It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.
It's been more than four years since Israelis and Palestinians held direct peace talks. Today, Israeli officials said talks will resume next week in Washington. The State Department will not confirm that date, but a spokesperson said Secretary of State John Kerry expects negotiations to begin soon.
NPR's Jackie Northam has this story about the opportunity and the obstacles.
The world's first Latin American and Jesuit pope toured Rio de Janeiro's slums on Thursday, blasting the world's "culture of selfishness" and telling Brazilians not to be discouraged, even in the face of corruption by officials. His trip comes after widespread protests over inequality in Brazil.
The news out of Detroit has been grim of late, but there are some bright spots coming from one corner of the Motor City. On Thursday, General Motors posted its 14th straight profitable quarter since emerging from bankruptcy. Ford announced its 16th consecutive profitable quarter Wednesday, and Chrysler is expected to offer good news soon as well.
You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.
In the early 1900s, more than half of the states in the U.S. passed laws allowing people to be sterilized against their will. North Carolina's eugenics program was particularly aggressive. Some 7,600 men, women and children were sterilized often because they were poor or mentally ill.
Now, North Carolina has done more than any other state to make amends, as we hear from Julie Rose of member station WFAE.
In addition to Georgia, a handful of other states — Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, North Dakota, and Alabama — have dropped out of or scaled back their participation in the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness in College and Career (PARCC) consortium. Florida's education commissioner is mulling a similar decision. We discuss what it could mean for the success of the standards.
This week, Georgia announced it is withdrawing from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness in College and Career (PARCC), one of two consortia developing standardized tests for the Common Core. The Core is the set of national K-12 education standards in math and English language arts that has been adopted by 46 states. Georgia officials say the cost of the tests is too high and many schools don't have the computer technology the tests would require.
Attorney General Eric Holder has announced an aggressive new strategy in response to a Supreme Court ruling last month overturning a key part of the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act. The Justice Department is starting in Texas, where it is asking a court to force the state to get federal approval before making any election changes - using a different part of the law.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.
In all the current talk about helping 11 million undocumented immigrants come out of the shadows, there's typically broad agreement about who shouldn't get a path to legal residence: law breakers. There are lists of offenses that rule people out, whether it's under existing immigration law or under the immigration bill the Senate passed, or under President Obama's program to help the so-called Dreamers - the ones who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.
This week, President Obama is travelling around the country talking up ideas to strengthen the middle class, but those ideas are given very little chance of passage in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. Well, to hear their side, we turn now to Republican Representative Tom Cole of Oklahoma, who's a member of the House Appropriations' Committee. Congressman Cole is also a deputy majority whip. Welcome back to the program.
REPRESENTATIVE TOM COLE: Robert, great to be with you.
Army Ranger Justin Slaby served two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. While he was back in the U.S. preparing to deploy for a fourth tour, his left hand was blown off by a faulty grenade in a training accident. After being fitted with a state-of-the-art prosthesis, Slaby was encouraged by one of his doctors to try for a career in the FBI. What happened next has landed the ex-Ranger and the FBI in court and already tarnished the career of a high-ranking agent.
Federal prosecutors finally brought their case against SAC Capital, the giant hedge fund that for years has outperformed almost all of its competitors. Prosecutors say they know why. The firm encouraged the use of illegal insider information and trading on that information became a part of the firm's culture, according to the indictment.
Jasmine, once a wealthy Manhattan socialite, comes to us a jabbering wreck in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine.We meet her staggering off a plane in San Francisco to stay with her down-market sister Ginger (Sally Hawkins).
The bottom has fallen out of Jasmine's glamorous world, in which she oozed style and made the trains run on time for her husband, Hal (Alec Baldwin), a financier who gave lavishly to charity with others' money. The name Madoff never comes up, but Hal went to jail, Jasmine is left with mountains of debt, and it's not hard to do the math.
Gary is a serial entrepreneur who launched Match.com, the online dating service, in 1993. A host of other online matchmaking personals companies have hatched as a result of Gary's innovation. Gary also registered a number of lucrative domain names in the early days of the internet including housing.com, jobs.com, and autos.com.
North Carolina could become the first state to compensate people who were forcibly sterilized in programs across the country that began during the Great Depression and continued for decades, targeting individuals deemed feeble-minded or otherwise unfit.
In a proposed budget, lawmakers have set aside $10 million for one-time payments to an estimated 1,500 people still alive who were part of a state program that sterilized 7,600 men, women and children from 1929 to 1974. The amount of each payout would be determined by how many people came forward.
Hong Kong action-crime maestro Johnnie To makes films about good and evil, but he's not in the habit of neatly distinguishing the two. So he might seem at a disadvantage in mainland China, where the censors don't tolerate moral ambiguity. With the canny Drug War, however, the director proves himself entirely up to the challenge.
In the high-profile civil case against Wall Street titan Steven Cohen, federal authorities accuse the hedge fund head of allowing insider trading within his ranks. Cohen's lawyers offered up a defense fit for the digital age: They claim he didn't see a key, incriminating email because he gets too many messages — an estimated 1,000 a day, and opens only 11 percent of them.
During the fourth day of his first foreign visit, Pope Francis headed to the Varginha favela in Rio de Janeiro.
As NPR's Lourdes Garcia Navarro described it to our Newscast unit, the shantytown was not prettied up for the pope. Its river remained clogged with sewage and dirt, and the houses were still slapped together.
"It's an extremely poor community," Lourdes said. "I think the pope wanted to come here to highlight his very personal message of affinity with the poor."