Today at All Things Considered we continue a project we're calling NewsPoet. Each month we bring in a poet to spend time in the newsroom — and at the end of the day, to compose a poem reflecting on the day's stories.
Lone Star Nation: Today, the Texas capitol flies both the American and Texas flags, but after independence the Lone Star flag would fly on its own.
Credit John Burnett / NPR
Driving around Texas, it's not uncommon to spot bumper stickers that tout the idea of an independent Longhorn nation.
Credit Getty Images
Today, all that marks the state line between Texas and Louisiana are welcome signs. After independence, those signs would most likely be replaced with the customs and immigration checkpoints that come with any border crossings.
It's a popular idea in Texas that the Lone Star State — once an independent republic — could break away and go it alone. A few years ago, Texas Gov. Rick Perry hinted that if Washington didn't stop meddling in his state, independence might be an option. In his brief run for the White House, he insisted that nearly anything the feds do, the states — and Texas in particular — could do better.
MasterCard and Visa have warned banks that a third party processor has experienced a data breach. In statement, both card associations acknowledged the breach and MasterCard said that law enforcement is involved and "is currently the subject of an ongoing forensic review by an independent data security organization."
Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 3:54 pm
Think of Jennifer, or as we like to call her, "Jen." Jen of the dazzling smile, Jen of the gorgeous chin, Jen with her hair down, Jen tousled, Jen as Rachel, Jen with Brad; Jen without Brad, Jen with Vince, Jen at the Oscars, and, of course, Jen as a neuron in the medial part of the temporal lobe.
Maybe you missed that last Jen.
A few years ago, a UCLA neurosurgeon named Itzhak Fried, while operating on patients who suffer from debilitating epileptic seizures, discovered what he now calls the "Jennifer Aniston Neuron."
With $540 million (wait — it just went up to $640 million!) on the line, it's not surprising that Alabama resident Lance Larka is willing to drive across the state line for a chance to win the record Mega Millions jackpot.
In the sign of the bigger cultural struggle in a post-Mubarak Egypt, a court has ordered the government to ban pornographic Internet sites.
One of the big questions facing Egypt now that Hosni Mubarak's 30-year rule has ended is what kind of role religion will play in the new government. Some of the Islamists who control parliament have expressed that they would like the country ruled by sharia.
Republican Congressman Todd Young helped draft Rep. Paul Ryan's 2013 budget that passed in the House of Representatives on Thursday. Congressman Young speaks with guest host Jacki Lyden about the budget plan and Democrats' opposition to it, including calls that the plan would hurt programs like food stamps and Medicaid.
Guest host Jacki Lyden continues the conversation about the passage of Congressman Paul Ryan's budget plan in the House of Representatives. Lyden speaks with NPR Washington Editor S.V. Date about what the vote means and whether the plan's passage may signal long budget battles ahead.
Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 1:17 pm
The FBI's top cyber cop retires today after nearly a quarter century in federal law enforcement.
Shawn Henry started looking into computer issues in the run up to Y2K (the arrival of the year 2000). He says that experience left him hungry to learn more about the way electronics were changing the way we live — and the way criminals operate.The movement of so much sensitive information online poses an "existential threat," according to Henry.
Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 11:42 am
In Wisconsin, "state elections officials ordered a set of historic recall elections Friday, making [Republican] Scott Walker the third governor in the nation to face a recall and Rebecca Kleefisch [R] the first lieutenant governor to face one," Milwaukee's Journal Sentinel reports.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has denied a call to ban the plastic additive BPA from food packaging. The action comes after government scientists found little reason to think people are being harmed by the chemical.
The FDA was responding to a petition from the Natural Resources Defense Council, which called for the ban on BPA, also known as bisphenol A, from any use where it comes in contact with food.
During nine years on the run in Pakistan, Osama bin Laden used at least five safe houses and fathered four children, the youngest of his three wives has told Pakistani investigators, according to The New York Times.
Amal Ahmad Abdul Fateh, now 30, married bin Laden in 2000.
There will be no more "Mr. Nice Guy" in New York. No more "K2," "Skunk" or "Zohai" either.
The New York State Health Department banned the sale of synthetic marijuana products like those on Thursday. So all kinds of wacky stuff that's made to get people high — but is often disguised as potpourri, incense or some mixture of herbs — is now verboten.
Rep. Paul Ryan's endorsed Mitt Romney Friday just ahead of Tuesday's Wisconsin primary. In an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Ryan said: "I think he deserves to be the nominee. I think he earned it. He has emerged as the best candidate." Ryan, a rising star in the party who many wanted to run for president and who is seen as a vice presidential possibility, said a further protracted primary would weaken the party's chances of beating President Obama in November.
Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 9:31 am
"There would have been George dead had he not acted decisively and instantaneously in that moment when he was being disarmed," the brother of George Zimmerman told CNN's Piers Morgan last night in one of the most extensive interviews yet with someone from the family of the man who shot and killed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26.
Supporters listen to Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum at The Ravine in Bellevue, Wis., on March 24. Some voters in the state are complaining about a barrage of negative ads in advance of Tuesday's primary.
With a GOP presidential primary coming up on April 3, Wisconsin voters have found themselves besieged by political ads, reports NPR's David Schaper on Friday's Morning Edition.
Talking to voters in La Crosse, Schaper found that residents have grown weary of the onslaught. It has been massive: The Red, White And Blue Fund — the superPAC supporting Rick Santorum — has so far spent almost a half-million dollars on ads attacking front-runner Mitt Romney.
One day after fellow Republicans in the House ensured passage of his version of a 2013 federal budget, there are reports that Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan is about to endorse Mitt Romney's bid for the GOP presidential nomination.
The Associated Press says it has been told by two Republican officials that "Ryan's endorsement could come as soon as Friday, when Romney is scheduled to give an economic speech in Appleton, Wis."
Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 12:27 pm
Everybody, it seems, is talking about tonight's Mega Millions lottery drawing because the jackpot's up to a record $640 million. (Update at 12:15 p.m. ET: Officials just increased the estimated jackpot, which began today at an already record $540 million.)