This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block. It's Friday and we'll begin the hour with the week in politics. The presidential campaigns are trading barbs over Republican Mitt Romney's role at his private equity firm Bain Capital, specifically when did he stop managing the company. SEC filings appear to contradict Romney's claim that he ended his active management role in 1999 when he left to run the Salt Lake City Olympics.
The fate of Texas' new voter ID law is now up to a three-judge federal panel in Washington, D.C.
Lawyers for Texas and the Justice Department wrapped up five days of arguments in U.S. District Court Friday, with each side accusing the other of using deeply "flawed" data to show whether minorities would be unfairly hurt by a photo ID requirement.
David Rowell is an editor with The Washington Post. His first novel, The Train of Small Mercies, is just out in paperback.
When I was growing up in North Carolina, my family went to the same beach every year; it had the sand, the water and pretty much nothing else. Mostly that was OK, but the idea of a boardwalk, which I caught glimpses of on TV or in movies, seemed wondrous to me â like a carnival rolled out from a wooden carpet.
In Germany, the past few weeks have been marked by an intense debate over religious liberties.
Today, German Chancellor Angela Merkel jumped into the fray saying her administration would work to protect religious circumcision.
"It is absolutely clear to the federal government that we want Jewish, we want Muslim religious life in Germany. Circumcisions carried out in a responsible way must not be subject to prosecution in this country," Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters.
Al-Qaida has been subtly testing a new strategy. In the past couple of years, the group's affiliates have been trying their hand at governing â actually taking over territory and then trying to win over citizens who live there. It happened with various degrees of success in Somalia and Yemen, and recently in the northern deserts of Mali.
NPR and the Center for Public Integrity (CPI) have learned that the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) and the Labor Department are putting together a team of agency experts and lawyers to specifically consider how to bolster coal mine dust enforcement given the statutory and regulatory weaknesses detailed by NPR and CPI this week in stories about the resurgence of black lung.
When McDonald's cut a deal to make itself the exclusive purveyor of french fries and the similar (but please don't say matching) chips at the 2012 Olympic Games in London later this month, it may not have anticipated the flurry of responses. Foodies raged, nutritionists nagged, and many called it another example of an American cultural takeover.