Until today, there's been a rush of news related to the kidnapping of three young women in Cleveland, their rescue after a decade in captivity and the chilling details that have emerged about what they went through. Now, the news has slowed. We suspect there will be less to report in coming days, but we'll watch for important developments.
NPR's congressional correspondent David Welna speaks with host Scott Simon about the flurry of last-minute amendments, most from conservative Republicans, to alter the bipartisan immigration legislation.
On the shores of Mille Lacs Lake in central Minnesota, it finally feels like spring. But the lake still looks like winter.
Saturday marks the opening of the walleye fishing season, and it's usually one of the busiest weekends for the state's resort communities. But this year, many of the northern lakes are still frozen, restricting water access and, potentially, local businesses.
Rick Bruesewitz, a fisheries manager for the Department of Natural Resources, says it would be tough to get a boat in the water in most places around the lake.
The U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, has been in the Middle East, Rome and Russia this week trying to find some kind of diplomatic end to Syria's civil war. He's also been trying to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Mr. Kerry has been the U.S. secretary of state for just over 100 days, spending more than a third of that time overseas.
NPR's Michele Kelemen reports on how his tenure at the State Department seems to be shaping up.
The Pentagon says the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration could leave the U.S. with a military that is simply unprepared for the most challenging combat missions. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel told Congress in April that the military is eating its seed corn.
As if the Obama administration's conservative critics didn't have enough fodder with last year's attacks on a U.S. Consulate that killed four Americans, now comes Friday's startling revelation that Internal Revenue Service workers between 2010 and 2012 singled out groups with "Tea Party" and "Patriots" in their name for extra scrutiny of their applications for tax-exempt status.
Other bipartisan efforts on Capitol Hill may be collapsing around them, but a cadre of Democratic and Republican women serving on the Senate and House Armed Services committees are leveraging their historic clout to respond together to the sexual assault crisis engulfing the U.S. military.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel. At congressional hearings this week, three witnesses introduced as State Department whistleblowers criticized the administration's handling of last September's assault on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya. That attack claimed the life of United States Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
From NPR News this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel. After more than a year of denials by the IRS, a director at the agency apologized today for its targeting of Tea Party and patriot groups. As NPR's Peter Overby reports, the apology has reignited a political controversy.
Major League Baseball has admitted that umpires have made some big mistakes in the last few days. On Wednesday, umpires ruled even after looking at television replays that Adam Rosales of the Oakland A's hit a double. The ball clearly left the park with the game on the line. And last night in Houston, umps botched a fairly simple rule about pitchers. NPR's Mike Pesca joins us now to second-guess the men in black. And, Mike, everyone makes mistakes, right, even umpires. Why are they getting picked on?
The people who make Jeppson's Malort, a harshly bitter spirit that's consumed in shots or cocktails, don't mind that their product makes people grimace. Instead, they celebrate it.
Carl Jeppson Co., a Chicago company, has built a minor social media empire around malort's "brutal" flavor; one winner of its slogan contest described the drink as "turning taste buds into taste foes for generations."
When the House held its much-anticipated hearing on Benghazi Wednesday, one major figure not at the witness table was Thomas Pickering, the former ambassador and co-chair of the Accountability Review Board that reported on last September's attacks.
Why wasn't he there?
That's somewhat in dispute. California Republican Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, put the blame squarely on the shoulders of Pickering and report co-author Adm. Mike Mullen.
Springtime in Appalachia means ramp festival season. But even as ramp festivals attract record numbers of people seeking a fleeting taste of the seasonal garlic-scented greens, scientists warn that overharvesting is forcing wild populations into decline.
Boston Police Chief Edward Davis told Congress on Thursday that before the Boston Marathon bombings, his department wasn't aware the FBI had questioned Tamerlan Tsarnaev in recent years about whether he had been in contact with Muslim extremists in Dagestan.
As far as he knew, Davis said, the FBI did not share that information with local authorities.
The Department of Justice has reached an agreement with the University of Montana to resolve an investigation into the school's response to accusations of sexual harassment since 2009. The federal inquiry will continue to examine how Missoula city officials have handled such cases.
"The Justice Department started its investigation a year ago, following a string of reports of sexual assaults," reports NPR's Martin Kaste, for our Newscast Desk. "Female students said their complaints weren't taken seriously or followed up on properly."
The House Homeland Security Committee held its first hearing on the Boston Marathon bombing and aftermath on Thursday. Witnesses included the Boston police commissioner and former Sen. Joe Lieberman. Panel Chairman Mike McCaul has been highlighting intelligence failures.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is plowing through dozens of amendments to its immigration overhaul reform plan. Many of Thursday's proposed changes are Republican attempts to have tighter controls on the border with Mexico. David Welna talks to Audie Cornish.
In Cleveland today, Ariel Castro appeared in court; his hands bound, head lowered. He is accused of kidnapping three women and a child, and of raping the three women who escaped Monday from the house where they'd been held for roughly a decade. A judge set bond at $8 million, and an Ohio prosecutor says he will pursue additional charges and may seek the death penalty. NPR's Cheryl Corley reports from Cleveland.
House Republicans have passed a bill that would tell President Obama which bills to pay first, should the U.S. Treasury run out of cash and risk default, like it almost did two summers ago. The proposal is not likely to move in the Democratic Senate, and the issue itself is fading in urgency as the deficit picture improves.
Eight people in New York have been charged as part of what prosecutors say was a global ring of cybercriminals who stole $45 million by hacking into prepaid credit card accounts and then using the data to get cash from thousands of ATMs around the world.
U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Loretta Lynch described the alleged scheme as "a massive 21st century bank heist that reached across the Internet and stretched around the globe. In the place of guns and masks, this cybercrime organization used laptops and the Internet."
This week, the country celebrated the story of three women liberated 10 years after they were kidnapped and held all that time in a house in Cleveland. But there's another person in this story who made headlines: Charles Ramsey. He's the animated neighbor who helped rescue Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight.