U.S. News

It's All Politics
3:13 am
Sat May 18, 2013

Immigration Bill Chugs Along, But Some See Deal-Breakers

The Senate Judiciary Committee meets to work on immigration legislation on May 9.
Michael Reynolds EPA/Landov

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 5:23 am

It's been a long slog already for the bipartisan immigration overhaul proposed by the Senate's Gang of Eight.

The legislation has been the target of more than 300 amendments during days of debate and votes by the Senate Judiciary Committee. But while the bill has largely held its own so far, its prospects for getting through Congress remain uncertain.

In Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy's view, the immigration overhaul is "moving very well."

"It's moving a lot faster than people said it would," says Leahy, a Vermont Democrat.

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Law
3:13 am
Sat May 18, 2013

Turning Up The Heat On Civil Rights-Era Cold Cases

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 12:26 pm

Six years ago, the FBI took on a challenge: To review what it called cold-case killings from the civil rights era. The investigation into 112 cases from the 1950s and 1960s is winding down, and civil rights activists are weighing the FBI's efforts.

The review comes with word this week of the death of a man who'd been named, by a newspaper investigation, as a possible suspect in one notorious case.

The Case

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U.S.
3:13 am
Sat May 18, 2013

Prime Challenge Sends Mathematicians On Infinite Search

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 5:23 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

A University of New Hampshire professor announced this week he's come close to solving a centuries-old problem proving something called the twin prime conjecture. We asked our math guy - Keith Devlin, of Stanford University - to join us, as he does now from their studios. Keith, thanks very much for being with us.

KEITH DEVLIN: Thanks, Scott. Nice to be with you again.

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Media
3:13 am
Sat May 18, 2013

Local Story Shows 'Plain Dealer' Prowess, But Future's Murky

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 6:03 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The Cleveland story. The escape of three women who were kidnapped and held captive for 10 years has attracted notice around the world. Of course, it's also an all-consuming local story. And the Cleveland Plain Dealer provided continuous coverage along with in-depth profiles of the three women, the neighborhood where they were held captive, and the man who allegedly kidnapped them.

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The Two-Way
5:43 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Injuries Reported In 'Major' Train Derailment In Connecticut

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 6:57 pm

Two Metro-North Railroad trains have collided on a stretch of track near Fairfield, Conn., causing a "major derailment" and "preliminary reports of injuries," according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

[Update at 8:55 p.m. ET: The Associated Press quotes Connecticut officials as saying about 50 people have been hurt, four of them seriously.]

According to The Hartford Courant:

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It's All Politics
5:31 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Why The IRS Scandal Is Built To Last

Ousted IRS chief Steve Miller (right) and J. Russell George, a Treasury inspector general, take the oath before testifying on before the House Ways and Means Committee on Friday.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 6:41 pm

Of all the controversies swirling around the Obama White House, the Internal Revenue Service scandal seems likeliest to have the longest shelf life.

While the Benghazi affair has long been in the news, it's never really taken off as an issue beyond the Republican base.

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Shots - Health News
3:07 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Experts Agree: 'Psychiatry's Bible' Is No Bible

The new version of the psychiatric "bible" is more of a dictionary, psychiatrists say.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 6:05 am

When the American Psychiatric Association releases its new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders -- DSM-5 -- this weekend, lots of journalists and commentators will refer to it as "psychiatry's bible."

That's a term that makes the manual's authors and other mental experts cringe.

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Around the Nation
3:03 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Michigan LGBT Youth Center Does Outreach With A Dance 'Hook'

The Ruth Ellis Center helps about 5,000 young people each year.
Mercedes Mejia Michigan Radio

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 4:52 pm

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Around the Nation
3:02 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Boston Bombings Prompt Fresh Look At Unsolved Murders

Gerry Leone was the district attorney for Middlesex County in Massachusetts when three people were murdered in a house in the Boston suburb of Waltham. He told reporters that police suspected the assailants and the victims knew each other.
YouTube

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 4:52 pm

An unsolved triple murder in the Boston suburbs is getting a closer look in the wake of the marathon bombings. One of the victims may have been a friend of bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev. That's prompting authorities to revisit the 2011 case.

The murders took place in Waltham, Mass. On Sept. 12, 2011, police responded to a house in the leafy suburb a few miles west of Boston.

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It's All Politics
2:56 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Obama U: What Graduation Speeches Say About The President

President Obama's commencement speeches seem to be his real State of the Union addresses. On May 5, he told Ohio State students that they were graduating into a "healing" economy.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 4:52 pm

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Sports
2:20 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

New Pro Women's Soccer League Learns From Past Mistakes

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 4:52 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Politics
2:20 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Outgoing Acting IRS Director Grilled By House Lawmakers

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 4:52 pm

The House Ways and Means Committee became the first oversight panel in Congress to weigh in on the IRS tax-exempt group controversy on Friday morning.

It's All Politics
1:36 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

A Field Guide To Democratic Responses To Scandals

President Obama checks to see if it's still raining as a Marine holds an umbrella for him during a joint news conference with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the White House on Thursday.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 2:49 pm

President Obama's first term was free from the kind of scandal that consumes every ounce of political oxygen in Washington. Now, in light of a trio of controversies, his supporters find themselves in the uncomfortable and unaccustomed position of having to defend some hard-to-defend events.

Democrats have offered up a range of responses. They view the issues — Benghazi, the IRS and the Justice Department snooping on The Associated Press — as separate issues that shouldn't be lumped together.

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The Two-Way
1:35 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Illinois Lawmakers Send Medical Marijuana Bill To Governor

A sign outside a medical marijuana evaluation clinic in Los Angeles.
David McNew Getty Images

The Illinois Senate has approved a measure to legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes, sending the bill to the governor for his signature.

The bill would be the strictest in the nation. According to The Chicago Tribune:

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U.S.
1:11 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

After Deadly Chemical Plant Disasters, There's Little Action

The PBF Energy refinery in Paulsboro, N.J., uses toxic chemicals such as hydrofluoric acid. Rather than using "inherently safer" design methods, the industry says, other safety measures are taken to prevent accidents like the one in West, Texas.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 4:52 pm

You might think that everything would have changed for the chemicals industry on April 16, 1947. That was the day of the Texas City Disaster, the worst industrial accident in U.S. history. A ship loaded with ammonium nitrate — the same chemical that appears to have caused the disaster last month in West, Texas — exploded. The ship sparked a chain reaction of blasts at chemical facilities onshore, creating what a newsreel at the time called "a holocaust that baffles description."

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Shots - Health News
10:47 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Doctors Confirm Black Lung In Victims Of Mine Blast

A memorial at the entrance to Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch coal mine represents the 29 coal miners who were killed in an explosion in 2010.
Jeff Gentner AP

Originally published on Mon May 20, 2013 3:20 pm

The tragic deaths of 29 coal miners in a massive explosion in 2010 have provided new evidence of a resurgence of the disease known as black lung.

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Shots - Health News
9:43 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Biking To Work: Healthful Until You Hit A Pothole

Bartender Matt Carucci told NPR in 2012 that he rarely feels safe biking in the city but often rides without a helmet anyway. "There are a lot of other ways to hurt yourself," he said.
John Rose NPR

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 11:19 am

There's a lot to love about biking to work: the exercise, the fresh air, the cost savings and the benefits for the environment.

But does it make you healthier?

That's a question that's not as easy to answer as you might think. But since today is Bike to Work Day, we'll give it a try.

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Law
3:22 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Weighing Freedom Of The Press Against Public Safety

The Justice Department has been scrutinized this week for secretly obtaining phone records of Associated Press reporters and editors while investigating the disclosure of a CIA operation to thwart a terrorist attack. Steve Inskeep talks to Floyd Abrams, a leading First Amendment lawyer, about how the Constitution and the law treat press freedom.

The Two-Way
5:46 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Head Of Sexual-Harassment Program At Fort Campbell Arrested

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 5:48 pm

The manager of the sexual-assault response program at Fort Campbell, Ky., has been arrested in a domestic dispute and has been relieved of his post.

The Associated Press reports:

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The Two-Way
5:38 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Bipartisan House Group Says It's Reached Immigration Deal

Texas Republican Rep. John Carter (right), a member of the bipartisan group, with House Speaker John Boehner in January.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 5:53 pm

Members of a bipartisan group of House lawmakers say they've overcome disagreements and have reached a tentative deal to overhaul the nation's immigration system.

Eight Democratic and Republican House members left a two-hour closed-door meeting Thursday evening, saying they would be working on drafting the measure, The Associated Press reports.

"We have an agreement in principle. We're now going to work on finishing up the drafting of the bill," said Rep. John Carter, R-Texas, a member of the group.

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The Two-Way
4:59 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Who Are The Terrorism Informants In Witness Protection?

Michael Fortier, who spent time in federal prison for knowing about the Oklahoma City bomb plot, is one of several terrorism informants in the federal witness protection program.
Sue Ogrocki AP

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 5:59 pm

Known or suspected terrorists who cooperated with federal investigators in at least six major terrorism investigations over two decades were granted protection under the federal witness protection program –- and two of them temporarily could not be found by federal authorities, according to a report from the Justice Department's inspector general.

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It's All Politics
4:48 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

A New Front In The War On Obamacare: Twitter

Few things likely please the Obama White House as a political battle fought on social media. Above, President Obama participates in a "Twitter Town Hall" in 2011.
Charles Dharapak AP

A simple idea: attack Obamacare tersely.

On the same day House Republicans scheduled their latest symbolic vote to repeal Obamacare, as part of their full-court press against the law they also took to Twitter to say, in three words, why they oppose the legislation.

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The Two-Way
4:46 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Federal Prosecutors Arrest Uzbekistan National On Terrorism Charges

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 5:15 pm

Authorities in Idaho have arrested an Uzbekistan national on federal terrorism charges, the Justice Department announced Thursday evening.

Fazliddin Kurbanov, 30, was arrested in Boise on Wednesday, prosecutors say. He is being charged with one count of conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization and one count of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists.

The AP reports:

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The Two-Way
4:22 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

There's No Ignoring This 800-Pound Gator

A photo provided by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department shows Braxton Bielski with the 800-pound alligator he killed.
Troy Bielski AP

You've heard of the 800-pound gorilla in the room that everyone ignores? Well, here's an 800-pound alligator that's getting some attention.

The 14-foot beast, the heaviest ever recorded in Texas, was bagged by a Houston-area high school student last week at a wildlife management area near Choke Canyon State Park, about 90 miles south of San Antonio.

Braxton Bielski, 18, is credited with the kill. According to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department officials, the gator could be 30 to 50 years old.

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The Two-Way
3:12 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Report: Problems At Justice Allowed Terrorist Suspects To Fly

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 3:22 pm

Officials at the Department of Justice didn't share crucial information on some terrorist suspects in the federal witness protection program with the agency that maintains the "no fly" list, allowing an unknown number of them to board commercial flights, a new report says.

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NPR Story
2:29 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Emails Track How Erroneous Benghazi Talking Points Emerged

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 5:24 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

We're going to take a closer look now at the trove of Benghazi-related emails that the White House made public late yesterday. The emails offer a behind-the-scenes look at how various agencies within the federal government worked to craft the talking points used to describe that attack last September. The talking points were initially developed for members of Congress, but they also provided a script for U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, as she made the rounds of the Sunday morning talk shows, including on ABC.

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Law
2:29 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

DOJ Report Details Lapses In Witness Protection Program

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 5:24 pm

A new report from the Justice Department's watchdog points to several lapses in the government's witness protection program. The most significant are that U.S. Marshals at one point lost track of two known or suspected terrorists; and that some witnesses inadvertently were not placed on a no-fly list and flew using new identities. The FBI says there are no known current threats from any witnesses.

U.S.
2:29 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Senators Lead Push To Change Military's Sexual Assault Policy

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 5:24 pm

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is sponsoring legislation cracking down on sexual assault in the military.

U.S.
2:29 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Strict Firewall Exists Between IRS And White House

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 5:24 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

We wanted to know more about how the IRS normally vets applications for tax-exempt status; how groups qualify and what the red flags might be.

Through the 1990s, Marcus Owens was the director of the Exempt Organizations Division of the IRS, overseeing these very issues. As he explained, 501c4 groups must prove to the IRS that their primary purpose is not politics but social welfare - the betterment of community over private interest.

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The Two-Way
1:49 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

U.S. Airlines Forecast A Sunnier Summer

More passengers are expected to fly on U.S. airlines this summer, an industry group said Thursday.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 2:53 pm

After a long bumpy ride that started five years ago, the domestic airline industry seems to be pulling up and smoothing out.

The number of passengers planning to fly this summer will tick up 1 percent from 2012, climbing back to the highest level since 2008, an industry group said Thursday.

The airlines' profit outlook is also brighter, as jet fuel prices have settled down a bit. Passenger complaints are quieting down, too.

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