President Obama addresses a joint session of Congress while delivering his State of the Union speech in 2011. During his first two years in office, Obama used big Democratic majorities in Congress to muscle through major legislation, but since the 2010 midterm elections, he's increasingly been stymied by a wall of GOP opposition.
Credit Pete Souza / White House
President Obama meets with members of Congress in the Cabinet Room of the White House in 2010.
Credit Pete Souza / The White House
President Obama meets with congressional leaders in the Cabinet Room of the White House to discuss the debt limit and deficit reduction in July 2011.
From now until November, President Obama and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney will emphasize their differences. But the two men's lives actually coincide in a striking number of ways. That includes struggling with their respective legislatures. Earlier, NPR's David Welna explored Romney's time as governor of Massachusetts. In this installment of "Parallel Lives," a look at Obama and Congress.
Niouseline St. Jean, originally from Turks and Caicos Islands who lives in the U.S. illegally, reacts as she talks to the media about the new immigration ruling for students at the Miami Dade Community College in Miami last Friday.
And now, we turn to a very different subject. That's the trial of former Penn State University assistant football coach, Jerry Sandusky. He's charged with 51 counts of child sexual abuse, which prosecutors say took place over the course of 15 years.
The prosecution rested its case yesterday and the defense has started calling witnesses in a case that's featured some graphic and disturbing testimony, as well as some complicated legal questions.
I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News.
Coming up, congressman Keith Ellison is among the Progressive Democrats meeting in Washington, D.C. this week at a conference called Take Back the American Dream. We'll ask him what the meeting's all about in a few minutes.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, the prosecution rested its case yesterday in the trial of former Penn State assistant football coach, Jerry Sandusky, who's accused of sexually abusing a number of children over the course of many years. We'll get an update from Sports Illustrated reporter David Epstein.
In the beginning, the self-described "fermentation fetishist" Sandor Katz loved sour pickles.
"For whatever reason, I was drawn to that flavor as a child," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "And then when I was in my 20s, I did quite a bit of dietary experimentation and ... I started noticing that whenever I ate sauerkraut or pickles, even the smell of it would make my salivary glands start secreting."
After Katz moved from New York City to a rural community in Tennessee, his fascination with all things fermented increased.
Ray Anderson's Pocket Brass Band is about watch-pocket size: With three horns and drums, it couldn't get much smaller. On its new Sweet Chicago Suite, Anderson makes what the group does sound easy. Just write some catchy, bluesy tunes and then have the band blast them out.
There was a 7.9 percent jump in the number of construction permits issued to home builders in May, the Census Bureau says.
That increase boosted permits to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 780,000 — the most since September 2008, The Associated Press adds. It's a signal that construction will be strong in coming months.
Now that Roger Clemens has been found not guilty of lying to Congress and obstructing its investigation into the use of performance-enhancing drugs by Major League Baseball players, the debate resumes about whether one of baseball's greatest pitchers should or shouldn't get into the sport's hall of fame.
At the zoo in North Carolina C'sar the elephant seemed sad. He was lethargic and losing weight. Vets thought it was his poor eyesight. Cataract surgery helped but now he's far sighted. So his caretakers ordered contact lenses — they'll be a bit smaller than tennis balls.
Today's developments in Europe's financial crisis focus mainly on Spain:
-- The Wall Street Journal writes that "Spain, on the edge of losing debt market access, paid around 2 percentage points more in interest rates Tuesday than a month ago to lure investors to its Treasury bill sale, an ominous sign ahead of a critical government bond auction Thursday."
Facing another major government offensive in central and northern Syria, rebels have expanded their presence on the ground. The army's offensive against the rebels has been so ferocious that a U.N. monitoring mission was suspended due to the violence.
In southern Texas and in Arizona, people are paying a lot of attention to the presidential election - Mexico's presidential election. From member station KJZZ, Peter O'Dowd explains why millions of Americans are awaiting July 1st, Mexico's election day.
Later this week in Egypt, the official results of the presidential election will be announced. Steve Inskeep talks to Egyptian journalist and commentator Issandr El Amrani about why there haven't been mass protests over the military council's power grab during the election.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.
LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:
And I'm Linda Wertheimer.
A federal jury has acquitted baseball pitching ace Roger Clemens on all charges. The jury found Clemens not guilty of lying to Congress and of obstructing a congressional investigation into performance-enhancing drugs in baseball. NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg was in the courtroom. She has this report.
The Federal Reserve starts its latest two-day meeting Tuesday, and analysts around the globe are wondering whether the central bank will end ease monetary policy. The meeting follows some tough U.S. labor data and the recent Greek elections.
Now in Hollywood last night, Microsoft unveiled its newest product: a tablet computer to compete with the iPad. Putting out a computer is an unusual move for Microsoft, which is mostly known for software.
NPR's Mandalit del Barco was at the announcement.
MANDALIT DEL BARCO, BYLINE: At Milk Studios in Hollywood, a photo studio for the stars, Microsoft engineers revealed their snazzy new tablet, which they call Surface.
And today's last word business is about a bank takeover that was more of a fake over. Businessman Li Chunping made headlines in China earlier this year. He spoke in the Chinese media of how he took over an American bank - the Atlantic Bank of Delaware, which he said went bankrupt in 2008.
LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:
The story got him plenty of public praise. The communist party touted him as a model citizen, rising from poverty to be a successful businessman in the rice trade. He even got a position as a government adviser.
Atlanta rapper Michael Santiago Render, known professionally as Killer Mike, released his sixth album this month. It's called R.A.P. Music. The album's title isn't about hip-hop, per se, but refers to an acronym tweeted by another Georgian, a critic named Maurice Garland, two years ago. "He just put it up randomly: 'Rap music is supposed to be Rebellious African People,' " Killer Mike told Morning Edition. "I said, 'Yo, i'm naming my next album that.' "
You can hear a portion of the show's interview with Killer Mike at the audio link, but keep reading for more.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks during a news conference on June 7 at the United Nations headquarters in New York City. Ban wants to focus on making energy available to the poorest populations of the world.
Diplomats and activists from around the world are meeting in Rio de Janeiro this week to talk about how the planet's growing population can live better lives without damaging the environment. The Rio+20 meeting marks the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Earth Summit in Rio, a watershed meeting to address topics as diverse as climate change and biodiversity.
At this follow-up meeting, delegates hope to highlight an issue that was almost absent from the Earth Summit: making energy available to everyone in the world.
Mohammed Tolba (center) talks with friends at a coffee shop in the Cairo suburbs. The 33-year-old Egyptian is trying to change the public perception of Salafists, Muslims who believe in a literal interpretation of the Quran.
Credit John W. Poole / NPR
Tolba sports a bushy beard — a marker of religious conservatives — yet also wears Western-style jeans. He says he doesn't agree with all aspects of modern life in Egypt, yet he knows he cannot change things overnight.
NPR Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep is nearing the end of his Revolutionary Road Trip, a journey across North Africa to see how the countries that staged revolutions last year are remaking themselves. Steve and his team began in Tunisia's ancient city of Carthage, drove across the deserts of Libya, and filed this report from the third and final country, Egypt.