Zachariah Long (left) and Edward Ritchie protested last year against a gay marriage bill in Maryland. In 1973, Maryland became the first state to define marriage as a union of one man and one woman. Voters there legalized gay marriage in 2012.
Credit David McNew / Getty Images
Same-sex wedding rings are engraved with triangles, a symbol of gay pride. Detractors say extending recognition to same-sex couples will weaken a bedrock institution meant to protect women and children.
Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 12:07 pm
Drug-sniffing dogs, those cute bellwethers of illegal activity, are dropping Marijuana from their repertoire in Washington state.
A 2012 ballot initiative legalized the use of marijuana in the state (although federal law still prohibits its use). Since then authorities have been working to implement the law. Part of that process is, apparently, to employ canines who don't react to the smell of marijuana. The AP explains why:
Chinua Achebe, widely considered the grandfather of modern African literature, has died at the age of 82. His popular book, Things Fall Apart, tackled the effect of colonialism on Africa, and has sold more than 10 million copies. Host Michel Martin is joined by NPR Africa Correspondent Ofeibea Quist-Arcton to look back on his life and work.
Some people in the Grand Old Party think it's time for some new ideas, if Republicans want to win future elections. Host Michel Martin speaks with two GOP insiders - former presidential speechwriter Mary Kate Cary, and Ron Christie, a former assistant to Vice President Dick Cheney and President George W. Bush. They talk about the future of the Republican party, and reflect on the decade since the US invaded Iraq.
Two teens accused of rape in Steubenville, Ohio were convicted and sentenced this week. Host Michel Martin talks to the Barbershop guys about how the victim — and the perpetrators — were treated in the press. Writer Jimi Izrael, political science professor Lester Spence, civil rights attorney Arsalan Iftikhar and Republican strategist R. Clarke Cooper discuss the week's news. ADVISORY: Please note, this conversation includes a discussion about rape and may not be suitable for all listeners.
Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 10:42 am
Bosco Ntaganda, a notorious warlord accused of crimes against humanity during Congo's civil war, is headed to an international court after turning himself in at the U.S. Embassy in Rwanda earlier this week.
NPR's Gregory Warner reports that the surrender of Ntaganda, nicknamed "The Terminator," came as a surprise. He's been wanted by the International Criminal Court since 2006 for crimes against humanity, including conscripting child soldiers, murder, rape and sexual slavery allegedly committed in 2002 and 2003 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
British police and the volunteer group Crimestoppers are sending out more than 200,000 of these cards with the scent of a cannabis plant.
Credit Bruno Vincent / Getty Images
A drug-sniffing dog checks for illegal substances at a London train station in 2007. British police are now issuing "scratch and sniff" marijuana cards in hopes of educating the public on the smell of cannabis plants.
This video image provided by the Israel Defense Force purportedly shows one of several Israeli commandos being dropped onto the Turkish-flagged ship Mavi Marmara by helicopter on May 31, 2010. A U.N. panel found that the Israeli blockade of Gaza, where the Turkish ship was headed, is legitimate, although the tactics used in the raid were "excessive and unreasonable."
Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 7:25 am
In a phone call today with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized to Turkey over the 2010 Israeli raid of a flotilla that left nine people dead. The flotilla was attempting to break an Israeli naval blockade of Gaza, when it was intercepted by Israel.
Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Institution for Science takes a water sample during his experiment out on part of the Great Barrier Reef. The water is slightly pink because his team is using a dye to trace an acid-neutralizing chemical as it flows across the reef.
Credit Richard Harris / NPR
Caldeira (left) tosses some plastic tubing that will pipe in the antacid, mixed with nontoxic red dye, from a floating tank nearby to see whether the reef will grow faster under less-acidic conditions.
NPR Science Correspondent Richard Harris traveled to Australia's Great Barrier Reef to find out how the coral reefs are coping with increased water temperature and increasing ocean acidity, brought about by our burning of fossil fuels. Day 4: Richard catches up with one of the gurus of climate science out on the reef.
Ken Caldeira loves a challenge, and he has a big one right under his feet. He's standing on an expanse of coral reef out in Australia's Great Barrier Reef. It's being washed with water as the tide streams over the reef, from a lagoon to the open sea.
Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 9:26 am
A quick moving blizzard plowed through the central Canadian plains province of Alberta this week, triggering a massive vehicle pileup on Thursday; scores of motorists were stranded near the provincial capital of Edmonton.
Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 10:03 am
What you do while you're asleep may say something about your cognitive function later in life.
Here's why. Mayo Clinic researchers report that having a condition called REM sleep behavior disorder, in which you act out dreams in your sleep, appears to be a harbinger for something called Lewy body dementia years later — at least in men.
Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 8:59 am
A 61-year-old French man on a US Airways flight out of Philadelphia almost got an upgrade by playing pilot.
Philippe Jernnard of La Rochelle, France, had a ticket and was denied an upgrade for the West Palm Beach, Fla., flight departing Philadelphia International Airport on Wednesday. He later showed up in the cockpit jump seat wearing a white shirt with an Air France logo and a black jacket with epaulets, CBS News reports.
Siyani Chambers and Laurent Rivard of the Harvard Crimson celebrate as the Crimson defeat the New Mexico Lobos 68-62 during the the 2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament on Thursday in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 10:35 am
Newly installed Chinese President Xi Jinping is following in his predecessor's footsteps by making Russia his first official trip abroad.
The visits by Xi and Hu Jintao before him (in 2003), both meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, reinforce how the Cold War rivals have grown closer as they seek to counter U.S. influence in Asia and Europe.
Last week's CPAC event shows conservatives are split. Immigration and guns are two issues that are dividing the American people. South Carolina Republicans are torn over whether to support Mark Sanford's comeback bid. And NPR's Ken Rudin and Ron Elving aren't even sure if they like each other. This week's podcast hopes to solve these disputes.
Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 11:47 am
As a deadline on Cyprus to come up with a financial bailout plan nears, a possible rescue from Russia looks to have fallen apart, leaving the island nation few options for staving off default.
Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said as far as Moscow was concerned "the talks have ended," but Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev left the door open, saying aid from Moscow would be contingent on Cyprus gaining European Union backing for its other money-raising ideas.
President Barack Obama pays his respects in the Hall of Remembrance in front of Israel's President Shimon Peres, Israel's Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate Avner Shalev and Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau after marines layed a wreath on his behalf during his visit to the memorial on Friday.
Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 7:24 am
President Obama wrapped up his trip to Israel and the West Bank on Friday with visits to three symbolic pilgrimage sites: First he laid a stone on the grave of Theodor Herzl, the father of modern Zionism, then he laid a wreath and a stone on the grave of Yitzhak Rabin, the Israeli leader assassinated in 1995. Finally, Obama made a somber visit to the Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem.
Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 6:35 am
A Marine opened fire at a Virginia base Thursday night, killing two other Marines before turning the gun on himself.
Quoting Marine Base Quantico spokesman Lt. Agustin Solivan, the AP reports the shootings happened after 11 p.m. near the Officer Candidate School. The AP adds:
"Authorities entered the barracks early Friday and found the suspect dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound along with a second victim. Solivan could not say what prompted authorities to enter the barracks, which are at the base's officer candidate school.
Lawmakers in Riverhead, New York heard the voice of the people, a very loud boo. The town board made news by banning people from booing at meetings, which apparently met with criticism since Newsday reports they have revised the rule. You may boo at meetings now, but there is still a prohibition against disruptive behavior. So, how to boo without being disruptive? Maybe this way: Wait your turn to speak and then say: My name is Steve. Boo?
NPR's business news starts with high debt and low wealth.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
INSKEEP: Since the financial crisis, many Americans have been saving money and paying down debt. Many are in better financial shape than a few years ago. But when you look at the longer term, it is clear that Americans as a whole have not regained all the ground they lost.
The Census Bureau compared Americans in 2011 with their wealth and debt burdens in that seemingly long-ago year, 2000.