Politics & Government

Politics & Government
4:45 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Face To Face With Death In Iraq

Residents visit the tomb of a loved one at the New Kerbala cemetery in the holy city of Kerbala, Iraq, in 2007.
Mushtaq Muhammad Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 5:21 pm

On the 10th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, NPR is catching up with some of the people we encountered during the war. In 2006, at the height of the violence, we brought you the story of a woman who performed the Muslim ritual of washing and preparing the dead for burial. Kelly McEvers has this update on Um Abbas, who is now living in southern Iraq.

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Politics & Government
4:44 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

On Gun Ownership And Policy, 'A Country Of Chasms'

Gun enthusiast Paul Gwaltney at Blue Ridge Arsenal, in Chantilly, Va. Gwaltney, an NPR listener, agreed to host a discussion about guns with friends and colleagues.
Becky Lettenberger NPR

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 6:55 pm

The ideological gulf between gun owners and non-gun owners is a wide one — made all the more obvious by the ongoing debate over what, if any, gun control measures should be adopted in the U.S.

Sometimes, the debate feels like people are coming from different worlds, even for people within the same family. And while Americans are often willing to discuss their own views, it's rarer to hear conversations between people who own and love guns and those who do not.

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It's All Politics
4:43 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

NRA-Driven Gun Provisions Pass Along With Spending Bill

Customers shop for guns at Freddie Bear Sports sporting goods store in Tinley Park, Ill., in January. One of the gun provisions in the spending bill prevents the Justice Department from requiring gun dealers to conduct an inventory to see if guns are lost or stolen.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 5:32 pm

The House voted overwhelmingly Thursday to approve a temporary measure to keep the government funded through the end of September. Government shutdown averted.

But it turns out the continuing resolution didn't just address spending. It contains six measures that limit how federal agencies deal with guns.

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Politics & Government
4:00 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Italian Marines Accused Of Killing Fishermen Headed Back To India For Trial

A December 22, 2012, photograph of Italian marines Massimiliano Latorre (R) and Salvatore Girone (L) at Ciampino airport near Rome.
Vincenzo Pinto AFP/Getty Images

Two Italian marines are returning to India to face charges stemming from the 2012 deaths of two Indian fisherman, Italian officials announced Thursday.

As we recounted recently, disagreement over how to handle the case had resulted in a diplomatic confrontation between India and Italy.

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Politics
3:54 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Mark Sanford's Affair Follows Him On Campaign Trail For South Carolina House Seat

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 9:15 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Now to the ever-entertaining world of South Carolina politics. Candidates in a special election for Congress include a former governor who gave hiking the Appalachian Trail entirely new meaning. That's Republican Mark Sanford, who wasn't hiking back in 2009, as reported by his staff, but was having an extramarital affair in Argentina that ended his marriage and his political aspirations for a time.

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Same-Sex Marriage And The Supreme Court
3:37 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Meet The 83-Year-Old Taking On The U.S. Over Same-Sex Marriage

Edith Windsor in her New York City apartment in December 2012. Next week, the U.S. Supreme Court hears her challenge to the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 7:34 pm

The tiny dynamo asking the U.S. Supreme Court to turn the world upside down looks nothing like a fearless pioneer. At age 83, Edith Windsor dresses in classic, tailored clothes, usually with a long string of pearls, and she sports a well-coiffed, shoulder-length flip. She looks, for all the world, like a proper New York City lady.

Proper she may be, and a lady, but Windsor, who likes to be called Edie, is making history, challenging the federal Defense of Marriage Act, known as DOMA. The law bans federal recognition and benefits for legally married same-sex couples.

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The Two-Way
1:12 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

John Lennon's Bloodied Glasses Used In Plea On Gun Violence

Yoko Ono

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 9:36 pm

Yoko Ono, the widow of slain Beatle John Lennon, has weighed in on the issue of gun control by tweeting a photo of the blood-spattered eyeglasses worn by the legendary musician when he was fatally shot by a deranged fan more than three decades ago.

Her tweet, on the 44th anniversary of the couple's marriage:

"Over 1,057,000 people have been killed by guns in the USA since John Lennon was shot and killed on 8 Dec 1980."

In a series of follow-up tweets:

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The Two-Way
12:20 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

House OKs Bill To Keep Government Funded Through September

Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 4:02 pm

The House of Representatives passed legislation Thursday that avoids a federal shutdown and keeps the government open through the end of the 2013 fiscal year, which winds up Sept. 30. The Senate approved the same measure Wednesday, so the bill now goes to the president for his signature.

The New York Times characterizes the measure, which passed the House on a 318-109 vote, this way:

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Around the Nation
11:11 am
Thu March 21, 2013

NRA Represents Only A Fraction Of Gun Owners

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, Oscar nominated actress Angela Bassett and film director Antoine Fuqua are here and they will tell us about their latest project, the action thriller "Olympus Has Fallen." It may make you rethink that White House tour you'd been planning. That's later in the program.

But now we want to take another look at the issue of gun rights and gun safety in this country. We've been hearing a variety of perspectives on this program.

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Can I Just Tell You?
11:00 am
Thu March 21, 2013

When Should Politicians' Life Experience Determine Policy?

From left to right, son Will Portman, wife Jane Portman, and Sen. Portman.
Office of U.S. Sen. Rob Portman ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 3:31 pm

I have been thinking about Ohio Sen. Rob Portman.

The Republican was on the short list for the vice presidential nomination in the last election. While he has not been outspoken on the subject of same-sex marriage, he has consistently opposed it — until now.

Recently, Portman announced that he changed his mind. He says this is because his son Will is gay.

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Movie Interviews
11:00 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Director Fuqua Melds Timely Plot, 'Dream' Cast In 'Olympus'

Angela Bassett portrays Secret Service Director Lynn Jacobs and Morgan Freeman is acting President/Speaker of the House Allan Trumbull in Olympus Has Fallen.
Philip Caruso Film District

In director Antoine Fuqua's new action thriller, Olympus Has Fallen, the White House — code-named "Olympus" — is invaded by North Korean terrorists. The president and his staff are held hostage in an underground bunker, and their only hope of coming out alive is a disgraced Secret Service agent.

In theaters March 22, the film opens at a politically sensitive time, perhaps by coincidence. North Korea is much in the news for its nuclear threats and its rocky relationship with South Korea.

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Alabama Common Core standards
6:48 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Panel Defeats Bill to Stop Ala. Common Core Goals

Alabama's common core standards for public schools have survived another challenge.


It appears a bill to abolish the standards is unlikely to pass the Legislature. The Common Core standards for learning in math and English were recommended by the National Governors Association.


Bills were introduced in the House and Senate to prevent adoption of the standards. The Senate bill has been indefinitely postponed. A subcommittee of the House Education Policy Committee voted Wednesday to kill the bill.

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2013 Legislative Session
6:31 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Alabama Legislature on Spring Break

Alabama lawmakers will return to Montgomery April 2 for the second half of the regular Legislative session.
en.wikipedia.org

The Alabama Legislature has wrapped up the first half of its 2013 session and gone on spring break.


Wednesday marked the 15th meeting day of the session. Lawmakers left the capital city Wednesday evening and will return April 2 for their final 15 meeting days.


The issues remaining for the second half of the session include the state education budget and the General Fund budget.


Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

History
4:03 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Timeline: Gay Marriage In Law, Pop Culture And The Courts

Mike McConnell (left) and Jack Baker --€” the couple in the Baker v. Nelson case — attempt to get a marriage license in Minneapolis in May 1970. The AP reported in December 2012 that the two are still together.
R. Bertraine Heine/Minnesota Historical Society AP

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 12:35 pm

  • Actor Wilson Cruz
  • Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean
  • Mike Bowers, prosecutor in 'Bowers v. Hardwick'
  • Missouri state Rep. Kevin Engler

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U.S.
2:04 am
Thu March 21, 2013

As Gay Marriage Heads To Court, A Look Back At The Bumpy Ride

David Wilson (left) and Rob Compton embrace after being married by a Unitarian minister at the Arlington Street Church in Boston on May 17, 2004. They were one of the first couples in Massachusetts to be legally wed.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 3:28 pm

Gays and lesbians have adopted the phrase "it gets better" as a kind of slogan to assure young people that life won't always be so tough.

Looking back, life has gotten dramatically better for LGBT people in the United States in a very short period of time. The modern gay rights movement began less than 50 years ago. Today, supporters of same-sex marriage outnumber opponents.

Now, the Supreme Court is about to hear two big cases that could shift the landscape for gay rights again.

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