This week, President Obama is travelling around the country talking up ideas to strengthen the middle class, but those ideas are given very little chance of passage in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. Well, to hear their side, we turn now to Republican Representative Tom Cole of Oklahoma, who's a member of the House Appropriations' Committee. Congressman Cole is also a deputy majority whip. Welcome back to the program.
REPRESENTATIVE TOM COLE: Robert, great to be with you.
Federal prosecutors finally brought their case against SAC Capital, the giant hedge fund that for years has outperformed almost all of its competitors. Prosecutors say they know why. The firm encouraged the use of illegal insider information and trading on that information became a part of the firm's culture, according to the indictment.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.
It's been more than four years since Israelis and Palestinians held direct peace talks. Today, Israeli officials said talks will resume next week in Washington. The State Department will not confirm that date, but a spokesperson said Secretary of State John Kerry expects negotiations to begin soon.
NPR's Jackie Northam has this story about the opportunity and the obstacles.
The world's first Latin American and Jesuit pope toured Rio de Janeiro's slums on Thursday, blasting the world's "culture of selfishness" and telling Brazilians not to be discouraged, even in the face of corruption by officials. His trip comes after widespread protests over inequality in Brazil.
You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.
In the early 1900s, more than half of the states in the U.S. passed laws allowing people to be sterilized against their will. North Carolina's eugenics program was particularly aggressive. Some 7,600 men, women and children were sterilized often because they were poor or mentally ill.
Now, North Carolina has done more than any other state to make amends, as we hear from Julie Rose of member station WFAE.
In addition to Georgia, a handful of other states — Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, North Dakota, and Alabama — have dropped out of or scaled back their participation in the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness in College and Career (PARCC) consortium. Florida's education commissioner is mulling a similar decision. We discuss what it could mean for the success of the standards.
This week, Georgia announced it is withdrawing from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness in College and Career (PARCC), one of two consortia developing standardized tests for the Common Core. The Core is the set of national K-12 education standards in math and English language arts that has been adopted by 46 states. Georgia officials say the cost of the tests is too high and many schools don't have the computer technology the tests would require.
Attorney General Eric Holder has announced an aggressive new strategy in response to a Supreme Court ruling last month overturning a key part of the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act. The Justice Department is starting in Texas, where it is asking a court to force the state to get federal approval before making any election changes - using a different part of the law.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.
In all the current talk about helping 11 million undocumented immigrants come out of the shadows, there's typically broad agreement about who shouldn't get a path to legal residence: law breakers. There are lists of offenses that rule people out, whether it's under existing immigration law or under the immigration bill the Senate passed, or under President Obama's program to help the so-called Dreamers - the ones who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.
In the high-profile civil case against Wall Street titan Steven Cohen, federal authorities accuse the hedge fund head of allowing insider trading within his ranks. Cohen's lawyers offered up a defense fit for the digital age: They claim he didn't see a key, incriminating email because he gets too many messages — an estimated 1,000 a day, and opens only 11 percent of them.
During the fourth day of his first foreign visit, Pope Francis headed to the Varginha favela in Rio de Janeiro.
As NPR's Lourdes Garcia Navarro described it to our Newscast unit, the shantytown was not prettied up for the pope. Its river remained clogged with sewage and dirt, and the houses were still slapped together.
"It's an extremely poor community," Lourdes said. "I think the pope wanted to come here to highlight his very personal message of affinity with the poor."
Willie Louis may be one of the most celebrated but least-known figures in a pivotal point in American history: He testified against the men accused of kidnapping and murdering 14-year-old Emmett Till. He died July 18, but his wife, Juliet, announced his death this week.
We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the jury summons disguised as refund checks is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, a search for entry points to country-music fandom.
Emily Carol Schmidt writes via Facebook: "I'm not super into country, but I now live in a place with 50+ country stations, so I'm giving it a second chance. But how? Do you just listen to it for a couple hours? Get recommendations? Go to a concert?"
Each morning as dawn breaks over the Bosphorus Strait in Turkey, a small drama repeats itself: Massive oil tankers and cargo ships slide past tiny fishing boats bobbing on the surface like bathtub toys.
These intrepid fishermen are out in all weather, in all seasons. In the winter, they catch the rich, oily anchovies, bluefish and mackerel. With spring come the turbot and sea bream, and by summer, sea bass and red mullet are being hawked by the fishmongers.
Democrat Anthony Weiner's path to the New York City mayor's office got a lot more complicated Thursday, just two days after he asserted that new revelations of his lewd online conduct would not chase him from the race for his party's nomination.
With their announcement of His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge wasted little time putting to rest speculation about the name of the U.K.'s newest royal. (And that speculation was rife — bookies in the United Kingdom had been doing brisk business on baby name wagers for weeks.)
After what is rumored to be a multimillion-dollar naming deal, the iconic Cowboys Stadium will be called AT&T Stadium from now on.
In a press release, AT&T said part of its attraction to the deal was that Dallas is the company's home. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said in a statement that the naming deal ties the team with "one of the world's strongest and most innovative companies."
When Detroit filed for federal bankruptcy protection last week, news accounts were filled with troubling stories of urban decay in the city: vast areas of vacant lots and abandoned houses, shuttered parks, nonworking streetlights and police response times close to an hour.
After writing books and essays about end-of-life issues, and advocating for the right to die, bioethicist Margaret Battin is wrestling with the issue in her own family. Her husband, Brooke Hopkins, an English professor at the University of Utah, where she also teaches, broke his neck in a bicycle accident in 2008, leaving him with quadriplegia and dependent on life support technology. In order to breathe, he requires a ventilator some of the time and a diaphragmatic pacer all the time. He receives his nutrition through a feeding tube.
Three of the station's staffers who were at work when KTVU-TV of Oakland broadcast obviously bogus and incredibly offensive names of what it said were the pilots of Asiana Flight 214 have been dismissed and more departures may soon follow.
All hands from the tall ship Astrid were safe on Thursday after the vessel, with nearly two dozen teenagers aboard, ran aground on the rocky south coast of Ireland.
The Astrid, a 136-foot, two-masted Dutch training ship, issued a "mayday" on Wednesday after it ran up on the rocks near Kinsale, County Cork, prompting what the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, or RNLI, described as a major air and sea rescue.
Federal prosecutors have filed criminal charges against one of the most famous and successful hedge funds in the world. The government alleges that SAC Capital Advisors is criminally responsible for insider trading that went on at the firm.
The age-old standoff between mail carrier and Canis familiaris could be coming to an end if the latest plan to save the Postal Service goes ahead.
The proposal, approved by a House committee on Wednesday, would end door-to-door delivery by 2022. Instead, postal carriers would limit their deliveries to curbside — meaning boxes at the end of driveways — or to cluster boxes, a staple of many apartment complexes.
"A drilling crew lost control of the well on Tuesday, then gas escaping from the well caught fire. No one was injured, but the flames heavily damaged a drilling rig owned by Houston-based Hercules Offshore.
Organic egg farmers are divided in their reaction to a new FDA proposal that's intended to reduce the risk of salmonella infection among free-roaming chickens. They even disagree about what the document, called "Guidance for Industry," actually requires.