In the nation's capitol, that Snowquester, the storm we mentioned, has mostly been rain so far. But across the country a blanket of freshly fallen snow, some of it more than a foot deep, now extends from the Dakotas to the Eastern Seaboard. Thousands of flights have been cancelled and nearly 200,000 homes and businesses in the Mid-Atlantic region lost power. We have two reports, starting in Chicago with NPR's David Schaper.
Now, more on the long speech Carrie mentioned from Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky. He's engaged in an old fashioned stand on the floor and talk till you can't filibuster. It began shortly before noon, aimed at blocking the president's nomination of John Brennan to head the CIA.
SENATOR RAND PAUL: I've chosen to make a stand on this one and not so much the person, but the principle of this. I have nothing personally against Brennan. I have nothing personal against the president.
Near the front of an airport security line, you've probably noticed a clear, plastic bin filled with contraband - you know, the pocket-knives and other items passengers have to surrender in order to get on the plane.
Well, starting late next month, that bin might be a little less full. The Transportation Security Administration has announced that you'll be allowed to take some small knives on board. The agency is also easing its ban on some sports equipment that can be carried on.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block. It began around mid-day today, while wet snow fell on Washington D.C. Inside the Capitol building, a conservative Republican senator began to talk and talk - and talk. Rand Paul launched a filibuster to block the nomination of John Brennan for CIA director because of concerns over the administration's drone policies.
Arkansas has approved a law banning most abortions after 12 weeks of gestation, as both houses of the state's legislature vote to override a veto by Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe. The Republican-backed Human Heartbeat Protection Act will become the nation's most restrictive law.
In vetoing the Senate version of the bill Monday, Beebe said that it "would impose a ban on a woman's right to choose an elective, nontherapeutic abortion well before viability."
In his profile of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in this week's issue of The New Yorker, Jeffrey Toobin writes: "Ginsburg has suggested that she would like to serve as long as Louis Brandeis, her judicial hero, who retired at eighty-two." Ginsburg turns 80 this month and is marking her 20th year on the court. She has had cancer — colon and pancreatic — and her tiny, frail-looking stature leads many people to wonder if she'll be retiring soon.
Every year, the South By Southwest music, film and interactive festival gets larger, and navigating the blur of panels, parties and shows gets more daunting. The girth of it all is enough to keep many SXSW old-timers away from Austin this year.
Home-brewing will become legal in Mississippi in July, if the governor signs a newly approved bill. Mississippi and Alabama are the last two states in which brewing beer at home is illegal or in a gray area.
Brewing beer at home, which had occupied a "gray area" in Mississippi, is on its way to being legal. Pictured is Mac Rusling, who opened a home-brew-supply store in Jackson several months ago.
Mississippi is poised to make home brewing legal, after its Legislature approved a beer-brewing measure Wednesday. The bill now heads to Gov. Phil Bryant, who last year approved a move to raise the state's maximum alcohol limits on beer — something the current bill's supporters point to with optimism. The governor's office has not indicated whether he intends to sign the bill.