One of the more interesting exchanges to emerge from the Supreme Court hearings on gay marriage this week, wasn't about the sexes, instead it was when Justice Sonia Sotomayor asked a question about polygamy.
Sotomayor asked Ted Olson, the lawyer asking the court to repeal California's ban on gay marriage, that if he was right and "marriage is a fundamental right" could any state restrictions ever exist. In other words, does declaring gay marriage a civil right, pave the way to legalization of, say, polygamy?
We told you over the weekend about the Syrian opposition leader who resigned in frustration, criticizing the international community for not doing enough to end the civil war in Syria. Turns out he's staying in his job.
Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 7:16 pm
Burns are nasty injuries — they're painful and, if you're not careful, they can quickly get infected. Two children die from burn injuries every day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A surprising number of these deaths originate with tap water that is way too hot.
The problem, a new study suggests, is that many water heaters are set dangerously high.
Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 1:34 pm
Now and then, an issue before the U.S. Supreme Court changes the course of the nation's political history — whether the justices like it or not.
It's happening again with gay marriage. This week the court heard oral arguments in two key cases. One could restore legal same-sex marriage in California; the other could end discrimination against gay married couples in the administration of more than 1,000 federal programs.
Guatemala has seen its share of misery from the 36-year-long armed conflict that killed more than 200,000 people, to the current wave of drug crime. Well, Guatemala is now one of the most violent countries in the world, but there are also signs of progress. One public official is seeking justice for crimes of the present and the past with impressive results.
NPR's Carrie Kahn has this profile of Guatemala's first female attorney general.
Police in Europe are investigating a large-scale cyberattack. Some are even calling it the largest of its kind. As NPR's Martin Kaste reports, the attack's target is an organization called Spamhaus, but the effects have spilled out into the broader Internet.
While many people enjoy sweet treats — like these chocolate bunnies — the price of a key ingredient has some people bitter. A government subsidy program is criticized for keeping sugar prices too high. But as prices fall, the government may buy sugar to help processors.
While you indulge in some Easter Peeps and chocolates this weekend, you might want to think about all that sugar. No, this isn't a calorie warning. In the U.S., raw sugar can cost twice the world average.
Critics say U.S. sugar policy artificially inflates sugar prices to benefit an exclusive group of processors — even though it leads to higher food prices. But this year, prices fell anyway. Now, the government could be poised to use taxpayer dollars to buy up the excess sugar.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
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And I'm Robert Siegel.
It has been more than 100 days since the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Since then, leaders in Washington have talked a lot about gun violence, but they have not passed a bill. Today, gun control advocates tried to give the process a jolt. They planned events around the country for what they called a national day of action. And as NPR's Ari Shapiro reports, President Obama joined in.
The state of Michigan is taking over its largest city's finances. Washington, D.C., attorney Kevyn Orr's job is to reverse a death spiral in Detroit, brought on by an eroding tax base, and years of unwise financial decisions — like promising generous retiree benefits with money that wasn't there, and a pension financing deal that backfired in a big way. Now, massive debt service that threatens the city's ability to provide even a modicum of services.
Now to Connecticut, where there is new information today about the young man behind the mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Warrants were made public today, detailing items found in the home where Adam Lanza lived, in his car, and in the school. Reporter Jeff Cohen joins us from member station WNPR in Hartford. And Jeff, to start, does this give us a better picture of what was going on in Adam Lanza's life before he committed these murders?
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
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And I'm Audie Cornish.
All this week, we've been talking about the growth in our nation's disability programs. We have explored some of the reasons for that growth: an aging workforce, off-shoring of jobs, the recession and a growing skills gap. As a result, millions of American workers are turning to disability.
You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.
Ever since Hurricane Sandy, officials in many New Jersey coastal communities have been reporting more flooding than usual. The National Weather Service confirms the state is experiencing an above average number of winter storms. But locals complain the high water isn't just coming more often and with greater intensity, it's coming regardless of rainfall.
In Washington State, radioactive waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation is leaking from underground containment tanks. The site contains the leftovers from plutonium production, some from World War II, most from the Cold War. And it turns out the federal budget sequester is slowing the cleanup.
From Richland, Washington, Anna King of the Northwest News Network has that story.
After noticing that most of the lifeguards at the public pools used by Latino and African-American kids were white, the Phoenix aquatics department decided to try to recruit minorities.
More than 90 percent of the students at Alhambra High are black, Latino or Asian. On a recruiting effort there over the winter, the city's Melissa Boyle tells students she's not looking for strong swimmers. Like many under-resourced schools, Alhambra doesn't have a swim team.
"We will work with you in your swimming abilities," Boyle says.
There's a mystery in West Africa that's puzzled scientists for years. Strange circles of bare soil appear in grassland; they're commonly called "fairy circles." These naturally occurring shapes last for decades, until the grass eventually takes over and the circles fade.
Now German scientists think they have an explanation — a horde of insects seems to be bioengineering thousands of miles of desert.
This week, we heard two days of arguments at the Supreme Court over same-sex marriage. Yesterday, the court heard Edith Windsor's challenge to DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act. It defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman. I wondered, aside from the man and woman part, what about the one and one part? Polygamy was practiced by the Mormons. Lawyer Paul Clement in his defense of DOMA said this yesterday, although, first, we hear Justice Scalia sneezing.