Female Marines unload their rifles after a patrol with Afghan soldiers in Helmand province in June. The Marine Corps leadership has started an experiment to determine whether female Marine lieutenants have what it takes to become infantry officers and lead on the battlefield.
Women in the U.S. military have been flying warplanes for years, and recently began serving in artillery and tank units. But they're still barred from direct ground combat.
Now, for the first time in the course's 35-year history, the Marine Corps is putting the first women through its grueling Infantry Officer Course: 86 days crawling through obstacle courses, lugging heavy machine guns, navigating the woods at night.
Col. Todd Desgrosseilliers, the top trainer at Marine Base Quantico in Virginia, says there's a good reason the course is so tough that 1 in 5 Marines fail.
For one day, anyone who showed up to this alley in the U Street neighborhood of Washington, D.C., could take a free turn at playing Indiana Jones — donning a fedora and whip and fleeing from a gigantic, rolling boulder.
Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 12:47 pm
I have spent the past few days sequestered with a crack team of political pros — actually, curled into a fetal ball, clutching a fading 1980 John Anderson poster — to gird myself for the vital first debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney.
So many questions lingered:
Would Romney offer to wager Obama $10,000 on who wins the race?
Would Obama tell Romney, "You're taxable enough, Mitt"?
Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 1:09 am
We headed to Virginia's Prince William County, a swing county in a swing state, to watch Wednesday night's presidential debate with four undecided voters — three of whom voted for Barack Obama in 2008, one who voted for Republican John McCain.
They gathered in the Occoquan home of Kim Deal and Jim Drakes, and were joined by Connie Moser of Dale City and Al Alborn of Manassas.
Workers prepare Wednesday for the presidential debate at the University of Denver. Experts differ over whether even a televised debate is a good forum for sharing very specific details about policy proposals.
Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 6:19 pm
Responding to calls that the Republican presidential ticket provide more detail about some of its policy proposals, vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan says TV isn't always the right medium for such specifics.
"I don't have the time," Paul Ryan told Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday this week, when asked about his proposed revenue neutral tax cut. "It would take me too long to go through all the math."
After a two-year investigation, a Senate report released Wednesday criticizes the Department of Homeland Security's "fusion centers" as ineffective, expensive, and encroaching on civil liberties. The centers were created after Sept. 11 to improve communication between federal counter-terrorism agents and state and local law enforcement. A department spokesman called the report flawed.
Fox News and other conservative media outlets claimed to have a scoop on Tuesday they called "Obama's other race speech." The tape that was supposed to turn this election around, however, was documented and reported on in 2007 by the very same news outlets.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish. The stage is set in Denver for the first presidential debate tonight at 9:00 p.m. Eastern. The candidates are suiting up, reporters are gathering, live tweeters are sharpening their virtual pencils. And NPR's Mara Liasson is in Denver and she joins us for a preview. Welcome, Mara.
MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Hi, Audie.
CORNISH: So what is the format for tonight's debate?
Next week, the U.S. Supreme Court reconsiders affirmative action. On Wednesday, it will hear oral arguments in the case of Fisher versus University of Texas. The plaintiff, Abigail Fisher, is a white woman who says she was denied admission because of her race. Her case is the first to reach the high court since 2003, when it re-affirmed that public colleges and universities could consider race as one of many factors in admissions decisions.
A new analysis shows that the Obama campaign continues to have superiority over the Romney campaign and its allies when it comes to TV ads. The report also finds that political ads are the most negative since 2000, and that the leading advertiser in congressional races is Karl Rove's tax-exempt group Crossroads GPS.