A storm is brewing in Washington that could darken political debate for months to come. It's about the debt, the deficit, taxes and spending — all hot topics lawmakers have been fighting about for years now.
This time, though, there's a deadline, and the consequences of inaction would be immediate. That has many in Washington saying: Here we go again.
In the past week, President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner have begun a new round of sparring over the U.S. debt ceiling.
Declaring that a "national emergency" exists in public education, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney shifted from his usual economic message to outline his education platform during a speech to a Latino business group Wednesday.
Romney pledged to provide federal funding for "every" child from low-income families, or those with special needs, to attend the public, public charter or, in some cases, private school of their parents' choice. The proposals are boilerplate Republican Party planks.
The director of the Secret Service assured a Senate committee, today, that a prostitution scandal involving his agents never compromised security. Mark Sullivan also apologized for behavior he said was reckless. It was Sullivan's first public testimony since news broke last month of Secret Service employees picking up prostitutes before a presidential visit to Colombia. He insisted this was an isolated incident.
But NPR's Tamara Keith reports, some on the committee weren't buying it.
Sufjan Stevens is a classically trained singer-songwriter whose recent work has leaned symphonic. Son Lux is a classically trained beatmaker whose solo albums do indeed evoke luxury. Serengeti is a self-trained rapper who creates voices for a panoply of full-fledged characters who range from scufflers to yuppies. Billed as s / s / s, this ad hoc trio has just released an EP called Beak and Claw that somehow synthesizes their specialties.
One Iranian site of particular interest to U.S. intelligence officials is the military complex at Parchin, about 20 miles southeast of the capital, Tehran. The complex is shown here in a 2004 satellite image.
The CIA took considerable heat over Iraq, where weapons of mass destruction weren't found. Now, as the agency assesses Iran, it invites an NPR correspondent to its headquarters for a rare chat about the issue.
The latest talks in Baghdad over Iran's nuclear program have prompted the usual arguments. Iran says it has only peaceful intentions. Israeli leaders scoff at that claim. Other world powers are unsure of Iran's intentions and demand that it take steps to show that it is not pursuing nuclear weapons.
The CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies, meanwhile, are sticking with the assessment they made in November 2007, when they reported that Iran "halted its nuclear weapons program" in 2003 and apparently had not restarted it.