Politics & Government

Politics
3:34 am
Wed April 3, 2013

Outrage Alone Won't Advance Gun Control Measures

President Obama urged Congress to take action on measures to protect children from gun violence while speaking in the East Room of the White House last week. Standing with Obama are Vice President Joe Biden and, according to the White House, law enforcement officials, victims of gun violence and others, whom the White House did not want to name.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 7:42 am

President Obama is trying to regain some traction for federal gun control measures by visiting states that are moving forward on their own.

On Wednesday, the president speaks in Colorado, where lawmakers recently passed a series of bills requiring background checks for all gun purchases and limiting the size of ammunition magazines.

Obama would like to see similar measures adopted nationwide. But if Colorado serves as an inspiration for the president, it also provides a cautionary tale.

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Abortion Rally
5:17 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Rally Against Abortion Clinic Bill Draws 200

A rally at the capitol today drew both protestors and supporters of an abortion clinic regulation bill.
Credit Julie Bennett / al.com

A rally to defeat a bill that would impose restrictive rules for Alabama's abortion clinics drew advocates to the Statehouse steps on Tuesday.


Organizers from Planned Parenthood and several Democratic legislators spoke to a crowd of about 200 people urging defeat of HB57. Several speakers asserted that by imposing more restrictions on women's health clinics, the legislature is attempting to limit access to constitutionally guaranteed abortion care.

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School Safety Bill
5:07 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Bill To Allow Armed School Volunteers Re-Filed

A bill to allow armed school volunteers in Franklin County schools has been re-filed.

A school superintendent visited the Alabama Statehouse to plead for passage of a re-filed bill that would allocate state funds for armed guards in his schools.


Franklin County Schools Superintendent Gary Williams Tuesday expressed fear that students who are familiar with guns will come to school armed for protection. He says school officials are anxious because the district's rural schools in northwest Alabama are about 30 minutes from sheriff's officials.

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Chapman's Future
5:01 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Ala. Sec. Of State Won't Run In 2014

Secretary of State Beth Chapman won't seek office in 2014.
Credit sos.alabama.gov

Alabama Secretary of State Beth Chapman says she won't seek any position in next year's election and will take a sabbatical from elective office.


Chapman has served two terms in her current office and could not seek a third term. She had been mentioned as a contender for higher office, possibly including governor, but she said Tuesday she wants to take a break to pursue entrepreneurial ideas and business opportunities. She said she will support Republican Gov. Robert Bentley for re-election.

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It's All Politics
4:38 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Reality Often Rivals Fiction In Political Corruption Scandals

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara outlines corruption charges against several New York politicians on Tuesday.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 5:22 pm

The federal criminal complaint against New York politicians arrested after an FBI sting was a reminder of how often real-life political scandals can read like the imaginings of Hollywood screenwriters.

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Politics
4:03 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Politically-Appointed Ambassadors May Not Be As Effective

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 1:23 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

President Obama is reported to be considering Caroline Kennedy for ambassador to Japan. She would succeed a political appointee in Tokyo, a Silicon Valley lawyer and donor to the Obama campaign. For Britain, Bloomberg News and others report that the Obama campaign finance chair, Matthew Barzun, is the leading candidate. A hedge fund manager, evidently, has the inside track on France. This is an old tradition of generous donors getting plum embassy assignments. And we wondered how it looks these days to career diplomats.

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It's All Politics
3:02 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Daughter Of Former Fla. Sen. Bob Graham Running For Congress

Gwen Graham, a lawyer and administrator in the Leon County, Fla., school district, says she'll seek the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican Rep. Steve Southerland next year.
Gwen Graham For U.S. Congress

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 3:37 pm

The daughter of Florida political legend Bob Graham has announced she will run for Congress next year, taking on incumbent Republican Steve Southerland.

Gwen Graham, a lawyer and administrator in the Leon County school district, made the announcement Tuesday morning. "It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that Congress is a dysfunctional mess," Graham wrote on her campaign website.

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It's All Politics
2:29 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Seeking Forgiveness And A House Seat, Sanford Again Faces GOP Voters

Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford faces former Charleston County Councilman Curtis Bostic in the GOP primary runoff Tuesday. The winner will represent Republicans in a May 7 special election for a U.S. House seat.
Bruce Smith AP

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 9:23 am

Update at 8:41 p.m. ET Sanford Wins Runoff

Former Gov. Mark Sanford, whose political career was derailed four years ago by his admission of an extramarital affair, has won the GOP nomination for the U.S. House seat he once held, reports The Associated Press. Note at 8:10 a.m. Wednesday: Sanford won with about 57 percent of the vote. (We mistakenly said earlier that he won "by" about 57 percent.)

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Africa
10:40 am
Tue April 2, 2013

President Koroma: Sierra Leone's Beaches Make It Place To Visit

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 11:57 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. We know that a lot of students are still on spring break this week but what better time to take a step back and think about higher education? Today we meet the president of Simmons College, which is a college for women in the Boston area, and we'll hear about her thoughts about women leadership and education.

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The Two-Way
10:13 am
Tue April 2, 2013

New York Politicians Accused In Plot To Sell GOP Spot In NYC Mayoral Race

New York State Sen. Malcolm Smith (D)
New York State Senate Reuters /Landov

New York State Sen. Malcolm Smith, a Democrat, was led from his Queens home in handcuffs Tuesday morning after being arrested for allegedly trying to buy his way on to the Republican ticket in this year's New York City mayoral election.

Also arrested Tuesday: City Councilman Daniel Halloran, a Republican, and four other local politicians (also Republicans) from the New York metropolitan area, who stand accused of conspiring with Smith.

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The Two-Way
9:25 am
Tue April 2, 2013

Obama Says $100 Million Will Be Invested In Brain-Mapping Initiative

Mauricio Lima AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 12:11 pm

Adding some details to an initiative he announced during his latest State of the Union address, President Obama on Tuesday said that federal agencies plan to spend $100 million to jump start an effort to map the human brain. It's research that could lead to breakthroughs in the treatment and prevention of brain disorders.

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2013 Legislative Session
6:55 am
Tue April 2, 2013

Alabama Legislature Back From Spring Break

The Alabama Legislature is returning from its spring break and beginning the second half of its 2013 session.

The House Ways and Means-Education Committee has scheduled a public hearing on the state education budget for Tuesday morning. The House has a proposed work agenda Tuesday afternoon that includes a bill to legalize home brewing of beer and wine.

It's All Politics
2:25 am
Tue April 2, 2013

Judicial Vacancies Languish On Key Federal Appeals Court

President Obama last month withdrew the nomination of Caitlin J. Halligan to the federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., after her nomination was blocked by Senate Republicans.
Jim McKnight AP

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 6:42 am

The federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., is sometimes called the second most important court in the country, regularly delivering the final word on major environmental, labor and national security cases.

But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has a whopping four vacancies, the most in the nation, including one opening that dates all the way back to 2005, when John Roberts moved to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Politics
4:12 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Bipartisan Group Of Senators Could Have Immigration Bill Drafted By Next Week

Originally published on Mon April 1, 2013 4:17 pm

Senators negotiating an overhaul of immigration laws turned to labor and business leaders to devise a new plan for guest workers, but not all of them are ready to commit to the plan those leaders have worked out.

Economy
4:11 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Stockton Bankruptcy Case Defers Decision On Pensions

An aging sign at City Hall in Stockton, Calif. A judge has ruled that the city is eligible for federal bankruptcy protection.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 1, 2013 7:41 pm

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Klein ruled Monday on the most important question facing Stockton, Calif. — whether it could enter into federal bankruptcy protection.

Klein agreed that the city is, in fact, broke.

But he didn't decide the question of whether the city must renegotiate its pension obligations, as some of its creditors had hoped.

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