Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 1:09 pm
We've all heard that drone strikes directed against al-Qaida and other militants have been on the rise, but now Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has put a number on deaths by U.S. unmanned aerial vehicle: 4,700.
Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, rattled off the death toll during a talk he gave to the Easley Rotary Club in Easley, S.C., Tuesday afternoon.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, another family is grieving in Chicago after another young person was killed by gun violence this past weekend. Today we're going to bring you some very blunt, powerful perspectives from young people affected by the violence that you might not have heard. This from our colleagues with the public radio program "This American Life." And that's coming up later in the program.
George Washington is depicted addressing the Constitutional Convention of 1787 in this painting by Junius Brutus Stearns. Presumably, no representative from Rhode Island is in the picture; Rhode Island boycotted the gathering and originally rejected the Constitution.
Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 10:37 am
Mississippi has received lots of attention this week for finally having ratified the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery. But the state is hardly alone in being slow about blessing some long-established national principle.
After a sufficient number of states have ratified an amendment, it can feel like a moot point for legislatures to give belated approval to laws that are already in effect.
Alabama's governor said the state stands to lose 24,000 jobs if automatic government spending cuts kick in on March 1.
Gov. Robert Bentley said the impact was calculated by the National Governors Association. It forecast the biggest impact in Alabama would be on defense-related jobs. Bentley said the Huntsville area would be the hardest hit.
Alabama residents buying supplies they need to make it through times of severe weather will not have to pay sales tax for certain items this weekend.
Gov. Robert Bentley said Wednesday people need to take advantage of the break from Alabama's sales tax to stock up on supplies such as battery-powered radios, weather radios, first aid kits, portable generators and plywood.
The holiday from sales tax will begin at 12:01 a.m. Friday and will run through the end of the day on Sunday.
Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 5:49 am
Florida Governor Rick Scott announced late Wednesday that he will expand Medicaid to an estimated 900,000 residents. The move is a surprise because the governor has previously been a vocal critic of President Obama's health care overhaul.
Gov. Robert Bentley and legislative leaders kept a promise Wednesday to enact legislation requiring the repayment of $437 million taken from a state trust fund to bolster state budgets.
Bentley signed a bill passed by the Legislature that mandates the repayment to the trust fund through annual appropriations concluding in 2026. The bill was the first passed by the Legislature in the current session.
Legislation that would allow city and county school systems to opt out of state education laws could come up for a final vote in the Senate next week.
A school flexibility bill cleared the House on Feb. 14 and was approved by the Senate Education Committee in a 5-3 vote Wednesday, with Republicans voting yes and Democrats voting no. A spokesman for Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh says the bill is a priority and could come up for a vote as early as Tuesday.
Gov. Robert Bentley says he's ready to sign whatever version of the bill the Legislature passes.
A House committee has approved a bill that would provide tax credits for rehabilitating historic structures or non-historic buildings that were built before 1936.
The House education budget committee approved the bill unanimously. The sponsor, Republican Sen. Victor Gaston of Mobile, told committee members it would encourage home and business owners to make improvements to historic structures.
Secretary of State John Kerry gave his first major foreign policy speech Wednesday at the University of Virginia. His comments come days before he leaves on his first trip as America's top diplomat. He's traveling to Europe and the Middle East.
Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., confer at the start of a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing last week on the appointments of military leaders. McCain and Graham have been among the Republicans pushing the Obama administration for answers about the Benghazi attack.