The 2012 presidential election was supposed to be about the economy, and even with President Obama's historic decision to make it known Wednesday that he supports same-sex marriage, that is still likely to be true.
But the president's decision to announce in an ABC News interview that he personally backs gay marriage could mean that at least one social issue may take a more prominent role in the election-year spotlight.
A foreclosed home in Los Angeles. More than 4 million homeowners nationwide are eligible for an independent review of their foreclosure process, but only a small percentage have applied to the program.
It's been more than six months since government regulators and banks first extended an offer to 4.3 million homeowners facing foreclosure: to review, at no cost, the foreclosure process to check for any possible errors or misrepresentations.
Homeowners stand to collect compensation of as much as $100,000 if errors are found. But thus far, only a tiny percentage of those eligible have signed up.
For reaction now, we turn to writer and political blogger Andrew Sullivan. He is gay and married, and for years has been a leading advocate of same-sex marriage. He's the editor of the blog "The Dish" at The Daily Beast website. And, Andrew, I take it from what I've seen on your blog this afternoon you have mixed feelings about this development.
More now on how Saudi intelligence may have managed to infiltrate al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula. Robert Grenier is the former director of the CIA's counterterrorism center, who also served in CIA posts in the Middle East. He says one avenue for Saudi intelligence is family and tribal relations.
But as the latest bomb plot in Yemen shows, little stays hidden for long these days.
In the post-Sept. 11 world, even the most sensitive intelligence operations quickly become daily fodder as the 24-hour news cycle, the Internet and media-friendly politicians give the story momentum. And it's often senior government officials and the intelligence community who spread the juiciest details.
Twice a week, local seniors in Warrenton, Virginia, flock to a hip new dinner spot called the Bistro on the Hill for good food, a great view, and musical accompaniment by a retired piano player from a nearby Nordstrom's.
On June 11, 2011, Matt Rutherford set sail from Annapolis, Md., on an epic voyage. He traveled down the Chesapeake Bay, up the East Coast, then through the Northwest Passage, down the Pacific, around Cape Horn, back up the coast of South America, and all the way back home.
In 10 months, he sailed over 27,000 miles in a 27-foot sailboat — named the St. Brendan after the 6th-century explorer — and became the first person to complete a solo, nonstop circumnavigation of the Americas.
Credit Andrew Harrier / Bloomberg via Getty Images
An employee loads flat trays onto a truck at the U.S. Postal Service processing and distribution center in Merrifield, Va. The USPS, which is projecting a $14.1 billion loss this fiscal year, is discussing restructuring options with potential advisers.
Many headlines and stories (including some of ours) have been saying that a "double agent" infiltrated al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula and foiled a plot to get another underwear bomb aboard a U.S.-bound passenger jet.
But we've been looking at definitions of spy terms and think that based on what we have been told so far, the person at the center of the story wasn't a double agent.
What if it's not just our genes or our lifestyle, exactly, that makes us skinny or fat, healthy or sick? What if it's also the makeup of the bacterial ecosystem that inhabits our gut?
A growing pile of scientific studies is pointing us in that direction. Researchers in this hot new field describe the microbes in our gut as a vital organ that's as essential as our liver or kidneys. They're finding that this organ, which they call the "microbiome," varies greatly from person to person.
The amount of plastic debris in the part of the Pacific Ocean known as the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch" has grown 100-fold in the past 40 years.
In a paper published today by the journal Biology Letters, scientists from Scripps Institution of Oceanography report that most of that plastic has degraded into pieces no bigger than a fingernail. But that wasn't the major finding the scientists are reporting.
The scientists have found that all those pieces of plastic have provided ample opportunity for insects called "sea skaters" to breed.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. It's official: Gary Johnson lands the Libertarian presidential nomination. Former standard-bearer Ron Paul picks up GOP delegates. And Democrats wonder about the pace of evolution. It's Wednesday and time for a...
VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Absolutely comfortable...
CONAN: 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?
The fall of Colonel Moammar Gadhafi's regime in Libya was hailed as one of the great successes of the Arab Spring. More than six months later, attacks continue on the prime minister's compound and well-armed mercenary fighters and stockpiles of weapons have made their way into Sub-Saharan Africa.
It was a story about the little guy taking on the big, multinational corporation on equal footing: Heather Peters, a California woman, took Honda to small claims court claiming her hybrid Civic wasn't getting the gas mileage promised on the window sticker.
A woman lights a candle during a tribute to slain Mexican journalists at the Monument of Independence in Mexico City on May 5. The vigil took place to protest violence against the press after the brutal murders of four journalists in Veracruz state.
Credit Yuri Cortez / AFP/Getty Images
A mourner holds up a copy of Proceso magazine with investigative reporter Regina Martinez on its cover at the vigil in Mexico City last week. At the end of April, Martinez's body was found in her bathroom, beaten and strangled.
Credit Felix Marquez / AP
A priest sprinkles holy water on the coffins of photojournalists Gabriel Huge (bottom) and Guillermo Luna during a public Mass in Veracruz last week. Killed by unknown assailants, the bodies were found dumped in plastic bags by a canal in Veracruz less than a week after the killing of Regina Martinez.
Credit John Burnett / NPR
Mexicans hold up posters of journalists who have been killed in recent years, at a recent vigil in Mexico City.
Mexico is reeling from another round of brutal murders of journalists. Four journalists and photographers who covered the police beat have been killed in eastern Mexico's crime-ridden state of Veracruz.
There's a new call for the federal government to take measures to protect journalists in a country where more and more reporters censor themselves out of fear.
The ceremony to remember the most recent killings took place last weekend in Mexico City on the steps of the Monument of Independence between statues depicting peace and law.
If you're sitting at a desk reading this article, take a minute and stand up. That's the latest advice from New York TimesPhys Ed columnist Gretchen Reynolds. In her new book, The First 20 Minutes, Reynolds details some of the surprisingly simple ways you can combat the effects of a sedentary lifestyle.
The Food and Drug Administration has a proposition for the companies that make X-ray machines.
Make sure your new equipment has settings and instructions that minimize radiation hazards for kids, or the agency will look to slap a label on the machines that recommends they not be used for children at all.
The agency proposed the approach today (details in the Federal Register); it's the latest move to curb radiation hazards from imaging equipment.
The mortgage giant Fannie Mae announced today that it made $2.7 billion during the first quarter of 2012. For the first time since the beginning of the financial crisis, Fannie Mae will not ask the federal government for bailout funds.
CNN reports the company will pay a dividend to the Treasury Department. CNN adds:
Now, we want to turn to a high school competition that is taking off this weekend, and no, we are not talking football or cheerleading. This is the finals of the nation's largest rocketry tournament. One hundred teens will gather for the Team America Rocketry Challenge this weekend in Washington, D.C.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, there's a new report from a top U.N. official that looks at living conditions of Native Americans in this country. We'll hear from that official in just a few minutes. But first we turn to domestic politics. The general election is still months away but on Tuesday voters around the country cast ballots that could have a national impact.
I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up, as a child, did you ever build a rocket? Well, how about one that can take two raw eggs 800 feet up and bring them back safely again? That's exactly what students from Memphis' Wooddale High School managed to do, and now they're competing in a national competition this weekend. We'll hear their inspiring story in just a few minutes.
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, a leading moderate Muslim leader in the U.S., was once the lead cleric associated with the proposed Islamic community center some critics called the "ground zero mosque." In late 2010, a debate over the location of the community center, now called the Cordoba House, became a contentious issue during the midterm elections.
During the debate, Rauf was called a "radical Muslim" and a "militant Islamist" by critics of the proposed community center. He was accused of sympathizing with the Sept. 11 hijackers and having connections to Hamas.
Six years ago, Indiana Democrats didn't bother fielding a candidate against Sen. Richard Lugar. But with his loss in Tuesday's Republican primary, they think they have a real chance to take Lugar's seat.
Democrats argue that the new GOP nominee, state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, will prove too conservative even for the Republican-leaning state.
"There's a lot of animus here because of the way Mourdock has campaigned," says Ann DeLaney, a former Indiana Democratic Party official.