National Security
1:31 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Women In Combat: Obstacles Remain As Exclusion Policy Ends

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 8:02 am

Wednesday's deadline for the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines to submit plans for ending the policy that keeps women from serving in ground combat positions will open up more than 200,000 positions in the military to them. But the change won't end questions about the role of women in the armed forces.

Read more
U.S.
1:30 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Budget Woes Mean Big Delays For Small Claims Courts

Members of the Save Our Courts coalition rally outside the Los Angeles County Courthouse in March. The county will soon cut the number of courthouses handling small claims cases from 27 to six.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 3:14 am

Across the country, cash-strapped state and local governments are not just cutting services — they're also cutting access to courts. The tip of the iceberg may be small claims courts.

These courts, dealing with disputes involving small sums of money, are the workhorses of the judicial system. There are thousands of such courts across the country, but perhaps nowhere are they being cut more dramatically than in California.

Read more
U.S.
6:02 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

IRS Inspector General Faults 'Ineffective Management'

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

We have more details today on missteps by the Internal Revenue Service, specifically in the way the IRS processed applications for tax-exempt status by Tea Party groups and other conservative organizations. An Inspector General's report says the problems were not limited to low-level agency employees.

Last week the IRS apologized for targeting such groups for special scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status. NPR's Scott Horsley joins us now. Scott, what more have you learned from the Inspector General's report?

Read more
It's All Politics
5:26 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Goodbye, Again, To Obama's Most Audacious Hope

The sudden eruption of second-term scandals is likely to cost President Obama his fondest dream for his presidency: the opportunity to transcend the partisan wars of Washington.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 5:33 pm

The sudden eruption of second-term scandals in his administration will have many costs for President Obama, but surely the most grievous will be the lost opportunity to transcend the partisan wars of Washington. That aspiration was his fondest dream for his second term, much as it was for his first. Now it seems destined to be dashed once again.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:53 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Road Crew In Belize Destroys Ancient Pyramid

What's left of the Nohmul pyramid after a construction crew virtually destroyed the 2,300-year-old Mayan structure.
Jaime Awe Associated Press

A construction crew in search of gravel to use as road filler used its backhoes to level one of Belize's largest Mayan pyramids.

"It's a feeling of incredible disbelief because of the ignorance and the insensitivity ... they were using this for road fill," Jaime Awe, the head of the Belize Institute of Archaeology, said of the destruction at the 2,300-year-old Nohmul pyramid, located in the Orange Walk/Corozal area.

"It's like being punched in the stomach. It's just so horrendous," Awe said Monday of the destruction thought to have occurred last week.

Read more
Around the Nation
4:11 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

With No Unified Database, Many Murder Victims Remain Nameless

A family friend posts fliers after Samantha Koenig's disappearance in 2012. Koenig's father is now an advocate for a mandatory national missing persons database.
Erik Hill/Anchorage Daily News MCT/Landov

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 5:15 pm

A serial killer who committed suicide in an Alaska jail last year confessed to murdering at least 11 people across the country. But Israel Keyes didn't name names, and investigators trying to figure out who he killed are running into a major stumbling block: There is no unified, mandatory national database for missing persons.

Read more

Gene Demby is the lead blogger for NPR's Code Switch team.

Before coming to NPR, he served as the managing editor for Huffington Post's BlackVoices following its launch. He later covered politics.

Prior to that role he spent six years in various positions at The New York Times. While working for the Times in 2007, he started a blog about race, culture, politics and media called PostBourgie, which won the 2009 Black Weblog Award for Best News/Politics Site.

Demby is an avid runner, mainly because he wants to stay alive long enough to finally see the Sixers and Eagles win championships in their respective sports. You can follow him on Twitter at @GeeDee215.

Around the Nation
3:18 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Baseball's 'Most Durable Batboy' Marks 55 Years On The Field

Stan Bronson, 84, has been an honorary batboy for the University of Memphis Tigers since 1958. The university provides his food and medical care.
Mike Brown The Commercial Appeal/Landov

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 5:24 pm

The University of Memphis baseball team plays its final home game of the season Tuesday. In addition to rooting for the players, Memphis fans will cheer for someone else: batboy Stan Bronson Jr.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:18 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Convicted Philadelphia Abortion Doctor Gets Life In Prison

Dr. Kermit Gosnell in an undated photo released by the Philadelphia District Attorney's office.
Associated Press

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 3:51 pm

The Philadelphia abortion provider who was found guilty of first-degree murder in three illegally performed late-term abortions will be spared the death penalty.

Dr. Kermit Gosnell, who was convicted Monday, agreed Tuesday to give up his right to an appeal. He faces life in prison.

The Associated Press reports:

Read more
The Two-Way
3:07 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Holder Defends Subpoena Of Journalists' Phone Logs

Attorney General Eric Holder says he recused himself last year from a national security leak probe in which prosecutors obtained the phone records of Associated Press journalists.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 3:42 pm

Attorney General Eric Holder has defended the Justice Department's actions in secretly obtaining journalists' phone records as part of a probe into leaks of classified material, but said he himself had nothing to do with the subpoena.

Read more

Pages