The national dialogue on gun control has focused attention on the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Federally-licensed gun dealers in all states are required to run a check through the system on any customer looking to purchase a gun. Critics, though, see a flaw in the program. While all states are asked to contribute information to the system — on their convicted criminals, drug abusers, mentally ill — they are not required to.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
We begin this hour with the end of President Obama's first term. He's got less than a week before next Monday's inauguration. This morning, he capped things off with an hour-long news conference in the White House East Room. As NPR's Ari Shapiro reports, most of the focus was on a rash of recent financial crises that Washington itself has created.
Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 5:30 pm
Maybe it was an accident that Justin Timberlake's first single in six years hit the Internet less than an hour after the conclusion of the Golden Globes — the annual schmoozefest that features celebrities notoriously oiled up by an open bar, sharing what viewers are meant to think is a more than usually honest version of themselves.
It was just a single line in a speech given 50 years ago today. But that one phrase, "segregation now, segregation tomorrow and segregation forever," is remembered as one of the most vehement rallying cries against racial equality in American history.
The year was 1963. Civil rights activists were fighting for equal access to schools and the voting booth, and the federal government was preparing to intervene in many Southern states.
And on Jan. 14, in Montgomery, Ala., newly elected Gov. George Wallace, a Democrat, stepped up to a podium to deliver his inaugural address.
Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 6:47 am
Rape is forcing increasing numbers of Syrian women and girls to flee their homes, according to a new report by the International Rescue Committee.
Women and girls tell the IRC they were attacked in public and inside their homes, mainly by armed men. For many, the assaults occurred in front of their family members. The IRC says this is forcing increasing numbers of Syrians to flee, becoming refugees in neighboring Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and Iraq.
Courtney Forbes, 21, stands with the tandem bicycle that she and her husband, Harly relied on for transportation before it was stolen last week. They plan to donate the bike, which has since been returned, to the Washington School for the Blind.
The charming roots-folk band Black Prairie got its start as an outlet for The Decemberists' Chris Funk and Nate Query, who wanted an outlet for some of their rootsy, mostly instrumental string-band wanderings.
Cycling superstar Lance Armstrong, who has been stripped of his many victories because anti-doping authorities say he used performance enhancing drugs throughout his career, has reportedly told the staff at his Livestrong cancer charity that he's sorry. But it's not clear at this hour exactly what it is he's supposedly apologized for.
Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 6:46 am
Days after the Department of Homeland Security said computer users should remove the latest versions of its Java software, Oracle Corp. says it has fixed the flaw, in a new update released Monday. As we reported Friday, hacking groups included the Java 7 vulnerability in new "exploit kits" this year.
Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 5:24 pm
One week after the brilliant young quarterback Robert Griffin III blew out his right knee in an NFL playoff game, fans' questions have morphed from "How could this have happened?" to "When do we get him back?"
But figuring out when an athlete with damaged knee ligaments can get back in action is an inexact art at best, because medicine has yet to come up with a solid way to fix a knee.
After nearly two months in a Houston hospital, where he spent some of the time in intensive care for treatment of complications related to bronchitis, an infection and a stubborn fever, former President George H.W. Bush was sent home today.
Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 3:05 pm
The flu season began early this year and has struck hard in many areas of the country. On Saturday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a public health emergency for the state of New York, and last week Boston Mayor Thomas Menino declared a similar emergency within the city of Boston.
Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 2:58 pm
Quentin Tarantino's latest film is proving to be one of his most controversial. Django Unchained has drawn admiration and condemnation from critics, and has sparked debates about history, race and violence. NPR's Celeste Headlee reads from a variey of opinion pieces about the film.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Celeste Headlee in Washington. Neal Conan is away. This Sunday, Barack Obama will be officially sworn in for his second term as the 44th president of the United States. But today as Washington gears up for four more years, we wanted to look back at the first term, from health care to gay marriage to Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay.
Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church, has retired. He'll start working with the Center for American Progress, a progressive research and policy organization, on issues of faith and gay rights.
For many years, it didn't occur to Bishop Gene Robinson — the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church — that he might retire before age 72, the mandatory retirement age for Episcopal bishops. But then, in 2010, Mary Glasspool, who is also openly gay, was elected bishop suffragan in the Diocese of Los Angeles and, for the first time, Robinson reconsidered his retirement plans.