It's Tuesday and time to read from your comments. Last week, after a member of the U.S. military was accused of slaughtering civilians in Afghanistan, we talked about how the military assesses mental fitness. Eman(ph) wrote from Sunnyvale, California to say the entire discussion left him uneasy. I feel very uncomfortable with the shooter-as-victim narrative that seems to be running through the U.S. media's coverage of the Robert Bales case, he wrote.
The death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teen who was shot and killed by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, has sparked nationwide demonstrations and school walkouts. It has also prompted new conversations about race in America.
Here's some of the early word about today's Supreme Court hearing on the constitutionality of the nation's new health care overhaul law:
-- Five Justices Were Tough: Five members of the court "beat him up pretty hard," NPR's Nina Totenberg says of how the justices treated the counsel representing the government. But she also says, "I don't think you can call this," when asked about whether the court will or won't strike down the so-called individual mandate in the law. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Anthony Kennedy "seem to be in play," Nina reports.
Today's arguments hit the core of the Affordable Care Act: the mandate that requires just about everyone to have health insurance starting in 2014.
And the U.S. Supreme Court's justices appeared split on whether the federal government can force people to buy health insurance. The court's conservatives appeared skeptical and unmoved by the government's arguments in favor of the mandate.
"The government had a hard time, and if they win, they win narrowly," NPR's Nina Totenberg reported from outside the court. "I don't think you can call this."
The Trayvon Martin case is bringing conversations about race to the front pages, the airwaves, and dinner tables. Even the president weighed in on the shooting last week. But freelance journalist Reniqua Allen writes in The Washington Post that having a black president is making those conversations harder to have, not easier.
I'm Jacki Lyden and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Michel Martin is away this week. Coming up, after a successful presidential runoff in Senegal and a military overthrow in Mali, we'll talk about questions of leadership in West Africa. That's coming up.
But, first, we turn our attention to Cuba, where Pope Benedict is continuing his tour of Latin America. He's in the midst of a three day visit to the island. Tens of thousands of people greeted him in Santiago last night.
Senegal and Mali have experienced recent upheaval. Guest host Jacki Lyden talks with NPR's West Africa correspondent, Ofeibea Quist-Arcton about the rebellion and coup d'etat in Mali, as well as the recent news that the Senegalese president conceded a very controversial election.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden. Michel Martin is away this week. Coming up, some people say that having an African-American president has changed the way the country talks about race, but has that change been for the better? One columnist doesn't think so. That's in a moment. First we want to get an update on a case that has sparked a passionate debate about race and ethnicity.
For much of the past decade, journalist Rachel Maddow has hosted her own radio and TV shows. And for much of that time, the popular MSNBC host has been thinking about how the United States uses military force — and how it starts and end wars.
Maddow's new book Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power traces how U.S. national intelligence agencies have taken over duties that were once assigned to the military, and how this shift has increased the public disconnect from the consequences of war.
For most of American history, early spring meant a feast of shad. That tradition has faded, but young chefs are trying to slip the ritual back onto plates.
The earliest Americans from from Florida to Nova Scotia caught shad by the basketful as they swam back from the sea to spawn in their home rivers. The fresh, silvery fish was most certainly a delight after winter's dreary fare. The American shad's Latin name is clue to its allure: Alosasapadissima, or most delicious herring.
Studies have been inconclusive, but doctors and patients have voted with their feet in favor of the less-invasive procedure — clearing clogged arteries and propping them open with tiny scaffolds called stents.
U.S. doctors do at least two stenting procedures these days for every coronary bypass operation.
Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 8:54 am
The Justice Department's 'systematic concealment" of evidence that might have helped the late Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, defend himself in a corruption case will get a fresh airing Wednesday, when special prosecutor Henry Schuelke offers Senate testimony about his blistering 500-page report.
Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 7:51 am
There are fresh fears about the infiltration of Afghan security forces by anti-government and anti-American insurgents after the discovery of 10 or 11 (depending on the media report) suicide vests inside the headquarters of that country's defense ministry and the arrest of more than a dozen soldiers.
Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 9:16 am
The way Colin Cooper sees it, people are willing to drive miles out of their way to save a few bucks on gas. Why wouldn't they do the same for health care?
So the CEO of Eastford, Conn.-based Whitcraft, an aerospace component manufacturer, figures his 500 employees will probably be willing to go to a hospital, radiology practice or lab recommended by their health plan if they can take home an extra $50 or $100 for doing so.
In the process, he hopes his company will trim its health care costs.
Supreme Court oral arguments on the Affordable Care Act entered their second day Tuesday, with the justices moving from the technicalities of the first day to exploring the legal issues at the heart of whether the law is constitutional or not.
While this morning's Miami Herald concludes that emerging details about Trayvon Martin's life paint "a complicated portrait" of a boy with "a spotty school record," anyone who has guided their child through the teenage years may be more likely to see a fairly typical kid who had some brushes with authority and lots of dreams about the future.
On Day Two of three days focused on the health care overhaul law, the Supreme Court this morning will get to the heart of the arguments over the legislation's constitutionality, NPR's Nina Totenberg reported on Morning Editionand at the Shots blog.
Ahmad Fawzi said the news came in a letter from President Bashar Assad's government to Annan, the former U.N. secretary general who has been trying to broker an end to the Assad regime's crackdown on dissent — which the U.N. estimates has led to the deaths of more than 8,000 people in the past year.