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12:53 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

What's Changed For Same-Sex Partners In The Military

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 4:10 pm

Transcript

JENNIFER LUDDEN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Jennifer Ludden, in Washington. Neal Conan is away. For same-sex military couples, a lot has changed since the end of "don't ask, don't tell." Just last week, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced a list of benefits that will now or soon apply to the same-sex partners of service members.

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Law
12:53 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Who Gets Religious Exemptions And Why

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 4:10 pm

Transcript

JENNIFER LUDDEN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Jennifer Ludden in Washington; Neal Conan is away. Religious exemptions have been in the news a lot lately. The Obama administration has revised its rules on insurance coverage to accommodate religious nonprofits. If the proposal sticks, they won't have to pay for coverage of birth control for employees.

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The Two-Way
12:06 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

In Wal-Mart's Earnings Report, A Lesson On The Tax Code

A Walmart store in Paramount, Calif. in November of 2012.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 12:31 pm

The New York Times points out something rather interesting about an otherwise mundane business story. Wal-Mart's fourth-quarter earnings report tells the tale of how changes in the tax code has both helped corporations and hurt them.

As the Times puts it, during the fourth quarter of last year, "the tax code gave and the tax code took away."

The paper explains:

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The Two-Way
11:30 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Sen. Graham Says 4,700 Killed In U.S. Drone Strikes

U.S. "Predator" drone over Afghanistan in Jan. 2009.
Joel Saget AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 1:09 pm

We've all heard that drone strikes directed against al-Qaida and other militants have been on the rise, but now Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has put a number on deaths by U.S. unmanned aerial vehicle: 4,700.

Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, rattled off the death toll during a talk he gave to the Easley Rotary Club in Easley, S.C., Tuesday afternoon.

"We've killed 4,700," Graham said.

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The Salt
11:20 am
Thu February 21, 2013

This Music Is Bananas (Really)

Making a banana piano is easy with the MaKey MaKey.
Jay Silver/Flickr

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 11:26 am

Fresh produce has never been hipper.

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The Two-Way
11:07 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Pew: U.S. Catholics Divided On Future Of The Church

A silhouette of St. Peter's statue in front of St. Peter's Basilica is seen from the Vatican Gardens.
Franco Origlia Getty Images

Catholics in the United States are divided over what they want from their next pontiff, a new poll from the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life finds.

While a majority (58 percent) say it would be "good" if the next pope allows priests to marry and 60 percent said it would be good if the new pope is from the "developing world," that majority narrows when they asked a broader question.

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The Two-Way
10:54 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Want To Be In The Dark? Death Valley Is Among 20 Recommended Places

The Racetrack area in Death Valley National Park, which boasts one of the darkest night skies in the U.S.
Dan Duriscoe National Park Service

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 11:29 am

Hearing that the International Dark Sky Association has declared that Death Valley National Park is now the world's largest "international dark sky park" sent us in search of other places that the organization recommends if you really like "star-filled nights."

The association, which tries to "call attention to the hazards of light pollution," has recognized:

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Music
10:28 am
Thu February 21, 2013

More Than Pretty Views Behind Puerto Rico's Music

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 1:55 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now we are going to turn our attention to Puerto Rico. That's where our colleagues at MORNING EDITION went recently for an in-depth reporting trip. They talked about the island's difficult economy, the many people leaving the island looking for opportunities elsewhere, and how all of that is affecting day-to-day life in the U.S. commonwealth.

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Shots - Health News
10:26 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Hospitals Clamp Down On Early Elective Births

Waiting may be hard, but it's worth it.
iStockphoto.com

For decades, doctors have been warned about the dangers of delivering babies early without a medical reason. But the practice remained stubbornly persistent.

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It's All Politics
10:22 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Failure To Ratify: During Amendment Battles, Some States Opt To Watch

George Washington is depicted addressing the Constitutional Convention of 1787 in this painting by Junius Brutus Stearns. Presumably, no representative from Rhode Island is in the picture; Rhode Island boycotted the gathering and originally rejected the Constitution.
AP

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 10:37 am

Mississippi has received lots of attention this week for finally having ratified the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery. But the state is hardly alone in being slow about blessing some long-established national principle.

After a sufficient number of states have ratified an amendment, it can feel like a moot point for legislatures to give belated approval to laws that are already in effect.

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