun legislation for another week, as lobbyists on both sides of the debate use the extra time to keep the pressure on.
Lawmakers in Kansas passed an extensive anti-abortion measure Friday night, which Gov. Sam Brownback is expected to sign into law. The bill declares that life begins "at fertilization," prohibits abortions related to the baby's sex and blocks tax breaks for health care providers that perform abortions.
The House passed the bill 90-30, hours after the Senate approved it 28-10.
President Obama launches a brain mapping initiative, but he can't concentrate enough to shoot better than 2-for-22 on the basketball court during the annual White House Easter Egg Roll. Mark Sanford wins the GOP runoff in South Carolina and faces Stephen Colbert's sister next month. Plus, NPR's Ron Elving and health correspondent Julie Rovner on the NRA's proposal of having armed guards in schools.
There's breaking budget news from several places this morning:
-- "President Obama next week will take the political risk of formally proposing cuts to Social Security and Medicare in his annual budget in an effort to demonstrate his willingness to compromise with Republicans and revive prospects for a long-term deficit-reduction deal, administration officials say." (The New York Times)
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene.
Earlier this week, President Obama announced his new Brain Initiative. He said he wants $100 million to explore America's next great frontier in science: Mapping the human brain, to understand how the brains neurons and circuits communicate. But now that brain specialists have had a little time to reflect, some are wondering whether the president's announcement has more to do with politics and some good PR?
Automatic federal budget cuts that kicked in March 1 have had little initial impact in many parts of the government. For a few programs, however, the effect has been real and painful, as the government begins cutting $85 billion from its spending through the end of September.
Many of the earliest signs of the cuts are being seen on the local level, in state programs like education that rely in part on federal dollars.
Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 10:27 am
Saying that on this "profoundly emotional day" he hoped that his state would serve as an example to the rest of the nation, Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy sat down Thursday at 12:20 p.m. ET to sign into law what's being described as the most sweeping gun control legislation in the nation since the Dec. 14 school shooting in Newtown, Conn.
Malloy praised lawmakers and those who helped craft the legislation for coming together "as few places in our nation have demonstrated the ability to do."
Robert Mueller became FBI director just days before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Since then, he's been the U.S. government's indispensable man when it comes to national security.
But Mueller's term has expired, and the clock is ticking on an unprecedented extension that Congress gave him two years ago.
The first time the Obama White House thought about a replacement for Mueller, back in 2011, officials threw up their hands and wound up begging him to stay. Congress passed a special law to allow it. Then Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa put his foot down.
Washington is awash in rumors this week that the White House is planning major changes in the way the U.S. donates food to fight hunger in some of the world's poorest countries.
It has set off an emotional debate. Both sides say they are trying to save lives.
America's policies on food aid are singularly generous — and also unusually selfish. On the generous side, the U.S. spends roughly $1.5 billion every year to send food abroad, far more than any other country.
Los Angeles is getting ready to elect a new mayor, and the field is down to two: city comptroller Wendy Greuel and city councilman Eric Garcetti. Now, while Garcetti speaks often of his Mexican ancestry on his father's side, neither candidate is seen as a product of L.A.'s Latino community or political establishment.
And this is notable because of all the attention paid to the current mayor's background when he came to office. Here's NPR's Kirk Siegler.
President Obama was in Colorado Wednesday to highlight the state's gun control efforts as a model of what is possible for the country. Obama plans to visit Connecticut next week, to highlight that state's efforts.
Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, considered among the most vulnerable of the Senate's red-state Democrats facing 2014 re-election, now has at least one potential Republican opponent, Rep. Bill Cassidy, whose congressional district includes Baton Rouge.