While campaigning to become Kansas' secretary of state, Kris Kobach held a press conference to make the case for a photo ID requirement at the polls. In his argument, he noted that a man named Alfred K. Brewer, who died in 1996, had voted in the 2010 primary.
There was just one problem with that: Brewer wasn't dead.
Shortly after the press conference, Brewer's wife received a call regarding her husband's "passing."
"And she says, 'Well, why do you want to talk to me? He's out raking leaves,'" Brewer says.
A new New York Times-CBS News poll shows President Obama with an approval rating of 43 percent. That, and other tough news for the president have prompted at least one major Democratic voice, James Carville, to call for a round of White House firings. Weekends on All Things Considered Guy Raz speaks with James Fallows of The Atlantic about what Obama needs to do to right the ship.
Across the country, a group of education administrators, known as regional superintendents, are seeing their budgets shrink. These administrators are involved in providing services like teacher certification and other support for school districts. In Illinois, the state's 44 regional superintendents have been working without pay since the governor zeroed out their funding in July. Maria Altman of St. Louis Public Radio reports that the issue of whether or not these officials are needed at all is coming to a head.
Former Yale track star Sam Fox is trying to break the record for running the entire length of the Pacific Crest Trail all the way from Canada to Mexico. But, as Dave Iverson from member station KQED in San Francisco reports, this long distance challenge is about more than just the record books.
After another week of financial turmoil in Europe, there was little hope that the Eurozone debt crisis is any closer to being resolved. NPR's Eric Westervelt in Berlin and Sylvia Poggioli in Athens join host Scott Simon to discuss how northern and southern Europeans differ in their attitudes to the debt crisis in Europe.
Former Marine Sgt. Dakota Meyer, who was awarded the Medal of Honor this week, had one simple request. He wanted to have a beer with the president. So they sat down with a pint of White House Honey Ale, the first beer made at the White House. Apparently, when the Obama's moved in, they brought beer-making with them.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.
The world comes to New York next week for the annual gathering of the U.N. General Assembly. This year's meeting is going to feature a diplomatic showdown. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced yesterday that he'll seek Palestinian statehood through the Security Council, a move the United States has said it would veto. NPR's foreign correspondent Lourdes Garcia-Navarro joins us from Jerusalem.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. At least three people died, and more than 50 were injured, at an air show in Nevada late yesterday afternoon. A plane participating in the Reno Air Races crashed into a group of spectators, and the scene was horrific. From Reno Public Radio, Brandon Rittiman reports.
New Jersey's Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights, considered by many as the toughest legislation against bullying in the nation, went into effect this month. Host Scott Simon talks with Emily Bazelon of Slate Magazine about bullying laws, where they're working and where they're headed (hint: the Supreme Court).
After more than three decades of peace between Israel and Egypt, relations are fraying. A cross-border attack last month left five Egyptian police officers dead. Protesters last weekend stormed Israel's embassy. This week, most Israeli diplomats fled Egypt. Things have gotten so bad that Egypt's prime minister this week said even the 1979 peace treaty wasn't sacred. NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson joins host Scott Simon from Cairo to talk about the latest there.
Tuesday the government's annual poverty and income report revealed that the earnings of male workers in the middle of the income ladder are lower today than they were almost 40 years ago.
In 1973 the median male worker earned just over $49,000 when adjusted for inflation, while in 2010 that worker made about $1,500 less. Yet, in the same period, the output of the economy has more than doubled, and the productivity of workers has risen steadily.
When Hurricane Irene tore through the Northeast last month, it caused severe flooding and damage to homes, trees and power lines. But it also left behind something rather delicate â€” mushrooms.
Foragers say they've seen more fungi in the past few weeks than ever before.
On a recent weekday morning in Northampton, Mass., three 50-something adults wander into the woods. The oak leaves fall alongside the pine needles, and the tall maple trees are just starting to show color.
In the netherworld of the batture between the levee and the Mississippi River near New Orleans, there is a small community built on stilts. Locals call them "camps": a dozen eccentric structures â€” some rundown, some handsome, all handmade â€” clinging to the river side of the great dike.
One man has been fighting for years to claim this land, which he says belongs to his family, but those living on the batture don't seem too worried about losing their homes.
It's the time of year when world leaders converge at the United Nations headquarters in New York. And this year, there will be a lot of talk about multilateral diplomacy â€” a priority for the Obama administration since it came to office.
Obama's team has courted the world's rising powers, even publicly backing India's hopes to one day be a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council. But now that India, along with South Africa and Brazil, have rotating seats on the council, U.S. officials and many human rights activists complain they're not living up to expectations.
Women inseminated with a donor's sperm used to be advised to tell no one. Go home, doctors said, make love to your husband and pretend that worked. But in a trend that mirrors that of adoption â€” from secrecy to openness â€” more parents now do plan to tell such children how they were conceived and are seeking advice on how best to do that.
Tina Gulbrandson understands the temptation of secrecy. She felt stigma and pain when she needed to use another woman's eggs to get pregnant.
Last year economist Lakshman Achuthan said he thought the United States had emerged from the depths of a recession, but today the picture looks a bit more grim. Unemployment is hovering above 9 percent and there were no new jobs created in August. On top of that, consumer confidence is at its second-lowest level of the year.
"We are skating on very thin ice," Achuthan tells Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered.
Some New York cab drivers have complained that the companies they work for were putting racy ads â€” for strip clubs, for example â€” on their cars. And those ads were embarrassing and tested their ethical and religious beliefs.
Yesterday, the city's Taxi and Limousine Commission voted unanimously to allow cab drivers who own their cars to veto the ads put on top of their vehicles.
Originally published on Fri September 16, 2011 4:17 pm
"Hacktivists" are hitting the streets.
The cyberguerrilla group Anonymous â€” known for high-profile computer attacks on corporate and government targets â€” is urging its followers to come out from behind their PCs on Saturday and occupy Wall Street.
The aim: an Arab Spring-style protest over the "abuse and corruption of corporations, banks and governments."
Time was when it took a fair amount of expertise to launch the kinds of illegal computer attacks that have become the hallmarks of "hacktivist" groups like Anonymous.
Today, just about anyone can download user-friendly software capable of crippling websites. One such tool is LOIC [Low Orbit Ion Cannon], which was used in Anonymous' attack on MasterCard, Visa and other companies late last year.
It's rumored that the group will release another weapon, called #RefRef, on Saturday.
One of the most popular sports in Ireland is the rough contact game of hurling.
It was created by ancient Celtic warriors, and now it's found a niche following among some soldiers in the U.S. A group of National Guardsmen in New Hampshire formed a hurling team to stay in shape after Middle East deployments.
Statistics released today by the Justice Department show that the number of violent crimes in the country continued their downward trend, dropping a surprising 12 percent in 2010.
The AP reports:
The Bureau of Justice Statistics reported there were 3.8 million violent crimes last year, down from 4.3 million in 2009. Experts aren't sure why. The expectation had been that crime would increase in a weak economy with high unemployment like that seen in 2010.
The Davis-Monthan Air Force base in Tucson, Ariz. is on lockdown. The AP, as well as local news outlets, report the Air Force base has confirmed that it has stepped up security, but it refused to give details of the situation.
The AP reports:
Senior Airman Timothy Dunaway says traffic has been reduced to a single point entry but he refused to elaborate.
He says the Sonoran Science Academy on the base is on lockdown.
The most dramatic moment of the GOP debate in Florida last Monday revolved around Gov. Rick Perry and his 2007 executive order mandating that all 11- and 12-year-old girls in Texas get the HPV vaccine. The human papillomavirus vaccine protects women and teens against a sexually transmitted disease that causes cervical cancer.
During the debate, presidential candidate Michele Bachmann called Perry's executive order an example of crony capitalism.