Special Coverage

Military
2:33 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Panetta Lifts Ban On Women In Combat Roles

In a May 9, 2012 photo, Capt. Sara Rodriguez, 26, of the 101st Airborne Division, carries a litter of sandbags during the Expert Field Medical Badge training at Fort Campbell, Ky. Female soldiers are moving into new jobs in once all-male units as the U.S. Army breaks down formal barriers in recognition of what's already happened in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Kristin M. Hall AP

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 7:04 am

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has decided to lift a ban that prohibited women from serving in combat, a congressional source tells NPR's Tom Bowman. The move opens up thousands of front-line positions.

Panetta is expected to announce the decision along with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Thursday.

Citing "senior defense officials," the AP adds:

Read more
Gun Violence
1:16 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Should Gun Owners Have to Buy Liability Insurance?

George Frey Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 1:49 pm

Nouriel Roubini recently sent a Tweet suggesting that gun owners should have to buy liability insurance, just like car owners do:

If we had liability insurance on guns, as we do 4 cars, we will see which insurance company would insure at which price folks with arsenals

Read more
Borderlands
11:29 am
Tue January 1, 2013

In Mexico, a New Plan to End Drug Violence

A Juárez municipal police officer keeps patrol while at a murder scene in the outskirts of Ciudad Juárez, Mexico on May 28, 2010.
Ivan Pierre Aguirre for Texas Tribune

NUEVO LAREDO, Mexico – The tank that has stood at the entrance to this Mexican border city since 2008 was not here on Christmas Eve. Neither was the machine gun turret that pointed down this gritty town’s main street.

But the masked soldiers remained. Residents say it is a sign that little law enforcement appears to exist except for the military officers who patrol the streets.

That could change, however, under policies announced recently by Enrique Peña Nieto, Mexico’s newly inaugurated president.

Read more
New Year's Eve
2:33 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

Why We Toast: Uncorking A New Year's Tradition

A happy-looking 1930s couple toasts.
Fox Photos Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 12:42 pm

The act of toasting feels natural: You lift your arms in affirmation and drink in honor of an occasion or a loved one.

It's what millions will do this week as they ring in the New Year, but why? Like shaking hands or saluting, toasting is a habit with incredibly foggy beginnings, so we here at The Salt decided to dig into it, for the sake of science.

Read more
Race & Ethnicity
5:49 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Census Bureau Rethinks The Best Way To Measure Race

A crowd crosses the street in midtown Manhattan.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 10:42 am

Possible revisions to how the decennial census asks questions about race and ethnicity have raised concerns among some groups that any changes could reduce their population count and thus weaken their electoral clout.

The Census Bureau is considering numerous changes to the 2020 survey in an effort to improve the responses of minorities and more accurately classify Latino, Asian, Middle Eastern and multiracial populations.

Read more
Gun Violence
1:04 pm
Wed December 26, 2012

N.Y. Website Posts Map of People With Gun Permits, Draws Criticism

At its website, the image is interactive so that users can see who has handgun permits and where they live." href="/post/ny-website-posts-map-people-gun-permits-draws-criticism" class="noexit lightbox">
The Journal News' map of gun owners in Rockland County, N.Y. At its website, the image is interactive so that users can see who has handgun permits and where they live.
The Journal News

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 1:49 pm

The website of New York's Journal News newspapers has posted an interactive map showing the names and addresses of people with licenses to own handguns in three counties just to the north of New York City — Westchester, Rockland and Putnam.

Read more
Gun Violence
12:05 pm
Mon December 24, 2012

Firefighters Responding to Blaze in New York Shot and Killed

Originally published on Mon December 24, 2012 1:38 pm

Two firefighters responding to the scene of a blaze near Rochester, N.Y., were killed today and another two were wounded when a gunman opened fire.

The apparent ambush in Webster, N.Y., was carried out by convicted murderer William Spengler, police believe. He was found dead at the scene, from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Spengler, 62, spent 17 years in prison for the 1980 murder of his grandmother.

Read more
Gun Violence
11:42 am
Fri December 21, 2012

Only 'A Good Guy With A Gun' Can Stop School Shootings, NRA Says

National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre at this morning's news conference in Washington, D.C.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 1:08 pm

(We retopped this post at 11:35 a.m. ET.)

Saying that last week's mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., could have been prevented or stopped if there had been armed, trained security personnel on site, officials of the National Rifle Association on Friday called for Congress to appropriate funds to put police officers in every American school.

Read more
Dec. 12, 2012
5:36 pm
Wed December 19, 2012

It’s the End of the World as We Know It (Supposedly) And This UT Maya Expert Feels (Mostly) Fine

Artist's rendering of the 2012 Maya apocalypse.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

David Stewart Explains the Maya Calendar

Turn on the History Channel, and you’ll find plenty of speculation about the Mayan calendar. The “long count” calendar comes to an end on Dec. 21, 2012 – and chances are you’ve heard what that’s supposed to mean.

David Stuart, a professor of art history at the University of Texas at Austin recently deciphered a hieroglyph that included a second reference to the end-date. “This is an important date,” Stuart tells KUT News.  But “the Maya never said anything about the end of the world … they never predicted or prophesied anything about what would happen.”

Read more
Gun Violence
4:57 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Amid Calls For Gun Control, Some Push For Weapons At School

David Thweatt, the school superintendent in Harrold, Texas, is seen in 2008. Troubled by school shootings around the country, Thweatt decided to arm school staff.
Tony Gutierrez AP

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 2:16 pm

A growing number of lawmakers are indicating they are open to considering new gun control measures in the wake of Friday's school shooting in Newtown, Conn. But while much of the national debate has focused on limiting access to guns, others are suggesting that schools should arm themselves to defend against attacks.

David Thweatt, school superintendent for the small Texas town of Harrold, northwest of Fort Worth, decided in 2006 that it was time to arm his staff. There's only one school in Harrold, a K-12 with 103 students.

Read more
Gun Violence
2:31 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Obama Supports New Bid to Ban Assault Weapons, Close Gun Show 'Loophole'

At the Freddie Bear Sports shop in Tinley Park, Ill., Jason Zielinski shows AR-15 style rifles to a customer.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 12:59 pm

President Obama has thrown his support behind a leading Democratic senator's effort to reinstate a ban on assault weapons — another sign that Friday's mass shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut has put gun control back on Washington's political agenda.

Read more
Gun Violence
11:48 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Investment Firm Selling Stakes In Gun Makers

Freedom Group

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 12:12 pm

The issue of gun control appears to have moved into business and finance. One of the largest private equity companies in the country is terminating its relationship with a firearms corporation associated with one of the weapons used in the Newtown school shooting.

Read more
Gun Violence
3:11 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

What Gun Control Could Look Like

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 6:55 am

In a pair of recent decisions, the Supreme Court has made it clear that Americans have a constitutional right to own handguns for self-defense. But the court will nonetheless allow "reasonable regulations" on firearms.

The country appears set, following the mass shootings at a school in Newtown, Conn., to have a debate about what restrictions should be put in place.

Members of Congress have already signaled their intent to introduce gun-control legislation next year, which President Obama has indicated in recent days will be a priority.

Read more
connecticut shootings
9:59 am
Mon December 17, 2012

Details Of Newtown Shootings 'Too Difficult To Discuss' Now, Police Say

Connecticut State Police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance.
Eric Thayer Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 6:51 pm

As new pieces of information come in about Friday's mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., which left 20 children and six adults dead, we'll post them here.

The day began, just after 10 a.m. ET, with Connecticut State Police Lt. J. Paul Vance telling reporters that most of the emerging evidence is "too difficult to discuss ... I'm not going to lie to you."

Update at 6:49 p.m. ET. Dogs Try To Comfort Students.

Read more
connecticut shootings
8:24 am
Mon December 17, 2012

Watch: President Obama Speaks at the Newtown, Conn. Vigil

Last night, President Barack Obama spoke at a vigil in Newtown, Connecticut. The Newtown community was struck by a tragic school shooting on Friday that claimed  dozens of victims, including 20 children aged six and seven. 

Read more

Pages