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Richard Lapointe confessed in 1989 that he stabbed, raped and killed his wife's 88-year-old grandmother two years earlier. But in the 23 years since, experts in criminal justice have come to better understand how sometimes people make false confessions — especially someone with brain damage, like Lapointe. On Monday, Connecticut's state Appellate Court ordered a new trial, saying prosecutors wrongly withheld potentially important evidence.

Religion used to be everywhere in the presidential elections. George W. Bush courted conservative believers in 2004. In 2008, Sarah Palin excited evangelicals and — unexpectedly — so did Barack Obama.

What a difference a few years make. In 2007, then-candidate Obama used evangelical language to describe his Christian conversion: He was a young, secular community organizer who occasionally visited the local Chicago church, when one day he walked to the front of the sanctuary and knelt before the cross.

Fifty years ago, James Meredith, the first black student at the University of Mississippi, had to be escorted by federal marshals to his mostly empty classes. His enrollment came after a standoff between state segregationists and the federal government that led to a deadly riot on the Oxford campus.

Today, black and white juniors and seniors at Ole Miss sit together around a table in an Honors College class on the school's turbulent history. The course is called "Opening the Closed Society," and is an in-depth look at the integration of Ole Miss.

Republicans are still within reach of a big political goal this year: retaking control of the Senate. They lost the majority in 2006, in part because of the razor-close victory of Democratic challenger Jon Tester in Montana.

Now, Tester is the incumbent facing a tough challenge of his own. And if he's going to win re-election, he has to turn out a lot of younger voters, the way he did in 2006. And on that front, he does have some allies.

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This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

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Right now the streets of Waco, Texas, well, they stink.

SCOTT HALVORSON: Well, the closest thing I can think of that it would smell like is a dead animal.

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And now to California where Governor Jerry Brown has signed a first-in-the nation law. It bans mental health professionals from trying to change the sexual orientation of those under the age of 18. NPR's Karen Grigsby Bates has details.

The U.S. Supreme Court opened a new term on Monday, and the first case argued was a major human-rights controversy.

The case was brought by 12 Nigerians granted political asylum in the United States. They sued Shell oil, which is based in the Netherlands and the U.K., for allegedly conspiring with the Nigerian government in the torture and killing of Nigerians who protested that their property was being taken without compensation for oil exploration and that the countryside was being despoiled.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi's Republican challenger, John Dennis, won just 15 percent of the vote versus her 80 percent in the 2010 midterm elections, a very good year for the GOP, which took over the House after delivering a historic beat-down to the Democrats.

Quick — when you think of Arby's, do you think of seasoned curly fries or turkey sandwiches?

Like plenty of other voters, Tony Hocamp is disgusted by Washington. Too often, he says, politicians put their partisan interests ahead of doing what's right for the country.

"The politicians we have in office right now are concerned about nothing but themselves and getting re-elected," says Hocamp, who runs a motel in Marengo, Iowa.

It's easy to get upset during a political era in which the leaders of the two major parties seem incapable of putting aside their differences and working together to solve the nation's problems.

How Teachers Can Avoid The October Blues

Oct 1, 2012

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Fifty years ago — Oct. 1, 1962 — the first black student was admitted to the University of Mississippi, a bastion of the Old South.

The town of Oxford erupted. It took some 30,000 U.S. troops, federal marshals and national guardsmen to get James Meredith to class after a violent campus uprising. Two people were killed and more than 300 injured. Some historians say the integration of Ole Miss was the last battle of the Civil War.

It was a high-stakes showdown between President Kennedy and Mississippi Gov. Ross Barnett.

It would be hard to beat last June's cataclysmic, cacophonous end of the Supreme Court term and the decision upholding the Obama health care law. But while all the media focus is on the upcoming elections, the U.S. Supreme Court is about to begin yet another headline-making term, with decisions expected on affirmative action in higher education, same-sex marriage, the Voting Rights Act and a lot of privacy issues.

President Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, are prepping for Wednesday's presidential debate. It's a well-worn tradition now, but it wasn't always that way.

The 1960 Kennedy-Nixon face-off wasn't just the first televised presidential debate, it was also the first presidential debate in more than a century.

Four years earlier, a young German emigre named Fred Kahn, a student at the University of Maryland, wanted to see whether the nominees — Dwight Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson — might want to engage with students.

Colorado is a good venue for a presidential debate focusing on domestic issues. The first of three highly anticipated debates between President Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, will take place Wednesday at the University of Denver.

The state is known for its independent voting streak, and much like the rest of the country, there are sharp political divides about the role of government in the economy. In Colorado, those differences grow from two distinct population centers.

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If life is a ballgame, then Mike Pesca is our man in the dugout giving us the play by play and the big picture. Pesca, how the heck have you been? It's been a long time.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: I've been well.

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This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

Since 1972, every single presidential candidate who has won the popular vote has also won the Catholic vote. But with Catholics making up one in every four voters, pinning down what exactly the Catholic vote is becomes tricky.

Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, the longtime former publisher of The New York Times, has died after a long illness, the paper reports:

Sports: The Refs Are Back And Who's At Bat

Sep 29, 2012

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This is Weekend Edition from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. You know, as Dickens might up it: It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. It's time for sports.

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This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

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Tylenol Bottles: Hard To Open For 30 Years

Sep 29, 2012

Opening a new package of Tylenol can take some effort. There's the cardboard packaging, plus the push-and-twist top and the safety seal.

It used to be a matter of just popping off a cap. Thirty years ago, seven people died in Chicago suburbs after taking poisoned Tylenol. Pharmacies pulled Tylenol off the shelf in a panic, and the nation was in shock.

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