Wal-Mart has joined the list of major corporations withdrawing their support from a conservative political group that advocates the "Stand Your Ground" laws that came under intense focus after the Trayvon Martin killing became a national story.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Dedicated runner and family doctor Tom White coped for years with the consequences of a traffic accident, but over time, his left leg gave him more and more trouble and pain, to the point where he decided to have it amputated.
Relations continue to deteriorate between the United States and Pakistan, a country some described as a nominal ally. A Senate panel voted last week to reduce aid to Islamabad after a doctor who helped the CIA find Osama bin Laden was sentenced to 33 years in prison. And Pakistan continues to refuse to reopen U.S. supply lines into Afghanistan that it cut in response to American air strikes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers last year.
The Supreme Court is expected to rule on the controversial health care law in June. Many legal analysts expect the Justices to strike down parts of the law in a split, 5-4 decision, prompting a debate among legal scholars about what the decision will reveal about the politics of the High Court.
Meetings of current, former and future presidents are uncommon, and this one, on Jan. 7, 2009, was a once-in-28-years affair. From left, George H.W. Bush joins then-President-elect Obama, then-President George W. Bush and fellow former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter for lunch. It was the first time since 1981 that all living presidents had been together at the White House.
President Kennedy, Vice President Lyndon Johnson and former Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and Harry S. Truman attend funeral services for Sam Rayburn in Bonham, Texas on Nov. 18, 1961.
Credit Danilo Schiavella / AP
Former presidents often gather for significant events, such as funerals of heads of state and other major figures. Here, President George W. Bush, his wife Laura, former President George H.W. Bush, former President Bill Clinton, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice kneel by the body of Pope John Paul II inside St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, on April 6, 2005.
Credit Marcy Nighswander / AP
President George H.W. Bush stands with former Presidents Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford and Richard Nixon before the dedication ceremonies for the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., Nov. 4, 1991.
President Ronald Reagan and former Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Jimmy Carter, offer a toast at the White House on Oct. 8, 1981 as the four met prior to the departure of the three former Presidents to Cairo for the funeral of President Sadat.
Credit Charles Dharapak / AP
President Obama and his wife Michelle host a rare get-together with their White House predecessors on Thursday, as former President George W. Bush and his wife Laura had their official portraits unveiled.
Credit Charles Dharapak / AP
President Barack Obama gestures toward former President George W. Bush, former first lady Laura Bush and first lady Michelle Obama, at the White House in Washington, Thursday, during a ceremony where the Bushs' portraits were unveiled.
Credit White House
President George Walker Bush by John Howard Sanden.
In a rare moment of harmony in Washington, President Obama hosted former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush for the unveiling of the couple's official portraits.
It's a tradition that dates back to 1800, when the White House acquired its first work of art: a full-length portrait of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart.
During a ceremony in East Room of the White House, President Obama noted that fact saying that while Washington is constantly engulfed in partisan bickering, the "Presidency transcends those differences."
By resisting efforts at the United Nations to bring concerted pressure on Syrian President Bashar Assad to end the killing in his country, Russia is "in effect, propping up the [Assad] regime at a time when we should be working on a political transition," Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said earlier today in Copenhagen.
Clinton also told an audience that Russia's implicit support for Assad could "help contribute to a civil war" in Syria, The Associated Press reports.
Democrat Elizabeth Warren, who is in a tight Senate race in Massachusetts against Republican incumbent Scott Brown, acknowledged for the first time that she told the law schools at Harvard and University of Pennsylvania of her Native American heritage.
Increasingly, Internet users are working "in the cloud" — creating and sending data that isn't stored on local hard drives. It's easy to imagine our emails and photos swirling around in cyberspace without a physical home — but that's not really how it works. Those files are still stored somewhere, but you can only find them if you know where to look.
In our recent poll on what it means to be sick in America, one ethnic group stands out as having special problems – Hispanic Americans.
The national survey, conducted by NPR with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health, sheds new light on Hispanics' health issues. It runs counter to the widespread impression that African-Americans are worst-off when it comes to the cost and quality of health care.
"A federal appeals court Thursday declared that the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutionally denies federal benefits to married gay couples, a ruling all but certain to wind up before the U.S. Supreme Court," The Associated Press reports from Boston.
Most of what they're catching isn't all that exciting, but the folks at the Sunlight Foundation have launched something that has the potential to expose elected officials and politicians as they try to hide embarrassing things that get on to their Twitter feeds.
Politwoops, Sunlight says, is "the only comprehensive collection of deleted tweets by U.S. politicians. From minor typos to major gaffes, Politwoops is now there to offer a searchable window into what they hoped you didn't see."
The Commerce Department reported Thursday that the economy grew 1.9 percent in the first three months of the year, down from an earlier estimate of 2.2 percent. And more Americans are jobless and seeking benefits, according to the Labor Department.
Sheik Jawdat Said, 81, has been urging nonviolent protest in Syria for decades, and has been arrested many times. A scholar and an activist, shown here speaking at American University in Washington in March, he is heading back to Syria this week and plans to resume his call for peaceful opposition to the government.
The Scripps National Spelling Bee is down to the 50 semifinalists. Today at 10:00 Eastern, they'll compete in the semifinals (broadcast on ESPN2), and then tonight at 8:00, they'll hold the finals (broadcast on ESPN). You can also follow an online streaming version at ESPN online, but to be honest, it's an extremely cumbersome process that I haven't yet gotten to work for me.
ADP's monthly report is sometimes a decent barometer of what the Bureau of Labor Statistics will say when it issues its employment estimates. We're due to hear from BLS about the May employment situation on Friday at 8:30 a.m. ET.
The names of Jeffrey Katz's family members are depicted on "stumbling stones" in Lembeck, Germany. His relatives owned a home on the property near the stones, before they were evicted in 1942.
Credit Courtesy of Jeffrey Katz
Jeffrey Katz (far left), NPR's deputy managing editor for Digital News, stands next to "stumbling stones" in Lembeck, Germany, that include names of family members evicted from their home during the Holocaust. With him, from left to right: Josef Langenhorst (who was age 7 when he saw the family being removed); Langenhorst's wife; and Katz' family — son Ben, wife Mollie and daughter Emily.
(NPR's Eric Westervelt reported from Germany on Morning Edition about the effort to remember Holocaust victims by engraving their names on bricks, or "stumbling stones," placed on sidewalks throughout Germany. Some of those stones bear the names of Jeffrey Katz's relatives.
The DJ was pretty angry after discovering the green paint he used to dress up as the Incredible Hulk wasn't body paint. Turns out, he chose an industrial grade paint that's typically used on ballistic missiles and nuclear submarines. Friends and family spent a day scrubbing the 35 year old until the paint finally washed off.
Our last word in business today is: Big Gulp. Actually, make that moderately-sized gulp.
New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg has proposed a ban on sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces, which means a large Slurpee or a Grande Frappuccino, would still be legal. Restaurants, movie theaters, and food trucks would all have to abide by the rule, which is aimed at rising obesity rates. Fruit juices and alcoholic drinks would be exempt.
David Greene checks in with John Wertheim of "Sport Illustrated for an update on the French Open. The big headline from week one is Serena Williams' first-round loss. That's the first time she has lost in the first round in a major tournament.
New voter ID laws and other voting restrictions have been enacted in a number of states since the last major election. And that's raised special concerns among African Americans, who feel they're being targeted. Black church leaders and the Congressional Black Caucus met in Washington Wednesday to find ways African-American voters aren't discouraged from turning out in November.