White House spokesman Jay Carney put an end to intense speculation Thursday about whether President Obama would do an end run around Congress with one simple line: "This administration does not believe the 14th Amendment gives the president the power to ignore the debt ceiling — period."
Some Democrats had been urging Obama to unilaterally raise the debt limit — a bold move that would take away Republican leverage in the ongoing negotiations over taxes and spending.
For the past decade, Spelman College, a historically black women's school in Atlanta, has fielded NCAA teams in basketball, volleyball, soccer, softball and other sports. But when its small Division III conference started dwindling, college President Beverly Tatum says the school decided it was time to change focus.
"We have to ask ourselves: What is the cost of the program and who is benefiting? How many people are benefiting? Is the benefit worth the cost?" Tatum asks.
Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 2:35 pm
Editor's Note: Throughout the Syrian uprising, the government has allowed few foreign journalists and other outsiders into the country. In this report, a Syrian citizen describes life in the capital, Damascus. For security reasons, NPR is not identifying the author.
Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 6:26 pm
History was made at midnight in Washington on two fronts last night: Bans on both gay marriage and recreational marijuana use were lifted.
As you might expect, as the sun set and the clock struck 12, there were scenes of celebration across the state's biggest city. The pictures tell the story, so with that here are five photographs from Seattle.
A hacker associated with the collective Anonymous has been convicted in Britain today for attacks against the websites of PayPal, Mastercard and Visa.
Christopher Weatherhead was found guilty following the guilty pleas of three others — Jake Birchall, Ashley Rhodes and Peter Gibson. If you remember, the four were arrested for orchestrating denial of service attacks against the companies because they had stopped processing payments for WikiLeaks.
Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 4:10 pm
The earthy smell of a fresh beet may spark delicious thoughts for us, but for a fruit fly, that smell screams danger.
Geosmin, a naturally occurring chemical that gives beets, fresh soil and corked wine their distinctive smell, is also cranked out by bacteria deadly to fruit flies. And it turns out that the tiny flies have a direct pathway from nose to brain made just to detect that smell — and avoid the toxic microbes that produce it.
Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 1:50 pm
It's no surprise that how much a person eats determines how full they feel right after a meal. But it's the memory of that meal, and not the meal itself, that matters a couple of hours later. So does this mean you trick yourself into thinness? Probably not. But it does tell us something about the role that manipulating memory may play in calorie intake.
Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 10:59 am
Sorry, royal fans, we're not planning to follow every bit of news about the Duchess of Cambridge's pregnancy.
But we do want to note that Kate, "holding a bouquet of flowers, left King Edward VII hospital in central London on Thursday morning with her husband, Prince William," the BBC says. "Less than 12 weeks pregnant, she was admitted with acute morning sickness — hyperemesis gravidarum — on Monday."
Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 6:27 pm
In one of the sharpest warnings so far to the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said today "the whole world is watching" and that if Assad uses chemical weapons against his people, "there will be consequences."
Without saying specifically that the U.S. and its allies would take military action, Panetta said it is "fair enough to say that their use of those weapons would cross a red line."
A month after Hurricane Sandy pounded the New Jersey Shore, Atlantic City is back in business. Even though most of the casinos and restaurants sustained very little damage in the storm, they're now suffering from a lack of visitors. But the city has launched an effort to change that.
As three young boys roll their skateboards down the "World Famous Atlantic City Boardwalk," it's proof that it is still here, fully in tact, and that rumors of its demise were greatly exaggerated.
And our last word in business today is Trump versus Forbes. The Forbes we're talking about is a Scotsman named Michael Forbes. He has the misfortune of living right next to Donald Trump's new golf course in Scotland. Forbes has refused to sell his property to Trump; and what has ensued is the war of words that you probably would expect between the property magnet, and anyone who gets in his way.
Let's report, now, on the college scene in Phoenix, which is becoming more crowded. In Arizona, a private college education has long been hard to find. But that is changing now. Eight schools are setting up satellite campuses in the Phoenix suburbs. From member station KJZZ, Peter O'Dowd reports.
PETER O'DOWD, BYLINE: This is Trine University in Peoria, Arizona.
(SOUNDBITE OF DOOR OPENING)
O'DOWD: Not much, yet; just a door opening to an empty classroom, in an ordinary office park.
Germany's Cabinet on Thursday approved sending German Patriot air defense missiles to Turkey to protect the NATO member against possible attacks from Syria, in a major step toward possible Western military role in the Syrian conflict.
Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere told reporters that two batteries with a total of 400 soldiers would be sent to the border area under NATO command for one year, although the deployment could be shortened.
The decision must be endorsed by the German Parliament, but approval is all but assured.
It's early afternoon when the sun is bright, and it's finally warm enough to come outside. This tent camp on a hill overlooking the Turkish border, near the Syrian town of Atma, houses more than 14,000 displaced Syrians.
The water here is trucked in, and it's the only source. Women line up with plastic jugs to haul the daily delivery back to the tents. What is striking are the children — in dirty clothes and summer shoes, faces red and raw from the cold.