This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. In parts of New York and New Jersey, life is returning to the way it was before Hurricane Sandy hit. Power has been restored. Schools have reopened. But there are still thousands of people without electricity and areas where homes are unlivable. This is the case of New Jersey's barrier islands. Yesterday, residents of Seaside Heights returned to their homes for the first time since the storm struck.
Scott Gurian of New Jersey Public Radio was with them and filed this report.
Twelve days after Hurricane Sandy smacked the eastern seaboard and beyond, tens of thousands of people still lack basic necessities - food, water, even shelter. NPR's Richard Gonzales sent us this postcard about three men from Chicago who took it upon themselves to bring some comfort to Sandy's victims.
The Military Voices Initiative, a StoryCorps' project, collects stories from members of the U.S. armed forces, with a special focus on those who served in post-Sept. 11, 2001, conflicts. Every month, highlights from that initiative air on Weekend Edition Saturday.
Spc. Justin Cliburn, 30, was deployed to Iraq in 2005 with the Oklahoma Army National Guard. His job was to train the Iraqi police in Baghdad. During his time there, he got to know a boy in his early teens named Ali, who walked through their compound one day.
Mervel Parker fills out his ballot at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Montgomery, Ala., on Tuesday. Alabama is one of nine states with a history of discrimination that the Voting Rights Act requires to obtain pre-clearance before changing any election procedures.
Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 7:17 pm
The U.S. Supreme Court said Friday it would consider eliminating a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, the federal law that for decades has been the government's main tool for fighting discrimination at the polls.
The law, first enacted in 1965 and reauthorized three times by Congress since then, is generally considered the most effective civil rights legislation in American history. Its provisions were extended by a Republican Congress in 2006 and signed into law again by President George W. Bush.
Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 5:52 pm
If you fell asleep Rip Van Winkle-like earlier in the year only to wake up Friday, you might be forgiven for thinking no time had passed.
Because on Friday, President Obama called for higher taxes on the wealthy to be part of any agreement to avoid the fiscal cliff, while House Speaker John Boehner strongly indicated that proposal was a non-starter with House Republicans.
But, of course, we just had an election in which the president won a second term and, through that, some political capital. Exactly how much remains to be seen.
When Democratic Senator Kent Conrad announced his retirement, his seat in North Dakota was all but written off to the Republicans. Instead, on Tuesday, North Dakota voters chose Conrad's onetime protege at the State Tax Commissioner's Office, the state's former attorney general, Heidi Heitkamp, and she joins us now from her home. Welcome to the program.
SENATOR-ELECT HEIDI HEITKAMP: Thank you so much for having me.
Here are some statistics from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. By November 1st, Hurricane Sandy had poured some 600 million gallons of water into the train and auto tunnels of New York. The corps' pumps can expel 696,000 gallons of water per minute. To a lot of us, this sounds like a set-up for an algebra problem, but for the Corps of Engineers and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, these have been the measure of real life for the past nearly two weeks.