What will likely be a day-long drip of leaks about tonight's State of the Union address begins with this:
"President Barack Obama will announce in his State of the Union address that 34,000 U.S. troops will be home from Afghanistan within a year, two people familiar with his remarks said Tuesday." (From The Associated Press)
The wire service adds: "That's about half the U.S. forces currently serving there, and marks the next phase in the administration's plans to formally finish the war by the end of 2014."
Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 7:32 am
President Obama's second inaugural address was widely perceived as a throwing down of the gauntlet in how it framed his progressive faith in government and challenged his Republican political opponents in any number of ways.
Given that, expect to see more glove-throwing Tuesday as the president delivers the first State of the Union speech of his second term.
Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. For Valentine's Day dinner, consider Ne Quittez Pas. The haute Tokyo restaurant has patrons digging deep in their wallets for an apparently chic ingredient - dirt. For $110 each you can dine in four courses of favorites like the soil surprise, a dirt-dusted potato ball with a truffle center. Or if you're feeling gritty, try the soil sorbet. I say go for the fish soup. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Let's talk about another high-profile job vacancy - this one for pontiff. Now that Pope Benedict has said he'll step down, everyone is wondering who will replace him. Our last word in business today: holy bookmakers.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
Gambling houses have placed odds on who might become the next leader of the Catholic world. At the top of the list of frontrunners are men not from Europe. Names like Ghana's Cardinal Peter Turkson and Canada's Cardinal Marc Ouellette, both popular choices among the bookmakers.
Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 4:06 am
North Korea confirmed on Tuesday that it had successfully conducted a third nuclear test. It's an important step toward North Korea's goal of building a bomb small enough to be fitted on a missile that could reach United States.
Minutes after he was re-elected in November, President Obama vowed to fix the long lines that many voters faced at the polls. He mentioned the problem again in his inaugural address. And now, the president is expected to raise it once more in the State of the Union address on Tuesday — this time with some possible solutions.
Jack Lew, the man President Obama has chosen to help oversee the country's biggest banks, has said it plainly — he's no expert on banking. Lew said as much when the Senate was vetting him to head the White House Office of Management and Budget in 2010.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., asked Lew if he thought deregulation of Wall Street caused the financial crisis. Lew said he didn't consider himself the best person to answer that question.
The long, clunky-looking fishing boat pulls up to Day Boat Seafood's dock near Fort Pierce, Fla., after 10 days out in the Atlantic. The crew lowers a thick rope into the hold, and begins hoisting 300-pound swordfish off their bed of ice and onto a slippery metal scale.
Next time you walk up to the seafood counter, look for products labeled with a blue fish, a check mark, and the words "Certified Sustainable Seafood MSC." Then ask yourself, "What does this label mean?"
Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 5:58 pm
A worldwide Catholic conversation that many church-watchers say effectively stopped when Benedict XVI was elected pope eight years ago has been rekindled by his announced plan to resign at month's end.
Celibacy. Women's roles. Same-sex marriage. Clergy sexual abuse revelations.
And, perhaps most significantly, the spectacular growth of the church in the more religiously conservative "global south" — Latin America, Africa and Asia — while its fortunes continue to decline in the increasingly secular West.
Kentucky is bourbon country. Bar shelves in Louisville are stocked with a crowded field of premium bourbons; the city's Theater Square Marketplace restaurant alone carries close to 170 different brands. So when news trickled out that longtime distillery Maker's Mark plans to water down its bourbon, locals were stunned.
Bourbon has to be aged at least two years — and that's where Maker's Mark got in trouble. Chief Operating Officer Rob Samuels says the company simply didn't make enough.
Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 3:47 pm
Emails between Sen. Robert Menendez's office and the Department of Homeland Security suggest that the New Jersey Democrat urged action that would help a company holding a port security contract in the Dominican Republic, The New York Timesreported Monday.
Police in Jerusalem on Monday detained 10 women for wearing the tallit, a Jewish prayer shawl traditionally worn by men, while praying at the Western Wall.
The Women of the Wall have been fighting for years for permission to worship in the manner that men do at the Western Wall, the holiest site in Judaism for prayer. The stone structure is part of the retaining wall that surrounded the Second Jewish Temple, which was destroyed by the Romans in A.D. 70.
Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 12:52 pm
There's a global campaign to force meat producers to rein in their use of antibiotics on pigs, chickens and cattle. European countries, especially Denmark and the Netherlands, have taken the lead. The U.S. is moving, haltingly, toward similar restrictions.