Politics and Government

The Two-Way
1:55 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Obama Issues Year-End Commutations For Drug Crimes

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 3:28 pm

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.

The president also pardoned 13 others convicted of various other offenses.

The commutations come after the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, which is aimed at reducing disparities in the way the law treats cocaine possession.

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The Two-Way
1:07 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

New Mexico's High Court OKs Same-Sex Marriage

Gail Stockman, 60 (left), and Beth Black, 58, of Albuquerque, N.M., prepare to marry at a massive wedding in August, along with other same-sex couples.
Russell Contreras AP

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 5:22 pm

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 ruling on Thursday means that New Mexico joins 16 states and the District of Columbia in allowing gay marriage.

The Associated Press says:

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It's All Politics
11:17 am
Thu December 19, 2013

How To Master The Fine Art Of Political Symbolism

Supporters of Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott fan themselves to cope with the heat during a July 14 event to announce Abbott's 2014 campaign for governor in San Antonio.
Darren Abate AP

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 1:19 pm

Texas Republicans can't get hold of enough guns.

Greg Abbott, the party's front-runner for governor, posed for a recent cover of Texas Monthly with a rifle over his shoulder. Nearly every other GOP statewide candidate has put out pictures or videos proudly displaying firearms.

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Economy
10:05 am
Thu December 19, 2013

The Washington Two-Step: Dancing Back To Normal

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray, D-Wash., and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., unveil a budget deal Dec. 10 in Washington.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 12:24 pm

Time and again, business leaders say the one thing they want out of Washington is more certainty.

But rarely do they get their wish.

In recent years, business owners have found themselves wondering whether their government would default on its debts, shut down national parks, change tax rules, cancel supplier contracts, confirm key leaders at federal agencies or hike interest rates.

Finally on Wednesday, they saw policymakers take two big steps toward a more certain future.

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State Treasurer
8:31 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Mickey Mantle Baseball Brings $400 In Oklahoma Auction

A baseball autographed by Mickey Mantle was one of many items auctioned by the state Treasurer's office.
Credit Oklahoma Treasurer's Office

A baseball autographed by Mickey Mantle is among the items that have sold in the Oklahoma state treasurer's auction of unclaimed items found in abandoned safe deposit boxes.

Treasurer Ken Miller says the baseball sold Wednesday for $400. Six large silver bars sold for $11,000, while one box containing 67 class rings sold for $19,000.

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National Security
4:29 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Obama Panel: NSA Phone Record Surveillance Should Be Limited

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 11:08 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

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Politics
3:56 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Defense Bill Addresses Sexual Assaults In The Military

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 11:08 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

A defense bill reaches the floor of the United States Senate today and it includes a measure aimed at cracking down on the problem of sexual assault in the military. For the first time, this bill would give sexual assault victims more rights, rights they normally do not get under the military code of justice.

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National Security
3:46 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Presidential Review Panel Endorses Checks On NSA

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 11:08 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

President Obama's intelligence review panel has produced a report that is hundreds of pages long. The advisors have a list of recommendations for how to protect privacy while still trying to prevent terrorist attacks. As NPR's Ari Shapiro reports, some of these are recommendations that the Obama White House has long resisted.

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Politics
4:46 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

Push For Release Of CIA Interrogation Report Continues

Mark Udall of Colorado is one of the Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee pressing for the so-called torture report to be declassified.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 6:31 pm

For more than a year, the Senate Intelligence Committee and the CIA have been engaged in a tug of war over the release of the so-called torture report.

Chairman Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from California, says the $40 million, 6,000-page report demonstrates that CIA treatment of detainees was all but useless in terms of gathering actionable intelligence.

For its part, the CIA says the classified committee report contains significant errors and that no one at the agency was interviewed by Senate investigators.

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World
4:46 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

Obama, Biden Won't Go To 2014 Olympics, But Gay Athletes Will

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 5:34 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

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