"Washington sure isn't making it easy" for the American people and the American economy, President Obama told reporters late Friday morning as he and other lawmakers failed to reach a deal to avert $85 billion worth of automatic "sequester" spending cuts due to start at the end of the day.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, you've heard the pundits and the politicians give their take on the new S-word - sequestration. We'll ask the Barber Shop guys for their perspective on this later in the program. But first we want to talk about another big topic in Washington this week. That is the challenge to the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965. That's before the Supreme Court, specifically section five of the act.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has restored the voting rights of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby.
If you remember Libby was former Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff. As the AP explains, "he was convicted in 2007 of perjury, obstruction of justice and making false statements in a case involving leaked information that compromised the covert identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame. Libby's 2½-year prison sentence was commuted by then-President George W. Bush."
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Pablo Helguera is a New York-based artist working with sculpture, drawing, photography and performance. His new book isHelguera's Artunes. You can see more of his work atArtworld Salon and on his own site.
Kim Dotcom, founder of the file-sharing website Megaupload, says he will take his fight against extradition to the United States to New Zealand's highest court, after an appeals court ruled in the U.S. government's favor Friday.
At issue is the amount of evidence Dotcom's defense team is entitled to see at the extradition hearing. An appeals court overruled a lower court's decision that the U.S. government had to provide more than a summary of its case against the Internet entrepreneur.
Far above the Earth's surface, two doughnuts of radiation surround the planet, charged particles zipping around in stable belts - that's the shape of them - and they were discovered in 1958 by James Van Allen and now bear his name. They are the Van Allen Belts.
Robert Langer is sort of a modern-day Thomas Edison. He holds over 800 patents. He's launched two dozen startups making an eclectic variety of stuff from tumor-zapping nanoparticles to biosensors and blood tests, synthetic spinal cords, even anti-frizz hair products, all of this originating from the same lab. And recently, President Obama awarded him the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. He's already won the National Medal of Science, after all.
As I just mentioned, the automatic spending cuts go into effect today, covering much of the federal budget, and we were trying to talk with Lamar Smith about where those cuts might come, obviously across the board. Well, someone who might be more forthcoming or know more about it is here with us, Michael Lubell. He is professor of physics at City College at the City University of New York, director of public affairs at the American Physical Society. He's here in our New York Studio. Good to see you again.