The first phase of the Islamic Cultural Center near the World Trade Center has opened. Detractors have called it the ground zero mosque. As part of the opening for the Park51 center, invited guests got to see a photo exhibit of children from more than 160 countries who live in New York City.
A number of U.S. mayors have been in Washington this week for meetings at the White House and on Capitol Hill. Their message: We need help. Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett was in the group from the U.S. Conference of Mayors. And he was the sole Republican. Cornett talks to David Greene about the needs of cities amid the debate over federal budget cuts.
A federal judge in Washington, D.C. has upheld a key part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Shelby County, Alabama, had sued to get out from under requirements that it send all of its election changes to the federal government for pre- approval to protect the interest of minority voters. A judge threw out the lawsuit saying that Congress had acted within its power under the Constitution.
After 15 albums and 31 years in the music business, the band REM is breaking up. In a farewell to fans, frontman Michael Stipe wrote on the band's website that a wise man once said "the skill in attending a party is knowing when it's time to leave."