All Things Considered for Thursday, January 23, 2014

In his second week in the job, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring announced that his office will no longer defend the state's ban on same-sex marriages. Herring says he has concluded that the ban violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment and is therefore unconstitutional.
The South Carolina Republican is heading into a primary with four challengers who say he's not conservative enough for the state.

Natchi — What's It Now? A Local Sets Us Straight

Time for us to eat some crow: It turns out that in a recent story about Peyton Manning's tendency to name-check the city of Omaha during play calls, we got the name of another city wrong. Natchitoches is a city in Louisiana and a victim of our mispronunciation. We talk to local tour guide Barbara Bailey to get the story straight.

Raised In The U.S. And Coming Out To Immigrant Parents

Latin American immigrants have different attitudes toward homosexuality than do their U.S.-born children, according to a poll conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health.

From Down Under, A Paprikash To Warm You All Over

Cold weather means "Mum's Rice Paprikash" for Merelyn Chalmers, a member of The Monday Morning Cooking Club. The club is dedicated to preserving recipes from Sydney's Jewish community. For our Found Recipes series, Chalmers shares the dish that she considers the ultimate comfort food.
The data breaches at Target and Neiman Marcus raised questions over how quickly companies are required to disclose that customer information was hacked. The rules around when a retailer is required to tell you that your data got into the hands of fraudsters vary state by state.

China Sends 500 Million Users On An Internet Detour

For up to eight hours on Wednesday, some 500 million people in China could not get web pages to load. It was an outage of epic proportions, which immediately spawned chatter and headlines wondering what exactly happened. The working theory right now? Rather than blocking websites, as intended, Chinese Internet restrictions actually redirected users to those same sites. For more information on the outage, Melissa Block talks to New York Times cybersecurity reporter Nicole Perlroth.

The Law Behind The Texas Life Support Controversy

Controversy has been swirling around a Texas hospital's decision to keep a pregnant woman on life support, saying that state law won't permit removing her. Robert Siegel talks to Tom Mayo, associate professor of law at Southern Methodist University, about the details of the case.
The Central African Republic has been unstable for decades, but the explosion of violence after a coup in 2013 was unprecedented — even for a country prone to turmoil and rebellion. The deadly clashes pit the forces of the former Muslim-led government against Christian militia groups in a predominantly Christian country. Before this, the CAR had not known such sectarian tension; Muslims and Christians had lived side-by-side in peace. Now, the newly-elected caretaker president, Catherine Samba-Panza, the first woman to hold the top job in the CAR, must try to restore calm, reconcile her divided country and organize elections next year.

Musical Theater Takes The Stage In Paris

Broadway musicals are seen in France as a strictly Anglo-Saxon form of entertainment. For a long time, French cultural elites considered them lowbrow and not serious culture. That perception is changing, though, as one of Paris' most revered theatres is presenting musical hit after musical hit. Parisians are now discovering and falling in love with high-quality entertainment that everyone can enjoy.
A report released Thursday by the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board recommends that the National Security Administration's bulk phone record program be eliminated. The report finds that not only is the program illegal, it's also ineffective. These findings come less than a week after President Obama called for keeping the program, but only after making some changes.

Chairman Of Privacy Board Weighs In On NSA

The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board released a report Thursday on the National Security Administration's telephone records collection program and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Melissa Block talks with the chairman of the board, David Medine.
Weed has grown on President Obama. In a recent New Yorker profile, he described marijuana as a bad habit, a personal vice but no more dangerous than alcohol. This marks a shift from the stance that he had once held and the position voiced previously by the U.S. drug czar. The president's current ambivalence on marijuana may mirror the feelings held by many Americans.

At The Barricades In Kiev, A City Seethes

Robert Siegel interviews journalist David Stern, who reports from the barricades created by protesters in Kiev. He describes the scene, as well as what the protesters are demanding from the Ukrainian government.

An Alleged 'Goodfella' Gets Indicted, Decades Later

More than 30 years after the crime, authorities in New York have charged an alleged mobster in connection with the Lufthansa heist at JFK Airport. At the time, it was the biggest robbery in US history. It's still one of the most famous, thanks to the film, Goodfellas.
Contrary to widespread belief, it's no harder to climb the economic ladder now than a generation ago. But the study did find that moving up that ladder is still a lot harder in the United States than in other developed countries.

What Do Americans Think About Income Inequality?

Robert Siegel speaks with Michael Dimock, vice president of research at the Pew Research Center, about their recent survey on how Americans view income inequality.
Last week, a federal appeals court in Massachusetts ruled that convicted murderer Michelle Kosilek has a right to gender reassignment surgery "even if that treatment strikes some as odd or unorthodox." State officials are weighing whether to keep fighting a battle that critics say has gone too far.
Jenny Offill's sparse and experimental novel Dept. of Speculation is a reminder that bigger isn't always better. Through short vignettes, Offill builds a narrative about an unnamed husband and wife. It's a sly, profound glimpse into a fragile domestic sphere — and, while the form may be unusual, the book is highly readable.

A Baby Didn't Bump These Moms Out Of Competition

Not that long ago, female elite athletes thought they had to retire if they wanted to have kids. Now, they're competing throughout pregnancies and getting right back to training once they deliver. In some cases, they're even making the most out of sponsorship deals they might have once lost.
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