It's All Politics
8:17 am
Sat March 2, 2013

In Voting Rights Arguments, Chief Justice Misconstrued Census Data

Chief Justice John Roberts, shown here during a presentation last June in Pennsylvania, questioned the U.S. solicitor general about voting statistics during this week's arguments on Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.
Ann Wilkins AP

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 7:20 pm

At the voting rights argument in the Supreme Court on Wednesday, Chief Justice John Roberts tore into Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, grilling him on his knowledge of voting statistics.

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It's All Politics
8:16 am
Sat March 2, 2013

The Sequester That Wasn't Meant To Happen Begins

Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 8:33 pm

It was never supposed to happen, but now it has. With President Obama's signing of the order to commence the sequester spending cuts of $85 billion from this fiscal year's federal budget, what was once unthinkable is now hard reality.

The indiscriminate, across-the-board spending cuts to the Defense Department and domestic programs were supposed to be so odious and harebrained that, of course, the president and Congress would agree on a more reasonable path to deficit reduction.

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The Two-Way
5:47 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Updated: State Department Releases Keystone XL Environmental Report

Pipe is stacked at the southern site of the Keystone XL pipeline on March 22, 2012 in Cushing, Oklahoma.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 6:52 pm

Update at 4:08 p.m. ET. Report Released:

The State Department, which is ultimately charged with approving or denying TransCanada's plans to build a 1,700 mile pipeline from Canada and through the U.S., has released a draft report that details the potential environmental impacts of the Keystone XL pipeline.

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Environment
4:37 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Natural Gas Dethrones King Coal As Power Companies Look To Future

American Electric Power's natural gas-burning plant in Dresden, Ohio, is one of the energy company's new investments in alternatives to coal-burning plants.
Michael Williamson The Washington Post/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 8:01 pm

The way Americans get their electricity is changing. Coal is in decline. Natural gas is bursting out of the ground in record amounts. And the use of wind and solar energy is growing fast. All this is happening as power companies are trying to choose which kind of energy to bet on for the next several decades.

Until recently, half of these plants burned coal to make electricity. Now, that's down to about one-third. Since 2010, about 150 coal plants either have been retired or it's been announced they will be retired soon.

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Christopher Joyce is a correspondent on the science desk at NPR. His stories can be heard on all of NPR's news programs, including NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition.

Joyce seeks out stories in some of the world's most inaccessible places. He has reported from remote villages in the Amazon and Central American rainforests, Tibetan outposts in the mountains of western China, and the bottom of an abandoned copper mine in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Over the course of his career, Joyce has written stories about volcanoes, hurricanes, human evolution, tagging giant blue-fin tuna, climate change, wars in Kosovo and Iraq and the artificial insemination of an African elephant.

Local News
4:24 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Byline: Prison Jobs in Appalachia; Charter Schools; Progress Kentucky; Humana Festival

Here's what we cover in this edition of Byline (audio playback below):

At the top - Officials in some eastern Kentucky counties have eagerly recruited prisons to their communities, with the hope of jobs and economic development, but have they delivered?  Sylvia Ryerson, who reports on Appalachian issues for Mountain Community Radio, joins us to discuss.

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The Two-Way
4:03 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Jedi? Vulcan? Mind Meld? Mind Trick? What Was Obama Thinking?

That's a light saber, sir, not a phaser. (President Obama in September 2009, during a White House event promoting Chicago's bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics.)
Roger L. Wollenberg UPI /Landov

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 8:53 pm

He can't do "a Jedi mind meld" with Republicans and get them to see his way about taxes and spending, President Obama said Friday.

About which CBS News' Mark Knoller immediately tweeted:

"Pres Obama Mixed Metaphor of the Day: The 'mind meld' is not a Jedi tool from Star Wars, but a Vulcan ability from Star Trek."

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Arts and Humanities
3:40 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Helen Starr: Ballet Gives You a Body Language

Helen Starr

As a soloist with the Royal Ballet and a principal dancer with the London Ballet Festival, Helen Starr danced many of the lead roles in classical ballets. But she didn’t dance the role of Juliet to Sergei Prokofiev’s score until 1985 when her husband Alun Jones, then artistic director, choreographed his version of the ballet in Louisville.

Now retired from the company, Jones and Starr return every five or six years to stage the version of Shakespeare’s tragic love story that they created together. They open another production this weekend in the Kentucky Center's Whitney Hall.

Education
3:12 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

With Possible Buyout Program, U of L Hopes to Double Number of Departing Faculty, Staff

Credit File photo

University of Louisville officials say a buyout plan under consideration could lead to the retirement of twice as many faculty members this year.

The university is offering the buyout program—being called the Voluntary Separation Incentive Program—to save the school about $2.5 million.

But the program first needs participants or U of L will decide not to offer it. Eligible faculty and staff have until March 15 to decide whether they want to opt in. The program would then need approval by U of L’s board of trustees.

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Local News
3:09 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Communities in Indiana, Kentucky Commemorate Tornado Anniversary

Saturday marks one year from the day tornados raked across the Midwest and South, killing 40 across the country and nearly obliterating towns like Marysville and Henryville in Indiana and West Liberty, Kentucky.

Here's what I found when I arrived in Marysville right after the tornado:

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