An irony of therecent Texas political theater: Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis' filibuster aimed at stopping anti-abortion legislation raised not only her profile but that of Republican Gov. Rick Perry.
Shortly after Davis' talkathon ran out the clock on a bill that would potentially have made abortions much harder for women in Texas to obtain after 20 weeks of pregnancy, Perry put himself back in the national headlines.
Federal regulators are suing former MF Global Holdings CEO Jon Corzine, accusing him of not properly supervising the company that filed for bankruptcy back in 2011. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission says Corzine failed to keep money that belonged to the brokerage's customers from being used to cover MF Global's obligations.
Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 11:30 am
The White House announced today that it was revoking special trade status for Bangladesh, a move apparently meant to send a message to the Bangladeshi government after April's horrific garment factory collapse. Small problem. The move by the White House in no way affects the garment industry.
Outgoing acting Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Steve Miller (right) and Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George are sworn in before a full House Ways and Means Committee hearing in May.
Whatever you call it, the IRS inspector general now has a different account of what investigators knew about the ideologies of the groups that underwent extra scrutiny as they sought tax-exempt status.
Inspector General J. Russell George explained in a letter released Thursday morning that investigators knew all along "progressives" were listed in documents used by IRS agents to screen applications.
The Senate has passed a sweeping immigration bill, widely seen as the product of the "Gang of 8," a group that includes Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz. (left), and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. The two shook hands before Thursday's final vote.
The Senate approved a sweeping immigration bill Thursday, endorsing a bill that would put millions of immigrants who illegally entered the United States on a path to citizenship. The final vote tally on the bill was 68 in favor, with 32 opposed.
The bill also includes measures that would punish employers who take advantage of immigrant workers, as well as providing billions in spending to employ fences and high-tech tools to help secure the border between the U.S. and Mexico.
All 52 Democratic senators voted for the bill, along with 14 Republicans and two independents.
Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 10:48 am
Laurence Anyways begins with several close-ups of strangers pinning the passing camera with looks of surprise, disdain or suspicion. The person under examination is the eponymous Laurence (Melvil Poupaud), a noted novelist who at the story's outset is about to embark upon a new life as a woman. Later, after the film has flashed back to show us her whole transition, comes an interviewer's question: "Do looks matter to you?"
Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 12:03 pm
It's deja vu all over again in Maine.
For the first time in years, a state has acted to allow its citizens to purchase prescription drugs by mail from other countries. The idea is to take advantage of those nations' lower prices, which can be half the cost of those at American pharmacies.
When their aircraft develops mechanical trouble, three flight attendants — Fajas (Carlos Areces), Ulloa (Raul Arevalo) and Joserra (Javier Camara) — set out to put passengers at ease ... using some unorthodox methods.
Credit Sony Classics
A tabloid queen (Cecilia Roth) learns from a hit man (Jose Maria Yazpik) that two can play at the assassination game.
Credit Paola Ardizzoni/Emilio Pereda / Sony Classics
I'm So Excited! a less-than-exciting new romp from the great Pedro Almodovar, dusts off one of the hoariest plot tricks in the farceur's playbook: Trap a bunch of upstanding citizens in a confined space with no exit, and watch their ids — along with their secrets and lies — come out to play.
Clara (Gemma Arterton) is the elder — but not necessarily the most responsible — of a mother-daughter pair of "sucreants," or blood-drinking immortals some call vampires, in Neil Jordan's <em>Byzantium.</em>
Credit Christopher Raphael / IFC Films
Saoirse Ronan plays Clara's daughter Eleanor, who's conflicted about their predatory nature — and feeds only on willing victims.
Neil Jordan seems well aware that audiences may be feeling deep fatigue about vampires. So with his latest, the director of Interview With the Vampire makes a vampire film that seeks to reinvent the species, while harking back to a more classical — read: less sparkly — take on the genre.
During his 20-year career, Jem Cohen has shown his films in museum auditoriums more often than in commercial theaters. So it's fitting that Museum Hours, the arty documentarian's latest feature-length effort, is so indebted to Vienna's Kunsthistorisches Museum. Cohen likes to happen upon stories and images, and the 19th-century Austrian culture palace is brimming with both.
Egypt's President, Mohammed Morsi, was sworn into office one year ago this Sunday. Opposition groups plan major protests to mark the anniversary. Egyptians face rising food prices, fuel shortages and power outages in blistering summer heat.
And Merritt Kennedy reports from Cairo, demonstrators are calling for early elections and vowing to stay on the streets until Morsi quits.
Kremlin allies on Russia's Human Rights Council are having a field day with the case of National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden. They say the United States is seeking to punish Snowden for advocating government transparency and peoples' right to privacy. In short, after taking criticism from the U.S. over Russia's human rights for decades, Russia is taking the opportunity to dish it out to the U.S. Analysts in Moscow say that regardless of what information Snowden may provide to Russia, his propaganda value is huge.
Nelson Mandela, the former South African president revered around the world, remains in a Pretoria hospital. His condition has improved slightly — though still critical, he is now "stable." His family is near, some of them angered by the army of reporters who have gathered near the hospital. President Obama, on a three country tour of Africa, arrives in South Africa on Friday.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
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And I'm Robert Siegel. In Senegal today, President Obama had a full schedule: a visit to the presidential palace, a news conference, meetings with Supreme Court justices from around Africa, and a tour of a slave port. Through it all, the president kept returning to themes of equality and human rights, as NPR's Ari Shapiro reports from Dakar.
The U.S. suspended some trade benefits to Bangladesh on Thursday, citing unsafe working conditions. But in the near term it appears unlikely to have a major impact on the country's crucial garment industry.
Here's why: Bangladesh was suspended from the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program, so U.S. duties will rise on a range of items from tobacco to plastic. But this program doesn't cover garments — Bangladesh's main export to America.
In case you missed it Monday, we're rebooting our technology blog to focus on the intersection of innovation and culture. The updated approach both widens our view of technology — for example, two-ply toilet paper was innovative at one point — and sharpens our gaze. You won't find general tech business news in this space anymore.
Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez will be held without bail on murder charges, a judge has confirmed. Here, Hernandez, left, stands with one his defense attorneys, Michael Fee, during his arraignment in Attleboro District Court Wednesday.
NFL tight end Aaron Hernandez, who was charged with first-degree murder and weapons crimes Wednesday, will not be released on bail, the Fall River Superior Court has ruled. Hernandez, 23, was released by the New England Patriots within hours of his arrest yesterday.
While Hernandez's defense attorney, Jamie Sultan, said that releasing a murder suspect on bail was a possibility, the judge in the bail hearing replied that it was "very rare."
Of the over 15 I've slogged through, this year's E3 Expo was, hands down, the best video game conference I've attended. The new consoles will give us hyper-realistic games. For drama, Sony at their press event outright insulted Microsoft. Most importantly, there were plenty of new games, and they looked better than the many banal franchise games on the show floor. To call these the most promising games of E3 isn't to say they're the best games of E3. To be the best, the games will have to be played and finished and considered.