The city of Detroit is preparing for what could be the highest-profile public corruption trial in its history. Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick faces federal charges that he used city government to operate a widespread criminal enterprise.
In 2008, the then-mayor was embroiled in a scandal over racy text messages to his mistress, and his family was being pursued for interviews by what he labeled a white racist media. At the end of a televised State of the City address, before a handpicked crowd of supporters, Kilpatrick fired back at his critics.
On Sunday, the annual Toronto International Film Festival came to a close after 11 days of screenings, meetings and, of course, parties. It's become an important place to kick off the fall film season. But this year, the festival wasn't only looking west to Hollywood — it was also sharpening its focus on the East, and the rise of new cinema from India, in particular.
One of the films at this year's Toronto festival was called Shanghai; it comes from Mumbai, and was directed by Dibakar Banerjee.
Fans of Portlandia may recall a recent episode in which its main characters (played by Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen) get a good look at their new cleaning lady. They think the cleaning lady might be — and realize that it actually is — the singer-songwriter Aimee Mann.
Just a reminder now that Round 9 of our Three-Minute Fiction Contest is open. It's where we ask you to write an original short story that can be read in about three minutes, so no more than 600 words. In each round, we have a judge with a new challenge. And this time, it's novelist Brad Meltzer, and he's come up with this.
BRAD MELTZER: Your story must revolve around a U.S. president who can be fictional or real.
Pennsylvania's politically split Supreme Court is considering a challenge to a lower court ruling that upheld the state's polarizing voter identification law.
The law requires a state-issued photo ID card to vote, and supporters say it will help prevent voter fraud. Voting-rights activists have now shifted strategies from attempting to overturn the law, to instead putting up to a million state-issued photo ID cards in the hands of residents.
State officials recently estimated it is possible nearly 200,000 Philadelphia residents alone don't have proper ID.
We've heard much about big money pouring into some of the congressional races around the country, and now some of that money is breathing new life into the campaign of one unlikely candidate.
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, author of books such as Kosher Sex and Kosher Jesus, and the host of Shalom in the Home, a reality show that worked with struggling couples, is running for Congress in New Jersey's 9th District.
Boteach is hoping to unseat Democrat Bill Pascrell in a district that is overwhelmingly Democratic.
Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 11:29 am
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the Iranian nuclear program was "in the last 20 yards," and denied he was taking sides in the U.S. presidential election.
"They're in the last 20 yards, and you can't let them cross that goal line. You can't let them score a touchdown," he said Sunday on NBC's Meet the Press. "Because that would have unbelievable consequences, grievous consequences for the peace and security of us all."
Of course, the Homestead Act was born during troubled times in American history. It passed during the Civil War, but just barely. And it came at the expense of Native Americans, who were displaced from lands they have settled for generation. We spoke to Jonathan Earle, an associate professor of history at the University of Kansas, and asked him why the Homestead Act was so difficult to pass.
Pope Benedict XVI said Mass in Lebanon Sunday during his first visit to the Middle East, which is seeing dwindling Christian numbers and where Christians fear Islamists will gain power now that secular dictators have fallen.
Lebanon has the region's second-largest Christian population, after Egypt. The pope spent his three-day visit promoting peace and religious tolerance.
Originally published on Sun September 16, 2012 8:36 am
LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.
With about 50 days to go before Election Day, both parties are focusing on what will lead them to victory in both the battle for the White House, as well as control in Congress. What everyone seems to agree upon is that the Latino vote will be crucial. Between 2000 and 2010, the Hispanic population in the U.S. increased by some 43 percent. Latino voters can mean the difference in several states.
Tomorrow marks the 150th anniversary of the Civil War's Battle of Antietam, one of the bloodiest days of any war. In honor of the sesquicentennial, the battle site is hosting a slew of events commemorating the fight. Reporter Jacob Fenston went to Sharpsburg, Maryland, the site of the battle, and brings us this report.
JACOB FENSTON, BYLINE: It started just before dawn.
Originally published on Mon September 17, 2012 8:52 am
Even before the final balloons fell on the Republican and Democratic conventions, pundits were talking up the next big American political viewing experience — the presidential debates.
These match-ups, in which candidates actually share a stage after months of bruising one another from far range, can lead to moments of rhetorical brilliance, or the opposite — getting caught off-guard and making a gaffe.
This year, the Homestead Act of 1862 turned 150. That landmark piece of legislation opened up the Western territories to settlement. Almost anybody could receive up to 160 acres for free if they built a house and "improved" the land over the course of five years. Millions took part, and eventually, more than 10 percent of all U.S. land was given away.
A German peasant named Frederick Wohler was one of those early homesteaders. Wohler received the deed to 80 acres of farmland in north-central Kansas 138 years ago this weekend. And today, the Wohlers are still there.
Congress roared into town last week after a five-week break. Lawmakers will be heading back home just as quickly this week. They're expected to complete exactly one big item before pulling the plug on this briefest of sessions: a stopgap spending measure that keeps the government from shutting down during the next six months.
Members of both parties prefer tackling the mountain of unfinished business they leave behind only after the November election.
It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.
Nearly two years ago, mass demonstrations against autocrats in Arab countries captivated the world. The Arab Spring would bring democracy, and in many countries, a form of it has come. So, too, has the freedom of assembly and protests, something previous rulers could quash. No longer, and much of that anger is directed towards the United States. Here's Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday.
Time magazine named author and pastor Brian McLaren one of the 25 most influential evangelicals in America.
McLaren has written more than 20 books, and he is a principal figure in the Emerging Church, a Christian movement that rejects the organized and institutional church in favor of a more modern, accepting community.
McLaren's new book is called Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha and Mohammed Cross the Road?: Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World.
Police firing rubber bullets and tear gas sent men, women and children scattering as they herded them into their shacks in a crackdown on striking miners at a platinum mine.
Saturday's show of force follows a South African government vow to halt illegal protests and disarm strikers who have stopped work at one gold and six platinum mines northwest of Johannesburg. The strikes have destabilized South Africa's critical mining sector.
It was the first police action since officers killed 34 miners Aug. 16 in state violence that shocked the nation.