Former prisoners spoke about the effects of solitary confinement Tuesday, in a congressional hearing aimed at banning the treatment for some inmates. The federal push to reduce solitary confinement is being led by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., who calls it "a human rights issue we can't ignore."
Inmates who are held in solitary confinement spend 23 hours a day in small windowless cells, receiving their food on trays that are pushed through a slot in the cell's door.
Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 10:28 am
What is it about comedians itching to get between the covers — book covers, that is? Annabelle Gurwitch's I See You Made An Effort, a seriously funny collection of essays about teetering over the edge of 50, makes it clear that the draw isn't strictly literary. To tweak Peter Steiner's classic New Yorker cartoon: On the page, nobody knows how old you are.
The whereabouts of Ukraine's ousted President Viktor Yanukovych remain unkown, but the country's opposition-led Parliament says any war crimes prosecution of the former leader would come in The Hague's International Criminal Court.
The opposition, which took control after Yanukovych fled the capital, has not yet formed a government. But its leaders have said they want to ensure the former president and other officials are held accountable for the deaths of protesters during months of demonstrations.
NPR's Peter Kenyon reports for our Newscast unit from Kiev:
If more were actually getting done in Washington, there probably would be much less attention focused on how few times President Obama and Speaker John Boehner have met face-to-face, and on their "relationship."
But Congress is testing new lows in terms of legislative productivity, which leaves plenty of time for journalists to muse about the president-speaker relationship, such as it is, on the day of one of their rare meetings.
Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 8:29 pm
Five current and former black senators appeared together Tuesday at an unprecedented event celebrating the legacy and contributions of the nine African-Americans to serve in the U.S. Senate.
The event, held at the Library of Congress to mark Black History Month, was the brainchild of Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C. The only Republican at the summit, Scott was joined by Democratic Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey and former Sens. William "Mo" Cowan of Massachusetts as well as Roland Burris and Carol Moseley Braun, both of Illinois.