The small town of Bejucal, 20 miles south of Havana, looks much as it did in October 1962. Horse carts carry passengers and fresh-cut green bananas through narrow streets lined with pastel-colored homes.
The sleepy town doesn't seem like the kind of place to put an arsenal of nuclear weapons. But a military bunker here was the biggest storage depot on the island for the Soviet nuclear weapons 50 years ago.
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley plans to ask legislators to pass a bill offering eligible state employees an incentive if they voluntarily retire.
The governor announced details of the plan at a news conference Monday in Huntsville. He said it would either pay 100 percent of monthly premiums for health insurance for five years or offer $15,000 in cash payments.
He said the program would help retiring workers while at the same time saving taxpayers between $18 million and $26 million a year.
Alabama voters on Nov. 6 will get another chance to remove racist sections of the Alabama Constitution.
Amendment No. 4 on the ballot would remove language from the 1901 Alabama Constitution that includes providing for separate schools for black and white students and levying a poll tax.
Supporters say this amendment is different from one narrowly rejected by voters in 2004. That one removed the same sections, but also removed language that says there is no right to a public education at taxpayer's expense.
Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 12:13 pm
As the election nears, energy policy remains a regular topic on the campaign trail. Controversial subjects like arctic drilling and hydraulic fracturing continue making headlines as the political class debate our nation's changing energy mix. But let's not deceive ourselves, or the public at large, about a president's real role and reach.
Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 11:41 am
For a man who was elected president partly on his ability to give a great speech, Barack Obama has been at times a surprisingly poor communicator in office and on the campaign trail.
That may have been most evident earlier this month during the first presidential debate. But Obama generally hasn't been as impressive at getting his message across in his four years in the White House as he was during the campaign that put him there.
Rosie Castro was a Mexican-American civil rights activist during the 1970s. She passed down her passion for change to her children: Texas State Representative Joaquin Castro and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro. For Hispanic Heritage Month, Rosie Castro speaks with host Michel Martin about the Chicano movement and raising her twin sons.
And speaking of dreams, the Obama Administration says its high profile immigration initiative is intended to preserve the dreams of a large group of young immigrants. The program is called the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Initiative.
Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 10:46 am
Last week, we discussed state-by-state differences in online conversations around the issue of unemployment. That analysis of millions of words from news posts, blogs and user comments showed how the conversation in the swing states of Florida, Ohio and Virginia varies greatly because of cultural and socioeconomic factors.
Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 11:31 am
In what's being called a "historic agreement," Prime Minister David Cameron and First Minister Alex Salmond have hammered out a deal will allow Scotland to decide if it wants to secede from the United Kingdom. The question will be settled in a 2014 referendum.
Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 7:39 am
Imagine a lawyer's lawyer, a fighter's fighter and a pol's pol. Now imagine one person as all three. That was Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, who died Sunday at age 82.
Over the course of three decades in the U.S. Senate (1981-2011), Specter came to personify the pragmatic, independent operator who sized up the substance and politics of every issue for himself. His vote could be one of the hardest to get, and often the one that made the difference.
On a Monday, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
Never mind Election Day, we're in the middle of election season. That's definitely true in Iowa, one of the states that allows early voting and a state that is being fiercely contested. Supporters of both President Obama and his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, are urging people to beat the last-minute rush.
Here's NPR national political correspondent Don Gonyea.
The numbers coming out of Syria these days are staggering: hundreds of thousands of refugees, tens of thousands dead. The struggle, and the death, is being captured regularly on social media. The documentation not only serves as a bulletin for foreigners, but also as an alert for those with family members who become victims.
When Syrians first started protesting in March of last year, Fadi Zeidan was there. He and his friends thought the Syrian uprising would be fast, like the ones in Tunisia and Egypt.
In previous elections, candidates from both parties have campaigned on pledges to be environmental presidents. This time, neither candidate is talking much about cleaning up the air or protecting scenic lands.
Instead, the debate has focused on whether and how much environmental regulations hurt businesses, especially the energy industry.
Mostly it's been GOP candidate Mitt Romney criticizing President Obama for what he sees as overzealous environmental regulations that strangle the economic recovery.