Politics

4:54pm

Fri August 9, 2013
National Security

Susan Rice's First Month On The Job Has Been A Doozy

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 5:45 pm

Rice talks with Yousef Al Otaiba, the United Arab Emirates' ambassador to the United States, before the start of a dinner celebrating Ramadan at the White House last month.
Carolyn Kaster AP

People have been talking a lot lately about the National Security Agency. But there's another important "NSA" in the federal government — the president's national security adviser.

That person is a sort of funnel — gathering information from the military, the intelligence community, the State Department — and channeling it all to the president.

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4:24pm

Fri August 9, 2013
Politics

Texas Congressman Pulled In Two Directions Over Immigration

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 5:45 pm

Second term GOP congressman Blake Farenthold is being targeted during Congress' summer recess by advocates of the Senate's immigration bill. Activists are organizing petitions and a demonstration at Farenthold's "open house" at his Corpus Christi office. And opponents are fighting back.

4:24pm

Fri August 9, 2013
National Security

Obama Calls For Transparency In Surveillance Operations

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 5:45 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

At the White House today, on the eve of his vacation, President Obama stepped up to the microphones for his first solo press conference since April. Sometimes joking, sometimes defiant, the president hit on a wide range of issues - relations with Russia, health care. But the president put one issue front and center, balancing the government's need to gather intelligence while protecting American civil liberties.

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4:18pm

Fri August 9, 2013
The Two-Way

Mexican Court Frees Drug Lord Convicted In Killing DEA Agent

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 8:28 am

Mexican federal police patrol Friday near Puente Grande State prison (background) in Zapotlanejo, Jalisco state, Mexico, where former top Mexican cartel boss Rafael Caro Quintero was released.
Hector Guerrero AFP/Getty Images

A Mexican court has thrown out the conviction of infamous drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero, 28 years after he was convicted and imprisoned for the 1985 kidnapping and murder of U.S. DEA agent Enrique Camarena.

Quintero had been serving a 40-year sentence for torturing and killing Camarena, but the court voided the sentence on a technicality — saying he should have been tried in a state court instead of the federal court where he was convicted.

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2:33pm

Fri August 9, 2013
The Two-Way

President Faces Tough Questions On Latest NSA Leaks

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 3:04 pm

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President Obama talks with Jay Leno during the taping of his appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Obama told Leno: "We don't have a domestic spying program."
Jacquelyn Martin AP

President Obama, appearing Friday for his first news conference in more than three months, will no doubt be fielding tough questions on a new round of revelations regarding the NSA's top-secret electronic surveillance programs.

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2:28pm

Fri August 9, 2013
Politics

Al-Qaida Leaks Reveal Both Security And Political Worries

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 3:01 pm

A police officer checks a car Wednesday at the entrance of Yemen's Sanaa International Airport. Security forces in the Middle East and Africa have been on heightened alert because of concerns about potential terrorist attacks.
Hani Mohammed AP

Revelations this week that the U.S. intercepted communications between top al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri and other key terrorist figures in the Arabian Peninsula offered a pretty good plug for the work of the National Security Agency.

As leaks go, this was a big one. Was it a signal that government officials are going to be more open about intelligence gathering in the aftermath of the Edward Snowden affair?

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2:26pm

Fri August 9, 2013
The Two-Way

President Obama Proposes Reforms To Surveillance Programs

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 6:50 pm

President Obama walks out of the East Room of the White House after holding a news conference Friday.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

In the shadow of classified leaks that exposed some of the government's most secret surveillance programs, President Obama said he will work with Congress to reform the law governing their function.

Speaking at a press conference in the East Room of the White House on Friday, Obama defended the programs but said the reforms will bring greater oversight and transparency.

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11:46am

Fri August 9, 2013
Barbershop

Maj. Nidal Hasan: A Murderer or Martyr ?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Later in the program today, we'll talk about immigration, but not in the way you might expect. Most often, we seem to hear about immigrants who are desperate to stay in the U.S. Later, we'll hear from a woman who said life was not what she'd hoped for here, so she packed up and went back to Trinidad. We'll hear from her in just a few minutes. But we are going to start the program today with a visit to the Barbershop.

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11:46am

Fri August 9, 2013
Movie Interviews

'The Butler': 'It's Not A Movie — It's A Movement'

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 7:03 pm

Forest Whitaker stars in The Butler, loosely based on the life of Eugene Allen.
Anne Marie Fox The Weinsten Co.

Lee Daniels has directed critically acclaimed films that deal with difficult subject matter before, but he says working on The Butler was "the hardest thing he's ever done."

The film chronicles the life of a man who rose from the cotton fields of North Carolina to work in the White House, witnessing some of the most important moments in this nation's history.

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6:40am

Fri August 9, 2013
The Two-Way

Obama Set For News Conference Friday Afternoon

President Obama at the White House on Thursday.
Kevin Dietsch UPI /Landov

President Obama is set to hold a news conference at the White House on Friday at 3 p.m. ET — his first such formal give-and-take with the press corps since "NSA leaker" Edward Snowden starting spilling secrets about National Security Agency surveillance programs in June.

So we should expect questions about Snowden, spying and civil liberties, as well as strained relations with Russia, the economy and other subjects.

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