The U.S. Senate's opening prayer on Thursday was delivered by the Dalai Lama — in his words, "a simple Buddhist monk."
The Tibetan spiritual leader has been in the U.S. for several weeks and his itinerary has included a White House meeting with President Obama, over the strong objections of China. As The Associated Press puts it:
Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 12:59 pm
The Central Intelligence Agency and one of the congressional panels that oversees its work, the Senate Intelligence Committee, are in what looks to be an increasingly bitter battle over just who's been behaving improperly.
McClatchyDC and The New York Times have been rolling out stories this week about claims that the CIA may have been monitoring the work of the committee's staffers in recent years and that some of those congressional aides may have left CIA headquarters with classified documents that shouldn't leave that secure facility.
The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), the annual gathering of conservatives which is part pep rally, part trade show, part revival meeting and part political cattle call, rolls into Washington this week.
As the 2014 version gets underway, one of the major questions hanging over the event is this: how much juice does the Tea Party still have?
The government is often dismissed as nothing but paper-shuffling bureaucrats, but in reality, there's a lot less paper being shuffled these days. Far fewer copies of the federal budget came off government presses this week, just one example of how Washington is trying to wean itself off paper and to online distribution of information.
Of course, this being Washington, this is not without controversy, as NPR's Brian Naylor reports.
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A handful of Senate Democrats joined Republicans yesterday to defeat President Obama's choice to head the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division.
Debo Adegbile is a civil rights lawyer who once helped handle the appeal of a cop killer. He nomination forced a tough choice upon Democrats: Vote yes and infuriate law enforcement groups - or vote no and anger minority voters.
Now a view of the president's national initiative from a man whose long worked with young men of color at the local level, Malik Washington. He's acting executive director of the William Killebrew Foundation based here in Washington, D.C.
President Obama may be the standard bearer of the Democratic Party, but his unpopularity in some parts of the country means there are certain places on the campaign trail where it's best for him to stay away.
Enter former President Clinton, who can go where Obama fears to tread.
Debo Adegbile, special counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, speaks with the media outside the Supreme Court in Feb. 2013 after presenting arguments in the Shelby County, Ala., v. Holder voting rights case.
In a stinging blow to the Obama administration, seven Senate Democrats joined with Republicans Wednesday to block one of the president's key civil rights nominees.
The 47 to 52 vote marked the first defeat of a Democratic nominee since lawmakers changed Senate rules to make it easier to push through judges and executive branch candidates. And it came after a clash that pit powerful law enforcement interests against the civil rights community.
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Now, a remarkable hearing on Capitol Hill today that ended with its Republican chairman shutting off the microphones. The hearing was part of a House Republican probe alleging the IRS unfairly scrutinized conservative groups seeking tax exempt status. As NPR's Peter Overby reports, the IRS official who was called to testify today refused.
In New Mexico, the nation's only nuclear waste dump is closed. It's been several weeks since radioactive material was detected in the air at the site. As NPR's Geoff Brumfiel reports, the incident is shaping up to be yet another setback in the quest to find a home for America's nuclear waste.
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And I'm Melissa Block. We begin this hour on Capitol Hill, where the secretary of Defense and chairman of the Joint Chiefs were grilled today by lawmakers. The Pentagon leaders appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee to defend the proposed cuts in military spending. The cuts are outlined in budget President Obama sent to Congress yesterday.