For the third year in a row, the poverty rate has remained stuck at about 15 percent. Nearly one in six Americans was living in poverty in 2012, according to a new report by the Census Bureau. Despite a slow-moving economic recovery, these latest numbers show that for poor Americans, there are few signs of any recovery.
The government said this week that more than 46 million Americans, about one in seven, are poor. Correspondent Pam Fessler covers poverty for NPR. Recently, she's been reporting from New York and it was there that she discovered the gulf between herself and the people's whose stories she tells.
Yesterday, Syria sent the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons an initial declaration, detailing its trove of chemical weapons. The declaration is now being reviewed by that organization's verification division. The U.S.-Russian agreement reached last weekend calls for inspectors to be on the ground in Syria by November, and all chemical weapons to be removed from the country or destroyed by the middle of next year.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, speaks at a Republican rally Friday after the House passed a measure that would temporarily fund the government while crippling President Obama's health care law. The Senate is not expected to follow suit.
The House has passed a stopgap spending bill that would keep the government open through Dec. 15. It passed almost entirely along party lines: In addition to funding the government, it calls for defunding of the Affordable Care Act.
The White House has said President Obama would veto the bill, were it to come to his desk in this form. And it most likely won't. Democrats, who control the Senate, won't pass a bill that defunds Obamacare.
Here's some food for thought: One-third of the world's food goes to waste every year. In the U.S., about 40 percent of our food gets thrown out. It's happening on the farm, at the grocery store and in our own homes.
President Obama took his fiscal fight with congressional Republicans to America's heartland Friday. Speaking at a Ford assembly plant near Kansas City, Mo., Obama warned that the federal government could turn into a "deadbeat" unless Congress passes a stopgap spending bill and agrees to raise the debt limit within the next few weeks.
Craig Cobb's house on Main Street in Leith, N.D., where he spends his days posting online comments advocating for white supremacists to join his settlement. Cobb, a self-described white supremacist, has invited fellow white separatists to help him transform the town into a white enclave.
Credit Kevin Cederstrom / AP
Bobby Harper, with his wife, Sherill, lives across the alley from Cobb. He says he was prepared to tolerate Cobb as long as he kept to himself, but he's angry now that Cobb has invited other white supremacists to join him.
Credit Meg Lindholm / Prarie Public Broadcasting
No one has come to Leith, N.D., but the community is mobilizing to fight out of fear that Cobb (above) could succeed. The mayor has vowed to do whatever it takes to ensure Cobb's dream remains just that.
A white supremacist has plans to take over a tiny town in North Dakota and turn it into one for whites only. This weekend, members of one of the nation's largest neo-Nazi organizations will descend upon the town in a step toward making that vision a reality — and several residents are trying to stop them.
An official assessment of the damage caused by news leaks about government surveillance programs suggests that terrorist groups are changing their communication methods in response to the disclosures, according to officials at the National Security Agency.
Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir, who faces genocide charges, has applied for a visa to come to the U.S. for the annual United Nations General Assembly next week. The U.S. has not yet said whether he'll be allowed in the country.
As the host of the United Nations, the U.S. is supposed to let everyone come to the annual U.N. General Assembly, not just the people it likes.
But this year, the proposition is being put to the test. Sudan's president, Omar al-Bashir, was indicted three years ago by the International Criminal Court on genocide charges stemming from the mass killings in Sudan's western Darfur region.
Bashir has also applied for a visa to the U.N. meetings next week.
Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 1:57 pm
A Pennsylvania police chief who gained national attention for Internet videos in which he fired high-powered rifles while shouting obscenities against liberals, Secretary of State John Kerry and the United Nations has been fired.
The Gilberton, Pa., borough council voted to suspend Mark Kessler in July. On Thursday, lawmakers handed Kessler his pink slip.
Guitarist Eddie Van Halen came on stage during a Texas stop of Michael Jackson's 1984 tour to play on "Beat It," the Jackson hit that featured a solo by Van Halen. Now, questions about a guitar that the two supposedly signed have led to the cancellation of an auction of Jesse Jackson Jr.'s goods.
"Legitimate concerns about the authenticity of the guitar purportedly signed by Michael Jackson and Eddie Van Halen" have led the U.S. Marshals Service to cancel an auction of the goods forfeited by former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill.
This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Later in the program, we'll head into the Barbershop to ask the guys about the video game Grand Theft Auto - once so controversial, now so lucrative. The new version is breaking sales records all over the place, and we'll hear what the guys have to say about that.
When Dan Miller was growing up, his family lived about a mile away from Wisconsin Rapids, Wisc. He had eight siblings and the family was poor. His father, Robert, supported them by working at Consolidated Papers Inc.
Lawmakers in California have called for an internal audit after an investigation revealed that women were receiving sterilization procedures improperly at several state prisons, including the Valley State Prison for Women, pictured here in 2000.
Sitting in her San Francisco living room, Kimberly Jeffrey is combing her son Noel's hair. He groans, but she meets his energy with calm — and adoration.
Noel's birth was not an easy time. While Jeffrey was pregnant, she served a six-month sentence for petty theft at a state prison. When it came time to deliver Noel through a caesarean-section, Jeffrey was also confronted with the prospect of sterilization.
Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 6:51 pm
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted Thursday to slash $40 billion from the federal food stamp program.
GOP lawmakers cited what they said was widespread abuse of the program, formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, which is intended to help poor individuals and families buy groceries.
The vote to cut food stamps came on a party line vote of 217-200.
"It's wrong for working, middle-class people to pay" for abuse of the program, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said.
If President Obama has his way, he will get to fill three more of the 11 slots on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the second most powerful court in the country. Obama already has filled one vacancy with Sri Srinivasan, who was confirmed back in May.
On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved another nominee for the D.C. Circuit, law professor Cornelia "Nina" Pillard.
Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 3:40 pm
House Republicans, meet Sen. Ted Cruz. Ted Cruz, House Republicans.
Given the surprise expressed by some House members at the Texas senator's approach to the defunding of Obamacare, perhaps an introduction was in order.
A few dozen House members Wednesday morning successfully coerced a reluctant Speaker John Boehner into tying the Obamacare language to a must-pass government funding bill. This came after weeks of television ads featuring Cruz and fellow Senate Republican Mike Lee advocating exactly that plan, regardless of the consequences.
The House today is voting on a plan pushed its Tea Party wing to slash $40 billion from food stamps. That's twice as much as the original House farm bill contemplated, and eight times as much as the Senate bill.
Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 1:12 pm
They never quite get over it.
Whenever there's a mass shooting, a tragedy that occurs with depressing frequency, survivors of earlier events have their own memories brought back vividly and horribly.
Kristina Anderson, one of dozens of people who was shot at Virginia Tech in 2007, now works across the river from Washington, D.C. When the news of the Navy Yard shootings there broke on Monday, her day melted into tears.
Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 6:11 am
New FBI Director Jim Comey said the man who went on a rampage at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday was "wandering around looking for people to shoot" and had no apparent rhyme or reason for killing 12 people.
In his first remarks to reporters since taking office this month, Comey said the gunman, Aaron Alexis, ran out of ammunition for his legally purchased, sawed-off shotgun, exhausting a supply in his cargo pants pocket, and then began using a Beretta wrestled from a guard he had shot.
Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 1:52 pm
Clicking the "Like" button on Facebook is tantamount to other forms of protected speech, a federal court decided on Wednesday. That is, clicking Like is protected by the First Amendment as a form of assembly or association.
Appalachia has a distinct culture of sipping soda constantly throughout the day. "Here in West Virginia, you see people carrying around bottles of Mountain Dew all the time — even at a public health conference," says public health researcher Dana Singer.