12:00 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

School Closings: How Administrations Decide



We'd like to turn to a surprisingly emotional and difficult issue in education right now. It's the debate over closing schools. Cities across the country are talking about this, especially in areas where budgets are tight and there is pressure on educators to achieve better results.

Read more
Can I Just Tell You?
12:00 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

When Should Politicians' Life Experience Determine Policy?

From left to right, son Will Portman, wife Jane Portman, and Sen. Portman.
Office of U.S. Sen. Rob Portman ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 4:31 pm

I have been thinking about Ohio Sen. Rob Portman.

The Republican was on the short list for the vice presidential nomination in the last election. While he has not been outspoken on the subject of same-sex marriage, he has consistently opposed it — until now.

Recently, Portman announced that he changed his mind. He says this is because his son Will is gay.

Read more
Shots - Health News
10:08 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Pediatricians Voice Support For Same-Sex Marriage And Adoption

April DeBoer (second from left) sits with her adopted daughter Ryanne (left) and partner, Jayne Rowse (fourth from left), and her adopted sons Jacob (middle) and Nolan (right) at their home in Hazel Park, Mich. The lesbian couple's desire to adopt each other's children has grown into a potentially ground-breaking challenge to Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 3:29 pm

Now children's doctors say it's time for same-sex marriage to be the law of the land.

For the first time, the American Academy of Pediatrics said in a policy statement Thursday that it favors "civil marriage for same-gender couples — as well as full adoption and foster care rights for parents regardless of their sexual orientation ...."

Read more
The Salt
9:49 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Spring May Have Sprung, But Most Gardens Are Still Slumbering

Want it? You can't have it. At least not yet.

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 10:25 am

For vegetable lovers, the start of spring can be a cruel tease, hinting of a feast of just-picked peas and spinach and beets, but delivering instead tired iceberg and romaine shipped from distant climes.

"It's zero here right now," Terry Nennich reported Wednesday morning, the first official day of spring, from Grand Rapids, Minn. So much for spring. Not only was it well below freezing, but the ground remained blanketed by 2 feet of snow.

Read more
The Two-Way
9:31 am
Thu March 21, 2013

CIA Drone Operations Could Be Handed To Pentagon

A Predator drone taxis in after a sortie over Iraq in 2004.
U.S. Air Force Getty Images

The responsibility for counterterrorism operations involving unmanned drones could soon begin shifting from the CIA to the Pentagon as part of Obama administration efforts to mollify critics who say the program lacks transparency, says NPR's Tom Gjelten.

A senior U.S. official tells NPR that while no decision has been made, the change is a "distinct possibility." The Daily Beast broke the story on Wednesday.

Read more
5:03 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Timeline: Gay Marriage In Law, Pop Culture And The Courts

Mike McConnell (left) and Jack Baker --€” the couple in the Baker v. Nelson case — attempt to get a marriage license in Minneapolis in May 1970. The AP reported in December 2012 that the two are still together.
R. Bertraine Heine/Minnesota Historical Society AP

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 1:35 pm

  • Actor Wilson Cruz
  • Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean
  • Mike Bowers, prosecutor in 'Bowers v. Hardwick'
  • Missouri state Rep. Kevin Engler

Read more
America's Woman Warriors
3:05 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Sexual Violence Victims Say Military Justice System Is 'Broken'

Myla Haider (shown at a press conference in Washington, D.C., in 2011) says she initially decided not to report that she'd been raped because she'd "never met one victim who was able to report the crime and still retain their military career."
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 1:51 pm

Myla Haider took a roundabout route to becoming an agent in the Army's Criminal Investigation Command, or CID. Wars kept interrupting her training.

"My commander wanted to take me to Iraq as the intelligence analyst for the battalion, so I gave up my seat in CID school," Haider says.

She speaks in a steady, "just the facts ma'am" tone. Once a cop always a cop, the 37-year-old says.

Read more
3:04 am
Thu March 21, 2013

As Gay Marriage Heads To Court, A Look Back At The Bumpy Ride

David Wilson (left) and Rob Compton embrace after being married by a Unitarian minister at the Arlington Street Church in Boston on May 17, 2004. They were one of the first couples in Massachusetts to be legally wed.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 4:28 pm

Gays and lesbians have adopted the phrase "it gets better" as a kind of slogan to assure young people that life won't always be so tough.

Looking back, life has gotten dramatically better for LGBT people in the United States in a very short period of time. The modern gay rights movement began less than 50 years ago. Today, supporters of same-sex marriage outnumber opponents.

Now, the Supreme Court is about to hear two big cases that could shift the landscape for gay rights again.

Read more
6:53 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Interview With Vice President Joe Biden

The Obama administration is still fighting for a ban on assault weapons to be included in a larger bill in Congress, Vice President Joe Biden said in an interview with NPR.

After the school shootings in Newtown, Conn., last December, President Obama appointed Biden to lead a task force that would recommend changes to the nation's gun laws. Besides proposing a ban on assault weapons, the group also suggested limiting high-capacity magazines, such as those used in the deadly shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary.

Read more
6:43 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Senate Approves Plan To Keep Government Funded Through September



In Congress this week, there's a lot of action related to the federal budget. Today, the Senate approved a measure known as the continuing resolution. It would avoid a shutdown, keeping government operations funded through September. The House is expected to sign off on the same measure quickly. Also this week, both the House and Senate are expected to pass budget resolutions.

Read more