Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 3:54 pm
If it seems perplexing why an idea that has broad support nationally could fail to pass the U.S. Senate, here's an important reminder: The Senate is not a democratic institution.
It never has been, and it was never designed to be. Rather, it was structured to give small or sparsely populated states the ability to stop the majority's will. And on Wednesday, that's how it worked out, as the Senate failed to reach a 60-vote threshold to support new background checks on gun purchases.
Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 3:47 pm
Following the Senate's rejection Wednesday of a range of gun control measures, including universal background checks, many in Newtown, Conn., are reacting with surprise and disappointment. The town is still stricken with grief from the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December that took the lives of 20 students and six adults.
On Thursday morning, Mike Cragin stopped by the Dunkin' Donuts in Newtown with his bulldog, Truman.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block.
The failure of gun control measures to get through Congress yesterday stands in sharp contrast to sweeping moves approved by some state legislatures after the Newtown shootings. Colorado, New York, Maryland, and Connecticut all passed broad expansions of gun control laws.
A new cookbook by the Lee brothers just might inspire daydreams of a food-centric vacation to South Carolina. It's called The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen, and in it, Matt and Ted Lee feature recipes and stories from the Southern port city they grew up in. The brothers joined NPR's Melissa Block to talk about Charleston's distinctive food culture, starting with the dishes that they'd put on a typical Charleston menu.
Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 2:05 pm
"A former justice of the peace has been charged with murder in the slayings of a North Texas district attorney and his assistant who prosecuted him for theft, officials announced Thursday," The Associated Press reports. Eric Williams is also charged with the murder of the district attorney's wife.
Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 3:59 pm
Bipartisan bonhomie broke out Thursday afternoon when four Democratic and four Republican senators made a case for their comprehensive immigration overhaul proposal.
The scene at the Dirksen Senate Office Building stood in marked contrast to the ugly end Wednesday of a smaller cross-party effort to fashion gun legislation that would have expanded background checks and banned assault-style weapons.
Astronomers have found three planets orbiting far-off stars that are close to Earth-sized and in the "habitable zone": a distance from their suns that makes the planets' surfaces neither too hot nor too cold, but just right.
One of the three planets orbits a star with the prosaic name Kepler-69.
A large storm system moving through the center of the country, has already caused major flooding in Chicago and is threatening to bring severe weather to the Tennessee Valley all the way to the Gulf Coast, tonight.
For Arab and Muslim-Americans, news of a terrorist attack or possible terrorist attack on U.S. soil is complicated by fears that the perpetrator might be a member of their own community and in the hours after the Boston Marathon, rumors of a young Saudi suspect spread like wildfire despite statements from law enforcement that no suspect had been identified.
Explosions at the Boston Marathon, potentially ricin-laced letters intercepted en route to the White House and Sen. Roger Wicker, and an explosion at a fertilizer plant in Texas have each prompted investigations. In each case, authorities sift through evidence to construct a timeline of events.
This is the third in a three-part series aboutthe intersection of education and the arts.
Life Pieces to Masterpieces is an arts program that's not entirely about the art. It's an after-school program based in a struggling neighborhood in Washington, D.C., that teaches black boys and young men what they call "the four C's": "Connect, create, contribute, celebrate." From ages 3-25, they learn to express themselves by conceiving their paintings together. And those paintings will often reflect what's going on in their lives.
Fifteen-year-old Malala Yousafzai has become a symbol of hope for change in Pakistan and the world. Since her near-fatal shooting in 2012, her voice and reach has grown, as she speaks out against the Taliban's influence, and advocates for education for Pakistani youth.
Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 12:21 pm
Is the occasional glass of wine or beer OK for moms-to-be?
According to a new study published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, there doesn't seem to be any measurable risk.
The study found that drinking up to two alcoholic beverages per week during pregnancy is not linked to developmental problems in children. But even the study's authors caution that abstaining from alcohol is still best for mothers-to-be.
"Small, stunted individuals who would destroy instead of build" do not understand that "a bomb can't beat us," President Obama said Thursday in Boston.
His emotional vow came during an interfaith service to remember the victims of Monday's marathon bombings. It was also a service that served as a celebration of the American spirit and the bravery of the first responders, volunteers and spectators who rushed to the aid of those who were caught in the explosions.
War photographer Tim Hetherington said he thought war was wired into young men. And he risked, and ultimately gave, his life to capture these young men in photographs and video — in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan and other war zones. Hetherington was killed by shrapnel from a mortar round while taking pictures in Libya in 2011, during the uprising against President Moammar Gadhafi.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later in the program we will tell you about an up and coming emcee who's making a splash in Los Angeles and he's not somebody you might expect to see rocking the mic. That's just one of the stories NPR's new Code Switch team will be bringing you. We'll tell you more about that in just a few minutes.
Originally published on Mon April 22, 2013 1:20 pm
Sure, we all know alcohol has fueled plenty a writing session. William Faulkner — who once said, "civilization begins with distillation" — was known to have kept a bottle by his side while he typed away throughout his writing career.
Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 10:22 am
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
All this morning, we have been following the aftermath of a massive explosion at a fertilizer plant in Texas last night. When volunteer firefighters in the city of West, Texas - that's about 20 miles north of Waco - first arrived to battle a fire at the plant, they encountered a disaster in the making.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
We're told this fire was burning at the site of a couple of storage tanks, each of which had the capacity to carry 12,000 gallons of ammonia.