Among those on the sanctions list is an oligarch dubbed Darth Vader by the Russian press. To talk more about him and others targeted for U.S. sanctions, I'm joined here in the studio by David Kramer. He's the president of Freedom House, a pro-democracy watchdog group, and he was part of an independent taskforce of Russia experts that sent to the White House a suggest list of sanction targets. David, thanks for coming in.
The new economic sanctions ordered by the Treasury Department today targets 17 Russian companies, along with seven government officials, some with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The individuals include the chairman and a board member of Russia's largest state-owned oil company. European governments are expected to add their own financial penalties, but so far, there's little sign the Russian leader is yielding to the pressure. NPR's Scott Horsley reports.
A majority of the justices on the U.S. Supreme Court seemed disconcerted Monday by the consequences of one of the court's own rulings on the free speech rights of public employees.
Eight years ago, the conservative court majority, by a 5-4 vote, said public employees have no First Amendment protection for speech "pursuant to his official responsibilities." But Monday, in a case involving subpoenaed testimony in a criminal case, the court seemed headed in a different direction.
Originally published on Tue April 29, 2014 7:22 am
The euphoria over Lupita Nyong'o's appearance on People's "50 Most Beautiful" list was still swirling on the Interwebs when word came, a mere four days later, that Time's "100 Most Influential" issue was on newsstands. Staring out at us was Beyoncé Knowles Carter, dressed in what appears to be a white two-piece bathing suit with a see-through cover-up.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. We're going to start the program today by talking about something you're probably already talking about - alleged remarks from Los Angeles Clippers owner, Donald Sterling. A gossip website and program called TMZ aired about 15 minutes of audio tape where Mr. Sterling scolds a female companion about online photos she posted.
I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. In a few minutes, we are going to tell you more about former Texas governor Ann Richards. There's a new HBO documentary about her, and we are going to speak with her daughter. But first, something we like to focus on a lot on this program, which is efforts to open up tech careers and education to young people. Computer programming is one of the most sought after skills in the job market.
Mississippi's only abortion clinic is fighting to remain open in the face of ever-tightening state regulations. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans hears arguments Monday in a dispute over a state law that requires abortion providers to have hospital admitting privileges.
The current conservative Supreme Court majority has a well-earned reputation for protecting the First Amendment right to free speech, whether in the form of campaign spending or protests at military funerals.
But in one area — the First Amendment rights of public employees — the conservative majority has been far less protective of the right to speak out. Now the court is revisiting the issue, and the result could have far-reaching consequences for public corruption investigations.
For the past month, in part of eastern Kansas, the prairie has been burning, as it does almost every spring. On some days, you could look toward the horizon in any direction and see pillars of smoke. The plumes of pollution have traveled so far that they've violated limits for particulates or ozone in cities as far away as Lincoln, Neb.
But here's the twist: Environmentalists have come to celebrate those fires.
This is what an inclusive classroom looks like: Children with disabilities sit next to ones who've been deemed "gifted and talented." The mixing is done carefully, and quietly. Students don't necessarily know who's working at what level.
Despite a court ruling 25 years ago that gave children with disabilities equal access to general education activities, change has been slow.
Today, about 17 percent of students with any disability spend all or most of their days segregated. Children with severe disabilities can still expect that separation.
Minneapolis has designated the second Monday of October, the federal Columbus Day holiday, as Indigenous Peoples Day. The city council adopted the plan after hearing concerns that hailing Columbus as the discoverer of America is inaccurate and ignores the history of indigenous people.
Last week, Indigenous Peoples Day supporter and Lakota activist Bill Means told Minnesota Public Radio that the story that Christopher Columbus discovered America was "one of the first lies we're told in public education."
Oregon has been "all in" on health reform. Its embrace of the Affordable Care Act includes a very successful Medicaid expansion, a $2 billion federal experiment to show the state can save money by managing patients' care better, and, of course, the state's own online marketplace to sell Obamacare insurance.
Originally published on Sun April 27, 2014 9:48 am
The National Rifle Association's national convention drew a counter-demonstration in Indianapolis this weekend, as advocates for gun control press their own agenda near the convention center hosting the event. An NRA official says the group has plenty of support.
Originally published on Sun April 27, 2014 1:05 pm
Calling racist statements that were allegedly made by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling "incredibly offensive," President Obama says he is confident the NBA will resolve the controversy that erupted after an audio recording of the comments was aired this weekend.
Policy makers and thinkers have long debated how best to help low-income families break the cycle of generational poverty. A lot of people think one key is high-quality early childhood education. Others say equally important is support parents with job training and education, to get them into stable, decent paying jobs.
In Tulsa, Okla., an experimental program is trying to do both. Career Advance gives vulnerable mothers access to high-quality preschool as well as to life coaching, financial incentives and intensive job training in in-demand fields like nursing and health care.
Earl Morrall, whose career as an NFL quarterback included stints backing up some of the most gifted passers in the league's history, died Friday at age 79. Morrall played 21 seasons in the NFL; he was 38 when he became a pivotal part of the Miami Dolphins' perfect 1972 season that still stands as a record.
"Holy cow," he keeps saying. "Man, that's just incredible. That's just amazing."
Pickering won a drawing for an Ambush rifle, an $1,800 AR-15-style model. Pickering already has a lot of weapons — "I honestly could not count," he says — but he's still excited to be given this new one.
Pickering loves guns, but he's also happy that the National Rifle Association's annual meeting, being held this weekend in Indianapolis, has given him the chance to meet up with family members who live in other states.
Originally published on Sat April 26, 2014 9:43 am
Rep. Michael Grimm's lawyer says he expects the New York Republican will be indicted on criminal charges. The exact charges haven't been announced. The Staten Island lawmaker and former FBI agent, who was first elected to Congress in 2010, has been under investigation for campaign finance and fraud.
Grimm's attorney says his client is innocent and is the target of a vendetta on the part of federal authorities that has included "malicious leaks, violations of grand jury secrecy, and strong-arm tactics."
The remains of a western Kentucky man who disappeared during World War II have found their way home after almost 70 years. The body of William Carneal was discovered last year in Japan, along with his dog tags and his high school ring. He was buried yesterday in his hometown of Paducah.
Whitney Jones at member station WKMS has our story.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. President Obama is in Southeast Asia on the third leg of a four-nation tour of Asia. The visit is aimed at reassuring U.S. allies of its support and its intention to remain the primary power in the Asia Pacific. The president's itinerary does not include China but, of course, China's rising influence looms over the entire trip. The president's also trying to move forward on a major trade pact in the region.
Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 3:51 pm
New York City is 20 times more likely to flood during a storm than it was in the mid-1800s, partly owing to sea-level rise linked to global climate change, according to a new study.
The maximum water height at New York Harbor during storms such as Hurricane Sandy has risen nearly 2.5 feet since 1844, says the study, which was published in a recent issue of Geophysical Research Letters.
Washington has become the first state to lose its waiver to the No Child Left Behind Act. Most states have waivers to some of the more stringent requirements of the 2001 federal law but those waivers come with conditions. As NPR's Martin Kaste reports, Washington is being punished because it didn't fulfill a condition that is very dear to the Obama administration.
MARTIN KASTE, BYLINE: What the administration wants is simple. Teachers should be evaluated, in part, on how their students do on standardized tests.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
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It's a historic day on the campus of Northwestern University. Football players there became the first college athletes in this country to vote on whether to unionize. The results may not be known for some time. The National Labor Relations Board is reviewing Northwestern's appeal of an earlier ruling to allow this union vote to take place. NPR's David Schaper reports.
Ocean scientists in California have solved the mystery of the San Francisco Bay. More than a century ago, two ships collided, 16 people were killed. One ship sank and it remained on the bottom of the bay. It's exact location was unknown until now. And as NPR's Richard Gonzales reports, it was an accident that reignited racial divisions of that era.