I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Later this hour, we will take a moment to remember a pioneering journalist and mentor, the irreplaceable Helen Thomas, who died over the weekend at the age of 92. Helen had a lifelong passion for politics and policy and for asking the political leaders the tough questions. But these days, many people have tough questions for our leaders in Washington, or one in particular, and that is, why can't the two political parties in Washington work together? Why can't they get anything done?
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley will hold a ceremonial signing ceremony for a bill that allows qualified emergency workers to vote by absentee ballot if they are called away from their homes to respond to an emergency immediately before an election.
Bentley has scheduled the ceremony for 10 a.m. Monday at the Circler of Flags at the Alabama Capitol. The bill passed the Legislature during the past session that ended in May.
While the GOP autopsy on the 2012 election talks explicitly about reaching out to women and minorities to expand the party, it does not get into detail about its Iowa problem. Specifically, the state GOP that begins the presidential nominating season is dominated by religious conservatives most resistant to a broader, more inclusive party message.
In these dog days of summer, a ceiling fan still offers an inexpensive way to cool down - except maybe in the nation's capital, Washington, D.C., where a partisan battle is heating up over efficiency standards proposed by the Obama administration. The Energy Department is in the early stages of crafting new rules to encourage the spread of ceiling fans that use less electricity, but House Republicans want to put that idea on ice. NPR's Scott Horsley reports.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., is fighting for her bill to curb sexual assaults in the military. Her measure would give independent military prosecutors, rather than commanders, the power to decide which cases should be tried in military court.
Military leaders fiercely oppose moving that authority outside the chain of command, arguing that commanders are responsible for the health and welfare of their soldiers. Removing their authority would undermine their ability to lead, they say.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling coalition has won a decisive election victory, extending its control to the upper house of parliament and setting the stage for the country's first stable government in years.
Based on exit polls, national broadcaster NHK predicts that Abe's Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner, New Komeito, will take 71 seats, giving them a total of 130 seats, eight more than needed for a majority in the chamber.
Another American who listened intently to President Obama's remarks Friday was linguist and commentator John McWhorter. He's written several books about race in America, including "Authentically Black: Essays for the Black Silent Majority." McWhorter says Mr. Obama's emphasis on the police and criminal justice hit an essential problem of black inequality in America.
As soon as he made his remarks on race Friday, President Obama was part of an intense conversation around the nation.
In dozens of cities across the country on Saturday, protesters held coordinated rallies and vigils over the not-guilty verdict in the shooting death of unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla. Many African-Americans insist that understanding the context for black distress over the Zimmerman verdict is key to honest discussions about race.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama's first execution in almost two years is scheduled for Thursday at Holman Prison in Atmore.
Court records show that 30-year-old Andrew Lackey asked the state to set his execution date, and he has not taken action to stop it.
Lackey is scheduled to die by lethal injection at Holman Prison in Atmore for the beating and shooting death of 80-year-old Charles Newman during a 2005 Halloween night robbery in Limestone County. Lackey is to be executed by lethal injection at 6 p.m. Thursday.
On Friday, President Obama spoke from the White House press briefing room about how George Zimmerman's acquittal is being seen through the lens of the African-American experience. Host Jacki Lyden speaks with James Fallows of The Atlantic about how unusual that moment was for a sitting U.S. president.