This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. Another Democrat steps away from the Senate, the price of previous presidents, and the present president calls out Congress on immigration. It's Wednesday and time for a...
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Political courage...
CONAN: Edition of the Political Junkie.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDINGS)
PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.
VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: Where's the beef?
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Now day two of the same-sex marriage debate in the Supreme Court. After yesterday's arguments on California's Proposition 8, today the Federal Defense of Marriage Act, DOMA as it's known. It was approved by a wide margin in Congress in 1996, but since then, many minds have changed.
Repeated American attempts to work with Russia on Syria have foundered on a fundamental difference. Vladimir Putin insists on a deal that includes Bashar al-Assad as part of Syria's future. So the civil war grinds on and the situation of civilians there grows ever more dire. So why? Arms exports? Access to the port of Tartus? Standing up for old allies?
The chief of Amnesty International Russia, Sergei Nikitin, at his Moscow office on March 25, after Russian prosecutors and tax police carried out a search. The group is one of many that have been searched under a new law that critics say is being used to stifle dissent.
Credit Ivan Sekretarev / AP
Prosecutors searched for documents related to the activities of the human rights group Memorial in Moscow on March 21.
Russian investigators have descended on the offices of nongovernmental organizations across the country, demanding to inspect financial records and other documents.
This follows the recent passage of a law designed to impose tighter controls over these NGOs, especially those that receive funding from abroad. Critics say it's part of a broader crackdown on dissent since Vladimir Putin regained the presidency last year.
The offices of the human rights group Memorial are still abuzz after a team of government inspectors paid an unannounced visit
Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 1:41 pm
The largest gene-probing study ever done has fished out dozens of new genetic markers that flag a person's susceptibility to breast, ovarian and prostate cancer.
The 74 newly discovered genetic variants double the previously known number for these malignancies, all of which are driven by sex hormones.
Underscoring the sheer magnitude of the findings, they're contained in 15 scientific papers published simultaneously by five different journals. The Nature group of journals has collected them all here.
The high school rape case in Steubenville, Ohio raised uncomfortable questions about how young people learn about their sexual rights and responsibilities. Host Michel Martin talks about the real sex education teens should be getting, with author Laura Sessions Stepp, attorney B.J. Bernstein, and youth mentor Malik Washington.
NPR's Nina Totenberg: On what happens if the court declines to decide.
(We most recently updated the top of this post at 1:45 p.m. ET.)
There seem to be four solid votes on the Supreme Court — and possibly a fifth — to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act that bars federal recognition of same-sex marriages, NPR's Nina Totenberg told us after Wednesday's oral arguments before the nine justices.
But there's a big "if."
As in: There's possibly a 5-vote majority to strike down the law if the court first decides it should even issue an opinion.
Originally published on Mon April 1, 2013 11:44 am
Ernie Button was putting a Scotch glass left out overnight into the dishwasher when he noticed something — a white, chalky film on the bottom of the glass. He held it up to the light and, upon closer inspection, could see a series of fine, lacy lines running along the inside of the glass.
As a hobbyist photographer whose work often focuses on showcasing the beauty of everyday objects, Button was intrigued by this discovery. "Wow, there's something to that," he recalls thinking.
In this image taken July 16, 2012, and provided by Edlib News Network, a Syrian girl holds a poster that reads, "Greetings from Kfarnebel's children to the Free Syrian Army soldiers in Damascus," during a demonstration in Kfarnebel, Syria. The image was part of an "inside rebel-held Syria" series of stories by NPR's Kelly McEvers.
Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 2:07 pm
Praising their "detailed reportage, often from dangerous locations," the judges of the 72nd Annual Peabody Awards have singled out NPR's Kelly McEvers and Deborah Amos for their coverage of the conflict in Syria.
Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 2:44 pm
The Moscow offices of Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and several other NGOs have been searched in recent weeks by Russian prosecutors and tax inspectors, prompting concern over what is being viewed by some as a "concerted action" against the groups.
Rachel Denber of Human Rights Watch was quoted Wednesday by The Associated Press as saying that officials from the prosecutor general's office and tax police were conducting an "unannounced audit" and demanding documents.
Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 1:31 pm
Allergy shots have long been one of the best available treatments for hay fever, other allergies, and asthma, but they're a pain. In Europe, people have a more pleasant alternative: drops put under the tongue.
That treatment, called sublingual immunotherapy, hasn't been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, but more and more patients in the U.S. are asking for it.
Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 1:27 pm
North Korea cut a hotline with South Korea on on Wednesday and told the United Nations that conditions were ripe for a "simmering nuclear war" on the peninsula.
"Upon authorization of the Foreign Ministry, the DPRK [North Korea] openly informs the U.N. Security Council that the Korean Peninsula now has the conditions for a simmering nuclear war," a statement read. "This is because of [provocative] moves by the U.S. and South Korean puppets."