Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 11:54 am
You've probably never heard of Alan Rosenthal, but few people have done more over the past half-century not only to describe state governments, but redefine how they operate.
Rosenthal, a longtime political scientist at Rutgers University and a giant in his field, died Wednesday at age 81, after battling cancer. He wrote nearly 20 books, but his value was not purely academic.
Thousands of California prisoners are waging a hunger strike, protesting conditions in the prisons. For more on the strike and the prisoners' demands, host Michel Martin talks with Los Angeles Times Reporter Paige St. John and former inmate Jerry Elster, of Legal Services for Prisoners with Children.
Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 12:42 pm
If you think flight delays in the U.S. are bad, try China.
A new report from travel industry monitor FlightStats says China is the world's worst when it comes to delays at major airports.
FlightStats compiled statistics from June for the report, determining that eight of the world's worst airports for flight delays were in China. Beijing and Shanghai topped the list, although New York's LaGuardia had the highest number of flight cancellations.
Aaron Sorkin's HBO drama The Newsroom revolves around Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels), a popular cable-news anchor floating happily along with his nightly newscast, which does well in the ratings but doesn't tend to delve into anything that could offend or alienate anyone.
Saying the post has been "the highlight of my professional career," Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced Friday morning that she is stepping down to become president of the University of California.
Can government be run like the Internet, permissionless and open? Coder and activist Jennifer Pahlka believes it can — and that apps, built quickly and cheaply, are a powerful new way to connect citizens to their governments — and their neighbors.
Social media guru Clay Shirky looks at "cognitive surplus" — the shared, online work we do with our spare brain cycles. While we're busy contributing to the web in our small ways, we're building a better, more cooperative world.
Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 11:55 am
The morning's major economic news:
-- Inflation. Wholesale prices rose 0.8 percent in June from May, fueled by a 2.9 percent surge in the price of energy products, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says. As drivers can confirm, a 7.2 percent jump in the cost of gasoline was responsible for most of that boost.
In a video statement to the people of his city, San Diego Mayor Bob Filner conceded Thursday that he has "failed to fully respect the women who work for me and with me, and that at times, I have intimidated them."
Nearly 17 months after the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin — a death that would spark protests across the nation — a jury is about to begin considering whether defendant George Zimmerman acted in self defense or should be convicted of murder or manslaughter.
The Kremlin's security agency has bought $15,000 worth of electric typewriters. A source told a Russian newspaper that after WikiLeaks and the Edward Snowden scandal, the Kremlin decided to "expand the practice of creating paper documents."
For many kids, the music of ice cream trucks is the sound of summer. For some adults, however, it ruins peace and quiet. The Long Beach City Council has drafted legislation to limit when ice cream trucks can play music.
It's not often that Oakland, Calif., hosts a movie opening. But there is plenty of anticipation for Fruitvale Station.
The film is about the life and death of Oscar Grant, a young black man who was fatally shot in the back by a white transit police officer in the early morning hours of New Year's Day in 2009.
Grant was killed by Officer Johannes Mehserle, who claimed to have been reaching for his Taser, not his handgun. Mehserle was tried and convicted of involuntary manslaughter and served 11 months of a two-year term.
Another movie opening is "Pacific Rim." Critic Kenneth Turan says it has plenty of explosions and special effects, but he says there's actually more to it than most of the other blockbusters this summer.
Russia is preparing for the 2014 Winter Games — turning a sleepy valley in the Northern Caucasus Mountains into an Olympic village, with brand-new facilities for every Alpine sport. Officials say it will be a world-class destination for winter-sports enthusiasts long after the Games are over. Environmentalists say it's an ecological disaster in the making.
Moshe Haim always wanted to be a soldier. The 20-year-old is now a sergeant, more than halfway through three years of service in the Israeli military.
But when he goes home on leave, he doesn't talk about his military experiences to any of his eight siblings, especially his brothers.
"I know that for my parents and my brothers, the first, best choice is to be in the yeshiva and study there," he says at a small West Bank outpost where he's stationed. "It wasn't good for me, but my brothers are still pure."
The battle for the city of Dera'a in southern Syria has become a test of an American pledge to give military support to rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad. After a string of defeats, the rebels have scored rare victories around Dera'a.
But in interviews,rebel commanders passing through neighboring Jordan say those gains could be lost without a dependable arms pipeline and promised U.S. support.
Yasser Aboud, a thin, intense former colonel in the Syrian army, commands the joint operations center for southern Syria.
Soon, most Americans will have to buy health insurance or pay a fine. This sounds like a marketer's dream: Captive shoppers directed by the government to buy your product. But when the product you're selling is health insurance, there are some pitfalls. Your customers may not love you. In fact, they may despise you.
"I think it may be too little too late for health insurance companies to now come out, like, 'Hey,we were just kidding the last 50 years!,'" says James Percelay, co-founder of the viral marketing firm ThinkModo in New York.
When the U.S. Supreme Court issues a ruling, its decisions can carry weight for generations. Think about decisions in the civil rights era regarding school segregation and the Montgomery bus boycott in Alabama.
As part of our look back on the summer of 1963, we examine another Alabama case that had a subtle effect on the way courts treat defendants.
At a mock trial at Samford University in Birmingham, a student playing the role of a defense attorney questions his client on the stand: "To your knowledge, can a driver turning left turn on a yellow light?"
The area of ocean set aside as a nature preserve could double or triple in the coming days, depending on the outcome of a meeting in Germany. Representatives from 24 countries and the European Union are considering setting aside large portions of ocean around Antarctica as a protected area. And the deal may hinge on preserving some fishing rights.
There are two proposals on the table: One would set aside huge parts of the Southern Ocean around East Antarctica; the other would focus on the Ross Sea, south of New Zealand.
For the past three years, StoryCorps' Legacy program has given people facing serious illness the chance to record interviews with loved ones and caregivers. Recently, StoryCorps expanded the program to include children.
In 2007, Faith Marr was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer on her spine. She was 4 years old. That year she had her first of eight surgeries, replacing her vertebrae with titanium rods. Doctors were uncertain about her chances of survival.