House Republicans have left Washington, D.C., and reconvened three hours south, just outside Williamsburg, Va., for a closed-door retreat. They've heard from pollsters about why the public doesn't like them. Now they'll hear from consultants about how to woo women and minorities. David Welna talks to Audie Cornish.
President Obama begins his second term much the way he ended his first — locked in a fiscal fight with congressional Republicans. But the president's argument that the November election would break the logjam hasn't panned out just yet.
Now, let's head back to events in this country. Thousands of Americans will be in Washington to watch history being made at the presidential inauguration, to hear President Obama's vision for the next four years.
Mexico's new president, Enrique Peña Nieto, recently enacted a law to compensate victims of drug violence. It also sets up a national registry to record the crimes. Host Michel Martin discusses the new law with Nik Steinberg of Human Rights Watch.
This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, for years, we've been telling you about the tens of thousands of people who have been killed or kidnapped by the drug cartels in Mexico, but the truth is, nobody really knew how many there were because nobody kept track. This week, the new president of Mexico signed a new law to set up a national registry of victims and to compensate the families. We'll have more on that in just a few minutes.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
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And I'm Renee Montagne.
President Obama says he's done what he could on his own. Yesterday he signed 23 executive orders related to gun control. They will allow federal agencies to strengthen the existing background check system and improve the tracking of stolen guns. The big ticket items, like universal background checks and a ban on assault weapons and high capacity clips, will need congressional action.
You heard the president acknowledge that in some parts of the country - and more specifically, some congressional districts - gun ownership is stronger than in other parts of the country. He would need allies in those places to overcome or persuade the gun industry and its lobbying groups. Industry officials are ready to fight.
As NPR's Jim Zarroli reports, some of the proposals, especially a ban on assault weapons, could take a bite out of gun-makers' revenue.
The Department of the Interior is huge — more than 70,000 employees manage a half-billion acres of public land, mostly in the West. The department does everything from operate national parks to administer Native American social programs and manage wild horses.
Lucas Codognolla's hands shake as he waits in line at the Bridgeport, Conn., DMV for his turn to take the road test.
"I don't know if it's nerves or the excitement, you know?" he says.
The 22-year-old's family emigrated from Brazil when was just 9. When he turned 16 and wanted to get his driver's license, his parents sat him down and told him the truth: He was in the country illegally.
Initially, he lied to his friends about why he couldn't drive, he says. But then, as he got older, driving simply became necessary.