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How The Justice Department Picks Its Civil Rights Cases

The NAACP is leading a campaign to persuade Attorney General Eric Holder to pursue federal civil rights charges against George Zimmerman for the February fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Melissa Block speaks with William Yeomans, a former attorney with the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, about what is involved in bringing these kinds of cases.
NPR

Lawmakers Work To Finish Deal On Student Loan Rates

A bipartisan group of senators announced a deal Thursday to protect college students from an interest rate hike on federal student loans. Those rates doubled on July 1, and lawmakers raced to forge an agreement before most students begin taking out loans for the new school year.
NPR

Carbon Tax Gaining Popularity, But Not With Lawmakers

The idea of taxing carbon emissions to curb climate change has been gaining surprisingly diverse and bipartisan support over the past year. Everywhere, that is, except Congress.
NPR

Where Are All Of Wyomings Escalators?

We hear from Jeremy Fugleberg, assistant managing editor and self-appointed escalator editor of the Casper, Wyoming Star-Tribune, as he rides half of all the escalators in the state. The other pair (up and down) are across town. The paucity of moving staircases in the state has come up in some publications as part of the discussion of the state having two Senators.
NPR

EPA, Labor Nominees Confirmed

After striking a bipartisan deal to move nominations forward, the Senate has now filled four top posts.
NPR

Man Who Hoped To Testify Against Whitey Bulger Is Found Dead

Stephen Rakes said the gangster forced him — at gunpoint — to sell a liquor store. The cause of Rakes' death isn't yet known. Authorities say there were "no obvious signs of trauma." Rakes, who said he could speak for those who fear Bulger, was told this week he would not be called to the stand.
NPR

The United States Of Dynasty: Boom Times For Political Families

Pick any place on the map and you're likely to find dynasty politics in full bloom. And just wait until the 2016 presidential election, where many of the top prospects are from America's most prominent political families.
NPR

Justice's Rules Mean Reporter Need Not Testify, Lawyer Says

Prosecutors want New York Times reporter James Risen to testify about whether he got information from a CIA agent. The Justice Department recently tightened its policy on when it will try to compel journalists to divulge such information. Risen's lawyer says that policy should apply to his client.
NPR

Study: U.S. Viewed As 'Favorable', China As Rising Superpower

While much of the world has a more positive view of the U.S. than it does of China, many now believe that Beijing is or will be the world's dominant Superpower.
NPR

Sharing A 'Profound' Mandela Encounter With Morehouse Men

Today is Nelson Mandela's 95th birthday, and his legacy is being celebrated around the world. John Silvanus Wilson Junior, the president of Morehouse College, met Mandela in 1992. He tells Michel Martin about how that meeting changed his life, and fueled his commitment to educating African-American men. He also talks about the lessons he might share with his students in light of the George Zimmerman verdict.

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