Control of Congress won't be the only big question in this fall's elections. A quieter but critical battle is being waged over state-level races for secretary of state. In most states, that's the official in charge of running elections. Elections have become a political lightning rod. Many conservatives rail against voter fraud and lax rules, liberals say that's voter suppression. And now, as NPR's Peter Overby reports, superPACs want to nationalize the fight over secretary of state.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
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A new report out this afternoon poured some gasoline on the already raging debate over whether to raise the minimum wage. The report from the Congressional Budget Office says boosting the federal minimum to $10.10 an hour, as President Obama has proposed, would lift 900,000 people out of poverty. But it would also cost about half-a-million jobs.
The United Auto Workers Union suffered a major defeat when a drive to represent workers at a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee failed last week. Right now, leaders of the AFL-CIO are holding their winter meetings in Houston and that VW vote is a major topic.
NPR national political correspondent Don Gonyea has more.
Opening nights of new incarnations of late-night TV talk shows are good, mostly, for first impressions — or, in the case of Jay Leno, sometimes a second impression. It's not fair to make strong judgments on the content alone, because a first show always is top-heavy with ideas, special guests and nervousness. But it is fair game to judge the set, the environment, the overall mood, and how well the host fits into the history of late-night television.
Teen years are sort of a "rehearsal" for adulthood, author Meg Wolitzer tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross, and that's particularly true at the performing arts summer camp where her latest novel begins. It's 1974, and the main character, Jules, a newcomer to the camp, is invited into a circle of 15- and 16-year-olds who nickname themselves — with knowing irony — The Interestings.
Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 2:05 pm
Two photos posted on Instagram by a member of the Wisconsin National Guard have caused an uproar on social media.
In one, 14 soldiers are seen joking around in front of what authorities say was an empty coffin draped with the American flag. The caption with that image reads, in part: "We put the FUN in funeral."
In the other, the soldier who put the pictures on the Web is seen in uniform. The caption with that photo reads: "It's so damn cold out....WHY have a funeral outside !? Somebody's getting a jacked up flag."
Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 12:01 am
This post was updated at 8:52 p.m. ET
Riot police stormed the main anti-government camp in central Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, on Tuesday. They fought with demonstrators armed with clubs and wearing helmets fought back. More than a dozen people were killed, including five policemen, according to AP and the BBC.
Opposition leaders met late in the day with President Viktor Yanukovych, but left without an agreement.
Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 2:02 pm
President Obama said Tuesday that he has told the Environmental Protection Agency to work with the Department of Transportation on a second round of regulations to improve the fuel efficiency of medium- and heavy-duty trucks. The goal: reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions they contribute to the environment.
Many people fervently consider alleged NSA leaker Edward Snowden a whistleblower who did a great service by revealing information about the U.S. government's secret surveillance programs. His release of highly classified national security documents, they argue, has sparked an important public debate that could ultimately force a needed overhaul of the NSA's surveillance programs.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Today, we want to spend some time talking about that controversial verdict in the trial of Michael Dunn. He is the Florida man who fired into an SUV back in 2012, with four unarmed teenagers inside. He killed one of the teens, then-17-year-old Jordan Davis. Apparently, Dunn was angry because he felt the boys' music was too loud, and he decided they should turn it down. And then a verbal altercation ensued. That's why you might have seen this referred to as the loud music trial.