Politics & Government

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Young people brought to the U.S. illegally began applying for a deportation deferral and a two-year work permit on Wednesday. It's the boldest immigration program yet by the Obama administration — putting into effect elements of the so-called DREAM Act even though it has not passed Congress.

Lizbeth Mateo has high school and college diplomas from California and evidence that she has been in the country continuously for at least five years. What she wants now is assurance that she won't be deported.

Broke Ala. County Delays Decision On Indigent Care

Aug 14, 2012
nelsonglass.com

Commissioners in bankrupt Jefferson County have delayed a decision on whether to close its charity hospital serving the poor. Commission President David Carrington recessed a meeting indefinitely Tuesday after chaos erupted in the packed commission chamber. Demonstrators yelling and singing civil rights protest songs prevented members from discussing the future of Cooper Green Mercy Hospital. The hospital is costing the county millions of dollars annually, and supporters of the shutdown say the county can't afford it.

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's choice of Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate may help energize support from conservative voters who like his tough approach to overhauling the federal budget.

But there's a risk that Ryan may turn off an important voting bloc: senior citizens.

There's a story out of Hungary that has received quite a bit of play from the religious press but hadn't quite risen to the mainstream until the AP ran a piece about it today.

It's quite dramatic with an incredible plot twist: One of the leaders of Hungary's Jobbik Party, which the Anti-Defamation League says is one of the few political parties in Europe to overtly campaign with anti-Semitic materials, has discovered that he is himself a Jew.

People are saying that Mitt Romney's selection of Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate creates an opportunity to hold what Ryan likes to call an "adult conversation" about entitlement spending. In the present political climate, it would be heartening to have an adult conversation about anything. But bear in mind that "entitlement" doesn't put all its cards on the table. Like a lot of effective political language, it enables you to slip from one idea to another without ever letting on that you've changed the subject.

The man some Republicans once hoped would be their party's 2012 presidential nominee, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, will instead deliver the keynote speech at the national convention that will make Mitt Romney the GOP's official standard-bearer.

Christie has won plaudits from Republicans for an everyman style, for taking on the New Jersey teachers unions, and for generally not suffering lightly those he considers fools — whether they're voters, members of the media or even some members of his own party.

A power struggle on the Louisiana Supreme Court is headed to federal court this week. Lawyers are seeking to reopen an old voting rights case that gave the Deep South state its first black Supreme Court justice. What's at stake in the racially charged fight is whether Louisiana will now have its first African-American chief justice.

With Rep. Paul Ryan officially in the mix as Mitt Romney's vice presidential pick, the 2012 race for the White House was fully engaged Monday, as all four members of the two major-party presidential tickets campaigned in swing states.

Both President Obama and Ryan were in Iowa, while Romney, the all-but-official Republican nominee, campaigned in Florida. Meanwhile, Vice President Biden was in North Carolina, hitting a state the Republican ticket visited over the weekend.

Business Council Of Alabama Supports Sept. Ballot

Aug 13, 2012

A prominent business group, the Business Council of Alabama, has voted to support approval of a proposed constitutional amendment that will be on the ballot Sept. 18.

The amendment would permit the removal of nearly $146 million a year for three years from a state trust fund for use in balancing the state General Fund budget.

BCA President William Canary said Alabama is in a "predicament because of a sustained, ongoing failure of leadership," but imminent hardship will occur if the constitutional amendment is not approved.

Oklahoma Tribe Opposes Creek Casino In Alabama

Aug 13, 2012
PCI Gaming / Poarch Band of Creek Indians

An Indian tribe in Oklahoma wants Alabama's Poarch Creek Indians to halt plans to build a 20-story hotel and casino on tribal land in Wetumpka. The Muscogee Nation has historic ties to the land and is objecting to the graves of its ancestors being exhumed and moved to make way for the expansion by the Poarch Creeks. Principal Chief George Tiger says the Poarch Creeks don't share their respect for traditional ways and the burial ground should be restored to the way it was.

webMD

Cullman's Oktoberfest is adding more beer to a small-town celebration that was dry for years.

Organizers sold beer at the German-themed festival for the first time last year after city voters opted to legalize alcohol sales. But beer was only offered in one area of the Oktoberfest venue.

Alcohol sales proved popular, and this year organizers plan to sell beer at other locations in Cullman's Oktoberfest.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The addition of Rep. Paul Ryan to the GOP ticket is certain to elevate health care as a campaign issue this fall.

APR

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — A man accused of a shooting rampage in Tuscaloosa that injured 18 people has been indicted on charges of attempted murder and assault. A grand jury returned a 68-count indictment Thursday charging 44-year-old Nathan Wilkins with 19 counts of attempted murder and 19 counts of first-degree assault. He was also charged with 17 counts of second-degree assault and two counts of shooting into an occupied building. The suspect also faces arson charges for allegedly setting fires before and after last month's shooting.

In Paul Ryan, Obama Finds Familiar Foe

Aug 12, 2012

President Obama has long used House Republicans as a foil. Now that one of the leaders in that group, Paul Ryan, is on the ticket alongside Mitt Romney, the connection is that much clearer. NPR's Scott Horsley joins host Guy Raz to talk about the president's response to the newly formed GOP ticket.

Wisconsin's Sen. Johnson On Rep. Ryan

Aug 11, 2012

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer. We are following the big political story this hour. Mitt Romney has announced the other half of his ticket, congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. He's been a champion of conservative fiscal principles as chairman of the House Budget Committee. Let's listen to Paul Ryan from an interview with NPR in May of 2012, shortly after he released his first budget.

     Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has selected Wisconsin Representative  Paul Ryan to be his running mate. The candidate made his announcement to supporters via a phone app, saying -- quote -- "Mitt's Choice for VP is Paul Ryan."

     The GOP ticket appeared together at 9 A.M. Eastern in Norfolk, Va. Romney and Ryan are kicking off a four-day bus tour that will take them to as many states.

     At 42, Ryan is a generation younger than the 65-year-old Romney.

Blacks In Ala. Legislature File Redistricting Suit

Aug 10, 2012
Alabama Reapportionment Office / State of Alabama

The Alabama Legislature's black caucus has filed a lawsuit against the plan passed by the Republican-controlled House and Senate to redraw lawmakers' districts. The Legislature's 33 black members claim the redistricting plan approved by lawmakers earlier this year is racial gerrymandering and reduces the voting influence of blacks by packing black residents into as few districts as possible. The lawsuit was filed Friday morning in federal district court in Montgomery.

Ala. Knocking Down Voter Registration Hoax

Aug 10, 2012
sos.state.al.us / Alabama Secretary of State

State officials say an online hoax is spreading untrue rumors about voting registration in Alabama. Secretary of State Beth Chapman says email messages and Facebook posts are claiming people need to re-register to vote in the upcoming election if they haven't voted since 2008. But Chapman says the messages aren't true. She says voters' names will still be on the voter lists regardless of whether they voted in past elections. Chapman says federal law specifically prohibits states from removing people from voter rolls for failing to cast ballots Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Former Gov. Don Siegelman's daughter has created a petition on the Internet that asks President Barack Obama to grant him clemency. Dana Siegelman's petition says her father was wrongfully convicted on government corruption charges, and it asks the president to restore justice. She's already received more than 1,200 signatures. Siegelman's daughter created the petition after a federal judge resentenced him a week ago. U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller sentenced Siegelman to six and one-half years in prison, but he will get credit for nine months already served.

As the presidential election nears, Morning Edition has begun a series of reports from an iconic American corner: First and Main. Several times in the next few months, we'll travel to a battleground state, then to a vital county in each state. In that county, we find a starting point for our visit: First and Main streets, the intersection of politics and real life.

How many votes can President Obama gain or Mitt Romney lose because of the Republican's opposition to renewing federal tax credits to wind energy producers? The answer, with apologies to Bob Dylan, is blowin' in the wind.

Obama hopes to influence the answer by relentlessly pounding the all-but-official Republican presidential nominee's opposition to the renewal.

MIAMI (AP) — U.S. forecasters are raising their estimate of potential storms in the remainder of the Atlantic hurricane season, which enters its peak period this month. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released its updated forecast Thursday. Forecasters say wind patterns conducive to storm formation and warmer-than-normal sea temperatures mean chances are higher for an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season. NOAA forecasters say they expect a total of 12 to 17 tropical storms, with as many as five to eight hurricanes, for the season from June 1 to Nov. 30.

Alabama’s Department of Education is out with a new report on how the state is doing in the federal program called no child left behind. Alabama says seventy five percent of Alabama schools made adequate yearly progress. That’s up from seventy three percent year. However, the state got federal permission to use last year’s standards for this year to judge if Alabama students are passing or not. The results come out as state officials announced which schools and which school systems made adequate yearly progress under the No Child Left Behind Law.

Television crime dramas may draw big audiences, but they don't seem to work as a recruiting tool for forensic pathologists.

As we said two weeks ago, China's state-controlled media had already concluded that Gu Kailai was guilty of murder even before any sort of a trial.

Today in central China the wife of once-prominent politician Bo Xilai got her day in court.

Literally.

Judge Clears Way For Suit Over APTV Firings

Aug 8, 2012
www.aptv.org

A judge says a fired network executive can go ahead with his lawsuit claiming Alabama Public Television commissioners violated the state's open meetings law by holding a closed-door session to discuss his firing. Jefferson County Circuit Judge Joseph Boohaker issued the ruling Wednesday in a lawsuit filed by Allan Pizzato over his dismissal as executive director of the state's public television network. Pizzato sued after commissioners fired him and another executive. The judge says lawyers can continue collecting evidence, and he scheduled another hearing for Sept. 4.

Laptop computers are replacing textbooks for public school students in Huntsville. The city school system is passing out laptop computers to students in grades four through 12 as it converts from paper texts to digital curriculum.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

At 6 p.m. every Friday — with the kind of precision timing the Japanese live by — the protests in downtown Tokyo begin.

Thousands of Japanese — young, old, in wheelchairs and on skateboards — shout anti-nuclear slogans from behind police barricades that snake around the office of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda. Over the past four months, the protests have swelled; at least 75,000 people turned out at a recent demonstration.

Nobuyuki Miyazaki, an office worker, says this is the first time he's ever been to a demonstration.

Petitions Seek To Remove Ala. Court Nominees

Aug 7, 2012
montgomeryadvertiser.com

A Huntsville woman has filed petitions with Alabama's Democratic and Republican parties asking them to disqualify several candidates for the Alabama Supreme Court. Sherry Broyles says the Democratic Party should disqualify its nominee for chief justice, Harry Lyon, for not filing monthly campaign finance reports as required by a new law enacted by the Legislature. Lyon calls the complaint bogus and says he hasn't raised enough money to file. Party Chairman Mark Kennedy says he will seriously review the matter.

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