Politics & Government

Shots - Health News
3:36 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Debate Rages On Even As Research Ban On Gun Violence Ends

More than 400 guns, including these three, were turned in during a Dallas gun buyback program in January. But determining the effectiveness of such programs is difficult due to limits on gun-related research.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 5:12 pm

The characteristics of gun violence in the U.S. are largely unknown because key federal health agencies have been banned from conducting such research since the mid-1990s.

President Obama, however, wants to change that.

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It's All Politics
3:36 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

From Oil Fields To REI, Interior Nominee Has Outdoorsy Cred

REI CEO Sally Jewell delivers remarks Wednesday after being nominated by President Obama to be the next secretary of the interior.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 6:19 pm

President Obama's choice to take over at the Department of the Interior comes from the business world. Sally Jewell is the CEO of outdoor equipment supplier REI.

"For Sally, the toughest part of this job will probably be sitting behind a desk," the president said when introducing his nominee Wednesday. "I suspect she'll want to get out of the office quite a bit."

Before Jewell took the reins at REI, she worked in the financial industry at Washington Mutual. Before that, she was an engineer in the oil business, with Mobil.

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Politics
12:58 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Shifting Strategy: Narrowing Down The GOP Field

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Brown sits this one out in the Bay State, Menendez says it ain't so, and Kerry steps in at State. It's Wednesday and time for a ...

SECRETARY JOHN KERRY: Big heels to fill...

CONAN: Edition of the political junkie.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDINGS)

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.

VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: Where's the beef?

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Economy
12:07 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

The Squeeze: Higher Costs And Smaller Paychecks

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 12:31 pm

The economy may be on the rebound, but life is getting tougher for some people in the middle class. With rising gas prices, insurance costs, and higher payroll taxes, people are feeling squeezed. Host Michel Martin asks if there's any financial relief in sight.

Politics
12:07 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Shutting Down Black Markets For Guns

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, rising gas prices, rising insurance costs, and rising payroll taxes - Happy New Year, middle class. We'll talk with NPR's senior business editor Marilyn Geewax in just a few minutes about all the things that are squeezing the middle class right now - as if you hadn't noticed.

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Beauty Shop
12:07 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Does Having Guns Make Women Safer?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Later in the program, I'm happy I have a chance to tell you more about two women who made or are making an impression, one by speaking up, one by choosing not to. That's coming up later in the program.

But, first, it's time for the Beauty Shop. That's where we get a fresh cut on the week's top issues with our panel of women writers, journalists and commentators.

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The Two-Way
11:07 am
Wed February 6, 2013

REI Executive Tapped For Interior; Geithner Joins Council On Foreign Relations

Sally Jewell, president and CEO of REI, who is in line to be the next secretary of interior.
Ron Sachs EPA /Landov

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 1:29 pm

Update at 2:25 p.m. ET. It's Official:

Praising Sally Jewell as an executive who turned outdoors equipment retailer REI into one of the nation's most successful and environmentally conscious companies, President Obama just said he is nominating her to be his next interior secretary.

Noting that Jewell, who in a previous job worked as an engineer for Mobil, has also climbed mountains in Antarctica, the president joked about that being "just not something I think of doing."

Our original post:

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Alabama Pre-K Program
5:52 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Alabama Legislator Back Governor's Pre-K Expansion

Senator Vivian Davis Figures supports an expansion of Alabama's Pre-K program.
AP Photo/Dave Martin

Republican and Democratic legislators say Gov. Robert Bentley's plan to expand Alabama's pre-kindergarten program has broad support and will be approved by the Legislature.


Bentley called for the expansion in his State of the State address Tuesday night. Senate Democratic leader Vivian Davis Figures said an expansion will provide a solid foundation for Alabama children.

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Alabama House Health Committee
5:43 am
Wed February 6, 2013

House Health Committee to Consider 2 Hot Issues

Rep. Patricia Todd is sponsoring legislation that would legalize marijuana for medical purposes in Alabama.
gaypolitics.com

The Alabama House's Health Committee is scheduled to consider two controversial issues as the 2013 session cranks up..

The committee will on Wednesday consider a bill by Democratic Rep. Patricia Todd of Birmingham to legalize marijuana for medical purposes in Alabama. The bill is the first item on the House Health Committee agenda on the first committee meeting day during the 2013 regular session of the Alabama Legislature.


The Health Committee is scheduled to meet at the conclusion of the House session, probably about 9:30 a.m.

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Alabama Budgets
5:39 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Alabama Governor Says Budgets Improving Slightly

governor.alabama.gov

Gov. Robert Bentley says his proposed budgets for the new fiscal year are slightly better than this year's budgets.

Bentley told legislators in his State of the State address Tuesday night that Alabama's economy is improving and that's allowing him to recommend more education spending. His plan includes expanding Alabama's pre-kindergarten program for 4-year-olds and giving a 2.5 percent cost-of-living raise to teachers. He did not recommend a raise for state employees.

Politics
4:36 am
Wed February 6, 2013

'Thorny Parts' Delay Quick Action on Immigration Changes

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 9:51 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

Passing major legislation in the United States is a little like solving a Rubik's cube. If you don't solve everything, you've solved nothing, and all the pieces have to come together in the exactly the right way.

GREENE: And the puzzle gets even harder in a time of brutal partisanship. The big question in Washington is whether that Rubik's cube moment has arrived for immigration law.

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Puerto Rico: A Disenchanted Island
1:58 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Puerto Rico's Battered Economy: The Greece Of The Caribbean?

Edward Bonet, 23, lives in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico, and works on the dive team at the Copamarina Beach Resort & Spa in the town of Guanica. He lives with his grandmother, while his mother and sister live in Central Florida.
Coburn Dukehart NPR

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 9:51 am

Puerto Rico's population is declining. Faced with a deteriorating economy, increased poverty and a swelling crime rate, many citizens are fleeing the island for the U.S. mainland. In a four-part series, Morning Edition explores this phenomenon, and how Puerto Rico's troubles are affecting its people and other Americans in unexpected ways.

Edward Bonet's mom no longer tries to convince him to join her in Florida. Unlike his family, the 23-year-old from Puerto Rico refuses to leave the island and its shattered economy.

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Law Enforcement Consolidation
5:28 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Alabama Officials Compromise On Law Enforcement

Governor Robert Bentley and Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh have reached an agreement on how to best consolidate state law enforcement.
Credit blog.al.com

Alabama's governor and a legislative leader have compromised on consolidating law enforcement programs.


Gov. Robert Bentley and Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh had offered different plans to improve efficiency, but they announced an agreement on a bill Tuesday.

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Bus Driver Honored
5:18 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Alabama Senate Recognizes Slain Bus Driver

Slain bus driver Charles Albert Poland Jr. was honored by the Alabama Senate to start the 2013 legislative session.
Credit Dothan Eagle

The Alabama Senate began its 2013 session by passing a resolution memorializing a school bus driver shot to death while trying to stop a kidnapping.


The senator representing Dale County, independent Harri Anne Smith of Slocomb, got the Senate to vote unanimously Tuesday for her resolution praising Dale County school bus driver Charles Albert Poland Jr. for trying to stop a kidnapping on his bus last week. The kidnapper kept a 5-year-old boy in an underground bunker until Monday, when law enforcement officers killed him and rescued the boy.

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Politics & Government
5:09 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Survey: Republicans In Congress Own More Guns Than Democrats

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, of Alaska, told USA Today she owned a dozen guns.
Brendan Smialowski Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 5:15 pm

In Washington, everything seems to break down along partisan lines. Gun ownership is no exception.

USA Today surveyed every congressional office to ask whether its lawmaker owned a gun.

The results?

-- "One hundred nineteen Republicans and 46 Democrats declared themselves as gun owners..."

And:

-- "Only 10% of Republicans who responded said they do not own a gun, while 66% of Democrats said they are not gun owners."

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