Opening statements are expected to begin Thursday in an unusual terrorism trial, involving a young Massachusetts man named Tarek Mehanna. What makes this case unusual isn't the alleged terrorist's plot. It's his defense: the First Amendment.
Mehanna's lawyers asked the judge Wednesday to instruct the jury about free-speech rights under the U.S. Constitution. Prosecutors say 29-year-old Mehanna tried to help al-Qaida by promoting its cause in an online blog. Mehanna's attorneys say he was just exercising his right to free speech — and isn't a terrorist at all.
The self-proclaimed "world's largest furniture market" in High Point, N.C., is the industry's showpiece event, where manufacturers hawk their products to retailers. And this week, the market also has an old-school component: a large pavilion dedicated to furniture that's made in America.
In fact, there are signs that market conditions stemming from China's fast growth could spur a comeback for furniture makers in the United States.
Dwayne Stenstrom is a professor of American history. His office is lined with towers of obscure books and poetry on the walls. There's even a copy of the Declaration of Independence in a binder.
He teaches this document like many other professors, beginning with, "We hold these truths to be self evident." But he stops on another phrase — "the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages."
This is the second of two reports on plans to export U.S. coal to China.
Coal producers in Wyoming and Montana are hoping new export terminals will be built in Washington state so they can ramp up their sales to China. Activists are trying to stop those ports, in part because they're concerned about global warming. But a thriving export market could also drive up the price of coal here in the United States, and that has climate implications as well.
The 12-member supercommittee charged with finding at least $1.2 trillion in budget cuts next month met publicly for the first time in six weeks Wednesday — and agreed on little more than the fact that time is indeed growing short for them to approve a deal. Co-chairman Patty Murray, D-Wash., said a lot of hard work has been done to find common ground and agree on a balanced, bipartisan plan for deficit reduction. But, she added, "We're not there yet."