Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney picked up two big endorsements this week from GOP foreign policy luminaries: former Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and George Shultz.
At this point in the presidential race, endorsements are pretty routine. But these particular endorsements are important, since Romney has encountered some skepticism from foreign policy experts in his party.
Some Republicans expected the long, bloody wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to alter their party's traditional interventionist view. Those Republicans are disappointed in Romney.
What is it about Brandi Carlile's voice that gets right inside you? The power? Her range? It may be the way she can crack open a note, as she does in her best-known song, "The Story," which was prominently featured on Grey's Anatomy.
Next Tuesday, a very unusual election will put conservative Republican Tea Party politics to a test. Wisconsin's Republican governor, Scott Walker, faces a recall vote. His opponent is the Democrat he defeated in 2010, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. Wisconsin Democrats petitioned for Walker's recall after his aggressive stance against public employee collective bargaining rights. As we've reported here, money is flowing into the race. Nearly $60 million has been spent, about three quarters of that sum by the Republicans.
A federal appeals court in Boston ruled unanimously Thursday that a key part of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. Ultimately, however, the court said that it will be up to the U.S. Supreme Court to determine whether the federal government can deny economic entitlements to legally married same-sex couples.
Now, from the high flying Spurs to a 2,400 foot skydive with nothing but a wing suit and a pile of cardboard boxes to break the fall. That's exactly what Gary Connery did. He had a parachute, but he didn't use it and - spoiler alert - he survived the jump and joins us now to talk about it.
Welcome to the program.
GARY CONNERY: Thank you. Thanks for having me.
SIEGEL: I've just said that you jumped with a wing suit as if I know what that means. I want you to describe what the wing suit was.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel.
The mayor of the nation's largest city is proposing a new approach to a national problem, obesity. In restaurants, movie theaters and some other establishments, Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to stop the sales of super-sized soft drinks. Put simply, the proposal is to ban big cups.
And as NPR's Joel Rose reports, that is prompting objections from the beverage industry and from other New Yorkers.
Well, now, Melissa, we've been calling it soda here, which may have some of you in other places yelling at us, it's not soda. It's pop. Or if you're from the South, you may call it Coke. You may use that to describe any carbonated beverage.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
well, Robert, you know that I am from New York like you are, and it tastes like soda to me.
Three presidents were reunited at the White House today. The occasion was the unveiling of two new portraits of George and Laura Bush. The paintings by Austin, Texas native John Howard Sanden will hang near those of George Bush's parents, who were also on hand for the ceremony. NPR's Scott Horsley reports.
This month, NPR's Backseat Book Club hits the high seas for an adventurous novel called Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus. The book begins in 1841, and is based on the sprawling true-life tale of Manjiro, whose destiny was almost determined before birth as a son in a long line of fishermen. But a storm blew his life on a new course, and he became one of the first Japanese to set foot in America.
Poised to triumphantly clinch the Republican nomination for president, Romney instead was upstaged Tuesday by supporter Donald Trump's new birther-on-steroids shtick that stole the headlines and the candidate's big moment.
Then on Thursday, ready to embarrass President Obama by holding a "surprise" press event in front of Solyndra, the Obama-touted California solar energy company that failed after getting a $535 million government loan guarantee, Romney was upstaged yet again.
A student in Pamplona, holding a sign in the Basque language, protests cuts Thursday in education and other public services by the government. Spain's financial position is weakening and there are fears the country will need a bailout.
Spain's borrowing costs hit record highs this week and European stock markets have slumped over fears Madrid can't afford the price tag required to prop up its ailing banks. It's looking ever more likely the country will need some kind of bailout.
After watching Greece from afar for years, many Spaniards now believe Spain's number is up.
A tourist in Madrid might wonder where the crisis is. Traffic is heavy and the tapas bars are packed.
But listen in on some of the conversations, and it's clear that Spaniards are scared.
The school year's winding down, meaning teenagers around the country will soon be trying to pull in some extra cash scooping ice cream or manning those kiosks at the mall.
But with the job market still weak, teens are facing stiff competition landing summer jobs. And while the downturn has hit young job seekers particularly hard, it's not just the lingering effects of the Great Recession working against them: the drop-off in teen summer hiring actually began long before 2007.