Here's one of the small joys of the change in marijuana laws. Colorado voters recently legalized small amounts of pot. State lawmakers must work out the details and regulations, how pot should be grown, taxed and sold. So they put together a special committee. Because it consists of members of both the State House and Senate, it is known by the phrase that such committee always are. Yes, it is the Joint Committee on Marijuana Regulation.
Some other news. The country's biggest banks are in much better shape than before the financial crisis, at least according to the Federal Reserve's third round of so-called stress tests.
NPR's Dan Bobkoff reports.
DAN BOBKOFF, BYLINE: The tests simulate a nightmare scenario: How would the banks fare if unemployment topped 12 percent, stock prices were cut in half and housing values fell 20 percent? We all know what happened five years ago when a crisis was more than hypothetical.
Now, the Senate Judiciary Committee here in Washington has approved a new gun control bill. It strengthens penalties for those who buy weapons for people who are legally barred from purchasing firearms themselves. This is the first federal gun law to head to the Senate floor since the Newtown massacre. We should say proposed federal gun law. And as NPR's Ailsa Chang reports, it's just the beginning of what looks to be a long legislative fight.
A formerly lost archeological treasure has made its way to the United States for the first time. It comes from Iran and dates back to the days of the ancient Persian Empire. It's called the Cyrus Cylinder. It'll be on tour across the U.S., starting tomorrow, with the Smithsonian Museum here in Washington.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
The Cyrus Cylinder isn't too much too look at - made of clay and shaped kind of like a loaf of bread. What's special about it is that it's etched with writing from the time.
Illinois is the only state that has a complete ban on carrying concealed weapons. Late last year, a federal court declared that law unconstitutional. Both the law and the court ruling have given Illinois a prominent place in the wider, national debate over gun control. Here's Tony Arnold of our member station WBEZ in Chicago.
Every day an estimated 22 veterans kill themselves in the U.S. and most of them use a gun to do so, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. This trend mirrors the general population where more people kill themselves with guns than by all other methods combined.
The VA is trying to help with a program that offers gun locks to veterans for free. The thinking is that if they lock their guns up they might not reach for them in the spur of the moment.
The Education Department has launched an investigation into discipline rates in Seattle public schools.
Students of color have long been punished in far higher numbers than white students in Seattle, but now the department's Office for Civil Rights is looking at whether black students are disciplined more frequently and more harshly than white students for the same behavior.
Senator Rand Paul did get a lot of attention for his nearly 13-hour filibuster, but the Kentucky Republican wouldn't even crack the top five for the longest talking filibusters. The top spot goes to South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond back in 1957. He held the floor for over 24 hours. For more on that and other notable filibusters, we talked to Senate historian Donald Ritchie. He says back in 1957, Senator Thurmond came to the Senate floor ready.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.
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And I'm Melissa Block. The city of Plainview, Texas has been a center of the cattle industry for decades. But a few weeks ago, after more than 40 years in operation, Plainview's beef processing plant shut its doors. Plant owners blame years of drought and the dwindling supply of cattle. As Mose Buchele reports from member station KUT, the closure could be a preview of things to come for the Texas plains.
Think your job is bad? Quit whining, unless you're a shrimper in the Gulf of Mexico.
Commercial fishermen have the highest rate of on-the-job fatalities of any occupation in the country — 116 deaths per 100,000 workers in 2010. A majority of the deaths happen when a fishing vessel sinks. About a third occur when someone goes overboard.
Several female mushers in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race are trying out new attire that allows them to skip bathroom stops. Here, a musher and his team pass fans at the ceremonial start of the race in Anchorage.
The Newsroom, starring Jeff Daniels, is one of the most popular American TV series in China. It's a favorite among a cadre of young, informal translators who see it as a way to challenge conventional Chinese thinking.
Credit Nick Briggs / AP/PBS
At least three translating groups in China focus on British drama Downton Abbey. For many young Chinese, it provides a window onto a foreign world of privilege and class dynamics.
Every week, thousands of young Chinese gather online to translate popular American movies and TV shows into Mandarin. Some do it for fun and to help people learn English, while others see it as a subtle way to introduce new ideas into Chinese society.
Among the more popular American TV shows on China's Internet these days is HBO's The Newsroom. One reason is an exchange between a college student and a news anchor played by Jeff Daniels. The young woman asks the aging newsman why the United States is the greatest country in the world.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Lynn Neary in Washington. The Centers for Disease Control is warning of another deadly superbug. This one, known as CRE, ultimately left seven patients dead after an outbreak in 2011 at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. CDC director Tom Frieden has called the bug a nightmare bacteria. It can resist even the strongest antibiotics.