Alabama's Gov. Robert Bentley has signed a sweeping education bill that gives tax credits to parents who want to transfer their children from a failing public school to another public or private school. The bill became law one day after the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that a lawsuit against it was premature.
Studies show there are a growing number of homeless people around the age of 50. But it's common for them to experience illnesses and injuries more common among people well beyond their age. Host Michel Martin speaks with NPR correspondent, Pam Fessler and homeless advocate, Tony Simmons, about the rising number of aging homeless.
Following celebrations for the historic election of Argentine Pope Francis, it's time to look at the business of leading the world's 1.2 billion Catholics â€” bureaucracy and all. Host Michel Martin discusses the Pope's future agenda with Reverend Jose Hoyos, of the Diocese of Arlington, and religion professor Anthea Butler.
Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 12:18 pm
The 266th pope, and the first ever from Latin America, has one lung, rides the subway, reads Dostoevsky and has been described as both a moral compass and a silent accomplice to Argentina's former Dirty War leaders.
By a 10-8, party-line vote with Democrats in favor and Republicans opposed, the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday moved legislation that would revive the ban on assault-style weapons that expired in 2004.
Originally published on Sun March 17, 2013 11:36 am
Nothing says party like pancakes and butter. At least, not if you happen to be in Russia this week.
The country is in the midst of celebrating Maslenitsa, an Eastern Slavic folk holiday that takes place the week before the start of Russian Orthodox Lent (this year, it starts March 18). Though now tied to the Christian calendar, Maslenitsa has roots in ancient Slavic sun worshippers â€” it originally marked the end of winter and advent of spring. And, like Mardi Gras, it involves a whole lot of feasting before the Lenten fast â€” with blinis, a Russian pancake, as the food of choice.
The death of Ieng Sary, co-founder of the Khmer Rouge that ruled Cambodia from 1975 to 1979 and killed an estimated 1.7 million of that nation's people in the process, has dashed the hopes "among survivors and court prosecutors that he would ever be punished for his alleged war crimes," The Associated Press writes.
Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 11:58 am
North Korea's nuclear chest-beating has achieved the seemingly impossible by aligning the concerns of South Korea, Japan and even China, three Asian neighbors that have a long history of strained ties.
While all those countries have separate aims and interests, they share with the United States a mutual interest in containing the North Korean regime, restraining its rhetoric and keeping Pyongyang's nuclear option in a box, says Richard Bush III, the director of the Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution.
Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 8:03 am
"Scientists working with data from a large particle accelerator in Europe are now almost certain they have pinned down the elusive sub-atomic particle known as the Higgs Boson," NPR's Joe Palca tells our Newscast Desk.
Or, as it's also known, the "God Particle" (more on that moniker below).
A scandal in a Massachusetts crime lab continues to reverberate throughout the state's legal system. Several months ago, Annie Dookhan, a former chemist in a state crime lab, told police that she messed up big time. Dookhan now stands accused of falsifying test results in as many as 34,000 cases.
As a result, lawyers, prosecutors and judges used to operating in a world of "beyond a reasonable doubt" now havenothing but doubt.
Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 11:36 am
Which way the Republican Party?
In the hope of getting answers to that and other questions, many activists, party big wigs and political journalists have descended on a hotel in a Washington suburb to attend the Conservative Political Action Conference, which started Thursday.
This annual CPAC gathering is the first since President Obama thwarted Republican efforts to retake the White House, a defeat of Mitt Romney that many in the GOP didn't see coming.
A deadly drama in central New York State ended early Thursday when police killed the man suspected of shooting to death four people and injuring two others on Wednesday, Utica's Observer-Dispatch reports.
Testimony began today in a rape trail that has thrown a small Ohio town into the international spotlight. Two football players from Steubenville High School are accused of raping a 16-year-old girl during a night of partying last summer. Lawyers for the boys say the sex was consensual. The case has attracted widespread attention in part because of shocking photos, video and texts that circulated over the Internet.
And today's last word in business is: Life on Mars.
The TV show "Veronica Mars" starred Kristen Bell as a teenage detective. Critics loved it. It gained a lot of devoted fans, but the show was canceled in 2007 after three seasons.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
Yesterday, the show's creator took to Kickstarter to raise money to make a movie version of the show. And in less than 12 hours, those devoted fans pledged more than $2 million, smashing the site's records along the way.
Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. A British man is learning the downside to Internet fame. The 62-year-old had been on sick leave from work due to stress for months, which is why his employer was surprised to see him wrestling a shark on an Australian beach in a video that went viral. He's seen dragging the six-foot animal away from shore.
The charity he worked for fired him, although in his defense, the man said the doctor had advised him to take a vacation. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Tim Kelleher says his Jack Russell terrier, Jack, scarfs down anything he can get his paws on. Which helps keep the kitchen floor clean, but last week Jack was looking very sick. Kelleher took him to the vet, who discovered the dog had consumed a bagel and somewhere along the line more than a hundred pennies. The vet operated and removed the pennies. Kelleher tells the New York Daily News that Jack's back and driving him crazy.
In Florida, an investigation into storefront Internet gambling parlors has forced the resignation of one top elected official. Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll is stepping down because of her involvement with a group called Allied Veterans of the World. That group runs dozens of storefront operations where people gamble using electronic slot machines. More than 50 people have been arrested.
And as NPR's Greg Allen reports from Miami, the investigation is sending shockwaves through Florida politics.
Let's consider a company, now, that's had lots of ups and downs - General Motors. Most of GM's history is in the form of cars, and that history is housed in a nondescript warehouse in a suburb of Detroit. It's called the GM Heritage Center. Not open to the public, it's an automotive archive.
NPR's Sonari Glinton got a tour.
SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: There's probably no better job for a car nut than to be in charge of a vast auto archive for one of the biggest and oldest car companies.
Gunmen killed a woman in Pakistan yesterday. The news stories about this were formulaic for Pakistan, she was killed in a customary manner by assassins on motorcycles who rolled away with impunity. What's remarkable is the way she lived. Parveen Rehman came from Karachi, one of the world's largest cities. She helped thousands of poor people obtain basic services.
When I first met her in 2008, she told me she studied to become an architect, but doubted the value of the upscale buildings she learned to design.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep.
Not since the early centuries of the Roman Catholic Church has a pope come from outside Europe.
MONTAGNE: Pope Francis, the first pontiff ever to take that name, comes from Argentina. It's part of the zone commonly described as the Global South, regions that include sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, now home to hundreds of millions of Catholics.