The Homeland Security Department's Control System Security Program facilities in Idaho Falls, Idaho, are intended to protect the nation's power grid, water and communications systems. U.S. security officials and members of Congress are convinced a new law may be needed to promote improved cyberdefenses at critical facilities.
Consider what Hurricane Katrina did to New Orleans, and you get an idea of the consequences of a cyberattack on critical U.S. infrastructure: No electricity. No water. No transportation. Terrorists or enemy adversaries with computer skills could conceivably take down a power grid, a nuclear station, a water treatment center or a chemical manufacturing plant.
Today, Justice Department officials meet with family of Trayvon Martin. The unarmed African-American teen was shot in Florida by a neighborhood watch volunteer. Last night, Martin's parents joined a rally in New York's Union Square, and NPR's Margot Adler attended.
MARGOT ADLER, BYLINE: There was rage, sadness and also the feeling of a prayerful community gathering. When the parents of Trayvon Martin spoke, the crowds pushed closer to get a look and shouted words of encouragement. Tracy Martin, the teenager's father, spoke first.
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The lawyer for the soldier suspected of killing unarmed Afghan civilians last week says his client may have suffered from diminished capacity - or, in other words, a mental breakdown. That possibility has focused attention on the Army's ability to detect and treat psychological problems among soldiers. NPR's Martin Kaste reports on how the Army's system works in theory and in practice.
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President Obama visits Oklahoma today, talking of speeding construction for a major oil pipeline. Yesterday, he visited a solar panel farm in Nevada. Those were just two of the stops on a presidential effort to defend his energy policies. He's under pressure from Republicans because of rising gas prices.
And we start our coverage with NPR's Scott Horsley.
March Madness is supposed to be all about basketball. But it was the NFL that produced a dizzying day of news yesterday. The NFL came down like a ton of bricks on the New Orleans Saints. The league suspended head coach Sean Payton for the entire 2012 season. That was punishment for the team's bounty system, which paid players for injuring opponents.
Raquel Jaramillo's debut novel, Wonder, written under the pen name R.J. Palacio, was born out of a rather embarrassing incident. The author was out with her two sons, sitting in front of an ice cream store. Her oldest had just finished fifth grade, and her youngest was still in a stroller. They spotted a girl whose face had been deformed by a medical condition.
French police have been trying to get a suspected gunman to surrender, after he apparently changed his mind about turning himself in. The 24-year-old has confessed to killing the Jewish children and the paratrooper in Toulouse. Explosions have been reported near the apartment. NPR's Eleanor Beardsley tells host Robert Siegel the latest developments.
The Arizona Senate has voted to allow companies to erect lighted billboards along state highways. Billboard companies asked the Legislature to change the law after a recent decision by the Arizona Court of Appeals that bans electronic billboards along freeways. And astronomers are not happy with the bill.
Astronomers say the billboards threaten the dark skies needed for their work, which they argue is a big industry for Arizona.