On Thursday, the Senate passed a historic rules change. Invoking the so-called "nuclear option," Senate Democrats used a rare parliamentary procedure to limit the power of the filibuster — a key method often used by minority parties to check the majority. Now, a simple majority vote will be required to confirm presidential nominees, rather than the 60-vote super-majority once necessary to bypass the filibuster.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, Grammy award-winning musician Esperanza Spalding gets political with her new song. We'll talk to her about her battle to close Guantanamo in just a few minutes.
Now we take a moment to highlight and salute another artist. Jazz-great Arturo Sandoval received the Presidential Medal of Freedom this week from President Obama. Sandoval was born and raised in Cuba, where he was once jailed just for listening to jazz music. So he packed up his trumpet and moved to the United States. A country he says gave him the freedom to fill the air with his music. Here's what the president said about him at the ceremony.
Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 6:54 pm
Some cars are meant to be beautiful; some cars are meant to serve a purpose. The makers of the Youabian Puma say their car was created with one goal: "to stand out and be unique." And that's what they've done, as dozens of howling headlines attest.
Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 11:08 am
School lunch has never been the stuff of foodie dreams. I'm still haunted by the memory of my elementary school cafeteria's "brain pizza" – a lumpy oval thing topped with fleshy white strips of barely melted mozzarella that clumped together like neurons.
And it looks like America's school cafeterias are still turning out the culinary abominations, judging by the images on Fed Up, a fascinating online project showcasing school lunch photos submitted by students across the country.
In Norway, it's "Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve, all of the great days" rolled into one: That's because 22-year-old Magnus Carlsen has beaten the defending champion, India's Viswanathan Anand, to be crowned chess world champion.
The world No. 1's victory Friday over Anand, the world No. 8 and an Indian fan favorite, came after 10 games in Chennai, India. Carlsen won three and drew seven, and earned the highest rating of all time with the 6.5-3.5 win.
Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 7:56 pm
The Obama administration confirmed early Friday afternoon that starting next year, it plans to push back the start of enrollment for coverage under the new health care law by one month.
NPR's Julie Rovner tells us via Twitter that White House spokesman Jay Carney says the Department of Health and Human Services "has indicated its intent to shift the 2015 marketplace schedule by one month."
Retailers have used various techniques to analyze in-store buying behavior, such as surveys, video surveillance, and buyer reward programs. Some stores have been tapping into the technology in smartphones to track shoppers' actions. New York Times reporter Quentin Hardy discusses how they're doing this and what information they can gather.