The U.S. Supreme Court has given an Alabama death row inmate another chance to fight his execution. By a 7-to-2 vote, the court ruled Wednesday that convicted murderer Cory Maples, "through no fault of his own," was denied the right to appeal because he was abandoned by his lawyers.
Maples was convicted in 1997 of murdering two friends and was sentenced to death. There is no doubt that he committed the crime; the doubt is whether he could have avoided the death penalty if he had been properly represented at trial.
The Transportation Security Administration now says security screeners at Kennedy Airport in New York were wrong when they asked two elderly women to show them medical devices that were under their clothing.
In a letter sent to state Sen. Michael Gianaris and acquired by the New York Daily News, the Department of Homeland Security said that there was no evidence the two women were strip-searched, as they claimed, but that their agents did go further than they should have.
Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 10:11 pm
Update at 9:45 p.m. ET. Wahlberg apologizes:
Saying his comments were "ridiculous ... irresponsible ... [and] insensitive," actor Mark Wahlberg has now apologized for saying he would have stopped 9/11 hijackers if he had been on one of the planes, Reuters reports.
Read what he's apologizing for in our original post:
The U.S. House of Representatives will likely vote today to disapprove of raising the debt ceiling by $1.2 trillion. If you remember, the last time a vote of this kind went down, it was a dramatic showdown that rattled markets and was cited as one of the prime reasons S&P downgraded the United States' debt rating.
Today's vote however will be symbolic. The debt ceiling will likely be raised no matter how Congress votes.
Our Newscast desk spoke to NPR's Andrea Seabrook, who explained the vote like this:
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm John Donvan in Washington. Huntsman hangs up his cleats, Wisconsin Dems step up to the plate, and Newt Gingrich swings for the fences in South Carolina. It is Wednesday and time for a...
NEWT GINGRICH: Paychecks versus food stamps...
DONVAN: Edition of the Political Junkie.
PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.
VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: Where's the beef?
Italian coast guard Capt. Gregorio De Falco (center) has become a national hero for ordering the captain of a sinking cruise liner to get back onboard and oversee the ship's evacuation. Here, De Falco arrives in court for a hearing on Tuesday.
Five days after a cruise liner slammed into rocks off Italy's Tuscan coast, the country is gripped by the contrasting profiles of two key figures in the drama — the captain charged with abandoning ship and the captain who demanded he get back onboard.
For many Italians, the accident has become a metaphor for a country that sees itself mired in economic and moral decline.
Francesco Schettino, the disgraced captain of the 1,000-foot-long floating palace known as the Costa Concordia, is under house arrest on suspicion of multiple manslaughter, shipwreck and abandoning ship.
Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 1:26 pm
We saw stories earlier this week about a man who was lost for two nights in Mount Rainier National Park over the weekend, but survived in part because he burned the money he was carrying to keep warm as a blizzard blew through the area.
But a critical question wasn't answered until today. — how much money went up in flames?
Emotions can be hard to gauge in the beginning of any romantic relationship. But for people with autism, who often struggle to interpret social cues, romance can be particularly challenging to navigate. And for some, the prospect of loving and being loved seems out of reach.
In 1994, three teens were convicted of the murder of three boys in West Memphis, Ark. The trial drew national attention, due in part to the documentary series Paradise Lost. The "West Memphis Three" appealed their convictions and were released from prison in August 2011.
Alexandra Ziegler, age 9, leafletting for Gingrich in Greenville, S.C.
Credit Melissa Block / NPR
The family poses for a snapshot at Newt Gingrich's campaign headquarters in Greenville, S.C. Back row, left to right: grandmother Carolyn Ball with her daughter, Sondra Ziegler; Ziegler's 5-year-old son, Sam. Front row, left to right: 9-year-old Alexandra and 10-year-old Abigail Ziegler.
Credit Melissa Block / NPR
Abigail Ziegler, age 10, knocks on doors for Gingrich in Greenville, S.C.
Sometimes it takes a family to campaign for a presidential candidate, and that's just what Melissa Block, co-host of NPR's All Things Considered, discovered while in South Carolina this week ahead of the state's Saturday primary.
Sondra Ziegler, a volunteer for GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich's campaign, is making herself useful any way she can — along with her three children and her mother.
A document that purportedly represents opposition research targeting Mitt Romney from Sen. John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign was posted online by Buzzfeed reporter Andy Kaczynski.
Immediately noticeable is how many of criticisms of Romney by his rivals during the current race for the Republican presidential nomination could just have easily come from McCain's opposition research of four years ago.
Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 4:20 pm
Saying it did not have sufficient time to properly vet the proposal, the State Department said it would recommend rejecting a proposal by TransCanada to build a 1,700 mile pipeline, which would carry oil from Canada to refineries in Texas.
Food can be transformative, especially if you're a character in a video game. When Mario ate mushrooms, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ate pizza and CJ from Grand Theft Auto ate fast food, they became better, stronger, sometimes even bigger.
But now one gamer has made that food even more enticing by putting the virtual food of video games onto her very real dinner table. That's right: Daniella Zelli, a 23-year-old gamer in Edinburgh, Scotland, cooks up dishes inspired by games and shares them on her blog.
FBI agents arrested three hedge fund executives early Wednesday in connection with a massive ongoing insider trading investigation that has involved some of Wall Street's most prominent money managers.
Todd Newman, who formerly oversaw technology investments at Diamondback Capital Management, was arrested at about 6 a.m. in the Boston suburb of Needham on charges "related to stock fraud," according to a spokesman for the FBI's Boston office.
"Life is back to normal for two towns deeply buried in snow along Alaska's Prince William Sound," The Associated Press says. "The National Weather Service said Tuesday the weather is supposed to remain clear in both Valdez and Cordova this week."
Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 11:06 am
SOPA and PIPA (no, they're not the Duchess of Cambridge's sisters) will be on the minds of a lot more people Wednesday because of the online protests by Wikipedia, Google and other popular websites over the anti-piracy legislation with the catchy acronyms currently under consideration in Congress.
Brian Unger is the host of the History Channel show How The States Got Their Shapes.
When we talk about our moms, many of us end up crying. Barbra Walters made her career exploiting this universal weakness. Newt Gingrich proved it recently, very publicly, in Iowa talking about his mom.
I'm going to try to control my emotions as I discuss my mom.
Because I'm not ashamed to say — lately, there have been a few tears.
Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 12:01 pm
While Seattle may not get hit quite as hard as previously thought by a winter storm that's moving across the Northwest, the National Weather Service has issued some ominous sounding updates about how large that storm is turning out to be.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. A city here in Southern California is fighting crime with tweets - not social networking, real tweets by birds playing on speakers along the city's main drag. The Wall Street Journal posted online the soundscape - chirping robins, splashing water and faint musical notes. The mayor of Lancaster tells the Journal the birds put residents in, quote, "a better place." And though police say the causes are many, crime in the city is down. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Scott Sanders will be eating lunch at his desk again. Sanders is the general sales manager for the NBC affiliate in Columbia — South Carolina's capital — so all his time is devoted these days to handling ad traffic ahead of Saturday's Republican primary.
"It's been crazy this week," Sanders says. "It will be hard to watch TV, because there are so many ads."
All five major GOP candidates have ads running during the station's nightly news programs. Their messages are also being amplified and augmented by supportive superPACs.