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In Florida, a battle is heating up on several fronts over who will be allowed to vote in the upcoming primary and the November general election.

In Tallahassee, a federal judge has blocked state elections officials from enforcing tough restrictions on groups that conduct voter registration drives.

And in Washington, the Justice Department has sent a letter to Florida telling it to immediately halt efforts to purge from the voting rolls people suspected of being noncitizens.

Note: We've asked NPR journalists to share their top five (or so) political Twitter accounts, and we're featuring the series on #FollowFriday. Here are recommendations from reporter Ari Shapiro (@Ari_Shapiro).

Horrid. Lousy. Awful.

Those are just three of the words economists are using to describe the news that just 69,000 net jobs were added to public and private payrolls last month — and that the nation's jobless rate edged up to 8.2 percent from April's 8.1 percent.

The news has raised fears that the hoped-for strengthening of the economy may not materialize.

We posted on the news and followed with details from the report and reaction to it. It's now 11:22 am. ET, here's our original post and earlier updates:

Lawrence Adams doesn't want to be called a hero, but many in Seattle are saying that's just what he is.

As The Seattle Times reports this morning, police believe Adams saved the lives of at least three people on Wednesday when he picked up a stool at a cafe and threw it at a gunman who killed four people there. Adams' action distracted the gunman, identified as Ian Stawicki, and allowed Adams and some others to escape.

When Robert Holmes' parents moved to Edison, N.J., in 1956, they were one of the first African-American families to integrate the neighborhood.

"After we'd moved to Edison, there was a resentment that we had broken into the community," Holmes says.

Even at the age of 13, Holmes felt the animosity. The neighborhood had a private swim club that opened up to anyone who participated in the Memorial Day parade. Holmes was in the band.

"I arrived at the pool on Memorial Day having marched in the parade with my uniform still on, and they called the police," he says.

President Obama's re-election campaign is training some of its heaviest guns on a new target — the four years that GOP presidential challenger Mitt Romney served as governor of Massachusetts.

In Boston Thursday, David Axelrod, a top Obama campaign adviser, joined Democratic state legislators and mayors on the steps of the State House to lampoon Romney's record there as governor between 2003 and 2007.

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It's no longer just foodies at farm markets or Whole Foods buying antibiotic-free, pasture-raised meats.

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And I'm Robert Siegel.

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A federal appeals court in Boston ruled unanimously Thursday that a key part of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. Ultimately, however, the court said that it will be up to the U.S. Supreme Court to determine whether the federal government can deny economic entitlements to legally married same-sex couples.

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Pop, Soda Or Coke? It's A Vernacular Battle

May 31, 2012

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Well, now, Melissa, we've been calling it soda here, which may have some of you in other places yelling at us, it's not soda. It's pop. Or if you're from the South, you may call it Coke. You may use that to describe any carbonated beverage.

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They were called the "giggle gang" — four alternate jurors in the John Edwards trial who wore the same-colored shirt to court on several days.

During nine days of deliberations, much attention was given to the merry band of alternates in the high-profile campaign finance case.

On Thursday, attention swung back to the jury itself, which found Edwards not guilty on one count. The judge declared a mistrial on the other five charges.

If nothing else, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has apparently done President Obama a favor.

His Honor's proposed ban on the sale of supersized sugary fountain drinks in his city made the mayor, at least for some, the epitome of Big Government excess, a place many critics, particularly conservatives, typically reserve for the Obama.

Wal-Mart has joined the list of major corporations withdrawing their support from a conservative political group that advocates the "Stand Your Ground" laws that came under intense focus after the Trayvon Martin killing became a national story.

When New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced last night he wants to ban sodas and many other sugary drinks in 16 ounce servings sizes and up, the reaction was swift and predictable.

In a rare moment of harmony in Washington, President Obama hosted former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush for the unveiling of the couple's official portraits.

It's a tradition that dates back to 1800, when the White House acquired its first work of art: a full-length portrait of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart.

During a ceremony in East Room of the White House, President Obama noted that fact saying that while Washington is constantly engulfed in partisan bickering, the "Presidency transcends those differences."

In our recent poll on what it means to be sick in America, one ethnic group stands out as having special problems – Hispanic Americans.

The national survey, conducted by NPR with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health, sheds new light on Hispanics' health issues. It runs counter to the widespread impression that African-Americans are worst-off when it comes to the cost and quality of health care.

"A federal appeals court Thursday declared that the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutionally denies federal benefits to married gay couples, a ruling all but certain to wind up before the U.S. Supreme Court," The Associated Press reports from Boston.

Would Gay Marriage Lead To Legal Polygamy?

May 31, 2012

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The youngest contestant ever in the National Spelling Bee, 6-year-old Lori Anne Madison of Woodbridge, Va., was foiled by a word most of us have probably never heard of before.

Ingluvies.

Definition: "The crop, or craw, of birds."

Having gone after smoking and artificial trans fats, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg now has his eye on big sugary drinks.

As NY1 reports, the mayor:

In a Philadelphia courtroom, jurors are hearing closing arguments in a historic case involving the Catholic sex abuse scandal. William Lynn, a monsignor in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, is the first high-level church official to be tried for his involvement in covering up child abuse, specifically, conspiracy and children endangerment.

Friday is jobs day, when the federal government releases its monthly unemployment report. It's also just about five months before the presidential election.

When the two presidential contenders talk about unemployment, they're trying to balance their rhetoric between optimism, pessimism and reality.

NPR is exploring what the American dream means to our culture, our economy and our politics. On All Things Considered, we explored what President Obama and Democrats think of the American dream. In this installment, the Republican perspective.

President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney agree that the American dream is out of reach for too many people today. They disagree on how to fix the problem.

Last fall, Kathy Partridge got a phone call from a local emergency room, telling her that her daughter, Jessie Glasscock, was there — and was OK.

Glasscock had gone missing overnight. She was away at college, and had a history of manic episodes. Police had found her in a Dumpster and brought her to the ER for her own safety. It was a huge relief for her mother. But she was completely surprised by what happened next.

"I went down to this emergency room and just found her by herself, basically locked in a closet," says Partridge.

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