Stories for December 19, 2013
President Obama came to office after bemoaning the disparity in sentences for crack versus powder cocaine offenses, and with a background as a community organizer and constitutional law teacher that had some progressives anticipating a robust use of the Constitution's "reprieves and pardons" power.
A bipartisan measure defying President Obama would impose new sanctions on Iran if it breaks an interim deal to curb its nuclear program.
New York's City Council has approved extending the city's strict smoking ban to include electronic cigarettes, which emit a vapor.
Emergency contraception has been embroiled in controversy pretty much from the start.
Kevin and Tom introduce us to the popular suburb of Arlington, Massachusetts, and to a new project: the first Italianate Style home THIS OLD HOUSE has tackled in years. Malcolm and Heather’s 1872 home has seen some changes over the years, leaving it with an awkward layout. Now it’s time to polish it and make it work for this century’s busy family. Richard and Roger are on site to help the demolition work get started.
President Obama heads to Hawaii on Friday. He goes there for Christmas every year and always talks about how good it is to get away from Washington. This year, that's likely to be especially true.
Criminals may have stolen information from 40 million credit and debit cards used at Target. A possible weakness? The magnetic stripe on credit cards -- which fraudsters can pull credit card numbers and expiration dates from to make counterfeit cards.
A relic of the Cold War met its end on Thursday. The Air Force destroyed the last B-52 bomber required under the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Russia.
Salinas is just one hour south of California's Silicon Valley, but generations behind when it comes to technology. Many of its sprawling lettuce farms are stuck in the era of rakes and hoes.
Highlights include a first edition of the Book of Mormon that has been passed down through the guest’s family since 1833; a 1955 Madoura plate designed by Picasso that previously hung above the stove, collecting grease; and one of the top finds of the season — an 1858 oil painting by important Hudson River artist Sanford Robinson Gifford, valued at $300,000.
The Department of Defense has released the names of the six U.S. soldiers who died Tuesday when their helicopter crashed in Afghanistan. Killed were: Chief Warrant Officer 2 Randy L. Billings, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Joshua B. Silverman, Sgt. Peter C. Bohler, Sgt. 1st Class Omar W. Forde, Staff Sgt. Jesse L. Williams, and Spc. Terry K. D. Gordon.
A Sweetwater Union High School District board member indicted in a public corruption case pleaded guilty Wednesday to a misdemeanor charge of accepting gifts above state limits and will resign from the board.
A mentally ill man acquitted in a retrial this month of fatally stabbing a 12-year-old Escondido girl in her bed nearly 16 years ago will be on parole for eight months, instead of the initially ordered period of less than two weeks.
Much of the debate over whether and how to overhaul the country's immigration policy has hinged on whether and how to create a pathway to citizenship. But a majority of Latinos now say that's less important for unauthorized immigrants than giving them relief from the threat of deportation.
Rain and higher humidity on Thursday helped firefighters battling a wildfire in California's Big Sur region that has destroyed an estimated 22 homes.
Police in Nevada plan to hold a news briefing this afternoon to announce the identity of a gunman who shot three people and killed himself at a Reno hospital.
President Obama has commuted the sentences of eight people convicted of drug crimes, saying their terms were unusually harsh due to a system that treated crack cocaine as a more serious offense than powder cocaine.
A long-secret policy allows California's governor to veto employment discrimination cases against public agencies without explanation or disclosure, a state legislative report has revealed.
New Mexico's Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that same-sex marriage is legal, validating initiatives in several counties allowing the practice in the absence of a specific state law.
The Emmy-winning "Southwestern Gems: Our Desert National Parks" showcases the top national parks, monuments, preserves and historic sites within the four major North American deserts. Stunning high-definition footage brings to life the majestic landscapes of The Great Basin Desert of Nevada and Utah; the Mojave Desert of California; the Sonoran Desert of Arizona; and the Chihuahuan Desert of New Mexico and Texas.
A small earthquake has rattled the west side of Los Angeles and coastal suburbs.
A probable cause hearing was scheduled in San Diego Thursday to determine whether a convicted serial rapist should be deemed a sexually violent predator.
Leaders of the United Methodist Church have defrocked a Pennsylvania minister who officiated at the wedding of his son to another man, NPR's John Burnett tells our Newscast Desk.
Texas Republicans can't get hold of enough guns.
Time and again, business leaders say the one thing they want out of Washington is more certainty.
Saying that his mission "is to go forth and tell people about why I follow Christ and also what the Bible teaches, and part of that teaching is that women and men are meant to be together," Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson isn't backing away from the comments he's made about gays that have led A&E; to suspend him from the popular show indefinitely.
Target Corp. acknowledged early Thursday that there was a massive security breach of its customers' credit and debit card accounts starting the day before Thanksgiving and extending at least to Dec. 15 -- the heart of the holiday shopping season.
Not in North America, necessarily, but "you can't keep fur in stock in Russia," says furrier Greg Tinder. "The higher the price tag you put on it, the faster it sells."
By some estimates, we Americans throw away about 40 percent of our food, from the cabbage that's wilting in our refrigerators, to the fruit that's falling off the orange tree in our neighbor's backyard.