The nation's top military leaders came to Capitol Hill on Tuesday primed to defend their ability to handle, in their chain of command, the sexual assault scandal that has engulfed the armed services.
But the dramatic faceoff with the Senate Armed Services Committee — in particular two of its female members — appeared to only deepen the chasm between the four-star brass and those who want significant change in a system that has failed victims for decades.
President Obama fired a warning shot Tuesday in the battle over Senate confirmations: He nominated three new judges to the powerful federal appeals court in Washington, and he challenged Senate Republicans not to stand in their way.
Obama complained about procedural roadblocks that have tied up many of his previous nominees — sometimes for years.
Funeral services for New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg will be held tomorrow in Manhattan, but the political maneuvering to replace the long-serving Democrat is already underway. Senator Lautenberg died yesterday. And today, New Jersey's Republican governor, Chris Christie, ordered a special election to fill the seat this fall. As NPR's Joel Rose reports, that is not what many in Christie's party wanted.
The civil war in Syria is attracting fighters from all over, increasing sectarian tensions in other Muslim countries, threatening the region's tenuous stability, bringing the threat of Russian missiles, and leaving the U.S with few good options.
More than 80,000 people have been killed so far in Syria's civil war, and 4 million of Syria's 20 million people have been displaced. Robert Malley, the program director for Middle East and North Africa for the International Crisis Group, calls it "one of the most catastrophic humanitarian disasters we're facing."
Former California Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham is a free man today, after spending more than seven years in prison on bribery and other charges. A distinguished Vietnam War veteran and former Navy pilot, Cunningham's 15-year career in Congress ended abruptly when he admitting to taking $2.4 million in bribes from defense contractors and evading taxes.
Saying that "insiders and a few party elites" should not choose the person who permanently replaces Sen. Frank Lautenberg, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced Tuesday afternoon that there will be primaries on Aug. 13 and a special election on Oct. 16.
Already under fire for how some personnel gave extra scrutiny to conservative groups' applications for tax-exempt status, the Internal Revenue Service is also dealing with an inspector general's criticism of the $4.1 million spent on a conference in 2010.
Posted here, the Treasury Department audit concludes that:
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later in the program we are going to dig into a new survey of African-American attitudes about their lives, and some of the findings may surprise you. We'll also talk about how that 401(k) retirement plan, once a fresh idea, may need some new thinking.