As the nation marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, All Things Considered concludes its series about the moments that defined the historic summer of 1963. Back in 1999, Noah Adams explored the history and legacy of the song "We Shall Overcome" for the NPR 100. The audio link contains a condensed version of that piece.
Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 9:06 am
"For drug pushing — life sentence. No parole, no probation, no plea bargaining."
This statement, said by former New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller during a meeting with top advisers, set forth a new set of rules, passed in 1973, for sentencing in drug-related crimes. Those rules have arguably altered the sentencing of thousands of those convicted for even minor drug possession offenses in New York and nationwide over the last 40 years.
Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 8:41 pm
There would be no last call on the day of the March on Washington, and Manny and Mitzie Landsman had no choice in the matter. Their D.C. shop, Metro Liquors, was closed for business on Aug. 28, 1963, just one of 1,900 businesses ordered by local authorities not to sell, pour or wrap any alcoholic beverage from 12:01 that morning until 2 a.m. the next day.
Chinese officials hope to rein in teachers who assign too much homework, as the country's Ministry of Education considers new rules that ban schools from requiring students to complete written tasks at home. Citing undue stress on students, the ministry would also limit the number of exams students take.
Originally published on Sun September 1, 2013 8:34 am
When you go to the Dead Sea for a float in its extraordinarily buoyant waters, signs warn you not to drink a drop. "Did you swallow water?" one Dead Sea do's and don'ts list asks. "Go immediately to the lifeguard."
Mental disorders and substance abuse are the leading causes of nonfatal illness on the planet, according to an ambitious analysis of data from around the world.
A companion report, the first of its kind, documents the global impact of four illicit drugs: heroin and other opiates, amphetamines, cocaine and cannabis. It calls illegal drugs "an important contributor to the global burden of disease."
The two papers are being published by The Lancet as part of a continuing project called the Global Burden of Disease.
So what legal justification might the Obama administration use to justify military strikes on Syria? To help us better understand the legal rules behind intervention, we turn to John Bellinger. He was legal advisor for the State Department and the National Security Council in the George W. Bush administration. Welcome to the program.
JOHN BELLINGER: Thanks, Melissa, it's nice to be here.
The Obama administration appears poised to attack Syria after concluding Bashar Assad's government used chemical weapons, but many members of Congress say they haven't been briefed enough about why military action is warranted.
Opinions about Syria are all over the map, with many lawmakers saying the president cannot proceed without first getting authorization from Congress.
Melissa Block has an exit interview with Kelly McEvers, who's ending a grueling years-long assignment in the Middle East that included coverage of Iraq, Syria and beyond. McEvers and her NPR colleague Deborah Amos, won four major awards in 2012 for coverage of the Syrian conflict.
Robert Siegel talks with Republican Representative Mike J. Rogers, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, about his briefing on evidence regarding the chemical attack in Syria, and whether he still has questions about whether the Syrian government is responsible or not.
Researchers in Sweden have confirmed the existence of element 115. It sticks around for a surprisingly long time. Scientists believe it may bring them closer to the mythical "island of stability" a whole slew of super-heavy elements that could last for days or even years.
Wednesday, on the same stretch of the National Mall where the Civil Rights Marchers of 1963 listened to the Reverend Martin Luther King, a far smaller crowd assembled to celebrate the Fiftieth Anniversary of that landmark moment in the struggle for civil rights.
Well, the last speaker today was President Obama. He delivered remarks from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, where King gave his speech five decades ago.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: We rightly and best remember Dr. King's soaring oratory that day, how he gave mighty voice to the quiet hopes of millions, how he offered a salvation path for oppressed and oppressors alike.