Politics & Government

Politics
7:11 am
Sat July 19, 2014

Biden: Loved By The Left, But With Limits

Vice President Biden addresses Democratic activists Thursday at Netroots Nation in Detroit.
Carlos Osorio AP

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 10:45 am

The annual progressive gathering known as Netroots Nation wraps up its annual conference in Detroit this weekend.

In the hallways and the meeting rooms, much of the buzz was about the presidential race in 2016 — and who might run on the Democratic side.

But Vice President Joe Biden, who gave the keynote address on opening day, didn't factor much into that speculation, despite being President Obama's wingman on everything from the stimulus package to the Affordable Care Act.

Biden was even ahead of the administration's position on same-sex marriage.

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It's All Politics
4:31 am
Sat July 19, 2014

No Filter: Interior Tweets America The Beautiful

The U.S. Department of the Interior's Twitter account routinely produces electrifying visuals.
Tom Koerner/@USFWS U.S. Department of the Interior via Instagram

It isn't one of the largest federal agencies. Its Twitter following pales next to many other Cabinet departments.

But the Department of Interior's Twitter (@Interior) account — replete with stunning visuals, straightforward hashtags, and snappy captions — is nevertheless steadily building a devoted following.

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Commentary
3:40 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Week In Politics: Sanctions On Russia, And Invasion Of Gaza

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 6:54 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And now to our Friday political commentators - David Brooks of the New York Times. Hi there, David.

DAVID BROOKS: Hello.

CORNISH: And E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post and Brookings Institution. Welcome, E.J.

E.J. DIONNE: Greetings.

CORNISH: So as we heard President Obama - not directly calling out Vladimir Putin - but saying all evidence, so far, points to the Russian-backed separatists as being responsible for shooting down the Malaysia Airline jet.

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Alabama Unemployment
3:36 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Alabama Unemployment Unchanged At 6.8 Percent

Gov. Robert Bentley says seasonally adjusted rate for June represents nearly 145,000 people looking for work.
Credit The Governor's Office

Alabama's unemployment rate for June is unchanged at 6.8 percent.

Gov. Robert Bentley said Friday the seasonally adjusted rate represents nearly 145,000 people looking for work. June's rate is higher than the 6.5 percent recorded a year ago.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are Shelby at 5.0 percent, Baldwin and Cullman at 5.7 percent, and Lee and Cherokee at 5.9 percent.

The counties with the highest rates are Wilcox at 17.2 percent, Perry at 14.8 percent and Dallas at 14.3 percent.

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The Two-Way
7:36 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Berlusconi Underage Sex Conviction Overturned By Italian Court

Former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi (center) arrives for a court hearing in Naples in June, where he was appearing as a witness in the trial of an associate. Berlusconi's conviction on sex with a minor and abuse of power was overturned by a court in Milan on Friday.
Ciro Fusco EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 9:26 am

An appeals court in Italy has overturned the conviction of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on charges that he paid for sex with an underage prostitute and then abused his power to cover up the crime.

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Politics
4:35 am
Fri July 18, 2014

While Campaigning For Other Democrats, Sen. Warren Gains Fans

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 9:49 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We report next on a woman who's become a focus of presidential speculation. Hillary Clinton, of course, is an overwhelming front-runner for the Democratic nomination, but Elizabeth Warren has excited a lot of Democratic activists. The Massachusetts senator is spending her summer traveling the country.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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News
4:24 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

White House Urges Lawmakers To Address Popular Tax Dodge

Ireland (shown here in this Dingle Peninsula photo) has been among the greenest pastures for countries seeking to reduce their tax liabilities through a process called "corporate inversion."
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 7:40 pm

When is it OK for an American company to avoid paying American taxes?

That's the question the Senate Finance Committee will wrestle with next week as the Obama administration urges lawmakers to make it harder for companies to duck corporate taxes by setting up shop overseas.

The latest tax-cutting strategy to go under the microscope, these so-called corporate inversions are a buttoned-down variation of an older, sexier tax dodge called the "naked inversion."

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Politics
3:27 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Senate Re-Authorizes Government's Role In Terrorism Insurance

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 7:40 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Today the U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly to reauthorize a bill first passed after 9/11. It allows the government to act as a financial backstop in the event of a large terrorist attack. Supporters say it's crucial for anyone trying to build a shopping mall or skyscraper. But as NPR's Laura Sullivan reports, the bill may run into trouble in the house.

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Politics
3:27 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Amid Roiled Landscape Of Border Politics, Obama's Plans May Change

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 7:40 pm

The Obama administration's request for more funds on immigration could get a congressional vote soon. Meanwhile, the crisis at the border is complicating Obama's plan to take unilateral action to ease deportations. The politics of immigration are shifting quickly.

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Business
3:27 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Lawmakers Call For GM's Top Lawyer To Step Down

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 7:40 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

At a Senate hearing today, there were calls for General Motors top lawyer to step down. Recent media reports have made clear that company lawyers knew faulty ignition switches were causing fatal accidents. Despite that GM blocked internal efforts to issue a recall and they kept information from federal safety regulators. The ignition defect is responsible for at least 13 deaths and will cost GM billions of dollars. NPR's Sonari Glinton has the latest.

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The Two-Way
9:07 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Australia Repeals An Unpopular Tax On Carbon Emissions

An oil refinery is pictured in the southern Sydney suburb of Kurnell earlier this week. Australia's Senate voted on Thursday to scrap the country's carbon tax and plans for emissions trading — a major victory for conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
Jason Reed Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 9:47 am

Australia became the first country in the world to repeal a carbon tax on the nation's worst greenhouse gas polluters, as Prime Minister Tony Abbott made good on a campaign promise to get rid of the unpopular law.

The Senate voted 39 to 32 to eliminate the tax enacted by the previous center-left government two years ago. The law imposed the equivalent of a $22.60 tax per metric ton of carbon dioxide emissions on about 350 of the nation's worst polluters.

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Politics & Government
6:55 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Alabama's Mobile ID Unit Returning to the Road

The secretary of state's office is getting ready to hit the road again to make free photo IDs for voters who don't have any other type of photo ID to show at the polls.

Secretary of State Jim Bennett says his office's mobile ID unit made 93 stops before the primary election and runoff.

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Politics & Government
6:52 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Officers from Ala, Ga Train on Domestic Extremism

Credit APR

About 400 law enforcement officers from northeast Alabama and northwest Georgia are learning how to deal with domestic extremists.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Birmingham and the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force are providing the training on Thursday in conjunction with police in the east Alabama city of Oxford.

Federal authorities say the session will teach law officers what to do during encounters with domestic extremists. They say that could include members of militia groups or so-called sovereign citizens.

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It's All Politics
6:09 am
Thu July 17, 2014

The GOP Now Likes Community Organizing (If It Wins Elections)

Republican officials Rob Collins, Phil Cox and Matt Walter all seemed pleased at a briefing for journalists about the GOP's midterm election prospects, as did former first lady Mamie Eisenhower.
Frank James NPR

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 7:56 am

Both parties are sounding confident right now about their midterm election prospects, but only one can be right. As it stands now, Republicans clearly have more reason for optimism.

On their side, Republicans have history and a current political environment in which the Republican base looks to be more excited about the coming election than Democrats.

Meanwhile, voters are consistently telling pollsters that they're dissatisfied with the nation's direction, which usually portends bad news for the party holding the White House.

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Business
4:55 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Treasury Secretary Calls For Corporate Tax Code Overhaul

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 10:09 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew says, there has been an uptick in the number of U.S. corporations moving their headquarters overseas in an effort to pay less tax. In a moment, we'll talk to David Wessel about what's allowing these moves to happen. We begin with NPR's Jim Zarroli.

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