The U.S. Supreme Court has given an Alabama death row inmate another chance to fight his execution. By a 7-to-2 vote, the court ruled Wednesday that convicted murderer Cory Maples, "through no fault of his own," was denied the right to appeal because he was abandoned by his lawyers.
Maples was convicted in 1997 of murdering two friends and was sentenced to death. There is no doubt that he committed the crime; the doubt is whether he could have avoided the death penalty if he had been properly represented at trial.
The Transportation Security Administration now says security screeners at Kennedy Airport in New York were wrong when they asked two elderly women to show them medical devices that were under their clothing.
In a letter sent to state Sen. Michael Gianaris and acquired by the New York Daily News, the Department of Homeland Security said that there was no evidence the two women were strip-searched, as they claimed, but that their agents did go further than they should have.
Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 9:11 pm
Update at 9:45 p.m. ET. Wahlberg apologizes:
Saying his comments were "ridiculous ... irresponsible ... [and] insensitive," actor Mark Wahlberg has now apologized for saying he would have stopped 9/11 hijackers if he had been on one of the planes, Reuters reports.
Read what he's apologizing for in our original post:
The U.S. House of Representatives will likely vote today to disapprove of raising the debt ceiling by $1.2 trillion. If you remember, the last time a vote of this kind went down, it was a dramatic showdown that rattled markets and was cited as one of the prime reasons S&P downgraded the United States' debt rating.
Today's vote however will be symbolic. The debt ceiling will likely be raised no matter how Congress votes.
Our Newscast desk spoke to NPR's Andrea Seabrook, who explained the vote like this:
Italian coast guard Capt. Gregorio De Falco (center) has become a national hero for ordering the captain of a sinking cruise liner to get back onboard and oversee the ship's evacuation. Here, De Falco arrives in court for a hearing on Tuesday.
Five days after a cruise liner slammed into rocks off Italy's Tuscan coast, the country is gripped by the contrasting profiles of two key figures in the drama — the captain charged with abandoning ship and the captain who demanded he get back onboard.
For many Italians, the accident has become a metaphor for a country that sees itself mired in economic and moral decline.
Francesco Schettino, the disgraced captain of the 1,000-foot-long floating palace known as the Costa Concordia, is under house arrest on suspicion of multiple manslaughter, shipwreck and abandoning ship.
We saw stories earlier this week about a man who was lost for two nights in Mount Rainier National Park over the weekend, but survived in part because he burned the money he was carrying to keep warm as a blizzard blew through the area.
But a critical question wasn't answered until today. — how much money went up in flames?
Alexandra Ziegler, age 9, leafletting for Gingrich in Greenville, S.C.
Credit Melissa Block / NPR
The family poses for a snapshot at Newt Gingrich's campaign headquarters in Greenville, S.C. Back row, left to right: grandmother Carolyn Ball with her daughter, Sondra Ziegler; Ziegler's 5-year-old son, Sam. Front row, left to right: 9-year-old Alexandra and 10-year-old Abigail Ziegler.
Credit Melissa Block / NPR
Abigail Ziegler, age 10, knocks on doors for Gingrich in Greenville, S.C.
Sometimes it takes a family to campaign for a presidential candidate, and that's just what Melissa Block, co-host of NPR's All Things Considered, discovered while in South Carolina this week ahead of the state's Saturday primary.
Sondra Ziegler, a volunteer for GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich's campaign, is making herself useful any way she can — along with her three children and her mother.