Politics & Government

It's All Politics
12:20 pm
Mon September 3, 2012

Why I'm A Democrat: Marion Barry, Washington's Mayor For Life

Councilman Marion Barry in 2009.
Stephen Boitano AP

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 12:21 pm

Throughout the Republican National Convention, we asked people in Tampa why they were Republicans.

We're doing the same thing here in Charlotte, N.C. for the Democratic National Convention.

We started by asking Marion Barry, the former mayor of Washington, D.C. and current councilman.

He's always been a polarizing and controversial figure in politics.

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Asia
12:07 pm
Mon September 3, 2012

Pakistan's Transgenders In A Category Of Their Own

Malaika, 19, sits behind a friend while her makeup is applied at a friend's home in Rawalpindi. The transgender teenager got straight As in school before dropping out because of discrimination from her classmates. Now she dances at weddings and other parties for money.
Lauren Frayer NPR

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 3:53 pm

Urban Pakistan assaults your senses: tangles of traffic; Pakistani pop competing with the mosque's call to prayer; pungent spices in the steamy air. And then there are the transvestites.

At traffic lights, you see people draped in elegant pink and red clothing, with sparkling makeup. They tap their painted fingernails on your car window, asking for money. And that's when you notice the stubble on their chins.

"Begging here in traffic is just a part-time job," says 32-year-old Mina Mehvish. "I really want to be a dancer."

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It's All Politics
11:14 am
Mon September 3, 2012

'Now It's Our Turn': The Democratic National Convention Kicks Off In Charlotte

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on the floor of the Time Warner Cable Arena on Sunday.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 11:22 am

Unlike what Republicans did in Tampa last week, Democrats will lay out a clear plan to get the country back on sound footing, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said during news briefing in Charlotte, N.C., moments ago.

Villaraigosa, who is the chair of the Democratic National Convention, said that by the time the convention wraps up Thursday night, the party will have crystalized its platform and explained that this election is about a stark choice.

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Politics & Government
6:41 am
Mon September 3, 2012

Severe Weather Possible in Ala on Labor Day

Forecasters say remnants of Hurricane Isaac could pose threat of severe weather for Central Alabama.
http://www.srh.noaa.gov National Weather Service

It might be a good Labor Day to be inside in parts of Alabama.


Forecasters say there's a chance of severe weather across the state on Monday as remnants of Hurricane Isaac move across the region.


The National Weather Service says central Alabama is at greatest risk, particularly in the afternoon. Damaging winds are the main threat.


Storms are predicted to continue drifting southeastward across the state through Tuesday.

Politics & Government
5:51 am
Mon September 3, 2012

Huntsville Gets First Brew Pub Under New Law

waaytv.com WAYY TV

The city of Huntsville is getting a taste of a new kind of beer, courtesy of a change in state law.


A new brewhouse called "Below the Radar" is now open in downtown Huntsville. It's the city's first such operation since legislators changed a state law that prohibited selling alcohol at the same location where it was made.


A group called "Free the Hops" lobbied lawmakers to amend the state law. Member Rich Vartain tells WAAY-TV (http://bit.ly/RAPs2J ) about a dozen breweries are now open statewide because of the change.

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Around the Nation
3:04 am
Mon September 3, 2012

Charlotte Braces For Democratic National Convention

A view of the skyline of Charlotte, N.C., on Sunday. Preparations for the Democratic National Convention are under way around Charlotte, where the party is expected to nominate President Obama to run for a second term.
Mladen Antonov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 3:56 pm

Delegates, journalists and protesters are beginning to fill the streets of Charlotte, N.C. The city has a lot riding on the Democratic National Convention, which gets under way Tuesday.

Hundreds of protesters paraded around the downtown area of Charlotte — which residents call Uptown — gathering in front of Bank of America headquarters.

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Election 2012
3:04 am
Mon September 3, 2012

In Convention Run-Up, Obama Targets Three States

President Obama waves as he walks on stage during a campaign stop on the campus of the University of Colorado in Boulder on Sunday.
David Zalubowski AP

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 4:01 pm

President Obama holds a Labor Day campaign rally in Toledo, Ohio, on Monday, and then flies to Louisiana to inspect the damage from Hurricane Isaac. The Toledo rally is part of a long weekend of campaigning, leading up to the Democratic National Convention, which starts Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C.

The president held a rally with thousands of students at the University of Colorado over the weekend. Just five days earlier, he'd been at Colorado State. Obama is hoping to harness the cross-state rivalry between the schools in the service of his re-election campaign.

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Around the Nation
3:03 am
Mon September 3, 2012

Fears About Shariah Law Take Hold In Tennessee

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 7:53 am

It's getting tougher to be a Republican in some parts of the country while also fully accepting the practice of Islam.

In Tennessee, an incumbent in the U.S. House found herself on the defensive after being called soft on Shariah law, the code that guides Muslim beliefs and actions. And the state's governor has been forced to explain why he hired a Muslim.

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Middle East
2:59 am
Mon September 3, 2012

With No End To Conflict In Sight, No Winners In Syria

Omm Ahmed, a refugee from Daraa, Syria, carries her infant near her tent at Zaatari Refugee Camp in Mafraq, Jordan, on Sunday. Syrian civilians have borne the greatest brunt of the conflict in their country.
Mohammad Hannon AP

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 5:15 am

The conflict in Syria is now nearly a year and a half old, and there appears to be no end in sight.

August was the deadliest month yet, with thousands of people, mostly civilians, killed in fighting around the country. While anti-government rebels are making advances, government troops are digging in their heels.

It started as a protest movement. Now, analysts in the U.S. and the region agree, the conflict in Syria is a civil war.

A Civil War

Even Syrian President Bashar Assad came close to acknowledging as much in a speech last week.

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NPR Story
2:57 am
Mon September 3, 2012

Once Denied A Purple Heart, A Soldier Gets Her Medal

Retired Army Major Michelle Dyarman holds the Purple Heart medal she was awarded after suffering a severe concussion from an IED in Baghdad in 2005.
Robb Hill for NPR

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 8:11 am

In 2010, NPR reported that some Army commanders refused to award the Purple Heart to many troops who got concussions in combat because they didn't consider these "real" injuries. As a result of our story, the Army did its own investigation and put out new guidelines on Purple Hearts. Last week, the Army told NPR that under the new rules, they've finally awarded the medal to almost 1,000 soldiers, including Michelle Dyarman, whom we profiled in our original 2010 reports.

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Politics
4:22 pm
Sun September 2, 2012

On Defense In Era Of Anti-Big Government Sentiment

In 1936, President Franklin D. Roosevelt was making the case that government was a necessary and positive part of American life. Contemporary Democrats are having less success with the argument.
Joe Caneva AP

Originally published on Sun September 2, 2012 5:57 pm

Democrats today, for the most part, balance between two slightly competing ideas: that government is part of the solution, while still acknowledging that it can be part of the problem. Meanwhile, they're up against a long-running Republican messaging campaign against "big government."

The concept of big government goes back to around the beginning of the 20th century. Princeton historian Julian Zelizer traces the idea to the Wilson administration and its initiatives, including the creation of the Federal Reserve.

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Election 2012
4:03 pm
Sun September 2, 2012

Some In Mo. Still Back Rep. Akin Despite Comments

Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., confirms plans in Chesterfield, Mo., on Aug. 24 to stay in the U.S. Senate race.
Sid Hastings AP

Originally published on Sun September 2, 2012 5:57 pm

Many people in Missouri are still backing GOP Rep. Todd Akin — some more strongly than before — after his controversial remarks about rape and pregnancy.

Akin was polling ahead of the incumbent, Democrat Claire McCaskill, in the U.S. Senate race in Missouri, but his support fractured into several distinct camps after his comment that women's bodies can block pregnancy in cases of "legitimate rape." (He has since apologized.)

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The Two-Way
10:24 am
Sun September 2, 2012

Murder Charges Dropped Against South African Miners, For Now

The South African government is reversing its decision to charge 270 striking miners for the murder of their colleagues. Sort of.

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Politics
8:42 am
Sun September 2, 2012

Occupy Plans Resurgence At Democratic Convention

Occupy Wall Street activist Jason Woody listens to a speaker during a rally before the start of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Aug. 27.
Steve Nesius Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun September 2, 2012 12:07 pm

As President Obama reintroduces himself to America at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., next week, the Occupy movement will be there trying to do the same.

Remember Occupy Wall Street, originator of the "We are the 99 percent" slogan?

The group, which helped reshape the nation's political discourse last year before falling into disarray and uncertainty, plans to hold a demonstration outside the convention hall in an effort to recapture the spotlight. A Tampa, Fla., Occupy group protested at the Republican convention in there last week.

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Afghanistan
5:24 am
Sun September 2, 2012

U.S. Drawdown Leaves Afghans With Mixed Feelings

U.S. soldiers still patrol in Afghanistan, like this one speaking with a young man in the eastern province of Khost in August. However, Afghan forces are taking on increased responsibility as the U.S. draws down and prepares for its troops to leave by the end of 2014.
Jose Cabezas AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 2, 2012 5:01 pm

Tens of thousands of American troops will be leaving Afghanistan as the NATO-led coalition enters its final two years in the country. Already, more security responsibility is being placed in the hands of the Afghan security forces, says U.S. Gen. John Allen, who heads the NATO-led coalition here.

"The insurgency is today confronted by a rapidly transforming and increasingly capable [Afghan army], which is bearing a larger share of the burden and a larger share of the sacrifice," Allen says.

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