Mark Barden, the father of a young Newtown, Conn., shooting victim, speaks at a White House news conference on Wednesday, with President Obama and former Rep. Gabby Giffords. Obama denounced the Senate's defeat of a measure to expand background checks for gun buyers. "This was a pretty shameful day in Washington," he said.
Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 4:53 pm
The Senate's rejection of more robust gun purchase background checks was a stinging blow to President Obama that raised questions about his second-term agenda.
Expanding background checks had become a key part of Obama's post-Newtown push for tougher federal gun control laws. And in recent weeks, the president had campaigned for overall gun control legislation — especially the bipartisan background-check compromise — with a sense of urgency.
In this image reviewed by the U.S. military, Navy Capt. Robert Durand stands next to some of the makeshift weapons confiscated from detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison following a clash Saturday between prisoners and guards.
The U.S. military says the number of prisoners on hunger strike at the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay has risen to 52 — up from 45 a day earlier. The news comes just days after guards raided a section of the facility to move prisoners to single cells from their communal holding area because the detainees had covered security cameras and engaged in other actions.
The Miami Herald's Carol Rosenberg had this tweet:
While an immigration overhaul has drawn support from church groups, business, labor and even former opponents, there's still deep opposition — mostly centered in the Republican Party.
The last time a president tried to pass a comprehensive immigration overhaul was in 2007, and George W. Bush's fellow Republicans in Congress killed his bill. Republican strategist Kevin Madden says a lot has changed since then — including the way the Republican Party is dealing with its own internal divisions.
E. Paul Torrance, shown here in the mid-'80s, spent most of his career studying and encouraging students' creativity.
Credit Courtesy University of Georgia
Assistant teacher Charlotte Lang Bush draws with children at Imagination Stage in Bethesda, Md. Staff members and some students at the children's theater and arts center have taken the Torrance Test to measure their creativity.
Credit Jeremy Rusnock / Courtesy Imagination Stage
This is the second in a three-part series aboutthe intersection of education and the arts.
Let's start with a question from a standardized test: "How would the world be different if we all had a third eye in the back of our heads?"
It's not a typical standardized question, but as part of the Next Generation Creativity Survey, it's used to help measure creativity a bit like an IQ test measures intelligence. And it's not the only creativity test out there.
Acadia National Park draws thousands of visitors every year and contributed $186 million to the state's economy in 2011 alone. But under sequestration cuts, the park is closing roads for an additional month and cutting back staff and programming, leaving area business owners nervous about the 2013 summer season.
President Obama makes a statement on gun violence as Vice President Joe Biden, former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and family members of Newtown, Conn., shooting victims look on at the White House Rose Garden.
Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 4:36 pm
A bipartisan compromise that would have expanded federal background checks for firearms purchases has been rejected by the Senate.
The defeat of the measure by a 54-46 vote — six votes shy of the number needed to clear the Senate — marks a major setback for gun-control advocates, many of whom had hoped that Congress would act to curb gun violence in the wake of December's Newtown elementary school massacre, where 20 students and six adults were killed.
Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 3:17 pm
Scientists have unraveled the genome of the coelacanth, a rare and primitive fish once thought to be extinct, shedding light on how closely it's related to the first creatures to emerge from the sea.
The coelacanth, a fish that can reach up to 5 feet long and lives in deep ocean caves, had only been seen in fossils and was thought to have gone extinct some 70 million years ago. That was until 1938, when fishermen from the Comoros islands off the coast of Africa captured one in a net. A second coelacanth species was discovered off the Indonesian island of Sulewesi in 1997.
Jenny Sanford says her ex-husband was in her Sullivan's Island, S.C., home without her permission.
Credit Mary Ann Chastain / AP
Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, with his fiancee Maria Belen Chapur, addresses supporters in Mount Pleasant, S.C., on April 2, after winning the GOP nomination for the U.S. House seat he once held. Two days after the May 7 special election, Sanford is scheduled to appear in court on a trespassing complaint from his former wife.
Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 2:29 pm
If it seemed like former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford's problem with female voters couldn't get any worse, well, it appears that it might have.
Sanford, a Republican, is hoping to put the marital scandal that defined his second term behind him with a return to Congress in a May 7 special election. But just two days later, Sanford will have to appear in court to defend himself from an accusation that he was at his ex-wife's house in February without her permission.
Pro-Assad, flag-painted Hummers are often seen driving throughout Damascus blasting patriotic songs and regime slogans. These two vehicles were photographed at the site of blasts earlier this month near Syria's central bank.
This photo, from the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), shows members of the Damascus Youth volunteer group visiting Syrian soldiers at a checkpoint in Damascus, on the country's national day.
When people talk about movie magic, they rarely mean card tricks. They're talking about digital wizardry and special effects.
But a new documentary called Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay is all about card tricks — and a man who has devoted his life to them.
Card artist Ricky Jay keeps up a constant stream of chatter in his act onstage — everything from gambling poems to stories about The Great Cardini — and it's all very entertaining, but the patter is designed to distract you from what he's doing.
James Hunter fell in love with vintage R&B during his youth in England, with his grandmother's records providing a foundation. Hunter sang in workingman's clubs and got a break in the early '90s, when Van Morrison heard him singing and invited him on tour as a backing vocalist.
A vendor weighs a live chicken at the Kowloon City Market in Hong Kong Friday. Health authorities there have stepped up the testing of live poultry from China to include a rapid test for the H7N9 bird virus.
In his cover story for the April 29 issue of The New Republic, "The Hell of American Day Care," Jonathan Cohn writes that "trusting your child with someone else is one of the hardest things a parent has to do — and in the U.S., it's harder still, because American day care is a mess. And about 40 percent of children under 5 spend at least part of their week in the care of somebody other than a parent."
You know, many of those injured and all three of the people who were killed at the scene of the Boston Marathon were there to cheer on the runners. They weren't running. Running is usually a fairly solitary sport, but a marathon is a unique moment when these athletes run alongside others, for one thing, and they're cheered on by sometimes thousands of spectators. Runners rely on those familiar faces and their cheerful signs to motivate them through all 26.2 miles.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Celeste Headlee. Neal Conan is away. The attacks on the Boston Marathon have had a ripple effect around the world. Organizers of the London Marathon are working with local police to increase security measures there. And organizers of smaller marathons, like the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon, are meeting to discuss how to best protect runners and spectators in the wake of the Boston tragedy. We'll speak to the emergency coordinator of that marathon in just a moment.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, leading Republicans have been making news lately talking about outreach to African-Americans, Latinos, and LGBT voters, but what about women? They've also been trending Democrat for decades. We're going to speak with a diverse group of women writers and commentators about this. That's later in the program.
Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 11:31 am
Look at the center of this map, at the little red dot that marks Kansas City. Technically, Kansas City is at the edge of Missouri, but here on this map it's in the upper middle section of a bigger space with strong blue borders. We don't have a name for this bigger space yet, but soon we will.
Brad Paisley's Wheelhouse is yet another very good album from a singer, songwriter and guitarist who's made a bunch of them in a row. It features a slew of shrewd songs about finding pleasure and comfort in a frequently unpleasant, uncomfortable world. The music includes a bone-cracking song about domestic violence written from a woman's point of view, one that praises Christian values from the perspective of a jealous skeptic, and one that samples the great Roger Miller as deftly as any hip-hop production.
This is FRESH AIR. When the bombs went off Monday, my guest Amby Burfoot was seven-tenths of a mile from the finish line. Burfoot has a special place in the history of the Boston Marathon - he was the winner 45 years ago in 1968. To celebrate the anniversary of his win every five years he runs the Boston Marathon again. Many runners have turned to Burfoot for advice over the years.
Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 8:34 am
Jesse Dee grew up in Boston — far from the South, where the music he loves has its roots — and could never quite shake the '50s and '60s R&B he'd heard on the radio as a kid. He started writing his own material in high school because he wanted his music to be contemporary.
Dee's first album, Bittersweet Batch, came out in 2008; his latest is On My Mind/In My Heart. His love of singing shines through, in both our conversation and this live session.
From the first explosion in Boston on Monday to the second, just 15 seconds elapsed. And in those 15 seconds, three people were mortally wounded, including an 8-year-old boy. The number of injured topped 100, and for those of us watching, it was a profound reminder of a reality we'd prefer to ignore.