National News

People wait in line for the beginning of the 2013-2014 Supreme Court term in Washington on Oct. 7. The court heard the first major case on campaign contribution limits since 2010's landmark <em>Citizens United</em>.

Supreme Court Strikes Down Overall Limits On Political Contributions

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down an overall cap on the amount that large campaign donors can give to parties and candidates in a two-year election cycle.

In a 5-4 decision split between conservatives and liberals on the high court, the court said the limits were a violation of the First Amendment.

Michele Norris

'Race Card Project' Is Among Peabody Award Winners

This year's Peabody Award winners for excellence in electronic media include The Race Card Project from NPR's Michele Norris.

Her project, which was featured in a series of reports on Morning Edition, invites people to distill their "thoughts, experiences or observations about race into one sentence that only has six words."

Kiara Crawford, Brittney Winkler and Jessyca Freeman (left to right) were among those applying for work last month at a job fair in Washington, D.C. Early data from that month signal that job growth may have gained some speed.

Job Growth Picked Up Some Speed In March, Survey Signals

The first slice of data about job growth in March offers some hope that the U.S. labor market gained some strength:

A flag flies at half-staff in the midst of the mudslide rubble in Oso, Wash.

Oso Mudslide: As List Of Missing Shrinks, Death Toll Rises

This post will be updated as news comes in.

Here is some of the latest news from Oso, Wash., the tiny community north of Seattle that was devastated by a mudslide on March 22:

-- Death Toll At 29: Authorities say the number of confirmed fatalities as of this morning was 29. (We updated that figure at 11:15 a.m. ET.)

Scared residents hug in the hallway of an apartment building Tuesday after Iquique, Chile, was rocked by a strong earthquake.

Tense Hours, Then Sighs Of Relief After Huge Quake Off Chile

The extent of the damage isn't yet clear and the six deaths reported so far may be followed by news of other fatalities.

But on the morning after a massive, 8.2 magnitude earthquake off the coast of northern Chile there are sighs of relief there and in neighboring Peru.

Finding A More Nuanced View Of Poverty's 'Black Hole'

Ask Anne Valdez what poverty means for her, and her answer will describe much more than a simple lack of money.

"It's like being stuck in a black hole," says Valdez, 47, who is unemployed and trying to raise a teenage son in Coney Island, New York City. "Poverty is like literally being held back from enjoying life, almost to the point of not being able to breathe."

For years, researchers have complained that the way the government measures income and poverty is severely flawed, that it provides an incomplete — and even distorted — view.

Comments on the Lent Madness website have gotten heated. Mark D. writes, "So I got my wish: JS Bach is in the mix. But he's in the same bracket with the Wesleys and Thomas Merton?? This is going to be ugly."

For 'Lent Madness,' Reverend Pits Saints Against Each Other

We're deep into Lent, the season when Christians prepare themselves for Easter. For those of you who have been preparing by giving up something — chocolate, or driving, or yelling at the kids — it can feel like a pretty long time.

But, some folks are looking to reframe Lent, with a little madness.

"A lot of people see Lent as the church's season of doom, and gloom, and guilt, and depression, and eating dirt," says Tim Schenck, an Episcopalian priest in Massachusetts.

A group of 3,000 ordinary citizens, armed with nothing more than an Internet connection, is often making better forecasts of global events than CIA analysts. Here, a man crosses the CIA logo at its headquarters in Langley, Va.

So You Think You're Smarter Than A CIA Agent

The morning I met Elaine Rich, she was sitting at the kitchen table of her small town home in suburban Maryland trying to estimate refugee flows in Syria.

It wasn't the only question she was considering; there were others:

Will North Korea launch a new multistage missile before May 10, 2014?

Will Russian armed forces enter Kharkiv, Ukraine, by May 10? Rich's answers to these questions would eventually be evaluated by the intelligence community, but she didn't feel much pressure because this wasn't her full-time gig.

Students from CUNY's AstroCom NYC program meet for a weekly class at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Dennis Robbins, an associate professor of science education at CUNY's Hunter College, teaches Betsy Hernandez (from left), Jaquelin Erazo, Ariel Diaz and Mario Martin.

Changing The Face Of Astronomy Research

Shooting for the stars is expensive.

Advanced sciences like astronomy require years of study and graduate degrees. And the soaring cost of college can be a heavy obstacle for low-income and minority students hoping to break into those fields.

A program at the City University of New York hopes to lift that burden by providing scholarships and one-on-one mentoring to underrepresented students.

Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor speaks to reporters at his Little Rock campaign headquarters on Feb. 28. A minimum wage increase on the ballot alongside Pryor could give Democrats more of a reason to show up on Election Day.

In Arkansas, Voters May Get Chance To Raise Minimum Wage

President Obama travels to Michigan Wednesday to tout his proposal to boost the minimum wage.

Raising the wage to $10.10 an hour is one of the top agenda items for Obama and his fellow Democrats during this mid-term election year. The White House says the move would put more money in the pockets of some 28 million workers.

One test of that strategy will be in Arkansas, where proponents are trying to put a minimum wage increase on the ballot in November. Arkansas has some of the lowest wages in the country and it's also home to one of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats.

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