In her new book, Forcing the Spring, investigative reporter Jo Becker tells the behind-the-scenes story of an important chapter in the fight for marriage equality. She embedded with the team that challenged Proposition 8 — the 2008 anti-gay-marriage California ballot initiative that called for amending the state constitution to say that the state would only recognize marriage between a man and a woman.
Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 2:03 pm
The climbing season on Mount Everest is still in doubt after last week's disaster on the mountain in which 13 Sherpas died and another three are missing and presumed dead.As Mark Memmott notes over at our Two-Way blog, it was the single deadliest day on the mountain.
But just who are Sherpas, and what exactly do they do that makes them so invaluable to mountaineering? Here are some answers.
Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 3:36 pm
When the next Congress is sworn in, Iowa's congressional delegation will be unusually green. Precisely half of its lawmakers on Capitol Hill are retiring at the end of this session, meaning the state will be losing decades of clout and seniority in Washington, D.C.
And Iowa isn't even the biggest loser this year. California is losing two House Democrats with 40 years of experience each — Henry Waxman and George Miller — along with Republican House Armed Services Chairman Buck McKeon, who's been in Congress for more than two decades.
For decades the National Guard has fought hard against the stereotype that it was the place to avoid the draft during the Vietnam War, or that it's a place to get college money rather than combat duty.
Guard leaders thought that after more than a decade of war in Afghanistan and Iraq they had finally earned some respect. So it was a body blow when the Army's top officer, Gen. Ray Odierno, unveiled his plan on Capitol Hill to take all of the National Guard's Apache helicopters and move them to the regular Army.
The island nation of Sri Lanka has ordered the deportation of a British tourist for arriving in the country sporting a Buddha tattooed on her arm. Authorities say the ink shows disrespect for religious feelings in the majority-Buddhist nation.
Naomi Coleman, 37, says she got through immigration at the airport near the capital, Colombo, without incident, despite wearing a short-sleeved shirt that exposed the tattoo of a Buddha seated on a bed of lotus flowers.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
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And I'm Renee Montagne.
The Supreme Court this morning, upheld a ban on using racial preferences in admissions to the public universities of Michigan. The ban was enacted by referendum as an amendment to the state constitution in 2006 and struck down by a lower court. Today, the justices voted 6-to-2 to say the federal courts could not do that and the ban had to stand.