National News

A warning sign shows the location of a 12-inch oil pipeline owned by Bridger Pipeline Co. that spilled up to 50,000 gallons of crude along the Yellowstone River near Glendive, Mont.

Traces Of Oil Found In Montana Town's Water Supply After Spill

Officials in Montana say they have detected traces of oil in the water supply of the town of Glendive, days after up to 50,000 gallons of oil spilled from a break in a pipeline along the Yellowstone River.

NPR's Kirk Siegler is reporting on the story for our Newscast unit. He says:

Houses of local residents are seen damaged in clashes that erupted between presidential guards and Shiite Houthi fighters in Sanaa, Yemen, on Tuesday.

Shiite Rebels Shell Yemeni Leader's House, Seize Presidential Palace

Update at 11:55 a.m. ET

The Yemeni president's house is being shelled by Shiite rebels, and the presidential palace reportedly has been seized.

Nadia al-Saqqaf, the information minister, said on Twitter that President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi's house was being shelled by Shiite rebels whom Saqqaf called "militias seeking to overthrow the ruling system."

She said Hadi's home has been under attack since 3 p.m.

During his 1965 State of the Union address, President Lyndon Johnson said, "This, then, is the state of the union: free and restless, growing and full of hope."

The State Of The Union Is ... 'Free And Restless'?

Presidents often characterize the state of the union as "strong." Last year, in fact, President Obama remarked: "It is you, our citizens, who make the state of our union strong."

It seems whatever the crisis du jour is, the State of the Union address is a chance for the president to sneak in some optimism. In 2012, as the economy limped back, Obama still found occasion for the s-word: "The state of our union is getting stronger. And we've come too far to turn back now."

White House Seeks More Time From Congress On Iran

The White House says it could consider congressional action against Iran later in the year, but emphasized it wants more time to see if negotiations over the Islamic republic's nuclear program can work.

"If Congress wants to act later in the year, we could consider that, but at the moment they ought to give us the space to let these negotiations work," Denis McDonough, White House chief of staff, tells NPR's Steve Inskeep.

A view of the jury box, right, inside Courtroom 201, where jury selection in the trial of Aurora movie theater shootings defendant James Holmes is to begin Tuesday at the Arapahoe County District Court in Centennial, Colo.

Jury Selection To Start In Aurora, Colo., Mass Shooting Trial

Jury selections starts today for the trial of James Holmes, the man accused of killing 12 people and wounding 70 others in the Aurora, Colo., theater shooting in July 2012.

President Obama greets lawmakers as he leaves after delivering the 2014 State of Union address to a joint session of Congress.

State Of The Union Will Tout Progress, But Is The Economy Fixed?

In so many ways, Jan. 20, 2009, was a frightful day to be taking the oath of office.

The U.S. economy was in free fall as Barack Obama rose to deliver his inaugural address. "We are in the midst of crisis," he said. "Homes have been lost, jobs shed, businesses shuttered."

Exactly six years later, Obama is returning to Capitol Hill to deliver a State of the Union address at 9 p.m. EST. He is expected to highlight the economic progress that has been made since that frigid Day One — and call for more changes.

Beware Of Japanese Balloon Bombs

Those who forget the past are liable to trip over it.

Just a few months ago a couple of forestry workers in Lumby, British Columbia — about 250 miles north of the U.S. border — happened upon a 70-year-old Japanese balloon bomb.

A photo from a video clip posted on YouTube shows a man with a knife threatening two captives identified as Haruna Yukawa (right) and Kenji Goto Jogo. The Islamic State says it wants $200 million for their release.

Islamic State, In Video, Threatens To Kill 2 Japanese Hostages

Updated at 12:10 p.m. ET

The group that calls itself the Islamic State, in a direct address to Japan's prime minister, is threatening to kill two Japanese hostages unless it gets $200 million within 72 hours. The demand in a video posted online comes as Shinzo Abe is visiting the Middle East.

President Obama listens as British Prime Minister David Cameron speaks Friday during their joint news conference at the White House.

State Of The Union: 5 Things To Watch

Even in the era of declining television audiences, President Obama's State of the Union address is still the biggest audience he'll have all year. Historically, seventh-year State of the Union speeches have a short shelf life. Every one of the five lame-duck presidents (that is, presidents constitutionally barred from running again — Eisenhower, Reagan, Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama) have all had opposition congresses, making the prospects for passing major parts of the president's agenda slim to none.

President Obama speaks at Pellissippi State Community College, in Knoxville, Tenn., on Jan. 9. Obama is turning to his biggest television audience of the year to pitch tax increases on the wealthiest Americans and put the new Republican Congress in the position of defending top income earners over the middle class.

Obama, In Tonight's State Of the Union, Will Focus On Middle Class

President Obama delivers his State of the Union address tonight and is expected to focus on the state of the economy and its impact on the middle class.