In a 5-4 decision Monday, the Supreme Court allowed a key exemption to the health law's contraception coverage requirements when it ruled that closely held for-profit businesses could assert a religious objection to the Obama administration's regulations. What does it mean? Here are some questions and answers about the case.
Sept. 11, 2001, means many things â€” and conflicting things â€” to each of us. Charged emotions, and debates over a history that's still so recent, made it really hard to design the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in Lower Manhattan. It was so difficult, in fact, that museum curators decided to try something quite new. They decided to hand off major curatorial duties to a computer algorithm.
For more reaction to today's ruling, we go to suburban St. Louis, where there was a grand opening of a Hobby Lobby store today - the company's 605th. Rachel Lippmann of St. Louis Public Radio talked with customers there.
RACHEL LIPPMANN, BYLINE: The ceremony started the same way every Hobby Lobby grand opening does - with a prayer from a member of the company's in-house ministry. Today, it was Winston Hackett.
President Obama has picked Robert McDonald, the former CEO of Procter & Gamble, to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs. If confirmed by the Senate, McDonald will face a difficult task. The VA is is embroiled in a controversy over falsified and lengthy wait times for veterans.
I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. We'd like to turn now to a new initiative from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration - NASA. NASA wants to know how their technologies can best be applied commercially and they are asking you for ideas. Daniel Lockney is here to tell us more about this. He is NASA's technology transfer program executive and he was nice enough to stop by our Washington, D.C., studios. Welcome. Thanks for joining us.
Here's a little-noticed fact about the death penalty. We've heard a big debate about how to execute people - lethal injection, electric chair, firing squad. That debate obscures a little-noticed fact - the number of people executed by any method is way down in the United States in recent years. NPR justice correspondent Carrie Johnson has been covering this story. She's in our studios. Hi, Carrie.
Firefighter Travis Turbyfill was killed one year ago by a wildfire after he and fellow members of the elite Granite Mountain Hotshots deployed to a fire shelter in an Arizona box canyon. A fierce wind blew the Yarnell Hill Fire over the crew, killing 19.
The federal minimum wage for tipped workers has been $2.13 since 1991. That pay rate tends to get lost in the larger debate over whether to raise the national minimum wage for nontipped workers, which is $7.25 an hour.
In theory, the money from tips should make up the difference in pay â€” and then some. But according to a White House report, tipped workers are more than twice as likely as other workers to experience poverty.
In Iraq this weekend, government forces launched an offensive against the Sunni militant group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS. On Sunday, the government said it was using Russian-made jets to attack Sunni militants in the northern cities of Tikrit, the hometown of the late dictator Saddam Hussein, and Mosul. Both cities remain under insurgent control.
Originally published on Sun June 29, 2014 12:33 pm
President Obama will ask Congress for about $2 billion in emergency funds and for a change in the law in an effort to stem the tide of Central American immigrants flooding the Southern border, according to a White House official.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Don Gonyea sitting in for Rachel Martin. Tomorrow is the last day of the current Supreme Court session. And the legal community is awaiting decisions in two big cases still pending before the high court.
One involves Obamacare and its requirement that health care plans include coverage for contraceptives, and the other speaks to labor organizing in the public sector. Joining us to set the stage on these potentially landmark cases is NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg. Hi, Nina.
If there's one thing college students know well, it's a belly full of instant ramen.
"Ramen always has been and always will be a college staple," says Rick Brandt, a recent University of Iowa graduate.
And it's not just college students who turn to the noodles in lean moments: When your food budget is reduced to quarters dug out of the couch, or when hunger pangs strike at ungodly hours, ramen noodles may come to the rescue.
Past presidents have described the White House as "the crown jewel of the federal penal system" and "the great white jail." And lately, President Obama has been increasingly sending signals he's feeling claustrophobic in the presidential bubble.
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Calling the situation a "humanitarian crisis," County Judge Clay Jenkins said Dallas County is prepared to house more than 1,000 immigrant children.
"I believe that every child is precious, and that regardless of your stance on immigration or the causes for this human tragedy, we cannot turn our back on the children that are already here," Jenkins said while speaking at the Texas Democratic Convention on Saturday.
Yosemite National Park, in California's Sierra Nevada, is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the law that preserved it â€” and planted the seeds for the National Park system. At the same time, the park faces the challenge of protecting the natural wonders from their own popularity.
Since President Abraham Lincoln signed the 1864 law that protected this land, visitors have been enjoying the park's spectacular features, from Half Dome to the giant sequoia grove â€” and the moonbow at Yosemite Falls.
A White House investigation into the problems at the Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals across the country found that "there are significant and chronic systematic failures" that need to be addressed.
NPR's Scott Horsley tells our Newscast unit that the report was delivered to President Obama on Friday. Scott filed this report:
There's nothing funny about sexual assault. But the absurdity of how some colleges respond to it can make you laugh.
This week, Comedy Central's Jon Stewart became the latest comedian to crack wise about the rape crisis on America's college campuses: Reports are up, yet many schools still fail to adequately address the problem.
And this week, the board that runs another American landmark, San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, approved a plan to put suicide nets alongside the span. The nets will be 20 feet wide on each side and be made of stainless steel mesh. There were 46 suicides off the bridge last year, the highest number since it's opened in 1937.