Drivers travel on Interstate 495, the Capital Beltway, near Tysons Corner in Fairfax County, Va., in November, just days before the opening of four new express lanes. Virginia is among 19 states that have approved or are considering legislation to increase transportation funding, according to Transportation for America.
Credit Cliff Owen / AP
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell speaks to the media at the state Capitol in Richmond in February.
It's no secret that many of the nation's roads are in pretty bad shape. In the latest report card from the American Society of Civil Engineers, the condition of America's highways rated a grade of D.
Congestion is a big problem, and so is upkeep. Most states rely on gas taxes to raise the money for repairs and new construction, but that funding source is not the stream it used to be, says James Corless of Transportation for America.
Venezuelan opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles waves to supporters during a campaign rally in Valencia, Venezuela, on Tuesday. The country's voters go to the polls this weekend to choose a successor to longtime leader Hugo Chavez, who died last month.
Credit AFP/Getty Images
Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela's acting president and Chavez's hand-picked successor, raises his fist during a presidential election campaign rally in Catia La Mar, Venezuela, on Tuesday.
For the first time in 14 years, Hugo Chavez is not on the ballot for a presidential election in Venezuela. The firebrand leftist died last month at 58 after a long fight with cancer.
Pollsters say the sympathy vote and the state's huge resources will translate into a big victory in Sunday's election for Chavez's hand-picked successor, Nicolas Maduro, a 50-year-old former bus driver turned government minister who had been a Chavez loyalist for 20 years.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. Robin Kelly's in in Chicago, Anthony Weiner wants back in in New York, and Mitch McConnell claims somebody broke in and bugged his campaign office. It's Wednesday and time for...
SENATOR MITCH MCCONNELL: Nixonian...
CONAN: Edition of the Political Junkie.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDINGS)
PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.
VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: Where's the beef?
In this day and age, interfaith marriage doesn't seem like that big a deal. They represent close to half of all marriages in this country over the past 10 years. The decision can also come with a price, though: disagreement on how to raise children and higher rates of divorce. There are benefits, as well, according to Naomi Schaefer Riley, author of "Til Faith Do Us Part: How Interfaith Marriage is Transforming America." She'll join us in just a moment.
Names are possessions that we carry with us all our lives. But we seldom think about what goes into picking the right one. Some choose to change their first names in adulthood, because of family history or pure disdain for a moniker. For Silas Hansen, the reason was that he's transgender.
I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Today, we're going to be talking about something that preoccupies many Americans, no more so than since last December. That, of course, is when that awful shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., took place.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, can I tell you how great you look? No? Well, that's my Can I Just Tell You essay and it's coming up in a few minutes.
But first, we are focusing on the economic progress or lack thereof facing African-Americans. This year marks the 50th anniversary of a number of important dates in civil rights history, including the march on Washington and Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later in the program, we are going to talk about some provocative new research that sheds some light on how personal relationships play a role in getting a job and we'll talk about how that plays out differently or may play out differently for whites and minorities. That's coming up later in the program.