Tuesday marks the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion. Thousands of activists on both sides of the issue are holding rallies marking the day at state capitals across the country.
In the decades since the decision, abortion has been one of the most debated and legislated issues in the nation. And state legislatures, which are increasingly passing laws restricting abortion, have become the debate's key battlegrounds.
The Senate picked up Tuesday exactly where it left off nearly three weeks ago. By a twist of the rules, the Senate chamber remains in its first legislative day of the 113th Congress.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he's kept things at the starting point so that he and his fellow Democrats have the option of changing the rules on the filibuster by a simple majority vote.
"The Senate will take action to make this institution that we all love, the United States Senate, work more effectively," Reid said Tuesday. "We'll consider changes to the Senate rules."
President Obama pulled out a surprise in his inaugural address on Monday. After barely mentioning climate change in his campaign, he put it on his short list of priorities for his second term.
"We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations," he said. Today the White House had scant detail on what the president plans to do.
In response to a December rocket launch, the United Nations Security Council voted unanimously today to tighten sanctions on North Korea.
The United States said the new sanctions are an appropriate response to a "reckless" act.
NPR's Michele Kelemen filed this report for our Newscast unit:
"The security council resolution condemns the launch in December and adds North Korean companies, individuals and the the country's space agency to a sanctions list. U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice says the council is sending a strong and united message.
Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 5:24 pm
It may have struck many people as odd that Lamar Alexander, the senior senator from Tennessee, gave a shout-out to Alex Haley, the author of The Autobiography of Malcolm X, during his remarks at the presidential inauguration.
If Iran gets a nuclear weapon, what would be the impact on Israel?
Some say this would be an existential threat that Israel cannot tolerate. Iranian nuclear weapons would raise the stakes most every time there was a conflict in the region.
But others argue that Israel could live with a nuclear Iran because the Israelis have such a powerful military of their own, including nuclear capabilities. In addition, an Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear facilities could unleash a cascade of events that would further destabilize the region.
The prime minister of Algeria is defending his government's response to last week's attack on a natural gas plant that left 37 hostages dead. He says the Islamic militants who were behind the attack planned to blow up the facility and would have killed a lot more people if they hadn't been stopped.
The attack happened at a huge, internationally operated facility in the Sahara. And it underscores the dangers that energy companies face when they do business in politically unstable places.
Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 3:37 pm
Should emergency rooms track the number of people who get hurt or sick after drinking coffee? That's what the maker of Monster Energy drinks suggests in response to a recent report that emergency room visits involving caffeine-laced energy drinks doubled from 2007 to 2011.
Congress faces a battle over gun laws that could be the biggest in a generation.
Leading the charge for gun rights is the National Rifle Association, with its huge budget and grass-roots operations. On the other side, a new leader has emerged in recent years: New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is not only outspoken on gun control, he has also opened his substantial wallet for the cause.
A French judge will decide this week if Twitter must hand over the identities of users sending anti-Semitic tweets. The case, brought against Twitter by a Jewish student organization, pits America's free speech guarantees against Europe's laws banning hate speech.
The controversy began in October, when the French Union of Jewish Students threatened to sue Twitter to get the names of people posting anti-Semitic tweets with the hashtag #unbonjuif, or "a good Jew."
President Obama mentioned him five times in Monday's inaugural address â€” God, that is.
In modern times, religion has become so intertwined in our political rhetoric that the failure of any president to invoke God in a speech as important as the inaugural could hardly escape notice. Thanks to this graphic in The Wall Street Journal, we noticed the presidents who did (nearly all) and the few who didn't (Teddy Roosevelt, Rutherford B. Hayes).
Information technology has transformed much of the American economy, but its use in health care still lags, especially when it comes to electronic medical records.
Here's an example: The state of Colorado runs a computerized registry where any provider who gives a child a vaccine can report that information. The system should help kids stay current with their immunizations.
Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 4:54 pm
The photo is quite striking, to be sure.
Agence France Press photographer Issouf Sanogo writes that when he was with French soldiers in central Mali on Sunday, "a helicopter was coming in to land and churning up tremendous dust clouds. Instinctively, all the soldiers grabbed their scarfs to avoid getting a mouthful of sand."
Jose James knows jazz. The son of a Panamanian jazz saxophonist, he studied at the prestigious New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City, was a finalist in 2004's Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocalist Competition and recently toured with legendary jazz pianist McCoy Tyner.
For at least a decade, many have assumed that too many fidgety kids have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and been medicated for it. But it's still been hard to get reliable information on just how many kids are getting diagnosed and whether it's justified. So researchers at Kaiser Permanente in California decided to look at the trend, using the best data they could get from kids who'd actually seen specialists.
Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 3:30 pm
Update at 5:19 p.m. ET. College Safe:
During a news briefing, Sheriff Maj. Armando Tello said that the Lone Star College campus is now safe.
Tello said three people were injured, after an altercation between two men led to a shooting. One of the individuals invovled in the altercation was a student at the college. Another one of those shot was a maintance worker caught in the cross fire.
Tello did not give any details as to the condition of the injured.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Back in 1999, I went along with Robert Ballard on a radio expedition to the Black Sea, where he hoped to find evidence that what's now a vast inland ocean was once a small freshwater lake. A controversial theory holds that thousands of years ago, the waters of the Mediterranean Sea suddenly burst through in a flood that may have inspired the story of Noah.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Over the weekend, Algerian troops stormed a gas facility in a remote area near the country's eastern border and ended a four-day standoff with Islamic militants who seized the production complex and dozens of hostages.
Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 11:13 am
President Obama made history in his inaugural address when he mentioned Stonewall in the same breath as Selma, the Alabama town considered the birthplace of the black-rights movement, and Seneca Falls, the upstate New York site of the first women's-rights convention.
But Obama's reference was very likely lost on many in the generations that have come of age long after gay men resisted police harassment at the Stonewall Inn gay bar in New York City.
President Obama "welcomes" the plan by House Republicans to vote Wednesday on a three-month extension of the nation's borrowing limit, White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters today, and "would not stand in the way of the bill becoming law." (The Hill)
"I have good news that our brother comandante President Chavez is already in physiotherapy in order to return to his country," Morales is quoted as saying. "We hope to be alongside him at international events as we have always been."
While the number of abortion providers has been decreasing, the number of pregnancy centers has been increasing. According to The New York Times, there are now approximately 1,800 abortion providers around the country, compared with 2,500 pregnancy centers. These centers, largely run by Christian groups, discourage women from getting abortions and offer help during their unplanned pregnancies.
Now, panel, what will be the next big confession in the news? Peter Grosz?
PETER GROSZ: Oprah will admit that 15 years ago she and Lance Armstrong conspired for him to engage in doping, deny it for years, win seven Tours de France, get publicly humiliated, seek redemption on her show and save her lame spin-off network from total irrelevancy.