This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Jennifer Ludden, in Washington. Neal Conan is away. This week ushered in the new year, of course, and with it came a raft of new laws from Florida to California. States passed almost 40,000 laws last year. Many of them took effect this week; a host of others will roll out in the coming months.
The long-awaited trial of five men accused of helping plan the Sept. 11 attacks is scheduled to begin early this year in a revamped trial process at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Initially, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other men charged with planning the attacks were going to be tried in a New York federal court, but congressional opposition forced the Obama administration to reverse course.
Joseph P. Kennedy III, the son of former Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy II and grandson of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, "is taking the final steps to launch a run for Congress this year, hoping to succeed [the retiring] U.S. Rep. Barney Frank," the Boston Globe reports.
The Barr Brothers' self-titled debut is a powerful and moving folk record: It combines delicate harp arrangements with a rock 'n' roll sensibility and richly interwoven instrumentation. It's both a powerful record and a product of the uncanny series of events that led to the band's formation.
On Back to Love, Anthony Hamilton makes music from declarations. He tells a woman "I'm missing you crazy" in "Who's Loving You," and it's typical of his strategy. He states his thesis, his opinion, his desire in a voice that speaks as much as it sings for the sake of emphasis. After he's sure he's gotten his lover's attention, he begins doing his rhythm-and-blues work, mixing soul and blues and hip-hop phrasing to heighten the emotion in a song.
In 2014, when expansion of the Panama Canal is complete, a new generation of superlarge cargo ships will begin calling on the East Coast. Cities like New York; Savannah, Ga.; and Miami are vying for the new business, as they race to deepen their ports and expand their facilities to accommodate the new ships.
But some of the cities are running into significant challenges. In Miami, where plans are under way to deepen the port to 50 feet, dredging is a hot topic. Some see it as a great business opportunity. To others, it's a threat to the environment.
Saying that "the size and structure of our military and defense budget have to be driven by a strategy — not the other way around," President Obama just gave a broad overview of his administration's new military strategy.