This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish. The Supreme Court returns to the bench this week after its summer recess. The new term begins tomorrow with some 50 cases on the docket. Several of them deal with hot-button political issues. Joining us for a primer on what to expect is NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg. Nina, welcome.
Texas governor Rick Perry spent the last two days in New Hampshire, his first visit since the Republican debate in which he defended a Texas law that allows illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition at state colleges. As Jon Greenberg reports, Perry faced headwinds among Republican primary voters.
This past week, Bank of America announced plans to charge most of its debit card users $5 a month if they use the card to make purchases. The decision is meant to offset anticipated revenue losses from regulatory changes that took effect on Friday. Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois introduced those changes to last year's Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation. Durbin joins host Audie Cornish to explain why he thinks the legislation is important.
The Syrian government is continuing its brutal crackdown against protesters. For much of the past week, there have also been clashes between security forces and armed militants in the central town of Rastan and elsewhere. Most of those resisting the government with arms are thought to be defectors from the Syrian army. Host Audie Cornish talks with NPR's Deb Amos from Beirut, where she has been monitoring the Syrian crisis.
As the field of Republican presidential candidates jostle against each other in straw polls and debates, there are rumors that the field is not done growing. This past week, the Republican governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, was in the spotlight. Headlines were written about his potential to run for the highest office in the land, but in the end, he left things more than ambiguous.
NPR's media correspondent, David Folkenflik, has this advice for journalists: Don't ask political figures if they're running for president.
Detroit is a surprisingly green landscape during the spring and summer months. The site of many houses that are crumbling, boarded up or missing altogether is tempered by community gardens and even some urban farms.
There are some serious urban gardeners in this country, but few can match the agricultural output of Paul Weertz.
"I farm about 10 acres in the city, and alfalfa's my thing. I bale about a thousand bales a year," he says.
On each Sept. 30, the nation wraps up its old budget, and on Oct. 1, it starts a fresh spending cycle. Or at least, that's what is supposed to happen.
But once again, Oct. 1 has come and gone, and the country still has no formal budget in place. Instead, Congress last week approved a stopgap funding bill to keep the government operating temporarily, just as it has done time and again since the 1970s.
Originally published on Sun October 2, 2011 8:28 am
This year, the annual budget fight has become especially muddled. That's because Congress and the White House are actually engaged in three different, but related, budget debates that are going on simultaneously.
Ultimately, the three battles involve just one question: How much money should government take in and spend? But the separate tracks involve different time horizons, and each problem has to be resolved in a different way.
Here is a fresh look at the three ongoing budget battles:
Voters in West Virginia will choose the state's next governor on Tuesday, in a special election to finish the term of Democrat Joe Manchin. The popular former governor left office after being elected to the U.S. Senate last November.
On the ballot are the man who has been acting governor, Democratic state Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin, and GOP businessman Bill Maloney.
But Republicans are trying to make the race a referendum on someone not on the ballot: President Obama.
After many awful seasons this year's Detroit Lions are — can you believe it — undefeated. To add to the glory, each of the Detroit car makers is showing signs of health with increased quality and profitability. It's long-awaited good news for a city that's been through bad times.
There's no denying that Detroit has had an image problem for quite a while. A whole cottage industry has sprung up over the years with many people from all walks trying to help turn that image around.