Robert, a talkative sixth-grader in the city of Richmond, has been suspended three times from his elementary school in the West Contra Costa Unified School District. If he gets suspended one more time, he says, he might get expelled. [NPR has withheld his last name because he is a minor.]
The United States named its 19th poet laureate today: Natasha Trethewey, a professor of English and creative writing at Emory University in Atlanta. She is the nation's first poet laureate to hail from the South since the initial laureate — Robert Penn Warren — was named by the Library of Congress in 1986.
Since Republicans took back the U.S. House in the 2010 elections, abortion has been a fairly constant theme. The House took eight separate abortion-related votes in 2011 — the most in a decade, according to NARAL Pro-Choice America.
As Mexico approaches its election day on July 1, polls indicate the candidate for the opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, is well ahead and appears likely to return his party to power.
The PRI governed Mexico for seven decades until 2000, when it was tossed out by an electorate tired of a corrupt political machine. Now, discontent with the current leadership and the rampant drug-related violence has created an opening for the PRI to come back. Still, some Mexicans are queasy about the prospect of the party's resurgence.
Damon Lindelof was a producer on the 2009 reboot of Star Trek, which seemed to win over loyal Trekkies. And this weekend Lindelof will earn the devotion — or wrath — of Alien fans. He helped write the screenplay for the new film Prometheus, an origin story for Ridley Scott's 1979 sci-fi classic.
That means there is a 50 percent chance that El Niño — warmer than normal temperatures in the Pacific Ocean near the equator — will develop by next winter. As The Baltimore Sun reports, if this happens it will be the first time El Niño rears its head since 2009.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Massachusetts Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren continues to face criticism over undocumented claims she made that for several years she was Native American. Warren acknowledged that she told officials at Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania that she was of Cherokee and Delaware Indian heritage, but she insists that played no role in her hiring.
Eleven times over the past 34 years, a three-year-old thoroughbred arrived at Belmont Park with a chance to win the Triple Crown, and 11 times, he failed. A sport in sore need of a superstar hopes that I'll Have Another breaks that jinx on Saturday. The winner of the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness is listed as the odds-on favorite to win the Belmont Stakes. But racing writer Andy Beyer argues that the crowded schedule, the unusual distance and history all suggest you should put your money on another colt.
Union shops in the private sector have dwindled in recent decades. Now, public union leaders across the country worry that they're losing political clout, bargaining power and members. That raises questions about whether unions fallen victim to their own success, and who needs unions.