Politics & Government

Politics & Government
8:18 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Study: Ala. Crime Reports Down 5 Percent in 2012

A new report says the number of crimes in Alabama fell 5% last year.
blog.al.com

A new report from the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center says property crimes in Alabama decreased in 2012, but violent crimes increased.

   The center's annual "Crime in Alabama" report says Alabama had a 5 percent decrease in the total number of crimes reported in 2012.

   The state saw a 10 percent decrease in property crimes from the prior year, including an 11 percent decrease in burglary and a 10 percent decrease in motor vehicle theft. Larceny/theft was down 3 percent.

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Politics
4:18 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Congress Sends Student Loan Bill To Obama

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 5:01 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

After a long political fight, Congress has passed a compromise on student loans. The bill is now waiting for President's Obama signature, just in time for students entering classes this fall.

As NPR's Ailsa Chang reports, the legislation will lower student interest rates in the short term, but those rates are expected to rise.

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NPR Story
3:49 am
Thu August 1, 2013

For Once, Congress Plans To Go On Recess Without A Meltdown

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 9:23 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning. This is likely the last day the Senate will be in session until mid-September. Tomorrow members of the House will lave town as well. They're heading out for their August recess with none of the frantic legislative scrambles and deal making that typically end a summer session. Instead, lawmakers seem to be saving their strength for epic battles when they get back. Here's NPR's David Welna.

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Business
2:02 am
Thu August 1, 2013

As Back-To-School Shopping Begins, Consumers May Turn Frugal

Chris Viehland helps her daughter Jenna try on shoes for the new school year at a Famous Footwear store in Fenton, Mo., Aug. 9, 2012.
Christian Gooden MCT/Landov

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 5:01 pm

As August begins, retailers are stepping up sales promotions to attract back-to-school shoppers. And several states are offering tax-free shopping to encourage purchases.

But most economists say this year's sales will be slower than last summer's because consumers have been coping with more expensive gasoline and higher payroll taxes.

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It's All Politics
6:43 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Obama's Fed Pick Quandary: What Does It Mean For His Legacy?

Janet Yellen, vice chairwoman of the Federal Reserve, is under consideration to become the first woman to lead the Fed. President Obama reportedly is likely to choose between Yellen and former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers.
Franck Robichon EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 8:56 am

Of all the legacies presidents leave behind, few are as important — yet as poorly understood in the moment — as their picks for chairman of the Federal Reserve.

Paul Volcker, credited with taming double-digit inflation through backbreaking high interest rates that contributed to the recession of the early 1980s, was among President Jimmy Carter's most consequential appointments.

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The Two-Way
6:30 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

House Votes To Cut Student Loan Rate, Sends Bill To Obama

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 7:08 pm

The Republican-controlled House on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved a bipartisan bill to cut the cost of borrowing for federal student loans, sending the measure to President Obama for his signature.

The bill, which had easily passed the Democratic-controlled Senate last week, would retroactively cut higher rates — which on July 1 had jumped to at least 6.8 percent.

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It's All Politics
5:05 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

As His Campaign Craters, Weiner Picks Fight Over Flight

Anthony Weiner listens to a question from the media after courting voters outside a Harlem subway station in May.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Back in the day, when Anthony Weiner was still a youthful Democratic representative from Brooklyn, before the dirty texts and the penis photos chased him from Washington, before his scrabbling, sinking campaign for New York City mayor, he strove to emulate his predecessor.

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Homes-Severe Weather
4:37 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Home Safety Money Available In 8 Alabama Counties

Gov. Robert Bentley announced hazard mitigation funds are now available for residents in eight Alabama to safeguard their homes from severe weather.
Credit The Associated Press

Residents in eight Alabama counties will have an opportunity to safeguard their homes from severe weather.

Gov. Robert Bentley said Wednesday that more than $900,000 in hazard mitigation funds is available in Baldwin, Covington, Dallas, Geneva, Mobile, Monroe, Perry and Pickens counties.

The funds are a result of the federal disaster declaration for Hurricane Isaac in 2012. People interested in applying should contact their county Emergency Management Agency office.

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Unlimited Campaign Contributions
4:20 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Alabama Campaign Contribution Cap Ends Thursday

Corporations can make unlimited contributions to Alabama candidates for state and local offices starting Thursday.
Credit 401K(2013) / Flickr

Starting Thursday, corporations can make unlimited contributions to Alabama candidates for state and local offices.


The Legislature passed a law to remove the $500 limit on corporate campaign contributions. A proponent of the law, Republican Rep. Mike Ball of Huntsville, said the cap didn't mean much because an attorney general's opinion allowed corporations to give $500 to a political action committee for every election in Alabama in one year. That meant a corporation could give several thousand dollars to a PAC, and it could give to multiple PACs.

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Politics
3:52 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

House Republicans Work To Keep IRS Scandal In The Spotlight

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 5:05 pm

Congressional Republicans are accusing the IRS of dodging their questions and requests for documents in the inquiry into the flagging of Tea Party groups seeking tax exempt status. One House committee warns the agency it could use its investigative powers to enforce compliance. And a second committee says it now has proof that conservative groups were treated worse than progressive groups.

Politics
3:52 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Obama Makes Rare Trip To The Hill For Closed-Door Meetings

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 5:05 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

President Obama rarely visits Capitol Hill, but today, he traveled down Pennsylvania Avenue to meet with House and Senate Democrats. He wanted to rally their support on a range of issues before Congress sets off on its long August recess. NPR congressional reporter Ailsa Chang joins us from the Capitol. And, Ailsa, meeting just with Democrats, no Republicans this time.

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Politics
12:28 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

As Summer Recess Looms, Congress Remains Inactive

Jonathan Weisman writes that the last week before the long summer recess is usually crunchtime for Congress, but it's "a sleepy time for the underachieving 113th."
Brendan Smialowski Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 1:20 pm

Friday is the last day before the 113th Congress scatters for their summer recess. And what has it accomplished so far? Almost nothing, says New York Times congressional correspondent Jonathan Weisman. As he points out in a recent article:

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Politics
10:46 am
Wed July 31, 2013

On The Eve Of Gay Marriage, Not All Of Minnesota Is Ready

Cathy ten Broeke speaks during a news conference last month at Minneapolis City Hall. She and her partner, Margaret Miles (right), along with Jeff Isaacson (back left) and his partner, Al Giraud (back right), are the first two same-sex couples Mayor R.T. Rybak (right) will marry in the City Hall rotunda on Aug. 1.
Jeff Baenen AP

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 12:53 pm

It's going to be a party in Minneapolis.

With gay marriages becoming legal in Minnesota on Thursday, courthouses in major cities across the state will be open after midnight to accommodate dozens of same-sex couples eager to tie the knot.

"It's good for our business," says Ron Stein, a jeweler in Minneapolis, where the mayor plans to conduct weddings for approximately 40 couples. "We've had orders already."

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Beauty Shop
10:32 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Do Women Have A Responsibility When Men Misbehave?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Health Care
10:32 am
Wed July 31, 2013

New Health Exchanges: What You Need To Know

On October 1st, online health insurance exchanges open up as part of the Affordable Care Act. Kaiser Health News' Mary Agnes Carey speaks to host Michel Martin about what will change, and how you can prepare for the roll-out.

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