New York Governor Andrew Cuomo promised to hold the Long Island Power Authority accountable for its performance after Superstorm Sandy. He appointed a special commission to look at how the utility performed. The commission had a meeting Tuesday night on Long Island, where thousands lost power, in some cases for weeks.
Superstorm Sandy caused massive beach erosion and damage to the Jersey shore. Some people say the beach restoration work, which will largely be paid for with federal tax dollars, will mostly help to protect expensive homes for the wealthy — people who have free access to the beach — while most communities would still be charging fees for public access.
At an oceanfront park in Long Branch, N.J., Tim Dillingham looks out over the beach in awe of how much the pounding waves and high waters of Hurricane Sandy have changed the Jersey shore.
Dillingham is the executive director of the American Littoral Society, a coastal conservation group. Before the storm, he says, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spent years building up the beaches by pumping sand onto them.
But that shouldn't be a solution to restoring the shore, he says.
Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, speaks Tuesday as Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., and Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., listen during a news conference on Capitol Hill calling for no reduction in the Medicare and Medicaid budgets as part of the year-end budget talks.
At least in public, Republicans have been clear that they see the current budget negotiations as a chance to address what they see as the source of Washington's deficit problem: major entitlement programs.
Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 6:33 pm
The back and forth over the "fiscal cliff" continues: House Speaker John Boehner sent a new counterproposal to the White House on Tuesday that, according to a spokesman for the speaker, aims to "achieve tax and entitlement reform to solve our looming debt crisis and create more American jobs."
Tuesday's offer from Boehner follows his remarks on the House floor in which he called on President Obama to identify what spending cuts the White House will accept as part of a "balanced approach" toward a deal.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish. It is the biggest penalty ever paid by a bank to the U.S. government. HSBC, a British company, will hand over $1.9 billion to settle a money laundering case. The Justice Department says HSBC violated the bank secrecy act and the trading with the enemy act by doing business with the likes of Iran.
In Illinois, basketball is serious business. It's the home of the six-time champion Chicago Bulls, after all. But this next story is about some NBA-sized players at a small suburban high school. A group of boys from Southern Sudan who attend this school went to court for the right to play on the court. And as NPR's Cheryl Corley reports, they've scored a win.
CHERYL CORLEY, BYLINE: There's nothing like a good tall tale and this involves some serious height.
More now on the HSBC case and, more broadly, on what banks are obliged to do and what HSBC did not do. Jimmy Gurule is a professor of law at Notre Dame University law school, used to be undersecretary for enforcement at the Department of the Treasury. Welcome to the program.
JIM GURULE: Thank you.
SIEGEL: And first, someone makes a big deposit at a big bank. What must the bank do and what must it know about that deposit?
Now to one of the big sticking points in Washington these days. Much of the debate over impending tax hikes and budget cuts centers on the tax rate for top earners. President Obama argues the tax rate for income over $250,000 a year should be allowed to go up. Republicans say there should be no change in tax rates. When Democrats talk about raising taxes on the wealthy, Republicans hear it as raising taxes on small businesses and killing jobs.
Well, NPR's S.V. Date has been exploring that argument.
Michigan's House approved legislation on Tuesday that would significantly weaken union powers, as protestors gathered outside. Opponents claim it is politically motivated and hurts the average worker. Supporters say it will help attract new businesses to the state. Thousands of protestors descended on the capitol building as the vote took place.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
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And I'm Robert Siegel.
Speaker of the House John Boehner took to his chamber's floor today with an update on negotiations over the federal budget. As the clock ticks toward automatic spending cuts and tax hikes, Boehner gave the impression that little has changed.
You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.
George Zimmerman, the former neighborhood watch volunteer who shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, has himself become a victim. That was the message today from Zimmerman's lawyers, who were in court asking a judge to loosen the terms of his release on bail. The judge refused.
But as NPR's Greg Allen reports, the hearing gave a preview of some of the arguments expected if the case goes to trial.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.
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And I'm Robert Siegel.
One hundred thirty-seven shots. In Cleveland last month, a late night car chase culminated in police discharging their weapons 137 times, killing two people who appear to have been unarmed. Many in the community say the incident has racial overtones and are calling for a federal investigation.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar endorsed a plan Tuesday to remove the disputed "drum major" inscription from the memorial and replace it with a fuller version of the quote.