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It's All Politics
5:16 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Background Check Battle: More Prosecution Or More Checks?

Vice President Joe Biden, holds a background check form last week in Washington, as he calls on Congress to pass legislation aimed at reducing gun violence.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 1:54 pm

One argument that some gun rights groups make against expanding background checks is that the federal government isn't doing a good enough job now of enforcing the law already on the books.

They point out that only a tiny fraction of people caught trying to buy a gun illegally are ever prosecuted.

But gun control supporters say that argument totally misses the point of background checks.

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Music Interviews
5:16 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Rachel Zeffira: An Opera 'Deserter' Embraces Dreamy Pop

Rachel Zeffira's debut solo album is titled The Deserters.
Yuval Hen Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 6:46 am

Listening to her ethereal sound, you might not guess that Rachel Zeffira was classically trained as an opera singer. But on her solo debut, The Deserters, she's not just singing: She also plays piano, synthesizers, vibraphone, cathedral organ, violin, viola, oboe and English horn.

Zeffira makes her home in London now, but she grew up in a small town in rural British Columbia and began playing music at a young age.

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It's All Politics
5:12 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

How Congress Quietly Overhauled Its Insider-Trading Law

Vice President Biden and members of Congress watch as President Obama signs the STOCK Act on April 4, 2012. A year later, Congress moved to undo large portions of the law without fanfare.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 5:46 pm

The legislative process on Capitol Hill is often slow and grinding. There are committee hearings, filibuster threats and hours of floor debate. But sometimes, when Congress really wants to get something done, it can move blindingly fast.

That's what happened when Congress moved to undo large parts of a popular law known as the STOCK Act last week.

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Movie Reviews
3:28 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

'Central Park Five': Rape, Race And Blame Explored

A courtroom sketch from the first trial in the Central Park jogger case shows prosecutor Elizabeth Lederer (standing on right), the victim (on the stand) and defendants Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Antron McCray (on left). The high-profile case is the subject of a Ken Burns documentary, The Central Park Five, airing on PBS this month.
Daniel J. White PBS

Ken Burns has said that no matter what subjects he tackles in his documentaries — baseball or jazz, Mark Twain or the Civil War — they always seem to boil down to two things: "race and place."

That's certainly true with his latest film, The Central Park Five, which tells of the violent assault and rape of a female jogger in 1989. The place was New York City — and because of citywide racial tensions at the time, the story was seized upon by New York tabloids and national TV newscasts alike.

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Author Interviews
3:16 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

How Evangelical Christians Are Preaching The New Gospel Of Adoption

We're used to thinking of adoption as a way for infertile couples or single people to start a family or take in a child in need of a home.

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