Advocates for prisoners rights say too many inmates spend years in solitary confinement β in violation of the constitutional bar against cruel and unusual punishment. Today, they persuaded the U.S. Senate to hold the first hearing on the issue, as state and federal prison systems fend off new lawsuits over the practice.
The federal government could soon give the final go-ahead for Royal Dutch Shell to begin drilling for oil in the Arctic Ocean. Shell has spent $4 billion since 2007 to prepare for this work, and is hoping to tap into vast new deposits of oil.
But the plan to drill exploratory wells is controversial β opposed by environmental groups and some indigenous people as well.
GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney wrapped up a five-day, six-state tour in Michigan on Tuesday.
Each of the states he visited was won by President Obama in the 2008 election. Each is also shaping up as a potential battleground this year.
In Michigan, the state where Romney was born, he avoided big cities and stayed in places friendly to the GOP. As he traveled east to west across central Michigan by bus, there were some pockets of protesters, but mostly at a distance.
Beaches on the West Coast are getting a regular dose of debris from the 2011 tsunami in Japan. The first few items were curiosities β a boat here, a soccer ball there β but as the litter accumulates, officials such as Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire have acknowledged the scale of the problem.
"We are in for a steady dribble of tsunami debris over the next few years, so any response by us must be well-planned β and it will be," she said.
Beyond the obvious problem of litter, officials are on the lookout for hidden dangers.
The party that won Greece's parliamentary elections on Sunday has accepted the tough conditions international lenders imposed to bail out the ailing nation. But there's been talk that the party wants to seek some concessions on the terms of the rescue package.
At the G-20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, German Chancellor Angela Merkel reiterated her tough line that bailout terms for Greece are not negotiable. After the summit, Merkel returns to a German electorate that is now fed up with a debt crisis that only seems to grow and worsen.
The last few days of my post-Tonys theater week were so jam-packed that there was no time to write up what I was doing. Matinees, cabarets, stand-ups, burlesques, benefit readings; it was a mad dash of a weekend. So here goes, with the recap β and a few recommendations for things to try next time you get to New York:
You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, New Mexico ranks last in the country in high school completion rates. Major employers in the state complain that it's difficult to find qualified job applicants. And now, some are taking the emphasis off the high school diploma in favor of a standardized test. It's a test that may make it easier to find the right people for the job.
Sayre Quevedo of Youth Radio visited a city office that's preparing to use the new system.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block. The University of Virginia is reeling over the sudden firing of its president. Last week, the school's state-appointed governing board surprised the university community with that announcement. The ousted president, Teresa Sullivan, was in the job for less than two years.
Faculty and students have rallied behind Sullivan, calling the firing a coup by the board. From member station WVTF, Sandy Hausman reports.