In a rare moment of harmony in Washington, President Obama hosted former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush for the unveiling of the couple's official portraits.
It's a tradition that dates back to 1800, when the White House acquired its first work of art: a full-length portrait of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart.
During a ceremony in East Room of the White House, President Obama noted that fact saying that while Washington is constantly engulfed in partisan bickering, the "Presidency transcends those differences."
By resisting efforts at the United Nations to bring concerted pressure on Syrian President Bashar Assad to end the killing in his country, Russia is "in effect, propping up the [Assad] regime at a time when we should be working on a political transition," Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said earlier today in Copenhagen.
Clinton also told an audience that Russia's implicit support for Assad could "help contribute to a civil war" in Syria, The Associated Press reports.
Democrat Elizabeth Warren, who is in a tight Senate race in Massachusetts against Republican incumbent Scott Brown, acknowledged for the first time that she told the law schools at Harvard and University of Pennsylvania of her Native American heritage.
Increasingly, Internet users are working "in the cloud" — creating and sending data that isn't stored on local hard drives. It's easy to imagine our emails and photos swirling around in cyberspace without a physical home — but that's not really how it works. Those files are still stored somewhere, but you can only find them if you know where to look.
In our recent poll on what it means to be sick in America, one ethnic group stands out as having special problems – Hispanic Americans.
The national survey, conducted by NPR with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health, sheds new light on Hispanics' health issues. It runs counter to the widespread impression that African-Americans are worst-off when it comes to the cost and quality of health care.
"A federal appeals court Thursday declared that the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutionally denies federal benefits to married gay couples, a ruling all but certain to wind up before the U.S. Supreme Court," The Associated Press reports from Boston.
Most of what they're catching isn't all that exciting, but the folks at the Sunlight Foundation have launched something that has the potential to expose elected officials and politicians as they try to hide embarrassing things that get on to their Twitter feeds.
Politwoops, Sunlight says, is "the only comprehensive collection of deleted tweets by U.S. politicians. From minor typos to major gaffes, Politwoops is now there to offer a searchable window into what they hoped you didn't see."
The Scripps National Spelling Bee is down to the 50 semifinalists. Today at 10:00 Eastern, they'll compete in the semifinals (broadcast on ESPN2), and then tonight at 8:00, they'll hold the finals (broadcast on ESPN). You can also follow an online streaming version at ESPN online, but to be honest, it's an extremely cumbersome process that I haven't yet gotten to work for me.
ADP's monthly report is sometimes a decent barometer of what the Bureau of Labor Statistics will say when it issues its employment estimates. We're due to hear from BLS about the May employment situation on Friday at 8:30 a.m. ET.
(NPR's Eric Westervelt reported from Germany on Morning Edition about the effort to remember Holocaust victims by engraving their names on bricks, or "stumbling stones," placed on sidewalks throughout Germany. Some of those stones bear the names of Jeffrey Katz's relatives.
This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene. Many families who lost artwork during the Holocaust have spent decades trying to reclaim their treasures. Now they could face a new obstacle: proposed legislation that would protect American museums from these families' claims. David Maxon of member station WNYC has more.
Our last word in business today is: Big Gulp. Actually, make that moderately-sized gulp.
New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg has proposed a ban on sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces, which means a large Slurpee or a Grande Frappuccino, would still be legal. Restaurants, movie theaters, and food trucks would all have to abide by the rule, which is aimed at rising obesity rates. Fruit juices and alcoholic drinks would be exempt.
It's only the first week of the French Open tennis tournament and already it has been horrendous for the Americans. When the fading Andy Roddick lost in the first round, that was greeted with shrugs. Much more shocking was when Serena Williams also lost in the first round - the first time she's ever gone out that early in a major. Then yesterday her sister Venus was defeated as well in the second round. Sport Illustrated's Jon Wertheim is one American who's still standing at Roland Garros in Paris.
Fifty years ago this month, comic book artists Stan Lee and Jack Kirby introduced the Incredible Hulk to the world. The Hulk is the volatile alter ego of Dr. Bruce Banner, a physicist who's inadvertently exposed to radiation. As a result, whenever Dr. Banner gets angry or upset, he transforms into a giant, raging monster, capable of stunning feats of strength.
And the disputes over voter eligibility extend well beyond Florida. New voter ID laws, and other voting restrictions, have been enacted in a number of states since the last major election. And that has raised special concern among African-Americans, who feel they are being targeted.
Black church leaders and the Congressional Black Caucus met yesterday here in Washington, D.C., to discuss how to make sure African-American voters aren't discouraged from turning out in November.
In recent days, three Tibetans have set themselves on fire to protest Chinese rule. In the past year, it's been reported that more than 30 people have set themselves on fire and most have died. Renee Montagne talks to Robert Barnett, an expert on Tibet, for more on why Tibetans have been protesting Chinese repression by setting themselves on fire.
Bill Internicola, a 91-yar-old World War II veteran, was born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., and now lives in Florida's Broward County. He recently received a letter from county elections officials asking him to show proof he was a U.S. citizen or be removed from the voting rolls.
Internicola says he was "flabbergasted."
"To me, it's like an insult," he says. "They sent me a form to fill out. And I filled out the form and I sent it back to them with a copy of my discharge paper and a copy of my tour of duty in the ETO, which is the European Theater of Operations."
U.S. and Afghan forces are fighting to gain control of a major crossroads in a part of Afghanistan that has seen so few NATO troops that one village elder mistook the Americans for Russians — from the long-ago Soviet war.
"It's an absolutely crucial area," says NPR photographer David Gilkey, who has been embedded with U.S. troops involved in the offensive in eastern Afghanistan's Ghazni province.
In a Philadelphia courtroom, jurors are hearing closing arguments in a historic case involving the Catholic sex abuse scandal. William Lynn, a monsignor in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, is the first high-level church official to be tried for his involvement in covering up child abuse, specifically, conspiracy and children endangerment.