Under a new permit issued by the Environmental l Protection Agency, Albuquerque has six months to improve its plan for dealing with storm water runoff. KUNM’s Conservation Beat reporter Sidsel Overgaard has more.
James Fallows of The Atlantic talks to weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz about President Barack Obama's compromise on providing reproductive services mandated by health care law after resistance from religious institutions and his latest cover story for The Atlantic on Obama's demeanor and a recent deal reached with five of the biggest banks in the country to pay back individuals whose homes were wrongly foreclosed on.
Well, every single state in the country will get a piece of that $26 billion to help troubled homeowners keep their homes, every single state except Oklahoma. The attorney general in Oklahoma decided to opt out of the multistate settlement to hold banks accountable for questionable lending and foreclosure practices.
Scott Pruitt is Oklahoma's attorney general, and he joins me now on the line. Attorney General, welcome.
Okfuskee County in Oklahoma is the birthplace of Woody Guthrie, who would have turned 100 this year. Much of the economic problems Guthrie sang about were from what he saw in the county, which was once the largest all-black community in the country. Guthrie's music still resonates there, especially in the town of Boley, where hope is hard to come by. Logan Layden of State Impact Oklahoma reports.
President Obama's latest proposed change in how contraceptives are covered by employer health insurance may not have ended the controversy that has raged for the past three weeks. But what the administration is calling an "accommodation" for religious employers has apparently mollified key allies who'd opposed his original plan.
Archbishop Thomas Wenski, shown celebrating Mass at the Cathedral of St. Mary in Miami last month, says the new birth control policy is a "smoke screen."
Credit Mario Tama / Getty Images
Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, shown at Ash Wednesday services at Saint Patrick's Cathedral last year, has called the Obama administration's decision "a first step in the right direction."
Reaction from the Catholic community to the Obama administration's decision to revise its birth control policy was swift and mixed.
Under the new rule, employers with a religious objection to offering contraceptive coverage as part of their health care plans wouldn't have to provide it directly. Instead, the requirement to provide that coverage free of charge would fall on the insurance companies.
Some Catholics believe the president's new rule resolves the religious liberty issues. But others, including key bishops, say it is smoke and mirrors.
It's appropriate that Darwin, the tropical capital of Australia's Northern Territory, is named for the English naturalist.
The massive, powerful and deadly saltwater crocodile — the world's largest living reptile — is the evolutionary triumph of 50 million years of natural selection. And in Darwin, the crocodile is equally dreaded and beloved.
Crocodylusporosus was hunted to near extinction in the last century. But in 1974, the Australian government put the species, known affectionately as the "Australian salty," under federal protection.
Audie Cornish talks to Chris Arnold about how money from the robo-signing agreement will be spent. The settlement — worth about $25 billion — will bring a huge increase in loan modifications and provide small checks to people who lost their homes to foreclosure.
Tensions are growing in the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom of Bahrain. Protests by Shiites in outlying areas are growing ahead of next week's anniversary of the uprising. There are daily clashes between protesters and police and some fear that the violence will escalate as the anniversary approaches on Feb. 14, perhaps spreading to the streets of the capital, Manama.
The nation's big banks are writing death plans — living wills that spell out how, in a future crisis, they could be safely dismantled. The idea is that the death plans will help avoid another government bailout of the banks.
"You're technically writing your own funeral, down to the color of the flowers" says Dolores Atallo.
Like most pop singers, Sharon Van Etten seems to love repetition — a technique used aggressively in ad jingles and Top 40 hits, but also in more hypnotic and emotionally complicated ways. Van Etten's new record, Tramp, is full of repeated riffs, drones and phonemes, and they're more intense and emotionally packed than ever. Songs like "Serpents" display her expansive voice and coiled songwriting, and are earning Van Etten a good deal of attention.
GOP presidential candidates (from left) Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and Ron Paul place their hands over their hearts during the national anthem at the start of a debate in Florida last month.
Cutting taxes is part of the DNA of the modern Republican Party. All four of the remaining GOP candidates for president have proposed steep cuts in business and personal taxes, and it sometimes seems like Republicans are competing to show the most enthusiasm for tax cuts.
At a debate last month, former Sen. Rick Santorum said tax cuts were needed to get the economy thriving again — even if they benefit the wealthy.
In the 11 years since the Oscars introduced an award for Best Animated Feature, the category has been dominated by children's movies, often with computer-animated pandas, penguins and ogres at their center. This year's a little different. Two of the animated films are subtitled, and one is definitely aimed at adults: the Spanish film Chico and Rita, an animated love story steeped in jazz.
Egyptian authorities have released details of the charges against 43 people, including 19 Americans, who worked for democracy-building NGOs around the country. Cairo says the suspects were carrying out political, not civil society activities, particularly after the revolution began just over a year ago.
It's been 30 years since Britain and Argentina went to war over the Falkland Islands. The British won, leaving the islands off the coast of Argentina in British hands. While the war may be over, tensions between the two countries about who owns the Falklands have risen in recent months. Host Robert Siegel talks with professor Mark Jones of Rice University for more.
A proposal in Congress could raise the tax bill for millions of undocumented immigrants by restricting who is eligible for a popular tax credit. From the Fronteras Changing America Desk, Jill Replogle has the story.
As a candidate and as president, Barack Obama has disparaged the role of big money in politics. At his 2010 State of the Union address, he even called out the Supreme Court for a ruling that opened the door to unlimited personal and business contributions. But, faced with a Republican opposition that's raising millions from a handful of sources, President Obama let his fundraisers loose to play the game too.
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has joined the chorus criticizing President Obama over a controversial policy that would require most employers, including Catholic hospitals and universities, to include birth control in their employees' health insurance.
Catholic opinion leaders have denounced the policy as an assault on their religious freedom.
American comedy duo Jerry Lewis (left) and Dean Martin (right) with the English playwright and actor Noel Coward at an unknown location on June 14. 1953. Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin were famous for their cabaret acts in the 1940s and 1950s.
Credit Courtesy of Murray Horwitz
Murray Horwitz is a former Ringling Brothers Circus clown. He was the founding Director of the American Film Institute's Silver Theater and Cultural Center in Silver Spring, MD.
One of New York City's most famous cabaret clubs, the Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel, is closing. At least one person will feel the loss — Murray Horwitz, the author of two Broadway musicals and numerous cabaret acts.
Welsh composer Paul Mealor, who scored the music for Prince William and Kate Middleton's royal wedding, has a new composition in the works. For it, he's seeking a rich and low singing voice — one capable of reaching the "low E" note. And as he's learning, reaching the low E is no easy feat. To find a singer up to the task, Mealor has had to embark on an international search. Robert Siegel catches up with Mealor to hear how his search is going.
The L.A. Unified School District is replacing the entire staff of the elementary school at the center of a growing sex abuse scandal. Two teachers from Miramonte Elementary have been arrested on suspicions of abusing and conducting lewd acts on children.
Roger Boisjoly was a booster rocket engineer at NASA contractor Morton Thiokol in Utah in January, 1986, when he and four colleagues became embroiled in the fatal decision to launch the Space Shuttle Challenger.
Boisjoly was also one of two confidential sources quoted by NPR three weeks later in the first detailed report about the Challenger launch decision, and the stiff resistance by Boisjoly and other Thiokol engineers.
According to the libertarian social scientist Charles Murray, America is "coming apart at the seams." Class strain has cleaved society into two groups, he argues in his new book Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010: an upper class, defined by educational attainment, and a new lower class, characterized by the lack of it. Murray also posits that the new "lower class" is less industrious, less likely to marry and raise children in a two-parent household, and more politically and socially disengaged
Singer-songwriter Jill Sobule is probably best known for her 1995 hit single, "I Kissed a Girl." These days, she's taking on a new musical project: the gender-bending play by Isaac Bashevis Singer, Yentl.
Barbra Streisand turned Singer's play into her 1984 hit movie musical of the same name. Although Sobule's version features music, it's a little more Singer and a little less Streisand.
"She changed the ending and made it kind of Funny Girl coming to America. ... We keep to the word," Sobule tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz.