One of the central achievements of the civil rights movement was the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which protected minority voters. This summer, the U.S. Supreme Court threw out a key section of the landmark law. After that decision, Texas, along with other states, moved to impose new voting restrictions.
The U.S. Justice Department says those changes are discriminatory. And this past week, the department filed suit against the State of Texas.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.
Tens of thousands of people from across the country came to the National Mall yesterday to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. At that historic march, Martin Luther King, Jr. stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and delivered one of the most iconic speeches in American history.
We'd like to leave you today with an image: a long road, an open sky and a guy in a truck with a mission. This past week, a story caught our eye. Seventy-two-year-old Jim Ed Bull has what the postal service says is the longest postal delivery route in the country. Five days a week, Bull delivers mail along 187.6 miles of road in rural Oklahoma. We called Mr. Bull up to see what those long drives are like.
In the suburbs of Seattle, an ancient West-African religion is gaining followers. Yoruba, from the Yoruba people of Nigeria, has been spreading across the U.S. for the last 50 years.
The religion is particularly popular with African-Americans who find it offers a spiritual path and a deep sense of cultural belonging.
Looking For Answers
Wesley Hurt's Yoruba story begins the night he met his wife, Cheri Profit. It was nearly eight years ago, not long after a tour in Iraq. He had just gotten off for weekend release from an Army base in Tacoma, Wash.
Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 6:31 am
Staying snug within a watertight tent as a storm rages around you is one of the joys of modern camping and modern tents.
But if the weather suddenly turns nasty on your next camping trip, or nights are just colder than you expected, don't be tempted to bring your cook stove inside. Levels of poisonous carbon monoxide (CO) from the burning stove can build up fast.
If you're looking for the most interesting gubernatorial races to watch in the coming year, the nation's biggest states are a good place to start.
Democrats Jerry Brown and Andrew Cuomo look like safe bets for re-election in California and New York, respectively. And, despite the pending retirement of Rick Perry, Republicans are confident of maintaining their hold on the governor's mansion in Texas.
It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden.
We have a cub. The National Zoo made that announcement in all caps on Twitter at 5:32 p.m. last night. The zoo's giant panda, Mei Xiang, gave birth to her third cub Friday. Now there's a state of, wait for it, pandamonium here in Washington. Thousands of eyes were glued to the zoo's panda cam as the tiny creature came into the world.
Writer and ethicist Jean Bethke Elshtain died this month in Nashville, Tenn. She was 72. As a very specific kind of political theorist, Elshtain was known as a realist, unafraid to talk about God. It made her a unique and influential public intellectual of her time. Rather unusually, she held a joint appointment at the University of Chicago in both the divinity school and the political science department. William Schweiker was Elshtain's colleague at the U of C, and her friend; and he offered this remembrance.
It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden.
If you do the crime, you do the time. But if you're doing time at Anderson County Jail in Clinton, Tennessee, it may get a bit more expensive. This week, lawmakers in the county passed a resolution that would charge inmates for basic necessities: nine bucks for pants, $6.26 for a blanket, 29 cents for a roll of toilet paper.
A suburban county on Long Island, N.Y., is taking a novel approach to monitoring sex offenders: It's giving the job to a victims' advocacy group.
The measure was approved unanimously earlier this year; lawmakers call it a cost-effective way to keep citizens safe. But a local lawyer calls it a "vigilante exercise," and convicted sex offenders are organizing to challenge the legislation.
Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer of Ruleville, Miss., speaks to the state's Freedom Democratic Party sympathizers outside the Capitol in Washington, D.C., in 1965.
Credit Mike Brown / The Commercial Appeal /Landov
Civil rights activist Diane Nash listens the former Vice President Al Gore after the Freedom Awards Public Forum at Temple of Deliverance in Memphis. Gore and Nash were honored, along with musician B.B. King, for the 2008 Freedom Awards.
Three of the six leaders of African-American organizations who met with President Lyndon B. Johnson Nov. 19, 1964, talk with reporters at the White House after the meeting. They are, left to right: James Farmer, national director of the Congress of Racial Equality; Whitney M. Young, Jr., executive director of the National Urban League; and Dorothy Height of the National Council of Negro Women.
Credit Jack Harris / AP
Ella Baker helped Martin Luther King Jr. start the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and was a field secretary for the NAACP, where she worked for black voter registration. She was often referred to as the "Godmother of SNCC" — the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee — where she provided counsel to student activists.
Credit William J. Smith / AP
Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer speaks to Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party sympathizers outside the Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 17, 1965. The House of Representatives had rejected a challenger to the 1964 election of five Mississippi representatives. Mrs. Hamer and two other African-American women were seated on the floor of the House while the challenge was being considered.
Credit HWG / AP
President Jimmy Carter talks to members of ACTION during a speech in the White House Rose Garden in 1977. From left are, Vice President Walter Mondale; Sam Brown, director of ACTION; Carter; and Mary King, deputy director of ACTION. About 25 percent of SNCC's members were white, including King, who applied her leadership experience from the SNCC to the feminist movement.
Credit The Commercial Appeal /Landov
Daisy Bates of Little Rock, Ark., visited Memphis, Tenn., in August 1959 with Lt. George W. Lee, a prominent Memphis civic leader and author. Bates acted as adviser to the nine black students who integrated Little Rock's Central High School in 1957. She died in 1999.
On that sweltering August day in 1963, almost a quarter-million people thronged the National Mall, from the Washington Monument to the columned marble box that is the Lincoln Memorial. The crowning moment, of course, was Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech.
Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 2:29 pm
(This post last updated at 4:20 p.m. ET)
President Obama has been meeting with his national security team to discuss reports of the Syrian government's use of chemical weapons, a White House official said Saturday, amid strong hints that a U.S. military strike was on the table.
Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 1:13 pm
(This post last updated at 2:20 p.m. ET)
Tens of thousands of people assembled on the National Mall to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1963 March on Washington, best known as the venue for the iconic "I Have a Dream" speech that helped galvanize the civil rights movement.
Organizers, including the Rev. Al Sharpton and King's son, Martin Luther King III, had hoped to attract 100,000 people to attend Saturday's events leading up the official Aug. 28 anniversary.
A march and rally kicks off at the Lincoln Memorial this morning to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. Organizers say the event is also meant to continue their fight for economic parity, voting rights and equality.
Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 9:39 am
SCOTT SIMON, HOST:
These days the team that wins the Super Bowl usually counts on meeting with the president of the United States. But that wasn't the case when the Miami Dolphins went undefeated in 1972. So, early this week 31 members of that record-setting team finally got their chance to meet this president, more than 40 years later.
Their coach, hall of famer Don Shula joins us. Coach, thanks very much for being with us.
At courthouses around the world, a statue of justice stands with a set of scales in one hand. to measure the strengths and weaknesses of the cases brought before her. In her other hand, she holds a double-edged sword symbolizing reason and justice. There are an estimated 1.5 million people in American prisons; and people of all political persuasions believe the system is bursting, and that incarceration is not a punishment that fits all crimes.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. East Coast seabirds have had a tough year. They've been battered by storms and disruptions in the food chain. Among them, the sturdy little Atlantic puffin. Now, here in the United States, their numbers dwindle to just a single nesting pair by 1901. Since then, thanks to the Audubon Society's Project Puffin, they've made a comeback. But as WBUR's Fred Bever reports, the puffins are now facing some new threats.
Staff Sergeant Robert Bales was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole yesterday in an Army courtroom in Washington state. Sergeant Bales confessed to sneaking off his base in Afghanistan last year and committing a massacre, killing 16 civilians - men, women and children. As NPR's Martin Kaste reports, the end of the case offered little comfort to survivors of the massacre, some of whom were in the courtroom to hear the sentence.
Sportswriter Stefan Fatsis Discusses ESPN's Decision On 'All Things Considered'
ESPN President John Skipper released a statement Friday defending the network's journalistic integrity after it pulled out of an investigation of the NFL.
ESPN had been a partner with PBS's Frontline on a forthcoming series about concussions in the National Football League. A trailer for the two-part investigation says Frontline "investigates what the NFL knew and when they knew it" regarding the lasting effects of head injuries.
Are we seeing the beginning of a trend from the occupant of the Oval Office — a President Obama unbound?
That's the question after Obama cast aside his usual caution while speaking at a town hall-style meeting in Binghamton, N.Y., on Friday. Asked about his proposals for attacking soaring higher education costs, Obama said:
Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 5:28 pm
An agreement has been reached to dismiss a sexual harassment and discrimination suit against Food Network personality Paula Deen and her brother.
The Associated Press reports that a document filed in U.S. District Court in Savannah, Ga., said the parties had reached agreement "without any award or fees to any party."
Lisa Jackson — a former employee of Uncle Bubba's Seafood and Oyster House, a restaurant owned by Deen and her brother, Bubba Hiers — charged that she suffered from sexual harassment and racial discrimination.
By the standard of normal golfing mortals, Tiger Woods has had an incredible summer. He's won multiple tournaments and millions of dollars in prize money. What he didn't do was win any of golf's four major championships, and that has led some to write off Woods' 2013 as a failure.
Nothing suggests summer like a game of softball. As part of our Summer Nights series, we're visiting Murdy Park in Huntington Beach, California, for a game of senior women's softball. It was a game between the Mighty's and the Misfits. Gloria Hillard reports.
To San Diego now where, after weeks of accusations of sexual harassment, apologies, denials, a lawsuit and a trip to a treatment center, the saga of Mayor Bob Filner may be coming to a close, or at least one chapter of it may be coming to a close. The San Diego City Council is in session, and it's considering a deal that would lead to Filner's resignation.
Sandhya Dirks of member station KPBS joins me now from San Diego City Hall. And, Sandhya, there have been reports of a resignation deal for a few days now. Where do things stand?
Now to the other major court martial we've been following, that of Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales. He pleaded guilty to killing 16 civilians, mostly women and children, during a nighttime massacre in Afghanistan. That plea allowed him to avoid the death penalty. Today, a military jury sentenced Bales to life in prison without the possibility of parole. But as NPR's Martin Kaste reports, that sentence was not harsh enough for relatives of Bales' Afghan victims.