This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
They're calling it the Road to Majority. It's the third annual meeting of conservative religious activists with the Faith and Freedom Coalition. The conference is underway now in Washington, D.C. Its stated aim: To boost the conservative vote for next year's midterm election.
As NPR's David Welna reports, it's also a platform for Republican stars eyeing the White House in 2016.
The U.S. Census Bureau released its list of the nation's 100 fastest-growing counties Thursday, and here's what we learned: They're mainly clustered in the South and West, and their rapid population gains are fueled by a wide variety of economic and cultural factors including the energy boom, military realignment, Hispanic immigration, student enrollment and changing retirement patterns.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans say they feel more accepted in society than they did 10 years ago, and they're overwhelmingly optimistic that the trend will continue. But a sweeping new Pew Research Center survey also finds persistent levels of stigmatization and secrecy in the community.
An obviously unhappy Judge Edward Korman has approved the Obama administration's proposal to make just one formulation of the morning-after birth control pill available over the counter without age restrictions.
But in a testily worded six-page memorandum, the federal district judge made it clear he is not particularly pleased with the outcome. He has been overseeing the case in one way or another for more than eight years.
The Senate has defeated a Republican measure that would have blocked implementation of a "path to citizenship" for undocumented workers until after the U.S.-Mexico border has been deemed secure for a period of six months.
The amendment to the larger overhaul of U.S. immigration law was sponsored by Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley. It was defeated Thursday in a 57-43 vote.
NSA Director Keith Alexander told a Senate panel that his agency's program did indeed protect American's privacy while gathering data on terrorist activity. Alexander told lawmakers he wants to declassify more details to reassure everyone the programs are legal and effective.
With two weeks until the Massachusetts special Senate election, the obvious question is: Can Republicans pull off another stunning upset like they did three years ago?
Back then, in the very blue Bay State, Republican Scott Brown won the seat left vacant by Ted Kennedy's death by riding a Tea Party and anti-Obamacare wave amplified by voter distress over a sour economy.