News From NPR

Politics
4:53 pm
Sun January 6, 2013

Could Reviving Earmarks Get Congress Moving Again?

Recent episodes of gridlock in Congress have some arguing for the return of legislative earmarks, which, though often abused for political gain, helped get bills passed.
Drew Angerer Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 9:54 am

"You scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours" is an old and cherished maxim of our republic. In politics, that's called an earmark, aka pork. One member of Congress gets a road or a monument for his or her state in exchange for a vote on the bill in question.

Congress has lived on this since the era of stovepipe hats. The political vogue lately, however, has been to repudiate those earmarks. But with the recent gridlock in Washington, the feeling is that perhaps some of that grease might help ease things.

Read more
World
4:06 pm
Sun January 6, 2013

Australia's Mining Boom Creates Demand For Sex Workers

Supporters of the Scarlet Alliance Australian Sex Workers Association demand better legal protections at a rally outside the New South Wales Parliament in September.
Greg Wood AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 7:07 pm

It's 9 p.m. on a Wednesday, and the night shift has started work at Langtrees, a popular brothel in the Western Australia city of Perth.

Like other women at Langtrees, "Ruby," 25, uses a working name out of concern for her safety. Ruby is from Spain, and tonight she expects to earn at least $1,500.

"I work in many countries — in Europe, in Dubai, I work in Brazil," Ruby says.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:35 pm
Sun January 6, 2013

GOP Senators Warn Of Tough Road For Hagel Nomination

Former Sen. Chuck Hagel, seen here in 2008, is reported to be President Obama's pick to be the next defense secretary.
Dave Weaver AP

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 5:19 pm

President Obama will on Monday name former Sen. Chuck Hagel to be his next defense secretary, an administration official confirmed to NPR.

The former Republican senator from Nebraska is a Vietnam veteran. He would succeed Leon Panetta, who is retiring.

Our original post follows:

Republican senators say former Sen. Chuck Hagel can expect a tough nominating process if President Obama names him to be the next defense secretary.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:42 am
Sun January 6, 2013

The Tax Man Takes Aim At The World's Wealthy

Protesters demonstrate outside a Starbucks coffee shop in London last month. Protests were held at Starbucks throughout the U.K. after it was revealed that the coffee chain had paid almost no corporate taxes for the last three years.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 10:17 am

As 2013 begins with wealthy Americans in line for bigger tax bills, they're not alone. Tax fairness takes the spotlight worldwide this year, as cash-strapped governments look to impose more of the burden on well-heeled companies, individuals and institutions, and to catch and punish tax cheaters.

This week, as the U.S. Congress averted a plunge off the fiscal precipice, British Prime Minister David Cameron sent a letter to leaders of the Group of Eight countries that make up about half of the world's economic output.

Read more
U.S.
6:15 am
Sun January 6, 2013

Without Broader Action, Conn. Town Writes Its Own Gun Laws

The three selectmen for the town of Weston, Conn., David Muller (left), Gayle Weinstein and Dennis Tracey, hold a town meeting in which they discuss a proposed gun-control ordinance.
Jeff Cohen for NPR

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 1:35 pm

After the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., the state's governor and President Obama called for stricter gun laws.

In the meantime, at least one small town in Connecticut is drafting new ordinances of its own.

The town meeting in Weston begins with the Pledge of Allegiance. Moving through the agenda, the attendees discuss appointments to the Commission on Aging, there's some talk of the budget and two fourth-graders make their case for eliminating plastic bags.

Read more

Pages