National

The Two-Way
6:20 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Sen. Daniel Inouye Dies At 88, As Senate Loses Its Most Senior Member

Sen. Daniel Inouye (left), who died at 88 Monday, served as the chairman of the Senate committee investigating the Iran-Contra affair in 1986.
Chris Wilkins AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 7:48 pm

Sen. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, 88, has died of respiratory complications, according to reports from the AP and other news agencies. The World War II veteran, a Democrat, had been the most senior member of the Senate. He joined its ranks in 1963, shortly after Hawaii became a state.

At the time of his death, Inouye was the president pro tempore, placing him third in the line of succession, behind Vice President Biden and the House speaker. He was also the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

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Politics
6:17 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Hawaii Sen. Daniel Inouye Dies At 88 Of Respiratory Complications

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 7:19 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

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It's All Politics
5:21 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Some Senators Show Willingness To Take On Gun Laws

Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, has an "A" rating from the NRA, but questions why anyone would need the kind of semi-automatic assault rifle used in the Newtown, Conn., killings.
Dave Martin AP

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 7:19 pm

As President Obama spoke to mourning families in Newtown, Conn., on Sunday night, he clearly seemed to suggest a need for tougher gun laws.

"Are we really prepared to say that we're powerless in the face of such carnage? That the politics are too hard?" he said.

For Congress, the politics have been too hard.

The combination of a powerful gun owners' lobby in the form of the National Rifle Association and a loss of public support for gun control has stymied efforts in recent years to tighten gun laws.

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Shootings In Newtown, Conn.
5:15 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

DeMint's Replacement Has Had Quick Political Rise

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 7:19 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

South Carolina is getting a new U.S. senator. Governor Nikki Haley announced today that she is appointing Republican Congressman Tim Scott to fill the seat being vacated by Jim DeMint who's retiring. Scott is a freshman member of the House.

And as NPR's Brian Naylor reports, he will be the first African-American senator from the South since Reconstruction.

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Shootings In Newtown, Conn.
5:14 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Schools Reexamine Security After Newtown Shooting

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 10:36 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

In the aftermath of Newtown, school officials and parents across the country were asking themselves the same question today: How safe is my school? NPR's Claudio Sanchez has that story.

CLAUDIO SANCHEZ, BYLINE: In Nashville, Tennessee, Ruth Rosenberg asked her daughter's first-grade teacher what school was going to be like today. Teachers there were told to downplay any discussion of the Newtown shooting since many kids still don't know what happened, including her 7-year-old daughter, says Rosenberg.

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U.S.
5:13 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Federal-State Tug Of War: Drawing The Lines In Immigration Overhaul

Maria Lola Melisio, 18, entered the U.S. illegally with her mother when she was 7. Now she's an undocumented resident living in Alabama, which has one of the country's toughest immigration laws.
Debbie Elliott NPR

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 7:19 pm

Inside a modest storefront in Loxley, Ala., 18-year-old Maria Lola Melisio points out the Mexican spices and other products for sale in her mother's market.

"There are the leaves where you make your tamales — you roll them up in that," she says.

Melisio has long dark curls and is wearing a houndstooth scarf in support of the Alabama Crimson Tide. When she was 7 years old, she entered the U.S. illegally from Mexico with her mother, and still has a scar on her back from crawling under the border fence. It's a story she's kept secret until now.

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Around the Nation
5:09 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

First Of Shooting Victims Buried In Newtown, Conn.

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 7:19 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

The painful process of burying the victims of Friday's shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, began today with the funeral of the youngest victim. Noah Pozner leaves behind a 6-year-old twin sister, as well as his mother, father and three other siblings. He was remembered at a service in nearby Fairfield, and NPR's Tovia Smith was there.

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Politics
5:09 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Fiscal Cliff Talks May Have Hit Breakthrough Moment

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 7:19 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Discussions here in Washington are intensifying between House Speaker John Boehner and President Obama as they try to find an agreement to avert a raft of year-end spending cuts and tax increases. The two men met today at the White House for 45 minutes. NPR's Tamara Keith joins us now from Capitol Hill with an update. And, Tamara, there does seem to have been something of a breakthrough in negotiations. Speaker Boehner agreed to let tax rates rise. President Obama came back with a counteroffer. Where are we right now?

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Pop Culture
5:09 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade (Of Lost Mail)

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 7:19 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Now, a good old-fashioned mystery in the Windy City. Last week, something unusual arrived at the University of Chicago admissions office. It was a thick manila envelope tied with string bearing all kinds of worldly looking stamps and postal markings.

GARRETT BRINKER: We received this package that was addressed to Henry Walton Jones.

SIEGEL: That's Garrett Brinker director of undergraduate outreach at the University of Chicago and actually, it was Henry Walton Jones, Jr.

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Law
5:09 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Senators Call For Return Of Assault Weapon Ban

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 7:19 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

California Senator Dianne Feinstein, reacting to the shooting deaths in Newtown, Connecticut, called yesterday for reinstating the Assault Weapon Ban, which was in effect from 1994 until 2004 when the law expired. How effective was it?

Well, we're going to ask Professor Daniel Webster who studies firearm policy and gun violence prevention. His field is public health, and he's at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Webster, welcome to the program.

DANIEL WEBSTER: Thanks for having me.

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