Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour says faith guided his decision to pardon more than 200 convicted criminals before he left office. Now the state's attorney general is seeking a court order to void some of those pardons. Host Michel Martin talks with Clarion-Ledger Reporter Jessica Bakeman about the pending legal challenge.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we will go to Mississippi, where a real firestorm is brewing over the more than 200 pardons former Governor Haley Barbour granted before he left office earlier this month. Now the state's attorney general is heading to court to try to void some of those. We'll talk with a reporter who's been covering this story in just a few minutes. But first we want to check in on national politics.
The guys discuss Marianne Gingrich's comment that her ex-husband Newt is not morally fit to be president. They also weigh in funding issues with Red Tails, and new data showing that men are catching up to women when it comes to obesity rates. Host Michel Martin hears from Jimi Izrael, Arsalan Ifthikar, Kevin Williamson and Dave Zirin.
Tell Me More editor Ammad Omar and host Michel Martin comb recent listener feedback. More than 900 responses poured in for a recent conversation about pushing election day to the weekend. They also hear responses to an interview with the comedian who made the YouTube viral video about stuff 'white girls say.'
In 1978, the farmers in a small Chinese village called Xiaogang gathered in a mud hut to sign a secret contract. They thought it might get them executed. Instead, it wound up transforming China's economy in ways that are still reverberating today.
The contract was so risky — and such a big deal — because it was created at the height of communism in China. Everyone worked on the village's collective farm; there was no personal property.
"Back then, even one straw belonged to the group," says Yen Jingchang, who was a farmer in Xiaogang in 1978. "No one owned anything."
"Etta James, whose assertive, earthy voice lit up such hits as The Wallflower, Something's Got a Hold on Me, and the wedding favorite At Last, has died, according to her longtime friend and manager, Lupe De Leon. She was 73 and had been diagnosed with leukemia in 2010."
A plan for how to redraw Texas' congressional and state legislative districts that was put together by a three-judge federal court in San Antonio was rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court this morning because, the justices ruled, the lower court should not have disregarded the Texas state legislature's wishes and should not have stepped into that legislature's shoes.
The individuals who participated in the first Inquisition 800 years ago kept detailed records of their activities. Vast archival collections at the Vatican, in France and in Spain contain accounts of torture victims' cries, descriptions of funeral pyres and even meticulous financial records about the price of torture equipment.
"[There are] expense accounts [for things] like how much did the rope cost to tie the hands of the person you burnt at the stake," says writer Cullen Murphy. "The people who were doing interrogations were meticulous."