7:47am

Wed March 21, 2012
U.S.

Was Trayvon Martin's Killing A Federal Hate Crime?

A memorial to 17-year-old Trayvon Martin outside the community in Sanford, Fla., where the teen was shot.
Roberto Gonzalez Getty Images

Civil rights groups cheered the news that the Justice Department would look into the case of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teen shot by a man on neighborhood watch in Sanford, Fla.

But the bar for the Justice Department to make a federal case is high. Ultimately, it has few options at its disposal when it comes to investigating the teen's death.

Former prosecutors say one key tool passed early in the Obama administration might apply in this case: the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

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7:45am

Wed March 21, 2012
The Two-Way

Women Continue To Fill Rick Perry's Facebook Wall With Mock Questions

Originally published on Wed March 21, 2012 7:46 am

Gov. Rick Perry's Facebook page, the scene of contention.
Facebook.com/GovernorPerry

Here's the first of more than 5,600 comments we saw this morning when we went to Texas Gov. Rick Perry's Facebook page and opened up a post on his wall thanking those who supported his bid for the Republican presidential nomination:

"Governor Perry, I am experiencing mid-cycle cramping. Is this a punishment from god for not getting pregnant this month?"

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6:50am

Wed March 21, 2012

6:36am

Wed March 21, 2012
It's All Politics

Why Dreams Of A Contested GOP Convention Are Slipping Away Again

Like leap year, talk of a brokered convention seems to surface every presidential cycle. Unlike leap year, the brokered convention itself rarely seems to happen in the end.

But this time around, as the GOP candidates grind it out delegate by delegate, the prospects seemed greater than at any time in the past few decades. As recently as Monday, Rick Santorum insisted he could collect enough delegates to deny rival Mitt Romney the 1,144 needed to clinch the nomination outright.

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6:35am

Wed March 21, 2012
The Two-Way

Trayvon Martin's Killer Had Been Accused Of Violence In The Past

George Zimmerman, in a 2005 mug shot provided by the Orange County (Fla.) jail, via The Miami Herald.
AP
  • Kathy Lohr, on 'Morning Edition'

As national attention continues to be focused on the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla., last month and the questions it resurrects about race relations in the U.S., The Orlando Sentinel today adds to what's known about George Zimmerman, the 28-year-old man who pulled the trigger.

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5:40am

Wed March 21, 2012
The Two-Way

It Was Inevitable: Romney's Win In Illinois Resurrects The I-Word

Originally published on Wed March 21, 2012 6:41 am

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney at his victory party Tuesday in Schaumburg, Ill.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images
  • Ari Shapiro on 'Morning Editon'

From Fox News' On The Record with Greta Van Susteren to The Wall Street Journal and Politico, Tuesday's relatively easy win for Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney in the Illinois primary has renewed talk about him being the "inev

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5:10am

Wed March 21, 2012
The Two-Way

Developing: Suspect Surrounded In France, Claims Al-Qaida Ties

Originally published on Sun March 25, 2012 7:06 am

French police officers at the scene of the siege today in Toulouse, where a suspect in recent killings is said to be holed up in an apartment.
Pascal Guyot AFP/Getty Images
  • Eleanor Beardsley, on 'Morning Edition'

There's a dramatic scene unfolding in Toulouse, France, where police have surrounded an apartment building in which the suspect in the recent high-profile killings of at least seven people is said to be barricaded.

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5:01am

Wed March 21, 2012
It's All Politics

In Winner-Take-All Wisconsin, Looming GOP Primary Is Just A Sideshow

Volunteers at the Wisconsin Democratic Party's recall office in Waukesha entered names from petitions to recall Gov. Scott Walker into their voter databases on March 20.
Liz Halloran NPR

Mary Beth Kopidlansky of Waukesha says she knows who she'll vote for in Wisconsin's upcoming GOP presidential primary (Mitt Romney), but that's not really what she's interested in talking about.

For Kopidlansky, and most potential voters in this most Republican of Wisconsin counties, the contest that is consuming them and the rest of the state is not the state's April 3 presidential primary when 42 potentially crucial delegates will be awarded.

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4:43am

Wed March 21, 2012
It's All Politics

Are Primary Republicans Chasing Romney Or The Reagan Rainbow?

Originally published on Wed March 21, 2012 10:28 am

President Ronald Reagan looms over today's GOP field. Here he waves as he boards Air Force One after a brief three-hour visit to Washington state on April 20, 1984.
Barry Sweet AP

Rick Santorum's underdog campaign limped out of Illinois to fight another day, but his campaign for the GOP presidential nomination goes forward under a long shadow.

It's not really the shadow of Mount Mitt, even though front-runner Romney's big win in Illinois heightened his pile of delegates. Romney creeps ever closer to inevitability, yet he too is caught in the same shadow of a man who left the stage two decades ago but dominates it to this day.

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2:44am

Wed March 21, 2012
Money & Politics

Romney, SuperPAC Outspend Rivals Combined

Originally published on Wed March 21, 2012 8:23 am

As Mitt Romney decisively won the Illinois Republican presidential primary Tuesday night, financial reports filed at the Federal Election Commission showed that Romney and a superPAC supporting him yet again spent more than all of his GOP opponents combined.

The reports cover the month of February, which started with Romney's win in Nevada and ended with contests in Michigan and Arizona, which the former Massachusetts governor also won.

In between, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum took three smaller states.

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