Mervel Parker fills out his ballot at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Montgomery, Ala., on Tuesday. Alabama is one of nine states with a history of discrimination that the Voting Rights Act requires to obtain pre-clearance before changing any election procedures.
Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 5:17 pm
The U.S. Supreme Court said Friday it would consider eliminating a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, the federal law that for decades has been the government's main tool for fighting discrimination at the polls.
The law, first enacted in 1965 and reauthorized three times by Congress since then, is generally considered the most effective civil rights legislation in American history. Its provisions were extended by a Republican Congress in 2006 and signed into law again by President George W. Bush.
Since Superstorm Sandy ravaged the New Jersey and New York coastlines last week, FEMA has already put more than 30,000 residents in hotels and motels and given out roughly $300 million in rental assistance.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Friday announced more help for residents: a new program called NYC Rapid Repair for people whose houses were damaged by the storm. The program, paid for by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, will cut through bureaucracy and get contractors to many damaged homes starting next week, he said.
Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 3:52 pm
If you fell asleep Rip Van Winkle-like earlier in the year only to wake up Friday, you might be forgiven for thinking no time had passed.
Because on Friday, President Obama called for higher taxes on the wealthy to be part of any agreement to avoid the fiscal cliff, while House Speaker John Boehner strongly indicated that proposal was a non-starter with House Republicans.
But, of course, we just had an election in which the president won a second term and, through that, some political capital. Exactly how much remains to be seen.
Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 5:16 pm
Lockheed Martin announced that its board of directors asked for the resignation of Christopher E. Kubasik, 51, the current chief operating officer and incoming chief executive office.
"Kubasik, previously slated to become CEO in January, resigned after an ethics investigation confirmed that he had a close personal relationship with a subordinate employee," Lockeheed said in a statement. "His actions violated the company's Code of Ethics and Business Conduct, but did not affect the company's operational or financial performance."
Murhaballadeja features a striking photo on the cover: Two beefy, big-jawed men with cruel eyes are in prison garb, shackled with heavy chains at the neck, wrists, knees and feet. Turns out they're legendary 19th century murderers from Finland. These are the kinds of characters you'll find in a collection of murder ballads from Kimmo Pohjonen.
Daniel Day-Lewis has won two Academy Awards for fully immersing himself in his characters in There Will Be Blood and My Left Foot.
Now the British actor is taking on one of America's most iconic figures in Steven Spielberg's Lincoln, playing the 16th president during the final months of his life. Day-Lewis tells NPR's Melissa Block that it was a daunting prospect — but that ultimately Lincoln was a surprisingly accessible figure.
The Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Center lies buried in an unmarked apartment building off the tree-lined streets of the city's former French Concession. There are no signs. You have to wend your way through apartment blocks, down a staircase and into a basement to discover one of Shanghai's most obscure and remarkable museums.
The Supreme Court has agreed to weigh the constitutionality of the decision by Congress in 2006 to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act, the landmark Civil Rights legislation enacted in 1965 that let millions of African-Americans cast ballots for the first time in states that had long blocked them from voting booths.
Singapore is taking local farming to the next level, literally, with the opening of its first commercial vertical farm.
Entrepreneur Jack Ng says he can produce five times as many vegetables as regular farming looking up instead of out. Half a ton of his Sky Greens bok choy and Chinese cabbages, grown inside 120 slender 30-foot towers, are already finding their way into Singapore's grocery stores.
The director of the Central Intelligence Agency David Petraeus submitted his resignation today, citing an extramarital affair.
"After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair," Petraeus, 60, said in a message sent to CIA staff. "Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours. This afternoon, the President graciously accepted my resignation."
Here in Washington, House Speaker John Boehner addressed a major economic issue this morning. In a press conference, the Republican talked about the so-called fiscal cliff. That's the combination of higher tax rates and spending cuts due to take effect at the end of this year.
With most Americans fat or fatter, you'd think we'd be lightening up on the anti-fat attitudes.
Alas, no. Even doctors often think their overweight patients are weak-willed.
But changing negative attitudes about body size might be as simple as changing what you see. When women in England were shown photos of plus-sized women in neutral gray leotards, they became more tolerant.
Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 12:08 pm
The post-election negotiations over taxes, the economy and the so-called fiscal cliff moved into a new phase this afternoon when President Obama stepped up to a microphone at the White House to lay out his latest thoughts about what needs to be done.
In many ways, this words were echoes from the hard-fought campaign.
Election Day has come and gone, but NPR's Ron Elving and Ken Rudin are still trying to make sense of it all. Was it close? Well, a 50-to-48 percent popular-vote edge for President Obama certainly indicates that.
But the president won just about every battleground state, pushing his Electoral College totals into landslide proportions. And, the Democrats did far better in the Senate than anyone expected.
On Election Day, Washington, Maine and Maryland states voted to legalize same-sex marriage, stopping a 32-state losing streak. In Maryland, African-American faith leaders took vocal positions on both sides of the issue, and host Michel Martin hears from two of them: Reverend Delman Coates and Bishop Harry Jackson, Jr.
I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Later, we want to hear what the Barbershop guys have to say about some of the ballot initiatives that made headlines around the country in this week's election. They include measures that will allow same-sex marriage in two additional states and permit the recreational use of marijuana in another state.
The guys also want to talk about the how the country's changing demographics contributed to this year's election results. That conversation is coming up.
The Iranian defense minister confirmed today that his forces had shot a U.S. drone. But Brig. Gen. Ahmad Vahidi said it shot at the MQ1 Predator drone because it had trespassed into its airspace, The New York Times reports.
Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 10:49 am
For as much criticism as pollsters endured in the run-up to Election Day, a look back shows many of them hit very close to the bull's-eye for the presidential race — but some did better than others.
Take the venerable Gallup. It had Mitt Romney at 49 percent and President Obama at 48 percent in a poll published Monday, a day before the voting. And when undecided voters were split up among candidates, Gallup put the figure at 50 percent Romney, 49 percent Obama.
Federal prosecutors say they will not bring charges against former Syracuse University assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine, who a year ago was accused of having sexually abused young boys.
According to The Post-Standard in Syracuse, "after nearly a year of police scouring more than 100,000 pages of seized documents and interviewing 130 witnesses, the investigation that attracted national media attention has ended, prosecutors said."
Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 12:16 pm
Nearly two weeks after Superstorm Sandy pummeled the region, problems getting gas to stations and power outages that have left many pumps inoperable continue to plague drivers in New York City, New Jersey and some points nearby.
So starting today, New York City and Long Island are joining New Jersey by enacting gas rationing rules.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. In his acceptance speech, the president said he would reach out to his Republican rival. And for sure, the future holds brotherly love for Barack and Mitt - in Kenya. That country has long embraced Barack Obama as one of its own, but this week a young mother seems to have caught the spirit of reconciliation. On Wednesday, Millicent Owuor gave birth to twin boys, and she named them Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. You're listening to MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.