Race
5:08 pm
Sun December 9, 2012

The End Of Affirmative Action? What Could Be Next

Abigail Fisher, the Texan involved in the University of Texas affirmative action case, accompanied by her attorney Bert Rein, right, talks to reporters outside the Supreme Court in October.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Sun December 9, 2012 6:09 pm

The Supreme Court ruled in 2003 that universities can consider race as a factor, if the goal is to achieve diversity. But in that case, former Justice Sandra Day O'Connor famously wrote that within 25 years, race-based affirmative action would become obsolete.

But affirmative action could disappear sooner than that.

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Around the Nation
3:42 pm
Sun December 9, 2012

Ill. Considers Licenses For Undocumented Immigrants

Former Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar speaks to reporters at the Illinois State Capitol on Dec. 4, before a Senate vote on a law that would allow undocumented immigrants to obtain driver's licenses.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Sun December 9, 2012 6:09 pm

Illinois could become the third state — after Washington and New Mexico — where undocumented immigrants can obtain driver's licenses. The legislation is halfway there. A bill that passed the state Senate 41-14 last Tuesday has bipartisan support.

Before the Senate vote, leaders from both parties, including Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican former Gov. Jim Edgar, spoke out in favor of the legislation. Supporters say that the roads will be safer if undocumented immigrants can pass the tests and get driver's licenses.

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U.S.
3:29 pm
Sun December 9, 2012

Baltimore Says, 'Immigrants Welcome'

Hundreds gather in Baltimore's harbor Sept. 22 to witness the naturalization of nearly 50 new Americans.
Acacia Squires NPR

Originally published on Sun December 9, 2012 6:09 pm

Hundreds of people gathered in September at Baltimore's harbor as the wind gusted off the water's edge. Nearly 50 of them were about to be sworn in as U.S. citizens. Some were young, some old. There were uniformed members of the U.S. military, parents and children. There were immigrants from El Salvador, China, Honduras and countries in between. They raised their right hands, recited the naturalization oath to the United States, and were declared fully American.

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Science
3:26 pm
Sun December 9, 2012

Forget Extinct: The Brontosaurus Never Even Existed

This photograph from 1934 shows the Carnegie Museum's Apatosaurus skeleton on the right — wearing the wrong skull.
Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Originally published on Sun December 9, 2012 6:09 pm

It may have something to do with all those Brontosaurus burgers everyone's favorite modern stone-age family ate, but when you think of a giant dinosaur with a tiny head and long, swooping tail, the Brontosaurus is probably what you're seeing in your mind.

Well hold on: Scientifically speaking, there's no such thing as a Brontosaurus.

Even if you knew that, you may not know how the fictional dinosaur came to star in the prehistoric landscape of popular imagination for so long.

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Author Interviews
3:26 pm
Sun December 9, 2012

'Torn': Living As An Openly Gay Christian

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 11:50 am

Justin Lee was raised in a conservative Southern Baptist home. He had two loving parents, and was deeply committed to his faith. In school, classmates even referred to him as "God Boy" because of his devotion.

But, as he was entering high school, Lee's whole world began to change, as he came face-to-face with feelings that he'd tried for many years to suppress.

"I didn't know I was gay at first, because I was the kid who was preaching against folks accepting themselves as gay," he tells Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:04 pm
Sun December 9, 2012

A Bald Mezzo And Three Shades Of Violin: Classical Favorites From 2012

On Silfra, violinist Hilary Hahn improvises with prepared pianist Hauschka.
DG

Originally published on Sun December 9, 2012 6:09 pm

From mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli's ambitious revival of the early Baroque composer Agostino Stefani (and yes, she's got another outrageous album cover) to three very different roles for the violin, here's a clutch of classical albums I returned to again and again this year for sheer delight and aural inspiration. Bartoli lavishes extravagant attention on the music of a fascinating but forgotten link in the history of opera.

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The Two-Way
1:26 pm
Sun December 9, 2012

Egyptian Opposition Calls For Protests Against Referendum On Constitution

Protesters chant slogans during a demonstration in front of the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, on Sunday.
Petr David Josek AP

Originally published on Sun December 9, 2012 2:20 pm

Egypt's main opposition group has called for mass protests against President Mohammed Morsi's decision to go ahead with a referendum on the country's draft constitution.

"We do not recognize the draft constitution because it does not represent the Egyptian people," said Sameh Ashour, who spoke on behalf of the National Salvation Front, the main umbrella group for opposition parties.

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The Two-Way
12:18 pm
Sun December 9, 2012

American Doctor Rescued From Captors In Afghanistan

Originally published on Sun December 9, 2012 5:03 pm

U.S. forces rescued Sunday an American doctor who was kidnapped in Afghanistan last week.

Dr. Dilip Joseph of Colorado Springs, Colo., was kidnapped Dec. 5 along with two other aid workers who were returning from a visit to a rural medical clinic outside Kabul. All three worked for Morning Star Development, a Colorado-based nonprofit.

NPR's Sean Carberry reported on the rescue for our Newscast Unit. Here's what he said:

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Afghanistan
4:10 am
Sun December 9, 2012

Afghan Contractors Feel Pinch Of Drawdown

Laborers work on a building in Kabul, Afghanistan. Following the drawdown of U.S. troops and NGOs, many construction companies are without projects and being forced to close offices and downsize.
Musadeq Sadeq AP

Originally published on Sun December 9, 2012 2:27 pm

The Afghan construction industry has been one of the big winners since the fall of the Taliban. NATO and the international community have pumped billions of dollars into building roads, schools and bases.

With the drawdown of troops and NGOs, however, comes a drawdown in construction spending, and that has Afghan contractors scrambling to find new business.

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Your Money
4:09 am
Sun December 9, 2012

Fiscal Cliff Leaves Accountants Hanging, Too

With major tax changes still undecided, accountants and other financial professionals must advise their clients on various possible scenarios.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun December 9, 2012 1:53 pm

The expiration of Bush-era tax cuts. A patch to the alternative minimum tax. An increase in capital gains taxes.

As the "fiscal cliff" approaches, all of these are possible, but none certain. That uncertainty solicits many questions from anxious taxpayers. But, for accountants and financial planners, there are a few definitive answers.

Financial professionals who spoke with NPR say they are not strangers to uncertainty. When the Bush tax cuts were up for expiration two years ago, for instance, the feeling was similar.

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