If Iran gets a nuclear weapon, what would be the impact on Israel?
Some say this would be an existential threat that Israel cannot tolerate. Iranian nuclear weapons would raise the stakes most every time there was a conflict in the region.
But others argue that Israel could live with a nuclear Iran because the Israelis have such a powerful military of their own, including nuclear capabilities. In addition, an Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear facilities could unleash a cascade of events that would further destabilize the region.
The U.S. Capitol at sunrise on Monday, before President Obama's second inauguration. While the president raised big issues in his inaugural address — climate change, gay rights, immigration, the shooting of schoolchildren — none of them appear to top the agenda of Congress, which returned to work Tuesday.
The Senate picked up Tuesday exactly where it left off nearly three weeks ago. By a twist of the rules, the Senate chamber remains in its first legislative day of the 113th Congress.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he's kept things at the starting point so that he and his fellow Democrats have the option of changing the rules on the filibuster by a simple majority vote.
"The Senate will take action to make this institution that we all love, the United States Senate, work more effectively," Reid said Tuesday. "We'll consider changes to the Senate rules."
President Obama pulled out a surprise in his inaugural address on Monday. After barely mentioning climate change in his campaign, he put it on his short list of priorities for his second term.
"We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations," he said. Today the White House had scant detail on what the president plans to do.
Congress faces a battle over gun laws that could be the biggest in a generation.
Leading the charge for gun rights is the National Rifle Association, with its huge budget and grass-roots operations. On the other side, a new leader has emerged in recent years: New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is not only outspoken on gun control, he has also opened his substantial wallet for the cause.
Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 5:37 pm
Should emergency rooms track the number of people who get hurt or sick after drinking coffee? That's what the maker of Monster Energy drinks suggests in response to a recent report that emergency room visits involving caffeine-laced energy drinks doubled from 2007 to 2011.
A wave of racist tweets prompted a Jewish student organization to file a lawsuit asking the American company Twitter to reveal the identities of users sending anti-Semitic tweets. Twitter says data on users is collected and stocked in California, where French law cannot be applied.
A French judge will decide this week if Twitter must hand over the identities of users sending anti-Semitic tweets. The case, brought against Twitter by a Jewish student organization, pits America's free speech guarantees against Europe's laws banning hate speech.
The controversy began in October, when the French Union of Jewish Students threatened to sue Twitter to get the names of people posting anti-Semitic tweets with the hashtag #unbonjuif, or "a good Jew."
Patient William Wishart, age 4 months, looks on as Dr. Melanie Walker uses a portable computer to enter information from his exam into an electronic medical records system, in North Raleigh, N.C., in November.
Information technology has transformed much of the American economy, but its use in health care still lags, especially when it comes to electronic medical records.
Here's an example: The state of Colorado runs a computerized registry where any provider who gives a child a vaccine can report that information. The system should help kids stay current with their immunizations.
Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 4:46 pm
President Obama mentioned him five times in Monday's inaugural address — God, that is.
In modern times, religion has become so intertwined in our political rhetoric that the failure of any president to invoke God in a speech as important as the inaugural could hardly escape notice. Thanks to this graphic in The Wall Street Journal, we noticed the presidents who did (nearly all) and the few who didn't (Teddy Roosevelt, Rutherford B. Hayes).
Robert Redford's annual Sundance Film Festival draws thousands of filmgoers and millions of dollars to snowy Park City, Utah. But a state subsidy contributing to the event is drawing controversy from some conservatives, who say films screened at the festival don't reflect the values of the state.
Credit Mark Davis / Getty Images
Sundance Film Festival founder Robert Redford speaks with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and former Sen. Chris Dodd, chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, at an event at the festival in Park City, Utah.
A disagreement between supporters of the Sundance Film Festival and a conservative think tank in Utah is raising questions about whether tax dollars should support the arts. The Sutherland Institute says some films screened at Sundance do not reflect Utah values.
This isn't the sort of picture of a French soldier that his commanders want to see. Photographer Issouf Sanogo says troops were protecting their faces from dust kicked up by a helicopter landing in central Mali on Sunday.
Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 6:54 pm
The photo is quite striking, to be sure.
Agence France Press photographer Issouf Sanogo writes that when he was with French soldiers in central Mali on Sunday, "a helicopter was coming in to land and churning up tremendous dust clouds. Instinctively, all the soldiers grabbed their scarfs to avoid getting a mouthful of sand."
Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., arrives at President Obama's inauguration Monday on Capitol Hill. On Tuesday, Ryan, who ran for vice president on the losing Republican ticket last year, said Obama's inaugural address showed a "proud and confident liberal progressive."
Jose James knows jazz. The son of a Panamanian jazz saxophonist, he studied at the prestigious New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City, was a finalist in 2004's Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocalist Competition and recently toured with legendary jazz pianist McCoy Tyner.
For at least a decade, many have assumed that too many fidgety kids have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and been medicated for it. But it's still been hard to get reliable information on just how many kids are getting diagnosed and whether it's justified. So researchers at Kaiser Permanente in California decided to look at the trend, using the best data they could get from kids who'd actually seen specialists.
Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 5:30 pm
Update at 5:19 p.m. ET. College Safe:
During a news briefing, Sheriff Maj. Armando Tello said that the Lone Star College campus is now safe.
Tello said three people were injured, after an altercation between two men led to a shooting. One of the individuals invovled in the altercation was a student at the college. Another one of those shot was a maintance worker caught in the cross fire.
Tello did not give any details as to the condition of the injured.
Recent unrest in Mali and Algeria point to the growing influence of al-Qaida in North Africa. Wall Street Journal Pentagon reporter Julian Barnes and Ret. Col. Thomas Dempsey, chair for security studies at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, explain the latest developments and the threat al-Qaida presents in the region.
Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 1:13 pm
President Obama made history in his inaugural address when he mentioned Stonewall in the same breath as Selma, the Alabama town considered the birthplace of the black-rights movement, and Seneca Falls, the upstate New York site of the first women's-rights convention.
But Obama's reference was very likely lost on many in the generations that have come of age long after gay men resisted police harassment at the Stonewall Inn gay bar in New York City.
Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 2:23 pm
In his second inaugural address, the president surprised many listeners by mentioning Stonewall in the same breath as Seneca Falls and Selma — giving the struggle for gay rights the historical weight of the fights for gender and racial equality.
Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 2:18 pm
January 2013 marks the 125th birthday of the National Geographic Society. Over the decades, the magazine has transported readers to faraway places, introduced the world to new species and provided a window into a world of exploration and discovery.
President Obama "welcomes" the plan by House Republicans to vote Wednesday on a three-month extension of the nation's borrowing limit, White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters today, and "would not stand in the way of the bill becoming law." (The Hill)
"I have good news that our brother comandante President Chavez is already in physiotherapy in order to return to his country," Morales is quoted as saying. "We hope to be alongside him at international events as we have always been."
While the number of abortion providers has been decreasing, the number of pregnancy centers has been increasing. According to The New York Times, there are now approximately 1,800 abortion providers around the country, compared with 2,500 pregnancy centers. These centers, largely run by Christian groups, discourage women from getting abortions and offer help during their unplanned pregnancies.
As President Obama starts his second term, host Michel Martin takes a look at his foreign policy agenda. She speaks with NPR's Juan Forero about upcoming opportunities and challenges in Latin America — from drug trafficking, to changes in leadership, to the evolution of the U.S. relationship with Cuba.
Award-winning comedian Margaret Cho is doing a new tour called 'Mother.' It's centered on her own immigrant mom, who has always been a main character in her act. Host Michel Martin speaks with Cho for a special Tell Me More 'Moms' segment.