Rep. Charles Rangel greets supporters after a press conference at Frederick Douglass Circle in New York on May 3.
Credit Andy Jacobsohn / MCT/Landov
New York state Sen. Adriano Espaillat campaigns on the corner of 110th Street and Lexington Avenue in New York's Harlem in May. Espaillat is running for the incumbent Rangel's seat in what is now the 13th Congressional District.
Credit Andy Jacobsohn / MCT/Landov
Clyde Williams takes a break from canvassing in Manhattan's Harlem neighborhood on May 3. Williams is also running for Rangel's seat.
In Harlem, a legendary congressman — one of the most influential black politicians in modern history — faced a difficult re-election as allies backed his younger opponent in demanding a changing of the guard.
That was in 1970, when challenger Charles Rangel defeated Rep. Adam Clayton Powell Jr., a mythic figure undone by scandal and frustrated constituents.
Now, 42 years later, Rangel is the iconic lawmaker contending with perhaps his toughest re-election against challengers from within his own party who say his time has passed.
In a study (pdf) released today, the Federal Reserve reports that Americans saw a record drop in their wealth between the years 2007 to 2010. Driven primarily by plummeting home values, families' median net worth dropped 38.8 percent, to levels last seen 18 years ago.
The details sound like something out of a bad science-fiction movie.
A freezer storing human brains for research went on the fritz, and nobody at the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center knew for days. Two separate alarms that should have alerted staff to the problem failed to sound late last month.
Syria's turmoil has been spreading into Lebanon, where residents say Syrian soldiers have crossed the border and killed civilians. Here, Lebanese army soldiers patrol in the northern port city of Tripoli, Lebanon, earlier this month, where clashes broke out between pro- and anti-Syria gunmen.
A rash of kidnappings in Lebanon over the weekend, coupled with deadly cross-border attacks by the Syrian army, are all worrying signs that Syria's troubles are continuing to spill over into its smaller and weaker neighbor.
In the most recent incidents, a Sunni sheik known to support the Syrian uprising was abducted. In retaliation, several Alawites aligned with the Syrian government were taken. Days before that, the Syrian army shot several people on Lebanese territory.
Apple kicked off its Worldwide Developer Conference Monday with the announcement of its own maps in the mobile operating system. It's Apple's bid to challenge the dominance of Google maps for all kinds of location-based apps. Maps underlie many important things people do with mobile and up until now Google has had a lock on maps.
A member of the Cabinet is under investigation for a series of auto accidents in California. Commerce Secretary John Bryson allegedly hit a car that was stopped at a railroad crossing on Saturday, then hit it again as he drove off. Later, Bryson allegedly hit a second vehicle. He was found unconscious in his car. Police say there's no indication that drugs or alcohol played a role and no one was seriously hurt. The Commerce Department says Bryson suffered a seizure, as NPR's Scott Horsley reports.
Late last week the attorney general, under pressure from lawmakers, appointed two prosecutors to look into leaks of national security secrets. But leak cases are notoriously difficult to prosecute, and the prospects for these cases are problematic.
Sectarian divisions are said to be the main factors in recent massacres inside Syria. Alawite attackers descended on Sunni Muslim towns, killing up to 200 people, according to activists. The Alawites are a Shiite sect and are a small minority in Syria but they hold outsized power. President Bashar al-Assad is an Alawite.
To find out more about the Alawites and their control, we turned to Steven Heydemann, Middle East specialist at the United States Institute of Peace.
I'm Melissa Block. And this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.
CORNISH: The child sex abuse trial of Jerry Sandusky began today in Pennsylvania. The former Penn State assistant football coach faces more than 50 counts of sexually abusing 10 young boys. He denies the charges. Lawyers painted two sharply conflicted portraits of Sandusky in opening statements today.
NPR's Joel Rose was in the courtroom in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania and joins me now. Hello, Joel.