Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 2:21 pm
A few days ago, I found myself sitting in a room full of cross-legged yogis with my sweaty hands resting on the sweaty knees of the people beside me, bellowing a mantra in unison over and over again. What united us at that yoga studio was empathy for yoga instructor Michael Joel Hall, who was savagely beaten as he walked home earlier that week with his boyfriend.
Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 5:32 pm
In his first campaign speech since returning from his trip abroad, Republican Mitt Romney on Thursday told an audience in the swing state of Colorado that President Obama has failed on the economy. And he wielded a scorecard to make his point.
"His policies have not worked," Romney said in Golden, Colo., outside Denver. "They have not gotten America back to work again. My policies will work."
Obama spent much of the day in battleground Florida before a planned evening trip to another swing state, Virginia.
Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 7:49 am
A landmark federal law used to block the adoption of state voter identification cards and other election rules now faces unprecedented legal challenges.
A record five federal lawsuits filed this year challenge the constitutionality of a key provision in the Voting Rights Act. The 1965 statute prevents many state and local governments from enacting new voter ID requirements, redistricting plans and similar proposals on grounds that the changes would disenfranchise minorities.
It was a controversial hearing to begin with. This morning, a House subcommittee was looking into a bill that would make English the official language of the United States and require that government functions like naturalization ceremonies be conducted in English.
Democratic Rep. John Conyers of Michigan was not a fan, so he decided to deliver his opening statement in Spanish.
First he thanked the chairman, then he proceeded to assail the measure.
U.S. employment is stalled, growth is anemic, and the Federal Reserve has decided not to take action for at least another month.
Most economists weren't expecting the Federal Open Markets Committee, which sets the Fed's monetary policy, to announce another round of quantitative easing — a fancy term that basically means the central bank buys bonds to increase the money supply and make borrowing cheaper — at this week's meeting. Still, that's exactly what a number of them think is needed.
Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 9:55 pm
American gymnast Gabby Douglas has won her second Olympic gold medal of the London Summer Games, winning the individual all-around event to match her performance anchoring the U.S. team's first-place performance earlier this week.
Douglas scored 15.500 or higher in her first three rotations, with an emphatic 15.966 on her vault. Her final score was 62.232.
It's hard to find a discipline that Team USA has dominated more than the women's sabre. The team is anchored by two-time medalist Mariel Zagunis. And before Zagunis was upset in the bronze medal match Wednesday, five of the six medals that had been awarded since 2004 went to Americans.
As the international envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan was supposed to bridge divides and bring peace and perhaps even a political transition in the country. But his role was an exercise in frustration with both the regime of Bashar Assad and the rebels ignoring ceasefire agreements.
On the diplomatic front, he was also stymied by the gulf that existed between Russia and China and the rest of the U.N., which supported tougher sanctions against Assad.
Ann Romney was in London today to watch the Olympic debut of a horse she co-owns.
During the first day of the individual dressage competition, Rafalca scored 70.243, which landed her in 13th place so far. The event, if you're not familiar, is usually described as a kind of ballet for horses.
Romney seemed satisfied with the performance, which continues tomorrow.
This month we are collecting your stories about the good things Americans are doing to make their community a better place. Some of your contributions will become blog posts and the project will end with a story that weaves together submissions to make a story of Americans by Americans for Americans.
Near their headquarters in a converted WWII naval building, EarthCorps members — brought in from all over the world — do morning yoga before departing to restore parks and creeks in and around Seattle.
Kayla Harrison has defeated Britain's Gemma Gibbons in the women's 78kg judo final. It is the first gold medal for Harrison, 22, a native of Middletown, Ohio — and the first Olympic gold medal for an American in the event.
Harrison sprang out to an early lead in the match and then sealed it with another late score. She holds multiple world champion titles, despite her young age.
I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up, we'll hear why some analysts are calling Mali, of all places, the Afghanistan of Africa. We'll ask NPR's West Africa's correspondent Ofeibea Quist-Arcton about why this formerly stable democracy has so many in the region on edge. We'll have that conversation in just a few minutes.
The Associated Press writes that "none of the three commuter jets that flew too close together near Washington was ever on course to collide head-on with the others, U.S. officials said Thursday. "During a news conference, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood strongly disputed media reports characterizing the incident as a near-miss."
From 'Morning Edition': Anthony Kuhn, in Beirut, talks with Steve Inskeep
Anti-Bashar Assad forces in the Syrian city of Aleppo now have at least a few tanks, rocket-propelled grenades and improved explosives.
And that has U.N. observers warning about the deadly consequences of heavy weapons being used by both sides within such a "confined urban area," NPR's Anthony Kuhn said earlier on Morning Edition. The fear, of course, is that even more non-combatants will be caught in the crossfire.
Some Londoners may not be much interested in sports - but one image from these Olympic Games will surely remain with them, long after the cheers and crowds have faded away. It is the spectacle of their mayor, Boris Johnson, brandishing a Union flag in either hand, dangling helplessly from a zip wire 20 feet above the ground.
There's ample evidence cholesterol-lowering pills called statins can reduce the risk of a repeat heart attack. The pills are frequently prescribed for people who've never had a heart attack or stroke, but are at high risk for trouble.
Good morning. Here's a rundown of the news that's catching our eye this morning, from the London Olympics:
-- The women's eight rowing competition was won by the U.S. team, in an encore of their gold-medal performance in Beijing 2008. The team, which led from the start and stayed ahead of silver medalists Canada at the end, consists of Mary Whipple (coxswain), Caryn Davies, Caroline Lind, Eleanor Logan, Meghan Musnicki, Taylor Ritzel, Esther Lofgren, Susan Francia and Erin Cafaro.
It adds that the "4-week moving average," which is supposed to give a slightly broader look at the trend in claims, "was 365,500, a decrease of 2,750 from the previous week's revised average of 368,250."
Republicans hope to win control of the U.S. Senate from Democrats in November, and one seat they have high hopes for is in Missouri.
Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill is facing a tough re-election fight. Outside conservative groups have already been running ads against her. On Tuesday, Republicans will select their candidate for the fall.
Meet The Candidates
In Neosho, Mo., on the edge of the Ozarks, summertime in an election year can only mean one thing: the Newton County Republican Party's watermelon fest.
This tiny town perched on the high plains of the Chihuahua desert is nothing less than an arts world station of the cross, like Art Basel in Miami, or Documenta in Germany. It's a blue-chip arts destination for the sort of glamorous scenesters who visit Amsterdam for the Rijksmuseum and the drugs.
"They speak about Marfa with the same kind of reverent tones generally reserved for the pilgrimage of the Virgin of Lourdes," notes Carolina Miranda, a writer who covers the art world.
Chris Bram is the author of the novel Gods and Monsters.
Gore Vidal was famous for his hates: academia, presidents, whole portions of the American public and, most notably, Truman Capote. Yet he could be incredibly generous to other writer friends. He wrote beautiful, appreciative essays about Tennessee Williams and Dawn Powell.
He was a man of many facets and endless contradictions.