The administrative branch of the National Football League is tax-exempt, and many wealthy team owners can get generous subsidies from local governments for stadiums. Critics argue the public money could be better spent elsewhere. But can you put a price on the love of the game?
An appeals court ruled against the New Orleans public school system this week — a decision that could bankrupt the Orleans Parish public schools. The five-judge panel ruled that the school board wrongly terminated some 7,000 teachers and other school employees after Hurricane Katrina. For more information, Melissa Block speaks with education reporter Sarah Carr, who has written a book on the changes to the New Orleans school system after Katrina.
California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency on Friday, amid growing concerns about future water supplies for residents and for farmers. Brown called for a 20 percent voluntary reduction in water use and eased water transfer rights between farmers. However, mandatory measures will still be left to local communities to impose, for now.
In a major speech on Friday, President Obama laid out reforms to U.S. intelligence gathering procedures. NPR Washington correspondent Scott Horsley reports on the balance that the president is attempting to strike between national security needs and privacy concerns.
We may be deep in the doldrums of January, still months from the start of the regular season, but we still have baseball on our mind. Sportswriter Stefan Fatsis stops by to discuss the latest news out of the MLB, including the massive new contract for the Dodgers' ace pitcher and the unfolding saga of Alex Rodriguez.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will visit Florida this weekend to raise money for Gov. Rick Scott, his first major fundraising trip as chairman of the Republican Governors Association. The trip may answer some questions about how the scandal over lane closures at the George Washington Bridge will affect his path to the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.
Although official results have not yet been finalized, it is clear that Egyptians voted overwhelmingly in favor of the new constitution in this week's referendum. Preliminary figures show that slightly more voters cast their ballot than in last year's referendum. According to many analysts, the results of the vote make it easier for military chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to declare himself a candidate in the upcoming presidential election.
When peace talks open in Switzerland, one common concern between the West and Syria is expected to be the threat of Islamist extremists and the rise of al-Qaida-linked militias. Thousands of Sunni militants from around the world have joined the rebel groups in Syria, but there are other groups of militant foreign fighters who support the Syrian regime. Iraqi Shiites are being recruited in the thousands to bolster Syria's armed forces. Recruiting billboards and social media help portray the fight as an existential battle between Sunnis and Muslims.
After months of debate about the National Security Agency, President Obama delivered statements on Friday about how the agency collects intelligence. He declared that advances in technology had made it harder "to both defend our nation and uphold our civil liberties." He also announced changes to surveillance policies.