Senator Rob Portman, a Republican from Ohio, announced today that he's reversing his opposition to same-sex marriage. Portman's op-ed in the Columbus Dispatch makes him the first GOP senator to publicly support gay marriage. He said he made the switch because of a personal family experience. Portman's college-age son told his family in 2011 that he is gay.
A deputy editor for social media at Reuters has been indicted by the Justice Department for helping the hacker group Anonymous gain illegal access to the Tribune Company's servers. During the period in question, Matthew Keys had just been fired from a Tribune-owned TV station.
For the first time, Boeing has laid out in detail the changes it plans to make in the Dreamliner 787's lithium ion battery. The company now believes the 787s will be back in service in a "matter of weeks."
For years, the Big East conference has been an elite force in men's college basketball. That ends this weekend. Realignment has dramatically transformed the Big East, as major powerhouse teams are moving on to other conferences.
The Securities and Exchange Commission says it's the largest settlement in history for insider trading. Two affiliates of the major hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors will pay a fine of more than $600 million. But they're not admitting to any wrongdoing. Here's NPR's Dan Bobkoff.
The Pentagon announced plans on Friday to beef up missile defense along the West Coast, in part to defend against the threat from North Korea. The Pentagon plans on adding 14 interceptor missiles to a base in Alaska, supplementing the 30 that are already there.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
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And I'm Melissa Block. Mitt Romney returned to the national stage today. At the CPAC convention just outside Washington, D.C. Romney gave his first political speech since losing the presidential election. His audience was a group of conservative activists and as NPR's Ari Shapiro reports, they gave Romney an effusive reception.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
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And I'm Audie Cornish. The Netflix political drama "House of Cards" is generating lots of binge-watching and happy hour buzz in Washington. And I'll admit as a former congressional reporter, I couldn't resist taking a peek. Some details of life in the nation's capital are spot-on: the army of navy suits, the ever-present IDs hanging around everyone's neck.
Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 8:42 pm
It is a theme that has become increasingly familiar during the rapid evolution of American political attitudes toward same-sex marriage: People who learn that a friend or loved one is gay are far more likely to support same-sex marriage, even if they were once adamantly opposed.
Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, who became the first Republican in the U.S. Senate to openly endorse same-sex marriage, is simply the latest.
There's been a dramatic shift in the racial makeup of America's prison inmates, especially female inmates. To find out why, host Michel Martin talks with Sentencing Project Executive Director Marc Mauer, and author Patrice Gaines, who has worked with women in prison for more than 20 years. They say changes in drug crime enforcement, sentencing laws, and the economic downturn all played a role.
During the March Madness of 1963, playing was infused with politics. The NCAA matchup between Loyola University of Chicago and Mississippi State helped put an end to segregated basketball. Loyola's win 50 years ago became known as the "game of change."
At the time, college basketball was still predominantly white, with usually no more than two or three black players appearing on the floor at any one time. But in '63, the Loyola Ramblers' starting lineup featured four black players.
U.S. government pronouncements about the danger of a major cyberattack can be confusing. The director of national intelligence, James Clapper, and the head of the U.S. military's Cyber Command, Army Gen. Keith Alexander, delivered mixed messages this week while testifying on Capitol Hill.
New York City's population is at an all-time high, with an estimated 8,336,697 people living in the city, according to the most recent U.S. Census Data. "For the first time since before 1950, more people are coming to New York City than leaving," said Mayor Bloomberg, announcing the gains Thursday.
While Republicans are trying to bridge their differences, Democrats find themselves broadly united behind the president's second term agenda. That doesn't mean the work will automatically get done, however, so as NPR's Ari Shapiro reports, some of Obama's biggest supporters are meeting in Washington to turn the president's campaign momentum into policy.
Amid GOP soul-searching over a dismal 2012 election, a consensus has emerged that Republicans must appeal better to Latino voters. The effort has even appeared at the Conservative Political Action Conference, with a panel on immigration reform on Thursday morning.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block. Here in the nation's capitol, today is a day to talk about future agendas. For Democrats, it's about the second Obama term; for conservatives, it's the future of the Republican Party. We'll hear about both in the next few minutes, beginning with CPAC - that's the annual Conservative Political Action Conference that opened today.
Convicted murderer Gary Haugen has spent more than 30 years in prison; he's been on death row since 2007. And if he had his way, he would schedule his execution tomorrow. But in an unusual case, the Oregon Supreme Court must decide whether Haugen, who has waived his right to appeal, can die — or if Gov. John Kitzhaber's reprieve of Haugen should stand.
Kevyn Orr, "a high-powered Washington, D.C., lawyer and University of Michigan graduate who worked on Chrysler's 2009 bankruptcy restructuring," has been given the job of straightening out the city of Detroit's desperate financial mess, the Detroit Free Press writes.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R), who earlier this month declared that the city is in a financial emergency, tapped Orr with the job Thursday.
Alabama's Gov. Robert Bentley has signed a sweeping education bill that gives tax credits to parents who want to transfer their children from a failing public school to another public or private school. The bill became law one day after the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that a lawsuit against it was premature.
Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 10:03 am
The late Raymond Telles may not be a household name, but he was a trailblazer for Latinos in politics; he was the first Latino elected mayor of El Paso, Texas and later became a U.S. Ambassador to Costa Rica. Host Michel Martin looks back on Ambassador Telles' life with former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Henry Cisneros.
Studies show there are a growing number of homeless people around the age of 50. But it's common for them to experience illnesses and injuries more common among people well beyond their age. Host Michel Martin speaks with NPR correspondent, Pam Fessler and homeless advocate, Tony Simmons, about the rising number of aging homeless.
By a 10-8, party-line vote with Democrats in favor and Republicans opposed, the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday moved legislation that would revive the ban on assault-style weapons that expired in 2004.
A scandal in a Massachusetts crime lab continues to reverberate throughout the state's legal system. Several months ago, Annie Dookhan, a former chemist in a state crime lab, told police that she messed up big time. Dookhan now stands accused of falsifying test results in as many as 34,000 cases.
As a result, lawyers, prosecutors and judges used to operating in a world of "beyond a reasonable doubt" now havenothing but doubt.
Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 5:53 pm
Leaders of the Roman Catholic Church made history twice Wednesday, electing the first pope from the Southern Hemisphere and the first Jesuit.
In choosing 76-year-old Cardinal Jorge Maria Bergoglio of Argentina, now Pope Francis, the College of Cardinals signaled the growing importance of Latin America, Africa and Asia in the church's fortunes.
But they also affirmed their commitment to traditional church doctrine.