I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we get an update on developments in Mali in West Africa. That's a country known to many for its cultural heritage. French soldiers have started an assault to repel Islamist militants who have already taken northern territory. NPR's Ofeibea Quist Arcton is going to bring us up to date in just a few minutes.
Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange says he will run for a second term next year.
Strange defeated incumbent Troy King in the Republican primary in 2010 and then went on to win the general election.
Strange said Monday in Hoover that he's had a busy term, but there is more he wants to do in a second term. He recently underwent knee surgery. He said he's traveling around the state again and looking forward to running for re-election.
President Barack Obama's second inaugural parade will include a tribute to the Alabama-based Tuskegee Airmen who broke the color barrier during World War II.
The presidential inaugural committee announced plans for the parade on Monday.
Black fliers trained at Moton Field in Tuskegee in the 1940s to become the nation's first minority pilots during the war. The field is now a historical site located off Interstate 85 east of Montgomery.
Alabama's attorney general will ask the Legislature to increase the penalty for operating illegal gambling machines.
Luther Strange said Monday that he wants the penalty to go from a misdemeanor to a felony. He said the current penalty is a slap on the wrist compared to the large amounts of money that operators make.
Strange was in Hoover on Monday to talk to legislators about their upcoming regular session, which starts Feb. 5.
Today marks fifty years since the inauguration of Alabama Governor George Wallace. His speech featuring the phrase “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever,” is considered one of the pivotal moments of the civil rights movement in 1963. That year also saw the bombing at the 16th Street Baptist church in Birmingham and the “stand at the schoolhouse door” in Tuscaloosa. Alabama Public Radio’s Pat Duggins looks back at Wallace’s 1963 inaugural to produce this sound portrait. Observers note that Wallace had a change of heart later in his life and renounced racism.
Looming sequestration cuts of massive proportions, coupled with a U.S. troop drawdown in Afghanistan are adding to the boiling partisanship over nominating Chuck Hegel as defense secretary. It's hard to avoid the conclusion that some of the biggest challenges for the Department of Defense come from inside U.S. borders.
In recent weeks, President Obama has chosen Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., as his next secretary of state; former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., to head the Pentagon; counterterrorism adviser John Brennan to be CIA director; and his chief of staff, Jack Lew, to be the next Treasury secretary.
Each nomination will have to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate, and they all could be stopped by a Senate filibuster — that is, the refusal by any one of 100 senators to let a matter come to a final vote.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.
You might've chuckled a bit this week, if you heard about the trillion-dollar platinum coin plan, to perhaps address Washington, D.C.'s debt ceiling stalemate. But it will certainly be no laughing matter if the U.S. Congress refuses to raise the borrowing limit, and the U.S. government defaults on its debt. Global financial markets would likely plummet.
NPR's John Ydstie reports on some of the options the president has if he and Congress cannot reach an agreement.
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says Mobile, Pike and surrounding counties have been approved for disaster assistance because of damage sustained in the Christmas Day outbreak of tornadoes.
Bentley says the assistance will come in the form of low interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
The two primary counties listed on the disaster declaration are Mobile and Pike. But it also includes Baldwin, Barbour, Bullock, Coffee, Crenshaw, Dale, Montgomery and Washington counties in Alabama and George, Greene and Jackson counties in Mississippi.