The Obama administration faces tricky political and legal questions on the subject of gay marriage. By the end of this month, the federal government is expected to file not just one but two briefs in a pair of same-sex marriage cases at the U.S. Supreme Court.
But it is the Proposition 8 case from California that poses the thornier questions for the administration — questions so difficult that the president himself is expected to make the final decision on what arguments the Justice Department will make in the Supreme Court.
Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 2:01 pm
Vine, Twitter's new microvideo-sharing app for the iPhone, this week added a 17+ rating, saying that the app "contains age-restricted material." The change came after some users uploaded pornographic clips onto the app, which features 6-second (or
An unmanned drone armed with Hellfire missiles is shown over southern Afghanistan. A Hellfire missile fired from a drone was used in 2011 to kill an American in Yemen who the Obama administration says was an al-Qaida leader. Another American died in that attack, and a 16-year-old American was killed in a separate drone strike.
Credit Lt. Col. Leslie Pratt / AP
Members of the Japanese-American Mochida family await relocation to an internment camp, in Hayward, Calif., during World War II. In 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt used an executive order to authorize the internment of Americans of Japanese ancestry. In 1988, the U.S. government formally apologized.
Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 1:00 pm
The controversy over President Obama's targeted-killings-by-drone policy is a reminder that the default position of presidents in times of crisis is generally to side with national security over civil liberties.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY; I'm Joe Palca. Do you ever get the feeling you're being watched? These days if you're not careful, your phone knows where you are, and there's a good chance somebody else does, too. Or you've noticed that the ads on sites you visit are starting to look a little too personalized, like how did they know I was planning a vacation to New Orleans.
You know the theory that a big collision, a comet or an asteroid, something like that, helped kill off the dinosaurs? The idea has been around for a while. But this week, new research published in journal Science provides more accurate dates for the giant impact and the dino demise.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Joe Palca, sitting in for Ira Flatow. If you add it up, we spend a lot of time sleeping, about a third of our lives, actually, and it turns out our bodies don't just power down as we slumber. Research is showing that sleep plays an important role in how our brains process and store the information that we learn throughout the day.
The United States Postal Service said it lost $1.3 billion in first quarter of its fiscal year. While that's still a huge number, it's a big drop from the $3.1 billion loss the service posted during the same time period last year.