History shows us that elections can turn on details — a momentary lapse during a debate, the design of a butterfly ballot, who oversees a recount. That's why so much attention is being paid this year in state capitals to redistricting.
Every 10 years, congressional and state legislative districts are redrawn to reflect changes in population.
Although many states have already finished redistricting, Florida is just getting started. And it's turning into a heated political battle.
The Mexican military has recently broken up several secret telecommunications networks that were built and controlled by drug cartels so they could coordinate drug shipments, monitor their rivals and orchestrate attacks on the security forces.
A network that was dismantled just last week provided cartel members with cell phone and radio communications across four northeastern states. The network had coverage along almost 500 miles of the Texas border and extended nearly another 500 miles into Mexico's interior.
Walk into the Supreme Court gift shop, and there, among all the books on the history of the court, is a cookbook — yes, a cookbook. Put together by the spouses of the Supreme Court justices, it is a tribute to a master chef, the late Martin Ginsburg, husband of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
By day, Marty Ginsburg was one of the nation's premier tax law professors and practitioners. By night, he was one of the nation's most innovative and accomplished amateur chefs.
Arizona celebrates its centennial next year, and to help get folks spruced up for the occasion, the Heard Museum in Phoenix recently opened an exhibition featuring the state's official neckwear — the bolo tie.
The roots of the bolo tie aren't known for sure. But the story goes like this: Back in the 1930s and '40s, when Western swing was in full swing, a cowboy and silversmith in Wickenburg, Ariz., named Vic Cedarstaff was out riding his horse. The wind picked up, and to keep his silver hatband safe, Cedarstaff looped it around his neck.
The government of Malawi announced, yesterday, that it would review its ban on homosexuality. The announcement comes just days after the United States said it would use its foreign aid to advance gay rights. President Obama also directed his agencies to "to find ways to deter countries from criminalizing homosexuality."
Originally published on Mon December 12, 2011 1:33 pm
The news that Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas) have decided not to participate in the Dec. 27 Republican presidential debate that businessman/TV personality/self-proclaimed potential independent presidential candidate Donald Trump is supposed to be moderating means just two GOP contenders would be left for the event:
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) and former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.).
On Saturday, college football's best player will be awarded the Heisman Trophy in New York. This year's front-runners attend Baylor University, Stanford University and University of Alabama; but 75 years ago, the Heisman winner was a Yale man. In 1936, at a time when the Ivy League was a hotbed of football talent, Yale end Larry Kelley was the first to win a Heisman Trophy.
Originally published on Fri December 9, 2011 6:39 pm
Virginia State Police and other officials briefed reporters this morning about Thursday's shooting on the campus at Virginia Tech, in which a campus police officer was killed and the suspect apparently later shot himself and died. We updated as it happened and put those posts in chronological order after the briefing was over.
"A basement fire sent flames and smoke coursing through a seven-story Indian hospital Friday, killing 73 people," The Associated Press reports, "and officials accused hospital staff of abandoning many patients to die of suffocation."
There's been movement today in Brussels, where leaders from the European Union nations are trying to save the euro and restore some faith in the financial markets that they can manage the euro zone's debt crisis. But an important division remains among the 27 nations.
The consensus among news outlets covering the story seems to be:
-- "UK Isolated As Europe Moves Ahead On Fiscal Union." (Reuters)
Originally published on Fri December 9, 2011 10:35 am
LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:
Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. Coca-Cola took its secret recipe out of SunTrust bank this week and drove it over to a new Coca-Cola museum in downtown Atlanta. But should you visit Coca-Cola World, you still won't see it. The 1886 recipe is in a box, and the box is in another vault. Taking the recipe for a ride, Coke says has nothing to do with the fact that the bank is selling millions of dollars of its Coke stock. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Spirit Airlines has launched a new promotion mocking former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who was sentenced to 14 years this week for crimes including trying to sell a vacant U.S. Senate Seat. Spirit's "Slammer Sale" features $14 fares in and out of Chicago. The airline is calling this a "seat-selling" sale.
It still isn't known why a man apparently walked up to a campus police officer at Virginia Tech yesterday and fatally shot the 39-year-old father of five. And the identity of the gunman, who authorities believe died of a gunshot wound shortly after the attack, hasn't yet been released.
President Obama lost a couple of economic battles on Capitol Hill on Thursday, but he is hoping to win the political war. The president vows to keep fighting for policies he says will benefit the broad middle class.
As Obama spoke to reporters in the White House briefing room, an electronic clock behind him ticked down the minutes, hours and days until year's end. That's when a payroll tax cut is due to expire, unless Congress votes to extend it.
For the second week in a row, the Senate on Thursday voted down proposals to extend the payroll tax holiday through next year. In the case of the Democrats' proposal, Republicans objected to the "millionaires surtax" that would be used to pay for it.
Ever since the idea of the surtax was introduced weeks ago, Republicans in Congress have railed against it, arguing that it is a direct hit on small-business owners and other job creators.
As information becomes more digital, public libraries are striving to redefine their roles. A small number are working to create "hackerspaces," where do-it-yourselfers share sophisticated tools and their expertise.
The Allen County Public Library, which serves the city of Fort Wayne, Ind., has a modest hackerspace inside a trailer in its parking lot. Library director Jeff Krull says hosting it is consistent with the library's mission.
Credit Neilson Barnard / Getty Images for The New Yorker
Cast members of the canceled sitcom Arrested Development reunite at a New Yorker panel in October. Netflix will exclusively stream a new season of the cult hit — and that could bring the service a lot of new subscribers, one analyst says.