The bows are tied, the garlands are hung, and the White House is aglow for the holidays. Volunteers from all over the country handled the decorations with care, and on Wednesday, first lady Michelle Obama showed off their efforts to military families. This year's theme is "Joy to All."
Ship Capt. Pete Hall from Louisville, Ky., followed family tradition by helping with the decorations. His grandfather was the chief usher of the White House from 1938 to 1957. "So this is part of my family heritage," Hall says.
Sailors, veterans and their families are saying goodbye in Norfolk, Va., on Saturday to the USS Enterprise, which was the largest ship in the world and the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier when it was commissioned in 1961.
In its illustrious history, the Enterprise served at the center of international events for a half-century — from the Cuban missile crisis to Vietnam to the Iraq War.
And it had a distinguished Hollywood career as well, playing a leading role in the 1986 film Top Gun, which starred Tom Cruise as a young naval aviator.
While thousands of people on the East Coast waited weeks for big utility companies to turn the lights back on after Superstorm Sandy slammed ashore, the residents of Madison, N.J., had power just days after the storm. This leafy New York City suburb operates its own municipal utility — and now some neighboring towns are asking whether they should, too.
"We were able to power up sections of town within two days," said Madison Councilman Robert Landrigan. "And then, by the weekend [after the storm], most of the town was back."
Among the many distinctions of the 2012 election season was that it was the most expensive in history. President Obama and Mitt Romney each raised around a billion dollars and outside groups spent another billion or more. We know that a lot of that money went to pay for advertising, but what about the people who placed the ads or produced them or think up the strategy behind them?
The Justice Department has accused the Gallup Organization of cheating federal agencies out of millions of dollars by inflating the price of federal contracts. Gallup says in a statement that the case is "based on false allegations of a former disgruntled employee."
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
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U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice has had a tough week. At the U.N., Rice had to explain to the world why the Obama administration was part of a small minority voting against the Palestinian statehood bid. She's also been under attack as a potential secretary of state. And as NPR's Michele Kelemen reports, her critics seem to be growing in number.
The descendant of the ancient Aztec language is one of many endangered indigenous languages. Although there may still be a million speakers of Nahuatl, it is not being transmitted to a new generation. But there is an attempt to revive Nahuatl in New York City, and students eager to connect to their heritage are taking classes.
In the shadow of the Capitol on a recent sunny morning, about 50 home care workers from around the country gather to lobby their legislators for basic labor rights. Most are native-born Americans, but about a quarter are documented immigrants from Africa, Latin America, India and the Caribbean.
Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 4:19 pm
President Obama has yet to make known his choice to replace Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, but plenty of Republicans have made theirs: John Kerry.
And that puts the Massachusetts senator and former Democratic presidential nominee in a bit of a bind. As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he'd normally be one of the loudest voices defending U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice against GOP attacks that she mishandled her role in explaining an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi. But she's the other top contender for the Cabinet post.