Originally published on Wed October 12, 2011 12:53 pm
Saying "it's time we know the whole truth" about the so-called Fast and Furious gun trafficking operation, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee today followed through on his promise to issue subpoenas to Attorney General Eric Holder and other high-ranking Justice Department officials.
Better medical care and equipment means fewer troops are dying on the battlefield. But more troops are coming home severely wounded, with injuries that require lifelong care and cost millions of dollars in medical costs.
Originally published on Wed October 12, 2011 8:48 am
When it comes to meeting the goal of getting more local food into school lunch, a major challenge has always been finding the money. Thanks to the new school lunch law, more federal grants than ever are available.
But the problem is bigger than money. It takes a serious supply chain and dedicated labor to make it work, too.
In an interview for Wednesday's Morning Edition, Bill Adair, editor of PolitiFact.com and Washington bureau chief for the St. Petersburg Times, talked with NPR's Steve Inskeep about how candidates at Tuesday night's GOP debate rated on PolitiFact's Truth-O-Meter.
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is this hour pleading guilty to attempting to blow up a Detroit-bound passenger jet on Christmas Day 2009.
The Detroit Free Press, which is live-blogging the court action, reports that attorney Anthony Chambers surprised the courtroom earlier by announcing that "his client plans to plead guilty." And it adds that:
Originally published on Wed October 12, 2011 2:23 pm
Mitt Romney continued his dogged, incremental pursuit of the White House, dominating the GOP presidential debate on the economy Tuesday night. The man once touted as his most formidable opponent was barely a factor.
Originally published on Wed October 12, 2011 3:14 pm
The focus remains on "Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India," where millions of BlackBerry users are without text services for a third straight day, Reuters reports, but there's word now that the problems are also affecting folks in North America.
Humanitarian groups are increasingly worried about the looming budget cuts in U.S. foreign assistance. They argue that lives are at stake, literally, in places like the Horn of Africa, which is suffering its worst drought in decades.
Raising public and private money for that has been a challenge in the current economic environment.
Hollywood stars and politicians have resorted to using the F word — in this case Famine — to get the attention of Americans about the humanitarian emergency in Somalia.
As political unrest and a government crackdown in Syria continue to simmer, more than 7,500 Syrian refugees have fled to camps in southeastern Turkey, and Syrians say many more would come if they could get past the Syrian army.
One of these camps, Altinozu, lies deep in the farm fields of Turkey's Hatay province. It appears to be well-planned and well-run, right down to the asphalt laid between the rows of white tents.
On a weekend in East L.A., kids do what they do anywhere else — play games, hang out in restaurants. But in this immigrant neighborhood, many of them have grown-up responsibilities. Fifteen-year-old Gonzalo Cruz says his parents depend on him for help online.
"When they need to look up a place, like a doctor's appointment, I show them," Cruz says. "Computers right now, in our country, they're just English. You have to use them a certain way, and they didn't learn to do that when they were little."
Thirteen year-old Cassandra Flores helps her parents pay bills online.
Richard Larrick has been bothered by something for two decades.
"Twenty years ago, I'd done a paper with some graduate students just showing that in hotter temperatures, pitchers are more likely to hit batters with pitches," says Larrick, a professor at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.
Was it because they would sweat more, and the ball might get slippery and hard to control? Or was it something intentional?
Football is real big. Everybody knows that. But it is getting bigger. Football is now gigantic, monstrous, humongous. Sure, it was years ago that it passed baseball as our most popular sport, but by now it simply looms alone above the American sportscape.
A Pakistani court has decided to hear the appeal of the confessed-killer Mumtaz Qadri, who was sentenced to death this month for killing the Governor of Punjab earlier this year. The court's decision means that Qadri's death sentence has been suspended, until the high court rules on the appeal.
From Islamabad, NPR's Julie McCarthy reports that hundreds of his supporters rallied outside the courthouse, saying Qadri killed in support of Pakistan's blasphemy laws:
Originally published on Tue October 11, 2011 9:49 pm
Iran and Saudi Arabia have a bitter rivalry that plays out on many fronts, and in a bombshell allegation by the U.S. government on Tuesday, it looks like that feud has come to the United States.
Iran's alleged assassination plot against Adel al-Jubeir, Saudi's ambassador to Washington, is not likely to prompt the Obama administration to take military action against Iran, according to analysts.
A modified version of President Obama's jobs bill will face its first test this afternoon, when the Senate votes on whether to take up the legislation. Obama has been on a nation-wide campaign to sell his bill the American public, but it seems unlikely to get the 60 votes necessary to move it forward in the Senate.
The New York Times reports that Obama said if he doesn't get the votes, the president will try to move it through the chambers in a piece-meal manner:
Originally published on Tue October 11, 2011 4:41 pm
Update at 6:29 p.m. ET. With a 63-35 vote, the Senate passed a controversial bill that seeks to curb what lawmakers see as a Chinese advantage based on the country's manipulation of its currency.
The bill is mostly symbolic, because the House has said it will not move on its version of the bill until the White House expresses its opinion. The White House has said it is worried about whether the bill might violate international trade rules.
It was quite the scene at a Kiev court this afternoon: While a Ukranian judge handed a 7-year jail sentence to country's former prime minister and opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko, she turned to reporters and started talking.
As the AP reports, Tymoshenko called the trial a "lynching" and accused the current president Viktor Yanukovych of instigating it:
Originally published on Tue October 11, 2011 8:08 pm
The Justice Department said Tuesday it had foiled a plot directed by elements in the Iranian government who sought to assassinate Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the U.S.
Attorney General Eric Holder said two men, Manssor Arbabsiar and Gholam Shakuri, have been accused in connection with the alleged plot. Authorities said they had planned a bombing to kill the Saudi ambassador, Adel al-Jubeir.
Eating too much, rather than not enough, is the big health problem for most Americans. Yet, many of us take a supplement or vitamin in the hope of staving off illness with big doses of particular nutrients.
A new study shows that might not be such a great idea. Use of many common supplements — iron, in particular — appeared to increase the risk of dying, and only calcium supplements appeared to reduce mortality risk. The increased risk amounted to a few percentage points in most instances.
Ever since President Obama proposed his $447 billion jobs bill in a joint address to Congress last month, he has been campaigning for it nonstop. He has whipped up crowds all across America who chant: "Pass this bill!"
It contains a variety of measures to fight unemployment — everything from tax breaks for businesses to extended benefits for the jobless. But despite the campaigning, the Senate is expected to kill the proposal Tuesday on a procedural vote.
Jonathan Cowan of the centrist Democratic group Third Way says that's no big deal — it was always a long shot.
Originally published on Tue October 18, 2011 9:46 am
The AP, along with several other news sources including Al Arabiya and Haaretz, are reporting that Israel and Hamas have reached a prisoner-swap deal that will free Israeli Sgt. Gilad Schalit and hundreds of Palestinian prisoners.
Schalit, if you remember, was captured by Palestinian militants in 2006 and his father, Noam, has led a popular effort to free him.
Worldwide tuberculosis cases are declining annually for the first time, according to a report just out from the World Health Organization. Deaths from the disease have also sunk to the lowest level in a decade.