Miami-Dade narcotics detector canine Franky, who came out of retirement to give a demonstration, sniffs marijuana in Miami in 2011. Franky's supersensitive nose is at the heart of a question being put to the U.S. Supreme Court: Does a police K-9's sniff outside a house give officers the right to get a search warrant for illegal drugs?
Credit Alan Diaz / AP
Miami-Dade retired narcotics detector canine Franky looks on during a demonstration in Miami.
You can already hear all the likely jokes at the Supreme Court, about the justices going to the dogs. But the issue being argued Wednesday is deadly serious: whether police can take a trained drug-detection dog up to a house to smell for drugs inside, and if the dog alerts, use that to justify a search of the home.
In the case before the court, the four-legged cop was named Franky, and as a result of his nose, his human police partner charged Joelis Jardines with trafficking in more than 25 pounds of marijuana.
Jacques Barzun, the esteemed cultural historian, lived 104 years and wrote a multitude of words about the most important issues in society, but when he died last week, his one quote that was invariably cited was a pithy one that he wrote back in 1954: "Whoever wishes to know the heart and soul of America had better learn baseball."
Never mind that that is no longer even remotely true.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
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Looming over the recovery from Super Storm Sandy is what to do about next Tuesday's election? The prospect that some voters could still be displaced or without power a week from today has election officials trying to come up with alternative plans.
It even has some people talking about the highly unusual step of delaying the vote, as NPR's Pam Fessler reports.
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Hurricane Sandy made landfall in southern New Jersey and left a path of destruction all the way up the state. Just across the river from New York in Bergen County, water flowed over the top of a levee along the Hackensack River, and then it poured into the town of Moonachie.
As the presidential campaign has unfolded, the candidates have traded polemics about wealth, class warfare, taxes, dependency and the role of government.
And while it may be uncomfortable to admit, some Americans are simply more financially successful than others. But why do some achieve wealth, while others struggle? Why does one woman make it to the executive suite, while another man drives a taxi? And what do we think explains our prosperity — or lack thereof?