The lives of the 26 people murdered by Adam Lanza at Sandy Hook Elementary School last December were eulogized and celebrated after the tragedy. But many discussions about Lanza's first victim, his mother, Nancy, were marked by both sympathy and suspicion, particularly as the news emerged that she had taken her son to shooting ranges.
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has put the state on what he calls a "glide path to zero" income tax. But that glide path is far from being clear or smooth.
On the face of it, Brownback seems to enjoy a remarkably strong political position. He's a conservative Republican, flanked by GOP supermajorities in both legislative chambers. His allies helped purge moderate Republicans from the state Senate in last year's election.
"I think the road is open," Brownback says. "I think we do provide an alternative model. I think we do provide a red-state model."
The film No revisits the moment in Chile's history when 56 percent of the country voted to oust a dictator from power. It's the tale of the ad campaign that helped persuade Chileans to cast their ballots against Gen. Augusto Pinochet in a national referendum.
"This is an epic story, the story of a triumph," says Director Pablo Larrain. "It's how they defeat a dictator — probably one of the biggest bastards that we ever had in humankind."
Harriet and Louis Caplan's love story began 20 years ago in a college town in Kansas. Harriet was 48 and working at a bank. Louis was a 56-year-old physicist.
Both assumed they'd be single for the rest of their lives — until their paths crossed.
It began with Wednesday evening outings when a group would meet after work.
"We went to football games and concerts, and I still don't quite know how it happened, but instead of going in two separate cars, you and I would start going in the same car," Harriet remembers. "I don't think we ever had a date."
Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 7:21 pm
The potential Democratic Party contest for a U.S. Senate seat between 89-year-old Sen. Frank Lautenberg and 43-year-old Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker had been shaping up to be a generational battle royale.
Alas, it won't happen now that Lautenberg has announced that he won't run for re-election in New Jersey's 2014 Senate race. In a statement, the octogenarian senator said:
Earlier this week, Pope Benedict XVI shocked the world by announcing he was resigning from his post as head of the Roman Catholic Church. It was the first time a sitting pope had stepped down in nearly 600 years.
As Mark wrote on Monday, Benedict cited his "advanced age (85) and diminishing strength," as reasons for his decision.
Los Angeles-based artist Ramiro Gomez Jr. displays his immigrant worker art on the Capitol's East Lawn in Washington, D.C.
Credit Lizzie Chen / NPR
Eva Aucapina, originally from Ecuador, has been a domestic worker for more than 15 years. She traveled from Los Angeles with CHIRLA, a pro-immigrant-rights group, to Washington, D.C., this week to attend a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on immigration.
Credit Brian De Los Santos / NPR
Gomez works on a piece that he later removed after a man selling maps to celebrities' homes threatened to take it down.
Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey (from left), Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and Undersecretary of Defense and Comptroller Robert Hale wait for a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday. Military leaders are warning Congress about the effects of the sequester.
Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 5:31 pm
A cloture vote on the nomination of former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel for defense secretary failed in the Senate, today.
That means Senate Republicans succeeded — with a vote of 58 to 40 — in keeping the Hagel nomination from coming before a final vote. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid scheduled the cloture vote after Republicans refused to give unanimous consent to proceed with the final vote.
The proposed marriage of American Airlines and US Airways announced Thursday is likely the last in a series of industry mega-mergers, but history suggests combining two big carriers isn't easy.
"The history of airline mergers in the U.S. is good, bad and ugly," says Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry analyst at the consulting firm Hudson Crossing. He and many others point to the 2008 union of Delta and Northwest as the best merger in recent memory.
The operator of Florida's Crystal River nuclear plant sent shockwaves through the state when it announced recently that it was shutting down the facility for good.
When nuclear plants have closed elsewhere, locals have cheered. But in Citrus County, it's been more like a death in the family.
At Fat Boy's Bar-B-Q restaurant in Crystal River, owner Bubba Keller says he's worried about what's going to happen to the community. "I mean, things are already tough," Keller says. "If this makes it worse, don't know if I can hang in there."
Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 8:57 am
When it comes to treating a lazy eye, there's evidence that turning the lights off may help — if you're a kitten.
A study in the latest issue of Current Biology reports that kittens with a type of visual impairment known as amblyopia, or lazy eye, were able to regain normal eyesight after being plunged into total darkness for 10 days.
On this Valentine's Day, we bring you a story from the California coast, where love is in the air. It sounds something like this:
That's a male northern elephant seal. It's the peak of their mating season right now. Elephant seals spend of the most of the year alone, out in the Pacific Ocean. So you can probably guess what happens when they get together every winter.
Naturalist Lisa Wolfklain is leading a public tour at Ano Nuevo State Reserve, two hours south of San Francisco, where hundreds of elephant seals are packed together on a narrow strip of beach.
The massively popular Nigerian film industry known as Nollywood started humbly about 20 years ago. Nollywood movies were shot as cheaply and as quickly as possible, then released straight to VHS.
Nollywood caught on globally, and piracy was a major factor in the industry's growth, as copies of copies of Nollywood tapes sold on street corners from Lagos to Harlem. In the early 2000s, Nollywood distribution shifted from VHS to discs — and now, the movies are also beginning to stream online.
Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 1:11 pm
There are roughly half a million people behind bars for nonviolent drug crimes in America. But no one really knows how many people have been sentenced to long prison bids since the laws known as Rockefeller drug laws first passed 40 years ago.
What's clear is that tough sentencing laws, even for low-level drug dealers and addicts, shaped a generation of young men, especially black and Hispanic men.
Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 10:05 pm
As the Carnival Triumph drifted for days in the Gulf of Mexico, we wondered: Instead of undertaking a slow, arduous tow to Mobile, Ala., wouldn't it have been easier — and more comfortable for passengers — to send an empty cruise ship to the area and evacuate the 3,143 passengers?
President Obama plays a learning game while visiting children at College Heights Early Childhood Learning Center on Thursday in Decatur, Ga. Obama's campaign-style trip this week was to end with a nonworking stop in Florida.
Many of the drugs we take aren't actually digested — they pass through our bodies, and down through the sewer pipes. Traces of those drugs end up in the bodies of fish and other wildlife. Nobody's sure what effect they have.
Now, a paper being published in Science magazine finds that drugs for anxiety drugs — even at these very low levels — can affect the behavior of fish.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. One of the most critically acclaimed and most popular films of the year, "Zero Dark Thirty," is up for five Oscars, including Best Picture. The film follows the hunt for Osama bin Laden and sparked controversy for its depiction of CIA interrogation techniques, including water boarding.
(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "ZERO DARK THIRTY")
JASON CLARKE: (As Dan) Come on, give it to me. Hasam(ph) was a friend of Gramzi Yusef(ph). You guys met in Iran back in the '90s.
Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 2:08 pm
A future without weeds would be a kind of farmer utopia, but currently, herbicide-resistant "superweeds" are part of today's reality. Some researchers, though, are looking for a solution that seems ripped from science fiction: weed-seeking robots.
This morning, hundreds of Somali men and women gathered in a community center in Mogadishu after a flash mob. Campaigners in Parliament Square in London held up one finger while MPs debated violence against women inside Westminster. And hundreds of Egyptian sang and danced after 10 a.m., Cairo time, all that from live coverage provided by The Guardian. Events all marked V-Day and its One Billion Rising campaign, designed to boost awareness of violence against women all over the world.
The announcement of a merger between American Airlines and US Airways on Thursday represents the culmination of a decades-long shake-up in the commercial airline industry. What does the merger mean for employees, consumers and a changing industry?