I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Summer is the time when many people decide to take that trip they've been putting off to visit distant relatives, introduce the kids and maybe even bring home some business. Presidents are no different. President Obama and his family are in Africa now. It'll be the longest visit to Africa of his presidency and has been much anticipated on the continent, after his barely 24-hour visit to just one country, Ghana, in his first term.
NPR's Ron Elving and Ken Rudin discuss the landmark rulings by the Supreme Court on two same-sex marriage cases and another involving the 1965 Voting Rights Act. All those rulings came by way of narrow 5-to-4 margins. Also: Massachusetts Rep. Ed Markey's (D) special election victory. Markey's 36 years in the U.S. House is the longest anyone has served before being elected to the U.S. Senate.
Alabama civil rights leaders say they'll be creative as they plan ways to protest the Supreme Court decision to throw out part of the landmark Voting Rights Act.
Speaking at a news conference on the Capitol steps in Montgomery on Thursday, Democratic state Sen. Hank Sanders of Selma urged Alabama residents to participate in an Aug. 24 recreation of the March on Washington.
He also encouraged local protests of the ruling, which black leaders say pushes back gains made since the 1960s.
A federal judge says he will decide Friday whether to temporarily block a new Alabama law that requires doctors at abortion clinics to have approval to admit patients to a nearby hospital.
U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson heard arguments from attorneys on both sides Thursday. He said he will decide Friday whether to issue a temporary restraining order because the law is supposed to go into effect Monday.
This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene. Good morning. Well, now that summer is officially here, we thought this might be a good time to check in with some of our colleagues to find out how the federal budget cuts known as sequestration are playing out. These cuts went into effect in the spring, and it is becoming clear that some federal agencies and programs are feeling the brunt, while others have largely escaped.
One leader for whom immigration has always been an issue is Antonio Villaraigosa, the mayor of Los Angeles. He steps down this weekend, after two terms in office. He's the city's first Latino mayor in over a century, a local boy born in East L.A., far from the L.A. that dreams are made of. He joined us here at NPR West to talk about his time leading the second-largest city in the country. Good morning.
MAYOR ANTONIO VILLARAIGOSA: Good morning to you, Renee.
The Senate passed a sweeping immigration overhaul bill Thursday with bipartisan support. The legislation, passed by a vote of 68 to 32, would put millions in the country illegally on a path to citizenship and vastly expand border security.
The Senate's "Gang of Eight" on the immigration overhaul legislation became a gang of 68 when all was said and done Thursday.
And that number is important, especially to the senators. Supporters of the immigration bill in the Democratic-controlled Senate have said a strong bipartisan Senate vote for the legislation would put enough pressure on the House to force it to take up comprehensive legislation.
If the Senate couldn't get to 70 votes, the thinking went, nearing that mark could give an immigration overhaul unstoppable momentum in Congress.
Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 12:10 pm
Changing its story. Walking it back. Clarifying.
Whatever you call it, the IRS inspector general now has a different account of what investigators knew about the ideologies of the groups that underwent extra scrutiny as they sought tax-exempt status.
Inspector General J. Russell George explained in a letter released Thursday morning that investigators knew all along "progressives" were listed in documents used by IRS agents to screen applications.
An irony of therecent Texas political theater: Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis' filibuster aimed at stopping anti-abortion legislation raised not only her profile but that of Republican Gov. Rick Perry.
Shortly after Davis' talkathon ran out the clock on a bill that would potentially have made abortions much harder for women in Texas to obtain after 20 weeks of pregnancy, Perry put himself back in the national headlines.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel. In Senegal today, President Obama had a full schedule: a visit to the presidential palace, a news conference, meetings with Supreme Court justices from around Africa, and a tour of a slave port. Through it all, the president kept returning to themes of equality and human rights, as NPR's Ari Shapiro reports from Dakar.