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For months now, the Obama administration has promised to reveal more about America's secret drone program, and today could be the day. The president will speak this afternoon at the National Defense University, and he's planning to discuss America's fight against terrorism. He is expected to address everything from drones to the prison at Guantanamo Bay.
Secretary of State John Kerry returned to Israel today. He's hoping to restart direct talks between Israeli and Palestinian officials. The secretary of State is holding two separate meetings, first with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, and then with the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.
NPR's Emily Harris has been following these meetings and joins us from Jerusalem. Hey, Emily.
NPR's business news begins with a big payback to the Fed.
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GREENE: Three years ago President Obama's green energy loan program gave a $455 million federal loan to electric carmaker Tesla. Critics bashed the loan as risky. Yesterday, Tesla announced it had paid that loan back in full - and early. The company was one of five carmakers to get money into the program. Tesla was first to repay it. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
A day after school officials approved shutting down 50 schools, the Chicago Teachers Union and community activists say they'll hold a voter registration and education campaign. The union is agitated that Mayor Rahm Emanuel, school board members and some lawmakers failed to listen to parents, teachers and others who called for the schools to remain open.
Before they voted yes on the sweeping school closure plan, school board members faced a torrent of criticism Wednesday. Protesters tried to conduct a sit-in at the front of the boardroom, but security officers escorted them out.
The IRS has admitted to targeting conservative groups seeking tax exempt status. And yesterday at a House hearing the IRS director of exempt organizations said, quote: "I have not done anything wrong." She then declined to testify. Lois Lerner's brief appearance at the committee was just the beginning of a stormy, five-hour session filled with angry outbursts and allegations of political motives.
NPR's Peter Overby reports.
PETER OVERBY, BYLINE: Lois Lerner did read a statement that she had done her job properly.
Prison is a tough place, but Congress made an exception nearly 30 years ago, giving terminally ill inmates and prisoners with extraordinary family circumstances an early way out. It's called compassionate release.
But a recent investigation found that many federal inmates actually die while their requests drift through the system.
NPR continues its conversations about The Race Card Project, where NPR Host/Special Correspondent Michele Norris asks people to send in six-word stories about race and culture. The submissions are personal, provocative and often quite candid.