Eight weeks before the presidential election, new laws passed by Republican legislatures that concern who can vote and when remain in the hands of federal and state judges.
Among the cases: The Pennsylvania Supreme Court this week will hear an appeal to overturn that state's new voter ID law. An appeal is expected in a case involving early voting in Ohio. And a federal court is still considering whether South Carolina can go ahead with its new voter ID law.
The Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio faces questions about its accreditation because of a course description that links homosexuality with crimes like murder, rape and robbery.
The university's social work program offers the course, called SWK 314 Deviant Behavior. The course description reads: "The behaviors that are primarily examined are murder, rape, robbery, prostitution, homosexuality, mental illness and drug use."
Several colleges and universities have adopted a common read program, where freshmen read the same book during the summer and discuss it once on campus.
Author Max Brooks' World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War is one of the less traditional books appearing on required reading lists. The book captures scenes from a global zombie apocalypse through a series of first-person accounts.
Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 4:09 pm
We've been giving a lot of virtual ink to the problem of food insecurity lately — the challenges people face when they frequently can't put enough food on the table. And sometimes it seems like an insurmountable problem.
Over the weekend, the United States Treasury said it has plans to sell $18 billion worth of American International Group stocks. During the financial crisis in 2008, the government pumped $182 billion into AIG stock to keep it from collapsing.
Reuters reports, this morning, that AIG shares fell 1.5 percent because of the news. Reuters adds:
"AIG itself will buy back $5 billion of its own shares in the upcoming stock sale, with the rest of the shares going to the broader public.
Public school teachers in Chicago walked off the job Monday after failed contract negotiations with the city. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel called the strike "unnecessary." In a piece for CNN.com, Chris Rhomberg, sociology professor at Fordham University, argues that America would be better off with more strikes.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. After five years of plunging prices and spiraling foreclosures, maybe, just maybe, the bubble's stopped bursting. Home prices are beginning to rebound in many parts of the country. Recent reports show fewer foreclosures in several hard-hit states.
Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 3:51 pm
After the terror attacks on 9/11, a public opinion survey by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs showed widespread support for increased spending on national security and counterterrorism. A decade later, a new survey shows that "Americans have become increasingly selective about how and where to engage in the world."
The FBI arrested the mayor of New Jersey's capital city today, accusing him of corruption related to a bribery scandal.
The FBI alleges Tony Mack, the mayor of Trenton, accepted thousands of dollars in exchange for influence over a parking garage project. Federal authorities also arrested Mack's brother and a supporter.
NPR's Carrie Johnson filed this report for our Newscast unit:
"Federal prosecutors accuse all three men of taking part in a conspiracy to obstruct justice.
Memphis has been a music town since anyone can remember, and it's had places to record that music since there have been records. Some of its studios — Sun, Stax and Hi — are well-known, but American Studios produced its share of hits, and yet it remains obscure. But that's all likely to change with Memphis Boys: The Story of American Studios, both a book and a CD out now.
I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up: The designers are sending their creations down the runway at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City. And just in case your invitations to some of those big-name shows got lost in the mail, we will bring the runway to you. We'll talk with a reporter who's in the mix to tell us what's hot and what's not. That's later in the program.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we'll talk about how a master violin maker holds onto his art form in this struggling economy. Talk about that in just a few minutes.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Now it's time to go behind closed doors. That's the part of the program where we talk about difficult issues that are often kept hidden.
And in this election season we've been hearing a lot about why candidates take on the issues they've chosen to address. Sometimes it's because an issue is popular, but sometimes it's just too important to ignore, and sometimes it's also personal.
Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 9:59 am
Remember the dark days of 2008 when insurer American International Group Inc., better known as AIG, nearly collapsed under the weight of the mortgage crisis before Washington rode to the rescue to the tune of $182 billion?
Then there was the public outrage when AIG executives got millions in bonuses after receiving the largest of all of the Wall Street bailouts.
Since then, the New York-based insurance giant has been essentially a government-owned enterprise, with Uncle Sam holding a controlling share.
Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 4:58 pm
Teachers in Chicago walked off the job Monday after contract negotiations fell through, leaving 400,000 students in the nation's third-largest district shut out of their classrooms.
Contract talks broke down late last night, and by Monday morning Chicago public school teachers, many wearing red T-shirts and carrying signs, were picketing around the city for the first time in a quarter-century.
And today's last word in business is: Tender Shoots.
That's one of the hot colors for Spring 2013, according to a statement from Pantone, the New Jersey color company that works with designers to decide the dominant hues for the fashion industry each season. And since it's fashion week in New York, we're paying attention to this.
Tender Shoots tops a list for women. Pantone describes it as vibrant yellow-green - invigorating, active and cheerful.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Delmar is one of the most popular surfing spots here in southern California. And yesterday it went to the dogs with the Seventh Annual Dog Surfing competition. Hundreds of canines and their owners paddled out. And then the dogs rode the surfboards back to shore. The North County Times reports the event may have set a record with 14 dogs riding the same wave. And it may have, since there are no dog surfing records. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne. The largest U.S. prison in Afghanistan - containing over 3,000 inmates - was handed over to Afghan control this morning. But the transfer was not without controversy. Several dozen prisoners, including some foreign terrorist suspects, were kept in American custody.
A recurring debate in the American presidential contest is who is responsible when a business succeeds. Campaigning in Virginia this weekend, Mitt Romney repeated his assertion that it's individual entrepreneurs.
MITT ROMNEY: I've been impressed by the American spirit of people who are can-do and take-charge, want to start and build things. And by the way, they do build it themselves.
Now that the Democratic convention is over, polls show President Obama pulling ahead of Mitt Romney, not by so much, but the change did show up in several surveys. Let's talk about that and more with Cokie Roberts, who joins us most Mondays.
Cokie, good morning.
COKIE ROBERTS, BYLINE: Hi, Steve.
INSKEEP: Any surprise in the polls over the weekend?
Daytime TV kicks off a new season this week. In the lineup are some new talk shows featuring big names, including Katie Couric, Ricki Lake and comedian and radio host Steve Harvey. TV critic Eric Deggans says they are all chasing after the elusive holy grail of daytime television - the audience that Oprah Winfrey left behind.
ERIC DEGGANS: Remember when Katie Couric sat behind the anchor desk at the CBS Evening News?
(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "CBS EVENING NEWS")
KATIE COURIC: Recession fear caused the Dow to plunge...