Acting along partisan lines, with a vote of 23 to 17, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted this afternoon to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt. Republicans, who control the committee, say Holder's Justice Department has not turned over all the documents that the committee needs to see as it probes the so-called Fast and Furious gun-trafficking operation.
And they want to know more about why the Justice Department initially told a senator that it had not pursued such an operation.
Brad Beadell (right) takes his 11-year-old son, William, on his first backpacking trip through Henry W. Coe State Park in Morgan Hill, Calif.
Credit Melissa Block / NPR
Coe Park is California's second-largest state park, spanning more than 87,000 acres.
Credit Ron Fischler / Courtesy of Coe Park Preservation Fund
Dan McCranie (left) hands over a check for $279,000 to Ruth Coleman, director of California State Parks, at a ceremony at Coe Park in May. The amount is the first installment of about $900,000 from the Coe Park Preservation Fund that will keep the park open for three years.
On July 1, 15 California state parks are slated to be closed permanently to the public — the first such closures in the state's history. They're the victim of budget cuts in a state with a $16 billion shortfall.
Over the past year, park enthusiasts have scrambled to save dozens of parks from closure, including Henry W. Coe State Park, California's second-biggest state park, located about 30 miles south of San Jose.
Reprisals after three church bombings on Sunday have continued in Nigeria, and The Associated Press reports the death toll has reached 98.
The AP adds:
"A rescue services official said more than 98 people have died since Sunday after a trio of church bombings sparked reprisals in Kaduna state. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to journalists.
The defense in the Jerry Sandusky trial rested today without calling the former Penn State assistant football coach to testify, perhaps because he did not help his cause in media interviews after charges surfaced last November. Here's part of his interview with Bob Costas on NBC.
Sahar Sabet of Alpharetta, Ga., says that when she was in an Apple store at the local North Pointe Mall last week to buy an iPad and an iPhone, she and her uncle were overheard by a clerk.
The sales rep asked what language they were speaking and where they were from. When they said they were speaking Farsi and originally from Iran, Sabet tells Atlanta's WSB-TV, the clerk's response was a shock:
The Federal Reserve is ready to take further action — including the purchase of Treasury bonds — "to provide support for the economy," the Chairman of the Fed Ben Bernanke said during a press conference.
Bernanke also said that the members of the Federal Open Market Committee had "marked down" their outlooks on the economy.
Most expect there to be little change in the unemployment rate through the end of the year. The consensus, said Bernanke, is that the Fed expects "slow progress" on unemployment and most opinions are "weighted toward slower growth" on the GDP.
Controversy erupted in 2009 when the Texas State Board of Education debated changes to the state's textbooks that centered on the teaching of evolution.
The Revisionaries documents the Board of Education's contentious battle, focusing in large part on Don McLeroy — a young-earth creationist and, at the time, chairman of the Texas Board of Education. The film is being screend at the American Film Institute's Silverdocs Film Festival.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Forty years after Watergate, President Obama cites executive privilege. Rubio's out that he's in again, and after baseball phenom Bryce Harper leads off, Harry Reid hits second. It's Wednesday and time for a...
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: That's a clown question, bro...
CONAN: Edition of the Political Junkie.
PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.
VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: Where's the beef?
The latest round of high-level negotiations over Iran's nuclear ambitions ended Tuesday without an agreement. After the failure of talks that President Obama called Iran's "last chance," some wonder whether or not Israel or the United States may now opt for military force.
A new survey of 38 former clerks of current Supreme Court justices and 18 attorneys who have argued cases before the high court found that most of them think the court will rule that the individual mandate is unconstitutional. The mandate is the centerpiece of the Obama administration's signature health care law and it is unknown whether the law can survive without that piece.
Back in April when NPR looked at Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's potential running-mate picks, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and GOP Govs. Mitch Daniels of Indiana and Bob McDonnell of Virginia were on our short list.
For Langdon Cook, a walk in the woods isn't that different from a walk through the produce section of the supermarket. He's a writer, blogger and all-around outdoorsy type, but in outdoorsy Seattle, he's made his name primarily as a forager.
When a woman drinks heavily during pregnancy, it can cause profound damage to her unborn child.
Nobody knows how much alcohol, if any, is safe, so the U.S. surgeon general and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise women to abstain from drinking throughout pregnancy to avoid physical and mental birth defects.
But here and elsewhere, even conscientious pregnant women have been known to have an occasional beer or glass of wine while carrying a child. How risky is that?
Aaron Sorkin's new 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.
After McAvoy has a public meltdown at a university lecture, he's put on a three-week hiatus by his boss (Sam Waterston). During McAvoy's time off, his staff defects and a new executive producer named Mackenzie McHale (Emily Mortimer) is hired to take the helm of McAvoy's show.
Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 11:33 am
Update at 12:33 p.m. ET. Fed Extends 'Operation Twist':
The Federal Reserve said it was extending its "Operation Twist" through the end of year. It will add $267 billion more to the program in which the Fed sells some of its medium-term bonds in order to buy longer-term ones. In theory, that pushes down the interest rate on longer-term loans, especially mortgages.
This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, immigration is back in the news right now, in part because of a new move by the Obama administration to stop deporting young people who came here illegally as children. And now there's also new information about just who is coming here and why.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, it's June, the beginning of the summer wedding season and a lot of couples are tying the knot, but what happens when your plans for a dream wedding in your hometown are the subject of - well, let's say - opinions of complete strangers?
The battle between the Obama administration and the House Oversight and Government over the Fast and Furious operation just ratcheted up another notch. There's word that the White House is exerting executive privilege over documents that the committee's Republican majority has subpoenaed.
New Democracy party leader Antonis Samaras has been sworn in as Greek prime minister, correspondent Joanna Kakissis and Sky News report.
As Joanna reported earlier for our Newscast Desk, Samaras' conservative New Democracy party came in first during Sunday national elections, but didn't get enough support to govern on its own. So it will share power with the Socialist PASOK and a small pro-European party — The Democratic Left.
We don't do too many traffic reports, but this news has the potential to be both fascinating and frustrating — depending on whether you're watching from afar or stuck inside a gridlocked car:
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge that carries U.S. Route 50 traffic back-and-forth between Washington, D.C., and mid-Atlantic beaches will be closed for about 40 minutes today, starting around 1:15 p.m. ET, so that a cargo ship carrying four huge cranes can pass (safely, we hope) beneath the span.
The defense rested its case just before noon ET today and closing arguments will begin Thursday in the trial of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky on charges of sexually abusing young boys, according to reporters from The Associated Press, NPR and other news outlets.
Sandusky did not take the stand in his own defense.
Our Original Post: If Sandusky Is Going To Testify, Today's The Likely Day
Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive and not born in Ohio. The idea of Superman was conceived in Glenville, Ohio back in the 1930s, but when a proposed Superman-themed license plate called Ohio birthplace of Superman, DC Comics and Warner Communications objected. Superman, they point out, was born on the planet Krypton. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 10:42 am
The Federal Reserve — the nation's central bank — will end its two-day meeting on Wednesday by offering its assessment of the economy, and then declaring its latest plan for making things better.
Investors all over the world will be waiting to hear just how weak — or not — the Fed thinks the U.S. economy is. And they will be watching to see whether the bankers plan to continue trying to stimulate growth by extending two controversial programs, one known as Operation Twist, and the other as quantitative easing.
Now, to policy making with some fizz. The mayor of Cambridge, Massachusetts, has proposed limiting the size of sodas and sweetened drinks that can be sold in the city.
Henrietta Davis said she was inspired by the mayor of New York. Michael Bloomberg has proposed a ban on sales of oversized sugary drinks in his city's restaurants. Mayor Davis says soda is a factor behind increasing obesity and heart disease among young people.
Linda Wertheimer talks to Dr. Ian Roberts, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Roberts led the research on a new study on global obesity. It shows that weight, not just population size, should be taken into account when planning how to deal with increasing pressure on resources.
Leaders of the world's biggest economies wrapped up the G-20 summit in Mexico Tuesday with a promise to work together to promote jobs. The meeting comes amid worrisome signs of slowing growth in the United States and elsewhere.