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5:33 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Hollywood's History Of Putting Gay Rights On Trial

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 9:55 pm

With the Supreme Court hearing arguments this week on same-sex marriage, I'd like to point out a parallel evolution in what I see as a Hollywood mini-genre: films in which gay characters are either taken to court or seek redress in court for issues involving their sexuality.

Arguably the most famous question ever asked in a courtroom about a line of poetry — "What is the love that dare not speak its name?" — was originally put to playwright Oscar Wilde in 1894 by a British prosecutor. It was an attempt to trap Wilde into admitting to then-illegal homosexual conduct.

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The Two-Way
4:49 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Judge Awards $8,000 To A Man Who Got Stuck On Disney's 'Small World' Ride

A scene from the "It's A Small World" ride, seen at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 7:29 pm

Jose Martinez won one for a lot of people today: A federal judge awarded the California man $8,000 in damages from Disneyland, after he had to sit in the "goodbye room"of the "It's A Small World" ride for 30 minutes, while park officials repaired it.

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Energy
4:30 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Is The Sky The Limit For Wind Power?

Wind turbines at the San Gorgonio Pass Wind Farm in Whitewater, Calif., in 2012.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 9:55 pm

Wind power is growing faster than ever — almost half of the new sources of electricity added to the U.S. power grid last year were wind farms.

But is the sky the limit? Several scientists now say it's actually possible to have so many turbines that they start to lose power. They steal each other's wind.

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Europe
4:30 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Long After Its Fall, Berlin Wall Is Focus Of New Protests

American actor David Hasselhoff speaks to protesters next to a remnant of the Berlin Wall last week. Thousands of people turned out to oppose a plan to knock down one of the few remaining sections of the wall. A small part was removed Wednesday.
Odd Andersen AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 9:55 pm

Protected by scores of German police officers, workers removed sections of a key remnant of the Berlin Wall before dawn Wednesday despite earlier protests demanding the concrete artifact of the Cold War be preserved.

The removal came as a shock to residents, just as it did on Aug. 13, 1961, when communists first built the barrier that divided Berlin during the Cold War.

Tour guide Rolf Strobel, 52, was among the scores of people who came to gape at the holes in what had been the longest remaining stretch of the wall — about eight-tenths of a mile.

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Europe
4:30 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

With Cyprus On The Ropes, Which Country Will Become The Next Tax Shelter?

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 9:55 pm

Robert Siegel talks to Joseph Cotterill, writer for the Financial Times, about what may happen if the European Union's bailout plan for Cyprus succeeds and which country may be poised to take on the role as the next Cayman Islands of Eastern Europe.

It's All Politics
4:23 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Skim Milk, States' Rights And Political Clout: The High Court And DOMA

This artist rendering shows Roberta Kaplan, attorney for plaintiff Edith Windsor, addressing the Supreme Court during arguments on the Defense of Marriage Act on Wednesday.
Dana Verkouteren AP

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 6:17 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday in a challenge to the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between "one man and one woman as husband and wife."

It was the court's second and final day of hearing appeals involving same-sex marriage laws. And it served up some memorable observations from the high court denizens.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg characterized same-sex unions under DOMA, which limits federal spousal benefits to heterosexual couples, as the equivalent of "skim milk" marriages.

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The Two-Way
4:00 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

High Court Rules U.S. Government Can Be Sued Over Actions Of Prison Guards

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 5:51 pm

When can the federal government be sued when a law enforcement officer intentionally injures or harms someone? Apparently, any time the officer is acting within the scope of his or her employment.

That was the answer Justice Clarence Thomas gave when he wrote today's opinion for a unanimous court in Millbrook v. United States.

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Planet Money
3:32 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

What If You Couldn't Take Your Money To Another State?

What if this wasn't worth $1?
ceoln Flickr

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 9:48 am

One day, the legislature in the state where you live passes a new law: Until further notice, you're not allowed to take your money to another state.

There are exceptions. You can take a few thousand dollars with you if you go on a trip. You can do some out-of-state shopping on your credit card, but not too much. Beyond that, all your money — your checking account, your savings account, the cash you buried in your backyard — has to stay in your state. You're free to leave the state, as long as you don't take your money with you.

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The Two-Way
3:12 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

British Government Rebuked Again; Court Rules It Cannot Deport Muslim Cleric

Muslim Cleric Abu Qatada arrives home after being released from prison in London, England.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

The British government has suffered another loss in its attempt to deport Muslim cleric Abu Qatada back to Jordan.

While Qatada has never been charged with anything in the United Kingdom, he is accused of being a spiritual inspiration for some of the those involved in the Sept. 11 attacks.

The BBC reports that today a Special Immigration Appeals Commission decided the government of Prime Minister David Cameron could not send him back to Jordan, where in 1999, he was convicted on terror charges in absentia.

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Same-Sex Marriage And The Supreme Court
2:39 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Transcript: Supreme Court Arguments On Defense Of Marriage Act

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 4:25 pm

The Supreme Court on Wednesday heard oral arguments in a case challenging the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibits federal benefits for and recognition of same-sex marriages.

Audio of the arguments is available above, and a transcript, as prepared by the court, follows.


CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: We will hear argument this morning in Case 12-307, United States v. Windsor, and we will begin with the jurisdictional discussion. Ms. Jackson?

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The Two-Way
2:22 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

As Red Cross Arrives In Guantanamo, Hunger Strike Grows

Clouds cover the sky over Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Pool Getty Images

The number of detainees on hunger strike at the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has grown and Red Cross has moved up a visit to the prison to assess the situation.

The Miami Herald's Carol Rosenberg, who covers Guantanamo for the paper permanently, reports the government now says 31 out of 166 captives "meet the minimum criteria to be considered hunger strikers."

Rosenberg adds:

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Book Reviews
2:09 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

The Apathy In 'A Thousand Pardons' Is Hard To Forgive

iStockPhoto

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 4:32 pm

Jonathan Dee likes to write about rich, good-looking people falling apart — and who among the 99 percent of us can't enjoy that plot? In The Privileges, the dad of the family was a Wall Street trader, tempted by existential boredom into larceny; in A Thousand Pardons, the dad of the family is a partner in a New York law firm, tempted by existential boredom into a disastrous workplace affair.

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Television
2:09 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Chris Hayes: From 'Up' In The Morning To 'All In' At Night

Anchor Chris Hayes will host a new MSNBC weeknight show beginning April 1.
Virginia Sherwood MSNBC

On Monday evening on MSNBC, All In with Chris Hayes will premiere, making the 34-year-old the youngest prime-time anchor on any of the major cable news channels. For the past 18 months, he has hosted an early morning weekend show — Up with Chris Hayes — on MSNBC, but he's already a familiar face to MSNBC evening viewers: He has frequently filled in for Rachel Maddow and has been a popular guest on her show.

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The Salt
2:06 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Why Illinois Is Roaring Mad About Lion Meat

An Arizona restaurant sold lion meat burgers in 2010 in an attempt to drum up business during the World Cup soccer tournament held in South Africa.
Matt York AP

Originally published on Mon April 1, 2013 11:44 am

When we heard a few weeks ago that Illinois was considering banning lion meat, our first thought was, who's eating lion meat? And why Illinois?

Turns out, lion meat has been gaining traction among adventurous foodies who argue that the meat can be an ethical alternative to factory-farmed animals — if the meat comes from American-raised circus and zoo animals that were sent to the slaughterhouse in their old age.

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The Two-Way
2:01 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Arizona Gunman Acted Erratically Days Before Shooting, Documents Reveal

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 3:07 pm

Jared Loughner, the gunman responsible for the 2011 rampage in Tucson, Ariz., that killed six people and wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 12 others, acted erratically in the days leading to the shooting but was quiet and otherwise polite with officers after his arrest, according to newly released documents.

Details from the investigation were made clear Wednesday after the Pima County Sheriff's Department released 2,700 pages of documents requested through the Freedom of Information Act.

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Europe
1:32 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

In Crackdown, Some Russian Groups Labeled As 'Foreign Agents'

The chief of Amnesty International Russia, Sergei Nikitin, at his Moscow office on March 25, after Russian prosecutors and tax police carried out a search. The group is one of many that have been searched under a new law that critics say is being used to stifle dissent.
Ivan Sekretarev AP

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 9:55 pm

Russian investigators have descended on the offices of nongovernmental organizations across the country, demanding to inspect financial records and other documents.

This follows the recent passage of a law designed to impose tighter controls over these NGOs, especially those that receive funding from abroad. Critics say it's part of a broader crackdown on dissent since Vladimir Putin regained the presidency last year.

The offices of the human rights group Memorial are still abuzz after a team of government inspectors paid an unannounced visit

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Shots - Health News
1:20 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Catalog Of Gene Markers For Some Cancers Doubles In Size

A microscopic image of prostate cancer. Researchers have found new genetic markers that flag a person's susceptibility to the disease, as well as breast and ovarian cancer.
Otis Brawley National Cancer Institute

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 1:41 pm

The largest gene-probing study ever done has fished out dozens of new genetic markers that flag a person's susceptibility to breast, ovarian and prostate cancer.

The 74 newly discovered genetic variants double the previously known number for these malignancies, all of which are driven by sex hormones.

Underscoring the sheer magnitude of the findings, they're contained in 15 scientific papers published simultaneously by five different journals. The Nature group of journals has collected them all here.

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The Two-Way
1:04 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Myanmar's Top General Promises Continued Role For Military

Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi (right) speaks with Maj. Gen. Zaw Win, deputy minister for border affairs, during a ceremony Wednesday marking Myanmar's 68th Armed Forces Day.
AFP/Getty Images

Myanmar's top military commander says the armed forces, which ruled the country (also known as Burma) for nearly five decades, will continue to play a "leading role" as it transitions to democracy.

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The Two-Way
12:37 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Raids In Russia On Foreign NGOs Spark International Concern

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 2:44 pm

The Moscow offices of Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and several other NGOs have been searched in recent weeks by Russian prosecutors and tax inspectors, prompting concern over what is being viewed by some as a "concerted action" against the groups.

Rachel Denber of Human Rights Watch was quoted Wednesday by The Associated Press as saying that officials from the prosecutor general's office and tax police were conducting an "unannounced audit" and demanding documents.

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Around the Nation
12:19 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Respectful Gay Marriage Debate An 'Enormous Step'

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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