Amnesty International says the Cuban government has increased its harassment of opposition activists.
According to the human rights organization, the government has detained more 150 opponents and in other situations has surrounded some of the activists' homes to prevent them from "denouncing abuses during Pope Benedict's tour."
Amnesty adds that some human rights organizations and prominent activists have had their phones cut off.
In the new biography Hitler, A.N. Wilson describes the Nazi dictator as the "Demon King of history" — who instigated the Holocaust and forced the world into a second world war — but also as an ordinary, even boring man.
"We like to distance ourselves from anything to do with him because he was an essentially evil character," he tells NPR's Neal Conan. "But actually, many of the ideas that he had and expressed were very ordinary ideas, and they were ideas that more or less everybody had at that time."
Originally published on Wed March 28, 2012 11:37 am
The peace plan backed by the United Nations got the support of Arab foreign ministers today.
The leaders, who were in Baghdad for an Arab League summit, endorsed the plan which calls for a cease fire, the release of political prisoners and dialogue with the opposition. The ministers said Syria should enact the plan.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday heard the last of three days of oral arguments on the fate of President Obama's health care law. A transcript of Wednesday morning's arguments, as prepared by the court, follows.
CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: We will continue argument this morning in Case Number 11-393, National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius and case 11-400, Florida v. The Department of HHS.
Mr. Clement. ORAL ARGUMENT OF PAUL D. CLEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE PETITIONERS MR. CLEMENT: Mr. Chief Justice, and may it please the Court:
Tracy Martin (left) and Sybrina Fulton appear at a forum held by Democratic members of Congress in Washington on Tuesday. Lawmakers discussed the death of the couple's son, Trayvon Martin, and racial profiling.
Credit Doriane Raiman / NPR
Tracy Martin speaks with staff after an interview with NPR's Michel Martin in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.
Originally published on Wed March 28, 2012 4:39 pm
The parents of slain Florida teenager Trayvon Martin have been in Washington, D.C., the past two days, meeting with Democratic lawmakers and pleading for the arrest of George Zimmerman, the Sanford, Fla., neighborhood watch volunteer who shot their son.
I talked today with the boy's father, Tracy Martin, 45, about the whirlwind of attention the case has drawn, the latest claims made about his son's role in the Feb. 26 incident in Sanford and his hopes for an arrest.
Though he insists he's not suspending his run, GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich announced he's cutting his staff and shifting his campaign strategy. NPR's Ken Rudin and veteran campaign manager Chip Saltsman discuss the decisions candidates face when a win seems unlikely.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. For years, employers have used credit checks and criminal histories to vet potential hires. With the growth of social media, hiring managers now turn to websites like Facebook, and some employers go so far as to ask applicants to turn over their passwords.
Facebook warns against this procedure. Two United States senators asked the Department of Justice to investigate whether these employers are violating federal law.
With the fate of the health law's insurance mandate in doubt, the last day of arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court became even more crucial to the future of the Obama administration's central legislative achievement.
Originally published on Wed March 28, 2012 1:45 pm
On the floor of the House this morning, Rep. Bobby Rush's effort to call attention to the death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin turned into a contest of wills between the Illinois Democrat and the presiding officer because Rush donned a hoodie while speaking.
Originally published on Wed March 28, 2012 12:10 pm
The names Boris and Bessie Thomashefsky may not sound familiar today, but at the height of their fame in the 1920s and '30s, the Thomashefskys were one of the most famous couples in New York City's burgeoning Yiddish theater scene.
I'm Jacki Lyden and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Michel Martin is away this week. Coming up, there are a number of people in the U.S. who continue to insist that President Obama is Muslim, despite his Christian faith. But that begs the question: what does it matter? So what if he were? We'll talk about it what it means to be a Muslim in America in just a bit.
Originally published on Wed March 28, 2012 10:51 am
Update at 12:08 p.m. ET. Everyone Had A Hard Go Of It Today:
NPR's legal correspondent Nina Totenberg tells Ari Shapiro that both sides had a tough go of it today.
During the final day of arguments, Supreme Court justices seemed split on the idea of striking the entire Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, if its the "individual mandate" centerpiece was also found unconstitutional.
In a stunning piece published in Sports Illustrated in 2010, former sports agent Josh Luchs admitted to paying money and providing other benefits to college athletes, in clear violation of NCAA and NFL Players Association rules. Luchs, who represented more than 60 NFL athletes over the course of his career, named more than 30 former players who allegedly accepted money or other benefits while still enrolled at universities around the country.
Jamphel Yeshi has died. The 27-year-old Tibetan exile, who on on Monday set himself on fire in New Delhi, was the latest in a small but growing number of Tibetans who in the past year have burned themselves in protest of China's rule over their country.
On the third and final day of Supreme Court arguments over the constitutionality of the health care overhaul law enacted in 2010, the focus turns to whether the law could survive if the justices decide to strike its most controversial component — the so-called mandate that "requires most Americans to either have health insurance starting in 2014 or pay a penalty," NPR's Julie Rovner reports.
Comedian Bill Maher's $1 million check to the superPAC supporting President Obama's re-election is the first seven-figure donation to the group since Obama tacitly endorsed the fundraising strategy in early February.
And it has brought new focus to some of Maher's statements about women — specifically Republican women — and led to calls for the White House to disavow the HBO host and his money.
A protester blocks an Atlanta street during a rally protesting Georgia's new immigration law in June 2011. Now, the state's lawmakers are considering a bill that would also ban students here illegally from attending all public colleges.
Credit Erik S. Lesser / EPA/Landov
In February, protesters in Atlanta showed their opposition to a state bill that would ban students here illegally from attending Georgia's public higher education institutions.
Last year, several states passed strict laws aimed at cracking down on illegal immigration. Those laws are now being challenged in federal court, and next month the Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on Arizona's immigration law — but that hasn't stopped some Southern states from moving forward with more restrictions.
Texas and the federal government are going at each other again, this time over Planned Parenthood.
The Texas Legislature cut off all Medicaid money to Planned Parenthood because of its involvement in abortions; in response, the federal government has suspended funding for the state's reproductive health program.
After Tuesday's judicial fireworks, the Supreme Court wraps up arguments on the new health care law Wednesday by focusing on two questions. The first involves what would happen if the "individual mandate" — the core of the law that requires most people to have health insurance — is struck down. Would the rest of the law fall, too, or could some provisions stay?
In its second-to-last argument over the Affordable Care Act, the Supreme Court on Wednesday ponders a what-if.
Specifically, if the justices decide that Congress exceeded its constitutional authority in enacting the part of the law that requires most Americans to either have health insurance starting in 2014 or pay a penalty, does that invalidate the rest of the law? And if not, how much, if any, of the rest of the law should it strike down?